Membership in the B&O Railroad Historical Society

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society is an independent non-profit educational corporation. The Society's purpose is to foster interest, research, preservation, and the distribution of information concerning the B&O. Its membership is spread throughout the United States and numerous foreign countries, and its scope includes all facets of the B&O's history. Currently the Society has more than a thousand registered members. Several classes of annual memberships are available:

Regular: $55.00
Regular, Non-USA Resident: $81.00
Sustaining: $75.00 (includes FREE calendar)
Sustaining, Non-USA Resident: $100.00 (includes FREE calendar)
Student - USA Resident (non-voting): $40.00 (Available to persons 17 years old or younger)
Student - Non-USA Resident (non-voting): $66.00 (Available to persons 17 years old or younger)
Associate (Corporate/Business): $145.00
Institutional (Non-profit/Press): $45.00
Additional fee to receive The Sentinel by mail AND download: $10.00 Members, upon joining or renewing, choose as part of the membership to receive either a mailed copy of the magazine or a digital download. This option provides for both a mailed copy and also a digital download.

Members regularly receive a variety of publications offering, news, comments, technical information, and in-depth coverage of the B&O and its related companies. Since 1979, the Society has published a magazine, currently quarterly, The Sentinel, dedicated to the publication of articles and news items of historical significance and interest to the B&O fan. Members have the option of receiving The Sentinel in hard copy by mail, digital download, or for an additional fee, both media. Our web based Membership Application (see below) will give you the option to choose your delivery method. See our Sentinel area for a detailed discussion of this dual media option and how to subscribe. See our eSentinel digital download area for more information on our eSentinel digital download edition. Other Society publications include monographs, calendars, equipment rosters, and reprints of original B&O source material. Their purpose is to make otherwise unobtainable data available to the membership at reasonable cost.

Membership in the Society is a vote of support and makes all of the Society's work possible. It provides those interested in the B&O with a legitimate, respected voice in the railroad and historical communities. By working together, B&O fans are able to accomplish much more than by individual efforts. No matter how diverse your interests or how arcane your specialty, others share your fascination with America's most historic railroad. We invite your participation.
For additional membership information, see our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Are you interested in becoming a member?

If so, please fill out our ON-LINE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION. It may be filled out on line if opened in an appropriate PDF reader program, such as Adobe Reader DC. The form permits the use of an electronic signature if your PDF program supports it. You will then print the completed form. If you cannot fill out the form on-line, print it as a blank form and fill it out. You may pay by check or money order by sending the form and your payment to the address below.

You may also find an application form at train shows, at our building in Eldersburg MD, at some hobby shops, and at Society events. Fill it out and send with your check or money order to the address below.

For credit card payment, there are two options. If you are not ordering any items from the Store, you may download our Manual Order Form, select the level of membership, the type of media and include your card information. If you want both Print and Digital media, you will have to include the Dual Media line with the extra charge. If you are ordering items from the Store, fill out an Order Form through our Company Store website (a link is in the banner at the top of this page) and include a membership from the Payments and Donations link in the left panel. Send whichever order form you used AND the application form with your method of payment to the address below.

Baltimore & Ohio RR Historical Society
Attn: Membership
PO Box 1608
Sykesville, MD 21784-1608

Membership fees, once accepted, are not refundable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I contact the Society about a membership question?

ANSWER: A message via e-mail to Membership is most efficient, but you may mail a letter to the address above. Use of a letter will possibly result in a delay of at least a week over use of email. If you are just changing your contact information, please use the Address Change address.

How can I apply for a new membership to the Society?

ANSWER: The Membership application process is described above these FAQs.

I have sent my membership application into the Society, but haven't received anything from the Society. Who should I contact?

ANSWER: Please see the question above "How can I contact the Society...".

Accidentally dropped by the Society?

ANSWER: Members who feel they were dropped accidentally or who wish to reactivate their membership, should contact Membership as described in the question above "How can I contact the Society...". Please provide current contact information so we may get back in touch with you. The Society is here to support everyone who is interested in the history of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. We do not want to accidentally lose any of our members.

