Website owned and operated by the:
Rail City Historical Museum
162 Stanley Drive
Sandy Creek, NY 13145
Robert J Groman, Owner/Curator
The nine mile shortline Bath and Hammondsport Railroad Company is located in the Fingerlakes
Region of New York State (south of Rochester, NY and west of Elmira, NY). The railroad was built in
1871-1872 and the first train operated in the summer of 1874. Besides a lucrative passenger service
its profits came from serving the many vineyards and wineries in the Hammondsport region.
A flood and subsequent damage to the railroad in July, 1935 caused the owners of the B&H, the
Erie Railroad Co., to seek permission from the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon the
railroad. The shippers in the region were not happy with the plan and a group of five businessmen
purchased the railroad. They were D. W. Putnam, Fred C. Taylor, Charles D. Champlin, Robert H.
Howell and U.S. Arland. A celebration was held in July, 1936 to ride the first train over the newly
restored B&H RR.
In 1949, the B&H retired its 26 year old Baldwin Locomotive No. 11 and converted to diesel.
The owners would not sell the 2-6-0 steam locomotive for fear it would be scrapped. A local
resident, T.A. Morey of Vine City, informed Dr. Groman of the B&H locomotive in the spring of
1955. Although Dr. Groman had acquired Old 38 from the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain
Railroad to operate at Rail City, Dr. Groman confided to Morey that the 2-8-0 locomotive was too
large for his 1.5 mile oval track. When B&H President U.S. Arland met Dr. Groman and learned that
No. 11 would have a starring role operating at the new museum, he agreed to sell the locomotive that
had been in storage for five years. No. 11 was relocated to Rail City with just weeks to spare before
the grand opening of the museum on July 4, 1955.
U. S. Arland, T.A. Morey and Stanely Groman, MD., inspect No. 11 at the B&H storage shed in
Hammondsport, NY in April, 1955. The script above the "11" on the locomotive reads "The Champagne
Trail" owing to the vineyards and wineries the locomotive served. [Photo by Doreen Groman, RCHM
"The first steam-operating railroad museum in the U.S.A."