Railroad Collection

 

Diesel Locomotives

Diesel or, more accurately, diesel-electric locomotives were introduced to American railroads in the late 1920's. Their popularity grew gradually through the 1930's and 1940's, but did not become commonplace until after the Second World War. During the period of 1946-1958, diesel locomotives virtually wiped out steam locomotives on America's railroads. The age of steam was dead. The diesel was now king.

Diesel electric locomotives use one or more diesel engines to turn a generator that creates electricity to power electric traction motors connected to the wheels to move the locomotive.

The museum currently rosters nine different diesel electric locomotives from three different manufacturers and five different railroads. All of our locomotives operate regularly on museum trackage during the summer months, and some of them have antifreeze for coolant so they can run year round.

EKCX 6
Eastman Kodak
#6
EKCX 9
Eastman Kodak
#9
LV 211
Lehigh Valley
#211
NKP 79
Nickel Plate Road
#79
RGV 1654
R&GVRR
#1654
RG&E 8
Rochester Gas & Electric
#8
RG&E 1941
Rochester Gas & Electric
#1941
RG&E 1950
Rochester Gas & Electric
#1950
USA 1843
United States Army
#1843
 

Steam Locomotives

The first steam locomotives in America came from England to power the railroads of the late 1820's and early 1830's. However, it was not long before the building of steam locomotives became one of America's first boom industries. Initially, these locomotives were wood-burning. However, the conversion to coal took place on most major railroads in the wake of Civil War. As American industry grew so did the demand for ever larger, even more powerful steam locomotives. The steam locomotive reached its zenith of size and power in the 1930's and 1940's. However, after the Second World War, diesel electric locomotives began a serious challenge to the steam locomotive.

When most Americans think of steam locomotives, we think of large road locomotives, but other types of steam locomotives existed in large quantities. In railroad yards, switch engines moved cars back and forth making up trains for the larger locomotives to haul across the land. At large industrial complexes, small industrial locomotives placed and removed cars at factories, chemical plants, steel mills, etc.

The museum has two of these small industrial locomotives: one which is capable of generating its own steam and one which required an external boiler to charge the locomotive with steam to make it operate. We are currently evaluating both engines for a possible return to operation.

BNY 12
Brooklyn Navy Yard
#12
CL&P 37
Connecticut Light & Power
#37
     

Gas-Mechanical Locomotives

Gas mechanical locomotives are another interesting class of locomotives. Where diesel-electrics use diesel engines that turn electric generators to create electricity to power electric motors in the trucks that move the locomotive, gas-mechanical locomotives use gasoline powered engines and mechanical transmissions to link the output of the engine to the wheels. Most gas mechanical engines were small industrial type locomotives used in factories, mines, and other locations to move a small number of cars a small distance.

The museum rosters one true gas-mechanical locomotive, a Plymouth Model BL. The museum also rosters several Trackmobiles. These unique "gas-mechanical" locomotives are a small locomotive with a set of rubber tires which can be deployed so the Trackmobile can drive over the road to reposition itself over the rail. We have listed our Trackmobiles here since they use gas engines and mechanical/hydraulic transmissions. Some larger Trackmobiles use diesel engines, so they are not all gas-mechanicals, but this was the best fit for these neat little "engines".

Plymouth
Plymouth Model BL
Whiting Trackmobile
Whiting Trackmobile
     

Cabooses

Filled with bunks, running water, a toilet, a stove for heat and for cooking, and table for the conductor to do his paperwork and for the crew to eat, the caboose was the traveling home and office of the train crew. In the early 1980's, modern technology and relaxed government regulations permitted the elimination of the caboose on most mainline freight trains, replacing it with an electronic device that monitors brake line air pressure, emits a flashing light, and signals the engineer in case of trouble.

The museum currently has seven cabooses from seven different railroads, many of which served part of their active lives in and around the Rochester area. The museum's seven cabooses represent both wood and steel or all-steel construction and include examples of cupola, bay window, and transfer type cabooses.

B&O C2493
Baltimore & Ohio
#C2493
BR&P 280
Buffalo, Rochester, & Pittsburgh
#280
ERIE C254
Erie
#C254
LV 95100
Lehigh Valley #95100
NYC 19877
New York Central
#19877
PC 18526
Penn Central
#18526
PRR 477822
Pennsylvania
#477822
     

Passenger Cars

B&O 633
Baltimore & Ohio
#633

DLW 2078
Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western
#2078
ERIE 2328
Erie
#2328
Empire State Express
New York Central
"Empire State Express"
PRR 61950
Pennsylvania
#61950
PRR Pine Falls
Pennsylvania
"Pine Falls"
       

Electric Cars

RSB 60
Rochester Subway
#60
DLW 2628
Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western
#2628
     

Freight Cars

EKCX 52
Eastman Kodak
#52
EL 6603
Erie Lackawanna
#6603
FGEX 50220
Fruit Growers Express
#50220
LBR 23
Lowville & Beaver River
#23
NYC 497862
New York Central
#497862
NYC 506102
New York Central
#506102
MDT 12549
MDT
#12549
MDT 14053
MDT
#14053
PRR 747803
Pennsylvania
#747803
 

Maintenance of Way

RGV Crane
Burro Crane
Model 40
WA&G X-3710
Wellsville, Addison, and Galeton
#X-3710