How are Membership Renewals handled by the Society?

ANSWER: Memberships are on an annual basis renewing in the month you joined. When a membership is due for renewal, the Membership Chair will notify the member via mail. Renewal postcards are sent out to members approximately 60 days before their membership is due to expire. In this regard, it is very important that members keep the Society updated with current addresses. It is recognized that many members spend part of the year in one part of the country, another part of the year somewhere else. To assist members who have email, the Society has set up an address change email system to make it easy for members to send in their change of address information. To access this process, click here. This change of address is also important to ensure that the print edition of our quarterly magazine The Sentinel is sent to the proper address. also use this email to update your phone number and email address. If a renewal has been sent out and the member does not respond, approximately 30 days following the expiration of the membership, an additional reminder will be sent out. After that time, if no correspondence has been received from the member, the member will be dropped from the active roles. No further magazines or other announcements from the Society will be sent to the delinquent member. Members wishing to renew will follow the renewal instructions included with the Society mailing. This will entail writing a renewal check and returning it with the notification to the Society.

Membership Renewals can be made through the Web. There is an alternative way to renew your membership - through the Society web site. This method provides the capability to pay by credit card. A member desiring to renew their membership should click the Company Store link from our Home Page and, in the left frame, scroll down to the "Payments and Donations" heading. Click on that link and you will be taken to a screen that displays all of the categories of membership and the fee to be submitted for each category.. Chose your category and click the Add button on the right once so that the number 1 is shown in the quantity. Be sure to select the Dual Media item if you wish to receive your Sentinal in both Print and Digital form. Proceed to the Shopping Cart to process your order per the directions provided.

Membership Renewals with the Store Manual Order Form. Another alternative way to renew your membership is by use of the Manual Order Form found on the Company Store page. This method also provides the capability to pay by credit card. A member desiring to renew their membership should click the Company Store link from our Home Page and scroll to see the form under the News heading. Click on that link and you will be provided with an order form which includes all of the categories of membership and the fee to be submitted for each category. Chose your category and fill in the Print or Digital form for your Sentinel delivery. If you desire both, include the Dual Media line. Mail the form with you payment.

Members desiring to renew their membership via web processing may also take advantage of the Store items offered for sale and may purchase items at the same time that a membership is being renewed.

I recently renewed my membership. Do you send out new membership cards?

ANSWER: Membership cards are provided for new members. There is no expiration date printed on the cards. Only your name, month and year you joined, and your membership number. This policy allows the Society to save the cost of printing cards each year. If your card is lost or damaged, and you need a replacement, we will be happy to do so upon request to the Membership Chairperson.

Can I renew my membership for more than one year at a time?

ANSWER: At the present time, memberships may only be renewed on an annual basis.

I rejoined the Society after a lengthy absence. How do I obtain all of the back issues of publications that I have missed?

ANSWER: You need to purchase any items you missed during your absence. You can obtain back issues of desired publications through our Company Store. Please keep in mind that the Society eventually does run out of printed stock for The Sentinel and the annual calendars (and for books that are no longer printed). The further back in time a desired item is, the higher the risk that it may be out of stock. Most issues of the magazine are available by digital download. These downloads comprise a five-year collection of issues. Go to the Company Store and select (The) Sentinel in the left-hand frame to see the magazines which are available. Similarly, select Calendars in the left frame to see the calendars which might still be available.

How do I notify the Society of my change of mailing or email address?

ANSWER: Members may send their change of mailing or email address (and/or phone(s)) by email (preferred) or mail. Send via e-mail to our address change email account. For mail, see the address shown above these FAQs. Please provide your member number as well as your new contact information. Not only do we need a current member mailing address for The Sentinel and other mailings from the Society, but also your member number and current address are used as an integral part of the discount validation process when purchasing items from our Company Store. We certainly do not want to lose any of our members nor cause our members any difficulties in obtaining appropriate discounts when making purchases.

