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
The Colorado Railroad Museum Turns 60!
January 2020 – May 10, 2020
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. This small exhibit invites you to see some of our favorite objects collected over the last 60 years and invites you to share your favorites too!
I Spy LEGO Bricks!
June 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020
Explore the Colorado Railroad Museum through the world of LEGO bricks. The exhibit highlights specific locomotives and rail cars from the Museum’s collection in LEGO bricks!
War of the Gauges
June 8, 2020 – October 18, 2020
Just what is rail gauge and why is it important are two questions addressed by this small exhibit that explores how Narrow Gauge became such a part of the Colorado railroad story and Standard Gauge came into its own.
Exploring The Polar Express
November 2, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Join us as we explore this celebration of childhood wonder and imagination. The Museum’s exhibit takes a closer look at the story’s various elements including: trains, Santa, conductors, elves, hobos, presents and of course bells that together, make up this classic Holiday tale – The Polar Express.
Voltaw Scale 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.
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.
Railroads and the American Industrial Landscape: Ted Rose Paintings and Photographs
February 3, 2020 – December 31, 2020
The railroad is a central American icon and has inspired some of the most important artists of the 19th and 20th centuries including Ted Rose. Rose created stunning, mostly black-and-white photographs of American Industrial settings in the 20th century. The Center for Railroad Photography & Art (www.railphoto-art.org) and the Colorado Railroad Museum have collaborated to present this exhibition.
Westward In The Age Of Rail
January 2021 – February 14, 2021
Westward expansion took on a decidedly “iron horse” look in the 1870s. While some still ventured westward on covered wagons, railroads not only made the trip faster, but would-be settlers could transport as many or as few of their belongings as they chose, plus – the railroad could even sell you the land on which to settle. This exhibit uses objects and archival materials to explore what it took to come west to Colorado in the age of rail and why one would make the trip.
Denver HO Model Railroad Club
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.