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FAQs

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

When are you open?

The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum is open to the public monthly for special events only. Click here for our full schedule.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets are available through Eventbrite. Your ticket includes museum admission and round-trip train ride. While you can purchase tickets upon your arrival at Industry Depot, many departures sell out. We strongly suggest purchasing your tickets in advance.

How do I find you?

All train rides and events board at Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum’s Industry Depot, located at 282 Rush Scottsville Road, Rush NY 14543. We are located on Route 251, only a few minutes from Exit 11 on I-390, and just 20 minutes from downtown Rochester.

Is the museum appropriate for young children?

Yes! We always welcome our young train fans as long as they are supervised by an adult. You are also welcome to tour our museums at your own pace, tailoring your visit to your child’s specific interests.

How long is the ride?

Enjoy a mile-and-a-half round-trip train ride through our bucolic museum grounds aboard our restored vintage freight cars and cabooses. Tour museum exhibits at both ends of your ride, and take a peek behind the scenes inside our Restoration Shop. Restrooms are located inside the depot. Porta-pottys are located next to the Restoration Shop. Make sure to visit our gift shop inside the depot for souvenirs and snacks.

What am I going to see?

Your tour begins at our restored Industry Depot originally built by the Erie Railroad in 1909. Once you check in with the ticket agent, there are exhibits for you to enjoy while you wait to board your train. Our Lackawanna Baggage Car has displays about local railroad history, tools, and technology. The Sign Garden has examples of different types of signs found along the railways, as well as retired Fairmont motor cars once used by railroad workers thatyou can climb aboard. Listen for the conductor to call “ALL ABOARD!” and take a ride on our vintage freight train hauled by a diesel-electric locomotive. The ride tours our museum grounds and brings you to our Upper Yard and Restoration Shop. Peek behind the scenes and see how our volunteers repair and restore our vintage fleet of historic trains. The Upper Yard has many freight cars, cabooses, and locomotives on display. Enjoy our Railfan Overlook where you can watch the train climb up and down the steep hillside grade. The MDT Refrigerator Car has an exhibit about building freight cars in East Rochester. The Signals exhibit is located in a retired Pennsylvania Railroad mail car and has hands-on demonstrations of different railway signaling systems. Stay as long as you like, the trains returning to Industry depart every 30 minutes. Upon your return to Industry Depot, don’t forget to visit our gift shop for snacks and souvenirs.

How long have you been around?

We trace our roots back to 1937 when we were founded as the Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. In 1971 we took the first steps toward opening a museum with the purchase of Industry Depot from Erie Lackawanna Railroad. Since that time our volunteers have been hard at work preserving Rochester’s rich railroading heritage for future generations to enjoy.

I have mobility issues. Are the museums and train rides wheelchair accessible?

Crushed gravel walkways cover most of our museum grounds. Some exhibits and displays require climbing steps. Due to the vintage nature of our railroad equipment (and the fact that they were not designed for passenger use), our train rides are not wheelchair accessible. We are happy to assist with boarding whenever possible, and you may bring canes, walkers, and wheelchairs onboard. Please contact us if you have special needs and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Can I bring pets?

No. To ensure the comfort and safety of all of our visitors, pets are not allowed on the museum grounds or on board our trains, with the exception of certified service animals.

How should I dress?

Since the majority of our museum experience is outdoors, you’ll want to dress comfortably for the weather. Shirts and shoes are required. For your comfort and safety, we strongly suggest wearing comfortable closed-toe shoes (no sandals, flip-flops, or high heels).

Do you serve refreshments? Can I pack a picnic?

Yes. Snacks, soft drinks, and water are available for sale in the Gift Shop at Industry Depot. We also invite you to pack a picnic and enjoy any of the provided outdoor seating spaces on our museum grounds. There are also a number of great dining options located nearby.

Where can I find information about riding trains to New York, Toronto, or Chicago?

Amtrak provides nationwide long-distance passenger train service from Rochester to points all across the United States, including connections to Canada. Call 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit their website at amtrak.com.

Do you do group tours, charters, or parties?

Unfortunately we have had to cut back on scheduling private events due to a shortage of volunteers. We hope to resume sometime soon.

Do you have any steam locomotives?

Yes. We have two small steam locomotives in our museum collection. Unfortunately, both are in storage pending restoration and are not open to the public. Our trains are pulled by vintage diesel-electric locomotives. Learn more about our collection.

Are you funded by the state?

No. We are a privately-operated museum, and the majority of our operating funds comes from museum admissions and private donations. All of the money we collect is invested in the maintenance and growth of our museum. We thank you for your support!

I want to get involved! Do you have any volunteer opportunities?

Yes! Our museum depends on volunteer help for everything from selling tickets to running trains to mowing the lawn to administrative tasks and more. Volunteering is also a great way to earn Community Service credits for school. Join us!

My relative worked for the railroad. Do you have any railroad employment records?

No. Unfortunately, our museums do not have any kinds of railroad employment records. A good place to start your search is through the Railroad Retirement Board collection at the National Archives.

I couldn’t find the answer to my question, how do I get in touch with you?

If you could not find the answer to your question here, please feel free to contact us, and a volunteer will respond as soon as possible.

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

Please understand the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum reserves the right to substitute equipment, modify schedules, or cancel events at any time. We are operated entirely by volunteers as a registered 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization. We thank you for your support.