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
(access included with admission)
I Spy LEGO Bricks!
Continues through January 2, 2021
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
Continues through January 2, 2021
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.
Voltaw Scale Model Trains
Herbert W. Voltaw built a series of 1-inch scale locomotive and railroad car models in the 1940s, 50s and 60s using aluminum, steel bar, soft and hard woods, plastic, and glass. The Museum displays a number of these intricate works of art in this gallery.
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
Continues through 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, which features the artist’s photographs, along with selected watercolor paintings and other works.
Watch “Conversations about Ted Rose” here:
Across the Fruited Plain: Migrating West to Colorado By Rail
February 14, 2021 – January 22, 2022
Westward expansion took on a decidedly “iron horse” look in the 1870s. While some still ventured westward in 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 Layout
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 Club’s operating layout replicates the various types of Colorado mountain railroading in HO and HOn3.
HO scale 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 maintain and continue to improve the layout throughout the year. Guests can insert quarters (available in the Depot Store) to make a train operate and also to power the scale amusement park on the layout! For more information, visit DenverHOModelRRClub.org.