Colorado Railroad Museum

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Colorado Railroad Museum
Colorado Railroad musemLogo.JPG
Established 1959
Location 17155 W 44th Ave
Golden CO 80403
Type railroad museum
At the entrance to the museum
Steam locomotive D&RGW #346 on the turntable in Golden on October 18, 2012

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.


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 runs one of the three Geese motorcars on Saturdays.

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 RR.

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 building is a replica of an 1880s-style depot. It houses thousands of rare old photographs, artifacts and documents illustrating the histories of the railroads which have served the state for over 125 years. 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 "sounder".

The lower level of the museum depot is home to the exhibition hall, which features seasonal and traveling displays on railroading history.

South of the exhibition hall, the Denver HO Society's “Denver and Western” large operating model train layout; it features HO, HOn3 and electrics that represent Colorado rail history in miniature.

The Robert W. Richardson Library houses over 10,000 railroad specific books.

The Cornelius W. Hauck restoration facility was dedicated July 15, 2000, and allows guests 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 roundhouse ”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. They operate the model railway on Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout the year. Additionally, the railway is active on “steam-up” days when the Museum operates its 3 ft (914 mm) gauge equipment. Also, there is usually live steam as well as electric garden railway models running on most Wednesdays.

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


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