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Wednesday 29 June 2022

Colorado Railroad Museum

All aboard!

Do you have a train lover in your family? Or maybe a history buff? Or perhaps kids who love climbing on things, pressing buttons and playing pretend?  If so, this post is for you!

Recently the kids and I visited Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden and it was such a fun day out. Now, my kids aren’t really the biggest train fans (there was no Thomas the Tank phase in our house) but they sure do love climbing, pressing buttons, pulling levers and playing pretend, so they had an absolute blast visiting the museum.

Located just a short drive from downtown Golden, Colorado Railroad Museum is the perfect place for a day out. Visitors will find dozens of locomotives, passenger cars and cabooses on display over the 15 acre rail yard, a replica 1800s depot museum complete with a massive HO scale model, a working roundhouse and turntable, a garden rail yard, a library, and, the highlight, train rides.

Let’s take a look…

We started our visit by checking out the museum and the HO scale model in the replica depot building. The museum exhibits include a replica communications room complete with a Morse code machine, vintage railroad equipment, items from the gold rush era, uniforms and memorabilia from the classic Pullman trains, and so much more. The highlight of our time in the depot building was checking out the HO scale model. The model is huge and no details has been spared. You’ll see tiny towns, mineshafts, bridges, train stations, farms, a fairground, and lots of quirky details like a crashed plane and a pilot parachuting above. The model is pretty cool to look at as it is, but drop a quarter in the coin slot and it comes to life! The train chugs its way around the track, vehicles move, the carousel in the fairground rotates, ice skaters skate around a pond, and a burning building lights up as firefighters put out the flames.

Next up we took a train ride around the museum grounds. The train rides run Thursdays through Sundays from mid-May to mid-August as well as on Saturdays at various other times during the year. The locomotive in use varies depending on the day and visitors are able to sit in either a vintage passenger car or an open car. We chose the open car for the views and for the breeze (it was very hot the day we visited). The train ride takes visitors along the track that makes a loop around the museum grounds. The train makes the loop three times and there is commentary along the way. It’s a great way to check out all of the outdoor exhibits. 

Checking out the outdoor exhibits from the train as we made our way past was pretty cool, but interacting with the exhibits was even better! After our train ride we went for a walk around the museum grounds to check out the engines, cabooses, passenger cars and various vehicles up close. The kids enjoyed climbing aboard, pulling levers, pressing buttons and playing pretend. My favorite was the train turntable that the kids were able to help turn. Mathilde helped turn it just in time for the locomotive that had pulled our train ride earlier to drive across it.

We finished our visit to Colorado Railroad Museum with a visit to the gift shop - always a favorite with the kids! The gift shop is located inside the replica depot building and features a large range of railroad related gifts, books, toys, decor and snacks. The kids each purchased a plushie while I bought my usual fridge magnet and Christmas ornament (both collections are getting a little big!). I also purchased a piece of the train cake made to the original Pullman dining car recipe. It was so good I’m tempted to go back just for more cake! Seriously, don’t skip the cake when you visit the gift shop!

Colorado Railroad Museum is located at 17155 W 44th Avenue, Golden.

The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9am to 5pm. Train rides are available Thursdays through Sundays between 10am and 3pm with half hourly departures. The train ride takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Tickets for the museum are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 2 - 17, and $8 for seniors. Children under the age of 2 are admitted free of charge. Train rides are an additional charge at $4 per adult an $2 per child ages 2 - 17.

For more information about Colorado Railroad Museum visit https://coloradorailroadmuseum.org/

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