The main Museum building, completed in 1959, resembles an 1880-era small town railroad depot. Typical architectural features include wide eaves to protect waiting passengers from weather, and large bay windows so the station agent can observe activity on the boarding platforms. The yellow and brown paint reflects standard building colors for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.
The Depot Museum houses the museum’s two changing gallery spaces featuring the colorful stories of the railroads serving Colorado for over 125 years. Guests can view introductory videos to the museum in the museum’s upper gallery and enjoy hands-on activities downstairs in the museum’s lower gallery.
EXPLORE MORE OF THE MUSEUM
Got Style? Railroads & Interior Design
February 2019 – May 5, 2019
Often leading the pack as far as what was “stylish” railroads have echoed the fashion of their day. From rail cars to benches, dining plates to lamps passengers expected and often got the best. This small exhibit explores the how materials, production technologies and aesthetic trends all affected how the railroads we traveled on looked.
Ski Train: A Colorado Tradition
February 2019 – May 5, 2019
The ski train has been a beloved Colorado tradition since 1940. This small exhibit explores its unique story using objects and photographs from the museum’s permanent collection.
The Colorado Railroad Museum Turns 60!
May 27, 2019 – October 2019
Sixty years ago in July of 1959, the Colorado Railroad Museum opened its doors in Golden, Colorado bent on sharing the history of railroads in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West. Using archival materials from the permanent collection, this exhibit celebrates the museum’s work over the last 60 years and invites you to participate in our anniversary year celebrations.
Winter Wonderlands: Scenes from Howard Fogg’s Holiday Cards
November 2, 2019 – January 4, 2020
Acclaimed railroad artist Howard Fogg produced a large body of work over his lifetime. Leanin’ Tree Publishers used many of them to produce holiday cards for the public. Railroad modelers have chosen three of Fogg’s cards from the museum’s collection to produce 3 dimensional dioramas inspired by the scene depicted. They still inspire today!
Voltaw Model Trains
Herbert W. Voltaw built a series of 1-inch locomotive and train car models in the 1940s, 50s and 60s using aluminum, steel bar, soft and hard woods, plastic, glass, etc. The Museum displays a number of these intricate works of art in their depot galleries.
Images from the Tracks: Photographs of William Henry Jackson
January 2019 – January 5, 2020
One of the foremost photographers to photograph the great American West, William Henry Jackson’s images had an immense influence on the public’s perception of the American West. A portion of those images were captured here in Colorado as Jackson traveled throughout the west by rail. This exhibit not only showcases the Museum’s collection of Jackson photographs but provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the rail car he traveled and lived in – the Denver & Rio Grande Western business car – the Rico.This exhibit could not have been possible without the support of Mike’s Camera
Westward in the Age of Rail
Coming in 2020
With the coming of rails to the West in the 1870s, westward expansion took on a decidedly ironhorse look. While some still ventured westward on covered wagons, railroads not only made the trip faster, but could transport as many or as few of your belongings as you wished plus – they could sell you the land on which to settle. This exhibit uses objects and archival materials to explore what it took to come west in the age of rail.
This diorama shows a typical telegraph office that could be found at a train depot in the early 20th century. It comes with a working “sounder” encouraging visitors to decode and send messages coming over the wire.
Denver HO Model Railroad Club
Located in the lower level of the main building, the Denver HO Model Railroad Club is one of the oldest and largest model railroad clubs in the Rocky Mountain region. The layout replicates the various types of Colorado mountain railroading in HO and HOn3.
HO scale is a model train that is 1/87th of the real size of standard gauge trains and track. HOn3 is the same scale, but designed for narrow gauge trains and track.
Members of the Denver HO Model Railway Club will operate the model train layout on most Tuesdays 1:00 to 4:00PM. For more information, visit DenverHOModelRRClub.org.