Railroad Collection


The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum is home to the largest collection of historic trains and operating vintage diesel locomotives in New York State! The majority of our collection is connected to railroads or specific trains that served the Rochester area. Please note not all items are on public display.

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.

Eastman Kodak
Eastman Kodak
LV 211
Lehigh Valley
RGV 1654
RG&E 8
Rochester Gas & Electric
RG&E 1941
Rochester Gas & Electric
RG&E 1950
Rochester Gas & Electric
USA 1843
United States Army

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.

While we have two small industrial steam locomotives in our collection, there currently no plans to restore or operate them. We currently have no steam locomotives on public display.

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

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 Model BL
Whiting Trackmobile
Whiting Trackmobile


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 collection of cabooses represent different styles of construction and include examples of cupola, bay window, and transfer type cabooses.

BR&P 280
Buffalo, Rochester, & Pittsburgh
LV 95100
Lehigh Valley #95100
NYC 19877
New York Central
PC 18526
Penn Central
PRR 477822

Passenger Cars

B&O Baggage Car No. 633
Baltimore & Ohio

DL&W Baggage Car No. 2078
Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western
ERIE 2328
Empire State Express
New York Central
"Empire State Express"
PRR 61950
PRR Pine Falls
"Pine Falls"

Electric Cars

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

Freight Cars

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

Maintenance of Way

RGV Crane
Burro Crane
Model 30
WA&G X-3710
Wellsville, Addison, and Galeton