Ride the only real train rides in Rochester!
The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum can trace its roots back to 1937 as the Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, the third-oldest chapter in the organization. In 1971 the group purchased the abandoned Industry depot from the Erie Lackawanna Railroad with the goal of restoring it as a museum. Over the last fifty years, we have preserved more than 40 pieces of historic railroad equipment along with our 1909 Erie Railroad passenger station to bring Rochester’s rich railroading heritage to life. We offer the most unique museum experience in the greater Rochester area! We look forward to your next visit as we operate fun train rides every third weekend from April through December.
The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum is a non-profit educational organization with roots going back to 1937. Our purpose is to educate the public on the technology, history, and impact of the railroad industry in Rochester and the surrounding region through the preservation, restoration, and operation of railroad equipment as well as the display of relevant historic artifacts and documents.
We advance the mission of our museum through the preservation of the following items:
- Rolling Stock and Locomotives
- Tools and Equipment
- Documents and Artifacts
- Photography and Video
- And much more…
Tracing our roots back to 1937 as the Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum was founded in 1971 when we purchased the abandoned Industry depot from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. In the following years, our volunteers rebuilt and restored the depot to its 1930’s appearance and built a three-track yard to display our historic fleet of vintage railroad equipment.
In 1995, volunteers drove the golden spike on a two-mile demonstration railroad, and began operating regular train rides between the two museums the following year. To enhance our capabilities, we completed construction on our indoor Restoration Building in 1997 to give us all-season protection for our ongoing projects. In 2010, the Rochester Chapter NRHS officially changed its name to the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.
The museum currently rosters more than 40 pieces of historic railroad rolling stock including nine operating diesel-electric locomotives, two steam locomotives, six cabooses, seven freight cars, a matched seven-car set of former New York Central Railroad “Empire State Express” Budd stainless steel passenger cars, and several other passenger cars amongst other railroad rolling stock. These vintage trains have been preserved by our organization to help tell the story of Rochester’s rich railroading heritage.
Funding and Support
The museum is solely funded through your donations, private grants, membership dues, museum admissions, and our bookstore sales. We welcome your donations that help advance our mission of historic preservation. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our museum has been recognized with a charter from the New York State Board of Regents, and we are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.