Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Colorado Railroad Museum

Located in Golden, Colorado, twelve miles and about half an hour west of Denver, this museum is not to be missed if you are interested in trains and Colorado history. Heyes and Kid would feel right at home here, as they undoubtedly would recognize many of the trains on display (see photo at right). And for ASJ fanfic writers, the Colorado Railroad Museum provides a wealth of useful information.

One of the indoor exhibits is a room set up like a telegraph office (see photo at right), with an explanation of Morse code and a description of the types of messages that would be sent about train arrivals and departures. Another exhibit showcases a huge model train set-up, constructed by local train aficionados; deposit a quarter and watch the trains circle around and through various aspects of Colorado history. Other displays indoors describe the history of train travel in Colorado, with information about particular railroad companies such as the Denver & Rio Grande, whose trains can be seen in numerous ASJ episodes (see photo above; click on the image to enlarge and read the text).

Outside, throughout the grounds of the museum, are actual train cars. Engines (see photo at right), cabooses, passenger cars, and railroad post office cars ranging in age from the latter part of the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century are exhibited. Many have informational signs that describe their history. It is also possible to enter many of the cars and experience for oneself what it might have been like to work on a train or be a passenger on one (see photo at right). There is also a replica water tower that resembles those seen in various ASJ episodes.

Exploring all the indoor exhibits and train cars outdoors takes at least a couple hours. With a well-stocked gift shop, a shady picnic area, and a reference library available to those interested in researching railroad history, a visit to the Colorado Railroad Museum is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Website for the Colorado Railroad Museum:

More information about the museum, with descriptions of many of the cars on exhibit: