A trip to a steam train museum is a fun and educational way to see the trains that helped power the Industrial Revolution. These museums are home to large trains and locomotives from around the world, as well as many other historic railroad memorabilia.
The largest railway museum in the US is located in southwestern St. Louis, near the suburb of Kirkwood. Its collection includes many large steam locomotives, including a Union Pacific Big Boy and an AT&SF 2-8-8-2. Its other notable engines include a C&O 2-8-4, a BNSF 4-8-8-4, and a NYC 4-8-2. It also has an indoor display of the massive Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad No. 401, which is one of the most famous steam engines in the world.
York’s National Railway Museum is a must-see for rail enthusiasts. It boasts a staggering 100 historic locomotive engines spread out across several huge railway sheds. Among them is a replica of George Stephenson’s Rocket steam engine, which was able to travel at speeds up to 100mph. Other highlights are the Flying Scotsman and the Mallard, which were both able to travel at faster speeds than any other train of their day.
The collection also has a few more obscure items, like the BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 92220 Evening Star, which is still on static display and can’t be put back into service. The museum’s main exhibit shows the evolution of steam technology, from its early days in the mid-nineteenth century to its apex in the 1940s.
Other important locomotives can be found at the National Museum of Transportation in southwestern St. Louis, as well as the UP Big Boy and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad No. 4001. The museum’s other major locomotive is the Boston & Providence Coach, which dates to 1833.
A steam train museum is a great way to learn about the history of railroads and the people who worked on them. The museum collections also showcase how the trains changed over time, with advancements made in the comfort of passengers and workers as well as changes to the physical structure of the train itself.
These railway museums are the only places where you can get a close look at these significant pieces of equipment that were once integral to our everyday lives. Their massive size and complexity makes them very expensive to maintain, so it’s a good idea to consider donating or volunteering to help keep these railway museums alive.
Besides displaying historic trains and their equipment, some of these railway museums are actually operating them as well. In fact, some have even taken their trains out on the tracks to offer a real, hands-on experience. These locomotives are usually a sight to behold, as nothing draws crowds quite like a steam train in action. Belgium, for instance, is home to continental Europe’s first railway line, and now boasts five vintage railways run by enthusiasts. In addition, it has a few great railway museums that allow visitors to ride in these old steamers.