Colorado Railroad Museum

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Colorado Railroad Museum
Colorado Railroad musemLogo.JPG
Established 1959
Location 17155 W 44th Ave
Golden, Colorado 80403
Type railroad museum
Director Donald Tallman
Public transit access none

The Colorado Railroad Museum is a non-profit railroad museum. The museum is located on 15 acres (6.1 ha) at a point where Clear Creek flows between North and South Table Mountains in Golden, Colorado.

The museum was established in 1959 to preserve a record of Colorado's flamboyant railroad era, particularly the state's pioneering narrow gauge mountain railroads.


Main museum building

The museum building is a replica of an 1880s-style railroad depot. Exhibits feature original photographs by pioneer photographers such as William Henry Jackson and Louis Charles McClure, as well as paintings by Howard L Fogg, Otto Kuhler, Ted Rose and other artists. Locomotives and railroad cars modeled in the one inch scale by Herb Votaw are also displayed. A bay window contains a reconstructed depot telegrapher's office, complete with a working telegraph sounder.

The lower level of the museum building contains an exhibition hall which features seasonal and traveling displays on railroading history. The lower level also contains the Denver HO Society's "Denver and Western" operating HO and HOn3 scale model train layout that represent Colorado's rail history in miniature.

The Robert W. Richardson Library houses over 10,000 of rare historic photographs, artifacts, books and documents illustrating the histories of the railroads which have served the state for over 125 years.

The Cornelius W. Hauck restoration facility was dedicated on July 15, 2000. It allows museum visitors to observe restoration work safely. The building's brick design was chosen to reflect a fairly prosperous railroad in a small division point during the late nineteenth century.

The roundhouse area includes a display of locomotives and cars on the "radial" tracks, as well as a fully functioning 90-foot (27.4 m), Armstrong turntable.

The Denver Garden Railway Society has its G scale garden railway exhibit on the grounds of the Museum.

The museum publishes books and maps about North American railroads and the Rocky Mountain Region.


The museum has a large collection of 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge rolling stock, and provides narrow gauge train rides on special event days known as "Steam Up days".

The museum also has ex-Denver and Rio Grande Western RR No. 683, a coal burning 2-8-0 consolidation built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1890, builders number 11207. It is the only surviving 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge steam locomotive from the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.

All of the railroad equipment is displayed outdoors. Display tracks are complete with a rare three-way stub switch, dual gauge track and switches, and century-old switch stands. These tracks hold over 100 historic narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars. The 13 mile (0.54 km) oval of 3 ft (914 mm) gauge track is used by trains on operating days.

The museum's roster contains the following notable pieces of rolling stock:[1]

Steam locomotives[edit]

  • Chicago Burlington & Quincy No. 5629
  • Denver & Rio Grande Western No. 346
  • Denver Leadville & Gunnison No. 191
  • Manitou & Pikes Peak No. 1
  • Rio Grande Southern No. 20

Diesel locomotives[edit]

  • Denver & Rio Grande Western Nos. 5771 & 5762

Passenger cars[edit]

  • Atchison Topeka & Sante Fe Observation Car Navajo
  • Chicago Burlingon & Quincy Business Car No. 96
  • Colorado Midland Observation Car No. 111
  • Denver & Rio Grande Western Coach No. 284
  • Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway Post Office Car No. 60
  • Union Pacific Coach No. 5442
  • Union Pacific Diner No. 4801

Special equipment[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Museum Guide. Golden, Colorado: Colorado Railroad Museum. c. 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Colorado Railroad Museum at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 39°46′19″N 105°11′35″W / 39.771875°N 105.192969444°W / 39.771875; -105.192969444