The Ohio Railway Museum
No history of Columbus railroads would be complete without including a section on the Ohio Railway Museum located in Worthington. In 1945 a group of Columbus men, many returning from the war, started the Central Ohio Railfan's Association (CORA). Their chief aim was to get together, often at the "O" gauge model railroad club located in the Columbus Union Station arcade on High Street, and talk about railroads. They also planned trips, some open to the public, like the 1948 CORA streetcar trip held just before the Columbus streetcars were abandoned and some members' only trips.
In 1946 an opportunity was presented to CORA to acquire the only operational wooden interurban car remaining in Ohio. The Akron Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society owned the car, Ohio Public Service #21, but could not care for it and #21 badly needed a new home. How the early CORA group of railfans acquired #21 and evolved into the Ohio Railway Museum (ORM) is well told in George Silcott's 1950 The Return of the Interurban: The Story of the Ohio Railroad Museum. You can follow the building of the ORM and its expanding collection of traction and steam railroad equipment through this publication and the early ORM Annual Reports.
The ORM section of columbusrailroads.com will concentrate on the first thirty years. They were a golden time when the museum was growing and well maintained by its members, all volunteers. The second thirty years have not been a success. It is a great tragedy that the ORM described here no longer exists.
Join us as columbusrailroads.com celebrates what once was a museum with an historically significant collection of railroad equipment in a time when visitors and members alike had a grand experience at the Ohio Railway Museum.