Just over 100 years after the train was founded in 1880, the Durango Railroad Museum was created. The purpose of the museum is to display the changes, innovations and progress made on the railroad in the past century. Today, the museum continues to provide visitors an opportunity to see how much has chnaged since the train first hit the rails.
Durango Train Museum
Visitors to Durango will find the Railroad Museum hidden behind the rail yard. It occupies 8 of 15 stalls in the roundhouse, and showcases artifacts and items donated from families and old railroad workers. An iconic sight inside is an 800 square-foot refurbished model railroad showing operations in the 1950s. The museum boasts a collection of artifacts that is always changing and growing.
Museum Artifacts & Exhibits
The Railroad Museum is full of artifacts and exhibits that visitors can explore and interact with. Browse books about the railroad’s history, or view displays including lanterns, locks, keys, photographs, paintings and tools of railroading. Visitors can get an up close look at railroad equipment, like steam locomotives and railroad cars that date back to the 1880s. Staff is nearby to answer any questions or explain any exhibits that you would like to know more about.
Model “D” Aircraft
While the Railroad Museum features mostly train artifacts, a unique piece that has been central to the museum since 2013 is a replica of the 1913 Curtiss Headless Pusher Model “D” Aircraft. The original aircraft was brought to the Colorado and New Mexico fair in 1913 to be displayed and flown for the first time.When Mr. McMillen took off, he set a record for altitude. The plane had to be transported via the railroad, however, because it was unable to fly long distances. As a tribute to this historic moment, a replica was created and hung in the museum.
Durango Railroad Museum Hours
The Railroad Museum is open during the peak summer season between 7 am and 7 pm. In May, early June and October, visitors can explore from 7 am to 6 pm. During the winter months, the Railroad Museum provides a great opportunity to get indoors and warm up from 10 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. The museum is free to all visitors.
On your next trip to Durango, be sure to visit the Railroad Museum. Book a ride on the Durango train to complete the experience and see stunning views of Southwest Colorado. Explore the many train classes available and pick the ride that is perfect for your trip.