Colorado Railroad Museum
A replica of an 1880s-style depot, the museum building houses thousands of rare old photographs, artifacts and documents illustrating the colorful histories of the railroads which have served the state for over 125 years. An outstanding book and gift shop features hundreds of railroad books and videos, as well as magazines, posters, jewelry and other memorabilia.
The museum is located just east of Golden, Colorado, at a point where Clear Creek flows between North and South Table Mountains. Display tracks, complete with rare three-way stub switches and century-old switch stands, hold many historic narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars. The museum building, based in exterior design on standard station construction of the 1880s, houses the largest known collection of historic records, mementos, artifacts, and pictures of Colorado railroads.
Most of it is outside, so bring sunscreen! Really interesting for train lovers. There are cars you can enter and a huge collection of restored cars and engines. The bulk of the museum is the collection outside. There is a brief exhibit inside on the ground floor. Downstairs is a large and beautiful model train display. There is also a rotating exhibit that was being worked on while I was there.
Most of the railroad cars were closed on the Tuesday we went, and the outdoor model railroad was not running. There are a number of rundown cars sitting in almost a junk yard. There were a number of employees working but the library was also closed. The best part is the downstairs mini museum and the play area for kids, but only on weekdays. You also have to pay for the indoor model railroad. Only $.25 but it is in addition to your entrance fee. The crowds on weekends make that area unpleasantly crowded. Not bad for a morning with toddlers but unfortunately not great.
Not as impressed as I though I would be; with that being said the museum is still a place I'd recommend visiting. We went for Thomas The Trains Day Out and it was fun for the kids, we just though the train ride would be more than four laps around the property. For $25 a ticket I expected more. With that being said, there is unique Colorado history and it's as if you take a time machine back into the early 1900's. The staff are friendly and very knowledgeable.
This had the potential to be much more enjoyable than it was. Most of the the engines and cars were closed, even the ones where they had built stairs going up to them; all you can see is the outside since the windows are so high. There was very little information about the cars and engines near them, so it was more like walking around a train grave yard than a museum. I would have liked to see signs telling me about each piece. Little kids and people who already know a lot about trains would probably like it, but as someone who likes to learn new things at museums, I was disappointed.
I came to see a Galloping Goose or two and I saw three of them. I also caught a steam locomotive being manually turned on the the turntable, which was very interesting. Also enjoyed the model railway in the basement. Walked around and had a look at the other rolling stock. Some of it would obviously not roll any more. But still in much better shape than what I found Travel Town, LA, CA.