It is important that we have your current email address on file as well. There are ideas being considered, such as an electronic newsletter as an example, that will be sent out only by email. So if you have an email address, please let us know. And if you change your email address, let us know that as well.

What is the difference between a Regular and a Sustaining membership? What do I get for being a Sustaining member?

ANSWER: Sustaining membership is for those who would like to provide a higher level of financial support to our Society than do Regular members. Much of the dues paid for the Regular class membership pay for The Sentinel, postage and overhead costs, while most of the extra money Sustaining members pay goes directly to support the Society's historic and archival projects. As a benefit to those who wish to become Sustaining members, they will automatically receive a Society calendar each year. Regular members must pay for the calendar. Members at either level receive quarterly issues of our Society publication, The Sentinel, as well as periodic sales flyers, newsletters, convention flyers, and other announcements. Go to Calendar in the Navigation Bar above to see information about our current calendar. Go to Sentinel to see our information about the current magazine issue.

When are the calendars available? If I join as a Sustaining member, will I get my free one right away?

ANSWER: Calendars for the next year are usually printed by the middle of each year. Any member who retains the Sustaining level or who attains that level before October 1, will automatically receive a free copy of that calendar through the mail sometime in October. Summary: If you are a Sustaining member on September 30 of any year, you receive a free calendar for the following year.

I note there is also a Student Membership? What benefits does a Student Member receive?

ANSWER: A student member receives a discounted member rate and our quarterly magazine, The Sentinel, during his membership period. Student level members are also entitled to membership discounts on Company Store purchases and may attend society functions as a member. They are highly encouraged to participate in society events such as modeling exhibitions, train shows, archives sorting sessions, contributing to the Sentinel, mini-conventions, and annual conventions. Student members however are not eligible to vote or run for office in society elections at this time. We are also a registered Non-Profit 501(c)3 organization so participation in certain activities may count towards community service graduation requirements for some school districts. It's best to check with your school to make sure.

Who runs the affairs of the Society?

ANSWER: The Society is a non-profit, all-volunteer, qualified 501(c)3 organization. The Society does not employ hired staff. The Board of Directors is responsible for all business functions of the Society. All Board positions are elected by the membership. The 12-member Board consists of 6 at-large Directors, 5 Officers (President, VP of Operations, VP of Finance, Treasurer and Secretary), and the immediate past President. The Board establishes formal committees on an as-needed basis for special projects, such as cataloging the archives. The bulk of the day-to-day jobs, including management positions such as Company Store Manager, Archivist, Membership Chairperson, Convention Chairperson, etc. are performed by dedicated volunteers, some of whom hold full-time jobs elsewhere and help the Society in their spare time. Go to Contacts in the Navigation Bar above to see a current list of Board members.

How can I volunteer my time to help the Society?

ANSWER: We are always glad to have helping hands! There are several areas where help is always needed, including the Company Store, working on identifying and cataloging old B&O materials through our Archives component, helping with setting up our conventions and mini-conferences, and helping to develop special projects and grants. The easiest way to get started is to contact the Society via e-mail at Information Contact or at BORHS, PO Box 1608, Sykesville, MD 21784, indicating your job preference and availability. We also like to keep an inventory of special skills, interests and talents of our diverse membership. There is a space to provide this information on the membership application form when you join or on the interest profile section of your renewal notice.

Will my personal data be shared with other members or organizations?

ANSWER: We do not share any of the data on our membership database with any outside organization. Mailing lists are generated for Officers, Directors, Store Manager, and our publishing staff for internal use only. We also may evaluate the possibility of offering a published directory for distribution to members who opt to have their name displayed in it. If the Society does undertake this endeavor, members will be notified and given the opportunity to have their name listed in the directory. There are other ways to make contact with Society members. The Society has a Facebook page as well as member participation in the "non-BORHS sponsored" B&O list on While both entities are open to the public and not restricted to Society members only, many (perhaps most) Society members who have internet capability frequent those sites. You can get to those sites through links provided at the bottom of the Home Page of our web site.

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