There is something about trains that captures the imagination of people young and old. Maybe it is the clickety clack of the wheels as they go over the track, the sound of the whistle blowing or the feeling of nostalgia that comes from a trip to an old time train museum. Whatever the reason, the Whippany Railway Museum located at 1 Railway Plaza in Whippany, New Jersey is the place to get a close up view of all things train.
The museum is housed in a 1904 freight house and is filled with displays of all sorts of railroad equipment. You can see locomotives that powered America’s industrial growth and a caboose that served as the conductor’s office on freight trains.
One of the highlights of the museum is its large interactive model train layout. The layout has a number of buttons that children can push to turn on aspects of the train or raise and lower bridges. It is a great way to introduce children to how trains work.
Another highlight is the museum’s collection of railroad memorabilia. It includes all kinds of items from different eras of trains including dishes used on railroad dining cars and railroad schedules. It is a good way to teach kids about the history of trains and how they have changed over the years.
The museum also features a restored Lackawanna Subscription Car that was the first passenger coach built in the United States. The coach is a good example of how railroads have evolved from just a means to move goods to a more comfortable and modern form of travel. The museum also has a working outdoor G-scale model railway that runs on a full 700-foot track.
One of the best parts of the Whippany Railway Museum is that all money raised from admissions and special events goes back to restoring and upgrading the museum experience. The museum is run by volunteers and the volunteer staff does a great job of making the visit fun and informative for all visitors.
During the fall and winter the museum has a number of special activities for kids including a Touch-A-Truck event and a Pumpkin Train Ride. This event is a great way to bring the family together and spend some quality time. The museum is a great educational experience for children and the whole family as it shows how trains conquered the West, opened up small towns and changed the way we live today.
The museum is open on most Sundays and some holidays throughout the year. Check the website for more information. Whippany Railway Museum is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501 (c) 3 organization and donations are always welcome.