News & Reviews News Wire CSX makes $5 million gift to B&O Railroad Museum

CSX makes $5 million gift to B&O Railroad Museum

By | June 8, 2023

Funding, launching museum’s $30 million capital campaign, will build new event space

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Rendering of event space next to brick museum building
A rendering of the CSX Bicentennial Garden, to be built at the B&O Railroad Museum with a $5 million donation from CSX announced on Thursday, June 8. B&O Railroad Museum

BALTIMORE — CSX Corp. has announced a $5 million gift to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, which will go toward the museum’s $30 million capital campaign as it prepares for the bicentennial of the B&O in 2027.

The donation will be used to build the CSX Bicentennial Garden, an amphitheater and multiuse space that can host local organizations and community gatherings.

Three people pose in front of CSX locomotive
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, B&O Railroad Museum Executive Director Kris Hoellen, and CSX CEO Joe Hinrichs pose at the announcement of CSX’s $5 million gift to the museum. CSX

“CSX is proud to support the future of the B&O Railroad Museum and help expand its role in the community,” CSX CEO Joe Hinrichs said in a railroad press release. “As the successor to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, CSX has been an integral part of the Maryland economy for generations. We are thrilled to be able to deliver this substantial contribution and serve as a catalyst of growth for this iconic institution and the Baltimore community.”

CSX is the first corporation to pledge support for the museum campaign, which will support projects to improve the overall campus flow; add educational space, including an innovation hall focused on present and future railroad technology; house extensive historical archives, and spark community economic development.

“We are profoundly grateful to CSX for their extraordinary commitment to the preservation and celebration of our nation’s railroad heritage,” said Kris Hoellen, executive director of the B&O Railroad Museum. “This significant contribution of $5 million marks a milestone in our campaign towards transforming our campus in preparation for the 200th anniversary of American railroading in 2027. We thank CSX for their leadership to catalyze our campaign and for recognizing the importance of creating a beautiful, publicly accessible space in Southwest Baltimore, the CSX Bicentennial Garden.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said the project will serve his administration’s goals of “connecting institutions with their neighboring communities, expanding workforce training opportunities on campus, creating publicly accessible open space, and remodeling the South Car Works building, our nation’s oldest, continuously operating railroad repair facility, as the new entryway to the Museum.” In remarks included in a video posted to the CSX Instagram page, Moore says the state of Maryland will be contributing $3 million to the B&O master plan. A state press release notes Moore included a $1 million grant for the museum in the fiscal 2024 capital budget.

The museum, a full affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is home of the oldest, most comprehensive collection of railroad artifacts in the Western Hemisphere, including a significant roster of 19th- and 20th-century railroad equipment. It includes the 1985 Mt. Clare Station, the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse and the first mile of commercial track in America. More information is available at the museum website.

— Updated at 5:40 p.m. CDT with information on $3 million contribution by Maryland.

Rendering of front of brick museum building
A rendering of the planned redesigned museum entrance at the South Car Works building. B&O Railroad Museum

3 thoughts on “CSX makes $5 million gift to B&O Railroad Museum

  1. Mount Clare is considered to be a birthplace of American railroading, as the site of the first regular railroad passenger service in the U.S., beginning on May 22, 1830.

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

  2. In 2027, how about a “repeat” and updated version of “The Fair of The Iron Horse”? And, bring together every operating steam locomotive in North America? (And, the King George V from the UK)

    1. While “wishful thinking” is nice to hang on to, the world of railroading today doesn’t operate that way.

      First, the B&O Museum has only a couple of miles of their own trackage that they can operate their locomotives and equipment on. After that, CSX is the only railroad that can provide access to the B&O Museum to allow access for any of their own equipment or any equipment not owned by them to and from the trackage of the B&O Museum.

      Second, If you remember several years ago, when the B&O Museum sold the C&O 1309 to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR), that locomotive had to be hoisted onto specialized rail movement equipment for transport to Cumberland, MD. The non-operative 1309 could NOT be transported on its own wheels over CSX trackage for reason of lack of INSURANCE COVERAGE in case something happened. CSX does NOT allow any operating or non-operative steam locomotive to run on its trackage. The same thing happened during the centennial celebration of West Virginia’s railroad heritage some years ago when CSX would not allow the WMSR’s #734 2-8-0 locomotive to travel the 14 miles over CSX trackage from Cumberland to the Potomac Valley Scenic RR.

      So, the same insurance prohibitions certainly have to apply to today.

      In light of those prohibitions, I think that a much better application of available funding to the B&O’s Bicentennial would be to continue the cosmetic restoration of the two remaining B&O steam locomotives at the museum – the #5300 President Washington and the #4500 USRA Mikado.

You must login to submit a comment