Begun as the Collection of Rail Enthusiaststhe Oklahoma Railway Museum Offers Visitors a Great Day

Restored locomotives, passenger cars, and cabooses take center stage at one of Oklahoma City’s most fascinating museums. The Oklahoma Railway Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was founded in 1972 by railway enthusiasts as the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS). Their interests in railroad modeling, photography, and historic preservation led to the creation of today’s favorite family destination-a railway museum with operating trains that ferry passengers from the 1905 depot located at the museum to downtown Oklahoma City.

Riding the Train
Railroad enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who enjoy a train ride. From April to October, the train leaves Oakwood Depot at the Oklahoma Railway Museum at 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm the first and third Saturdays of the month. In September, the train will operate only on the first Saturday of the month, and in October, on the third Saturday only.

Tickets are $8 for riders aged 15 and up; $5 for riders aged 3-15, and free for riders under 3 (with the purchase of an adult ticket). There will also be special Christmas trains this year, which will operate on Saturday, December 19.

Since 2000, the museum has grown. Once running just a single locomotive, the museum has expanded train operations to three locomotives, with the hope of expanding to a fourth in the near future. The train now provides an exciting rail adventure that can seat more than 350 passengers per train. The number of passengers who have enjoyed the museum ride has also climbed from less than 200 just five years ago to more than 16,000 riders last year (2008).

Museum Highlights
What once began as the collected artifacts of a few rail enthusiasts is now a full-fledged museum complex, that is free to visitors. A 7,000-square foot shop with two track bays has been built, and the 1905 Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient Railway Company depot was restored for the museum’s use in 2005.

Also found in the museum’s collection are 7 locomotives, 9 passenger cars, 5 cabooses, and a number of freight cars-including box cars, tank cars, and flat beds-all worthy of exploration by museum visitors.

Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine
Junior train enthusiasts are familiar with the storybook icon, Thomas the Tank Engine, and in 2009, they will have the unique opportunity to ride with him. On select dates in September and October, family members will experience a day outing with Thomas, as well as enjoy a wide range of special activities geared toward children after the ride.

Museum Affiliations
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) overseas the operations of the moving trains at the museum. Te museum is also a member of the Association of Railway Museums (ARM), the Tourist Railway Association, Inc. (TRAIN), and Frontier Country Tourism, as well as being an associate member of the Adventure District of Oklahoma City.

Whether visitors are hardcore train fanatics or simply enjoy a great family day out, a visit to the Oklahoma Railway Museum in Oklahoma City offers a great experience. The growing popularity of the museum is obvious as it continues to expand its programs and share its love of trains with all who visit this great museum.