The museum owns and maintains a collection of 80 historic railroad equipment located on a 4-acre (16,000 m2) site.
The museum was founded in 1975 when a club of local railroad enthusiasts decided to run passenger cars on Amtrak trains. Several local members purchased cars for this goal. In the late 1980s, Amtrak tightened its restrictions on passenger cars, making it too expensive for most private citizens to keep them up.
Though the Amtrak excursions ended, the cars remained as the core of the present collection. At that point the goal of the museum changed and now focuses on the preservation of the equipment. Tom Holley, former chairman of the board, stated "Now the primary purpose of the museum is the collection of the equipment that belonged to the seven railroads then entered Cincinnati."
Pennsylvania Railroad E8 locomotive #5888 has been undergoing restoration for the past few years. A "theatrical" baggage car (the Juliet, one of 47 built by the Pennsy between 1917 and 1922) sits on the track beside the locomotive and will serve as a mobile staging area for the renovation. The museum also has a large collection of Pullman-Standard cars including the Metropolitan View built in 1938 for the PRR's Broadway Limited, and a BM70nb railway post office (PRR #6518) modernized for the same train.
Some of the other equipment includes former PRR #9408, an EMD SW1 switcher, a preserved Dinky, Brookville BMD 15-ton switcher, former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad modern lightweight coach the La Paz, a preserved troop sleeper, an early Southern Railway business car, and former RI #428 (El Comedor) dining car.
The museum is located at 315 Southern Avenue in the Latonia area of Covington.
- Diesel locomotives
|Pennsylvania Railroad||5888||EP-22||EMD E8||1951||Undergoing restoration|
|Pennsylvania Railroad||9408||ES-6||EMD SW1||1950|
- Passenger cars
|Pennsylvania Railroad||6518||BM70nb||Railway Post Office||PRR||1912||Fully equipped with sorting racks|
cancellation tables, parcel bins
|Pennsylvania Railroad||6062 Juliet||B70A||Baggage car||PRR||1928||Used for the transportation of Theatrical scenery|
|Waltersburg||Plan 3410A||12-1 sleeping car||Pullman||1924|
|Cascade Gardens||Plan 4072B||10-5 sleeping car||Pullman-Standard||1939|
|Cascade Heights||Plan 4072C||10-5 sleeping car||Pullman-Standard||1940|
|Metropolitan View||Plan 4080A||1-2 sleeper buffet-lounge-observation car||Pullman-Standard||1938|
|Baltimore and Ohio Railroad||5503 La Paz||Coach||Pullman-Standard||1949||Built for B&O streamliner The Columbian|
|Baltimore and Ohio Railroad||3315 Chicago||Tavern-Lounge-Observation car||Pullman-Standard||1949||Built for B&O streamliner The Columbian|
- Felix Winternitz & Sacha DeVroomen Bellman (2007). Insiders' Guide to Cincinnati. Globe Pequot. p. 146. ISBN 9780762741809. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
- Eigelbach, Kevin (2002-03-19). "All aboard". The Cincinnati Post. E. W. Scripps Company. Archived from the original on 2004-11-14.
- "A PRR Home Page: Railfanning: Passenger Cars". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2006-05-15.
- "Preserved Diesels". www.ole.net. Archived from the original on February 25, 2006.
- "Preserved Critters Dinkys & Centercabs".
- Day, Teresa (January 30, 2005). Fun With the Family Kentucky: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. Globe Pequot. p. 61. ISBN 9780762734900. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Cincinnati Railway Museum". Retrieved 2014-03-22.