BGRM History

Incorporated in February of 1976 as a 501c3 non-profit organization, the Bluegrass Railroad Museum Inc, was formed by founding members to preserve and present an interactive experience of the history of railroading in Central Kentucky.

Membership is all volunteer. All income from operation is used to operate and maintain the tourist train and museum.

First railroad equipment was acquired in 1977 and stored on a siding in the old L&N yard in Lexington. Additional equipment was acquired and the operation was moved to a siding at Eastern State in 1980. Equipment was again moved to the Avon Army base before moving to our permanent home in Versailles.

A 5.5 mile portion of the old Louisville Southern railroad from West Versailles (mile marker 8.5) to the Kentucky River (mile marker 3) was acquired from Southern in 1987 with tourist operation beginning Memorial Day Weekend 1988. Tourist operation continues each weekend from mid May through October and Santa trains each December.

Overnight excursions were promoted by the museum annually from 1978 through 1989 from Lexington to Chattanooga Tennessee. Some excursions were pulled by steam and others by diesel power. The train carried 900 passengers and included Southern baggage car 501 converted to concessions, which is still in the BGRM collection.

Steam power used included the N&W J (#611), N&W #1218, Nickel Plate #675, Canadian Pacific steam # ?, Texas & Pacific # 610. Diesel power included former Southern F units now used on the R J Corman dinner train.