The Whippany Museum was created in 1985 to preserve the history of the town’s railroad system. Many privately owned railroad cars and structures are now on display. A steam locomotive operated stateside during World War II, and the museum’s collection includes many other items used in railroad operations. If you’re looking for a place to learn more about trains, then the Whippany Museum is the perfect place for you. The museum’s museum shop sells items related to the history of the railroad system.
Those interested in railroad history will appreciate the museum’s collection of vintage trains, refurbished railcars, and antique train equipment. It’s one of the oldest steam locomotives in the United States, and offers free excursions throughout the year. A 1904 freight house from the Morristown and Erie Railroad is a highlight of the museum, and railroad buffs can enjoy a walk through the elegant passenger depot. The museum is open all year round, and visitors can even take a ride on the ‘Bunny’ rail express during Easter.
One of the highlights of the Whippany Railway Museum is a pair of iconic steam locomotives. Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia built locomotive No. 385 in 1907, and No. 4039 in 1940. The engines were originally built for the Southern Railway, a rail line that operated in the southern United States from 1894 to 1990. The Whippany Railway Museum purchased the locomotives from the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey in 1984 and hired a company to restore them. The locomotives were repainted in a new scheme and now can be seen in a museum.
In 1994, the Whippany Railway Museum acquired a deteriorating passenger station. They immediately began stabilization work, restoring the historic structure. The work took ten years to complete. In 2010, the Whippany Railway Museum opened the doors to the public. They also have a number of historic railroad-related items that are on display. One of these items is an original Anthracite coal advertising sign donated by L. S. Young and Sons of Denville.
During the year, the Morristown & Erie Railroad operated in Whippany. In 1965, employees of the Morristown and Erie railroad founded the Morris County Central Railroad Museum and utilized part of the company’s freight house to house its operations. The museum grew and became popular, attracting thousands of railfans and visitors. The Morristown and Erie Railroad ceased operations in the area in 1973, but the museum remains open.
Visitors to the Whippany Museum can see a restored Morristown and Erie Railroad. The Morristown & Erie Railway was chartered in 1895 and operates freight rail service in the county and surrounding areas. The Whippany Railroad failed to meet its financial obligations, and had to be rescued by a paper mill owner. Despite the challenges, the railroad continued to run thanks to the local mills and willing customers. In the mid-80s, the Morristown & Erie Railroad reopened and continues to serve the community.