On a nice, sunny January day in Colorado, we decided to check out the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, CO. Apparently, this museum is very popular when Thomas comes to town in September, but it was still a great spot to visit without without Thomas. The indoor sections of the museum feature a well-stocked gift shop with all things train related, a film viewing room, and a small downstairs kid’s area with train memorabilia, a replica ski train for kids to explore, and a model train exhibit. Bring quarters to make the train run, and power the carnival or town!
The bulk of the museum is outdoors- so I would definitely recommend visiting on a nice day. When we were there, a volunteer was available to tell us more about the trains and even take us inside one! We saw a passenger car, a dining car, and the kitchen of a 1930s-1950s passenger train. The volunteer was extremely knowledgeable about all the different features of the trains, having worked for the railroad before retirement. Because there were so few visitors when we were there, he followed us around his half of the train yard telling us interesting tidbits about each train in their collection. It was awesome to get some background knowledge on what we were looking at, although with an excited three-year-old we spent a lot of time chasing him around.
The kitchen car (above) was all stainless steel!
Landon enjoyed climbing up this steam engine and seeing the firebox and coal car. This train (below) was gigantic! The wheels were taller than Austin! It was such a heavy engine that when they brought it into the museum, they built a special track for it, pushed it in, and left it there. The volunteer said that it will not be moving ever again!
The nice volunteer took this family picture for us. Owen hung out with Austin for quite a long time before needing to take a milk break.
I loved the colors of the trains below. The red thing is a snow plow that goes on the front of the trains to whisk the snow away. There were pictures of it in action, and it looks really impressive when its rotating and flinging snow everywhere! The railroad has an interesting history in Colorado because the trains had to go through the Rockies!
Landon’s Grandma Ev and Grandpa Jim told Landon about when they took the Ski Train from the suburbs of Denver up to the mountains to go skiing. What a fun concept, and a way to beat the traffic!
Preparing for a family picture these days is no easy feat. Landon was running off to look at trains, Owen was starving to death (obvious from his gigantic cheeks!), and Austin was grumpy from trying to corral Landon for a picture! In other news, I loved the colors and stylings of this cute red caboose!
Our little family with the trains. I’m so grateful that Owen is so patient with our antics most of the time!
This roundhouse was one of the coolest parts of the museum. Inside are the trains that staff and volunteers are currently refurbishing. Landon really liked it because it was like the Steamworks in Thomas the Tank Engine. I had never seen one of these systems in person- it was neat to figure out how it all worked! There is a rotating circular piece of track, and then tracks going off into each of the doorways so trains can go back to their homes. So cool!
I would recommend the Colorado Railroad museum to anyone interested in trains, or for kids who are obsessed with transportation (like Landon). The volunteer guides are a wealth of knowledge, and it is neat to see the different train cars that were used back in the day. Coming on a nice day is recommended, as most of the things to see at the museum are outdoors. This was a great activity for our energetic three-year-old as he spent all of his energy running around the train yard!