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Preserving the Past, Building for the Future

Northern Ohio Railway Museum's goals are to collect, preserve, restore, operate and display streetcars and other railway related equipment from the first half of the 20th century. In essence, to preserve and vanishing era . . .the trolley era. The Museum is located at 5515 Buffham Road in Seville, Ohio (south of Chippewa Lake). We are open for walking tours on Saturdays from mid-May until the end of October. A docent will be happy to take you on a personal tour of the collection. You are also invited to attend our monthly NORM media nights, which are held on the first Friday of each month from March through December (except July and August). Our meetings are an equal measure of current Museum news, entertainment and fellowship. For a complete schedule of these and other events see our  Museum Events  page.

Northern Ohio Railway Museum History

NORM from the air The Museum can trace its roots back to 1965 when three railfans, Anson W. (Red) Bennett, Walter B. Stoner, Jr. and Lee D. Smith, wanted to acquire and restore a caboose. NORM was formally incorporated on February 20, 1976 as a not-for-profit educational and historical organization. In June of the following year NORM purchased two miles of former Cleveland, Southwestern and Columbus right-of-way south of Chippewa Lake which had been abandoned in 1932. Over the next few years an assortment of interurban cars and other equipment started to arrive.

NORM Bennett Carhouse From this simple beginning our collection has grown to over forty pieces including streetcars, interurbans, work equipment and other railroad cars from the trolley era. In 1984 an additional 30 acres of land was purchased on Buffham Road adjacent to the right-of-way. Since that time we have constructed one carhouse for restoration work and another for preservation, as well as a maintenance building for our service vehicles. To date over a mile of track has been laid, much of it in the carhouse area as yard leads and storage tracks. In 2011 work began to bring our west loop track up to operating condition in preparation for the installation of our first overhead wire. In the future visitors will board cars from our collection, restored to their original elegant condition, for a trip back in time along the route of the original Cleveland, Southwestern and Columbus as it heads north for Chippewa Lake.

North end of NORM right-of-way The photo to the left shows the northern most end of the NORM right-of-way at Lake Road. This end of the line will have a loop to turn the cars for the return trip to the Museum grounds. Directly behind the photographer the line crossed the road and entered the now-abandoned Chippewa Lake Park, which closed its doors in the late 1970's. From this view,you can clearly see the old telephone poles faithfully marking the Southwesterns' "Green Line".

Become a Part of Our Vision

The generous contributions of individuals and corporations have brought NORM to where we are today. To continue this growth, NORM needs your support, both through tax deductible financial gifts and volunteered time. Please help in whatever way you can today so NORM can achieve its goals of preserving the trolley era for future generations. To learn more about the many benefits of joining NORM, turn to our  Membership Page. You can also support NORM through purchases from our on-line Museum Store which offers many unique items including hard-to-find books and special publications of local interest!

While in Ohio

Northern Ohio Railway Museum would like to acknowledge the following local museums/groups that have helped us in our work:

The first is the now defunct Trolleyville USA or, the Gerald E Brookins Museum of Electric Railways. They helped NORM store streetcars prior to the acquisition of our current right of way and Museum grounds. Trolleyville itself owned and operated a large collection of trolleys at their Olmstead Township location for several decades. Sadly, the Museum closed it's doors forever in 2005.

The second is the Ohio Railway Museum.  They have a collection of Traction, Mainline Railroad Equipment, a Gas Electric and 2 Steam Locomotives. They have been in operation since 1948 on the roadbed of the former Columbus, Delaware & Marion Interurban. They can be reached at: Ohio Railway Museum, PO Box 171, Worthington, Ohio 43085

The third is The Cleveland & Eastern Interurban Historical Society. This group's area of interest is the interurban lines that traveled east out of Cleveland into Lake & Geauga Counties:  Cleveland, Painesville & Eastern; Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula; Cleveland & Eastern; Cleveland & Chagrin Falls. They hold meetings at 7:30 pm on the first Thursday of each month (except December) at the Chardon Chamber of Commerce, located at 107 South Street, next door to the former Cleveland & Eastern freight depot (just off the south side of the square). Guests are always welcome. They can be reached at The Cleveland & Eastern Interurban Historical Society & Museum, P.O. Box 34, Chardon, Ohio 44024.

Last but not least is the Midwest Railway Preservation Society (MRPS). The group has a collection of vintage railway equipment currently under restoration and they are working to rebuild and preserve the former B&O Railroad Roundhouse at 2800 West 3rd Street in Cleveland's Industrial Flats. They also run public excursions from June through October in cooperation with the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad. Several NORM members are also members of this group.

Northern Ohio Railway Museum is a member of:

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Last Updated 03/01/20124

For questions or comments about N.O.R.M. please contact:
Walt Stoner
For questions or comments about this website please contact:
Brian Gage

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