Lesser known Railroad Museums in small towns

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Rhode Island and Philadelphia
Just back from Steamtown in Scranton PA. Stunning, as is the marble/tile lobby of the nearby Lackawanna depot, now the Radisson. Steamtown is part of the National Park system and free to enter. If you only have 15 minutes, spend it with the newly painted (last year) Big Boy 4012 in the parking lot. A tiny sign says you can't climb on it, but there are no ropes so you can touch whatever you can reach. It's like three stories high! ;)
If you have 30 minutes, Big Boy + inside the Roundhouse. (Actually inside, not just the turntable). But you should take several hours as all the exhibits are well done. Plus, starting this week, the steam train and trolley rides are going around the area. No one was there on a weekday afternoon and no guards are telling you not to touch things, but park rangers are there to answer questions.
 

jebr

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Dassel, Minnesota about 65 west of Minneapolis has a small Railroad Museum in the old Great Northern Depot which was located to another place, but still along BNSF's freight line.]

And just a few more miles west is the Biggest Ball of Twine*! Live your dreams - just make sure to pack some potato skins and pickled wieners!

*made by a single person

 

railiner

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After you ride on the Strasburg (PA) Railroad, tour the PRR Museum, see the huge Choo-Choo Barn layout, and visit the toy train museum...you can sleep in a caboose. I will be staying at the Red Caboose Motel with grandkids (for the 9th time)View attachment 28424 View attachment 28425 June 24-26.
Just wanted to point out that even though the PRR is most prominent, it by no means is the only road featured here, for those not familiar…
 

Hepcat66

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My favorite so far, is in Ely, NV. Ely is small at 4k population, but the museum/yard is quite large. The part I really liked, is that most of the facilities are open to visitors. We walked through the large shop where they repaired locomotives, and came upon a 14 yr old volunteer who was working on a cylinder from one of the diesels. What a wonderful experience for a young gear head.
 

Stremba

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The Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona PA is also an interesting one. The museum is located within walking distance of the Altoona Amtrak station and is located in an old Pennsylvania RR roundhouse. The museum also operates the Horseshoe Curve site outside of Altoona.

It is possible to visit as a day trip from Pittsburgh via the Pennsylvanian. You do have to use Uber/cab to get to Horseshoe Curve, though as there is no public transit to that site (AFAIK). You do get to travel around Horseshoe Curve to and from Altoona in addition to visiting the site if you go by Amtrak from Pittsburgh.

 

jis

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AlamoWye

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While planning a Labor Day trip to the Hill Country, I came across another very small Texas railroad museum in Llano. At least they are ambitious (and seemingly dedicated) in restoring the railroad legacy of this part of Texas. Watch their video for a nice 5-mile rail trip through the area that we Central Texans love.
Llano River Railroad
 
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