California Zephyr 75th: Another special offering in March will center on the beloved California Zephyr passenger train, a Colorado railroading icon that inaugurated service between Chicago and Oakland/San Francisco in March 1949—75 years ago. Featuring shiny new Vista Domes so passengers could enjoy its scenic route, this train was operated as a partnership by three different railroads (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Denver & Rio Grande Western, and Western Pacific). The celebrated train ceased operating in 1970, just prior to the inception of Amtrak.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western went on to operate its own Rio Grande Zephyr between Denver and Salt Lake City, using original California Zephyr cars and locomotives. This allowed the D&RGW to remain unaffiliated with Amtrak for its first dozen years. When the Rio Grande Zephyr ceased service in 1983, it was the final inter-city passenger train in private operation in the U.S. Today, Amtrak continues to operate the California Zephyr between Chicago and Oakland/San Francisco. In Colorado, the train still follows its original route, too!
On Saturday, March 23, the Colorado Railroad Museum will offer several activities focused on the California Zephyr. Join us for a re-christening of the “Dome Car Monument,” which was erected alongside the Zephyr’s route in Glenwood Canyon to commemorate the location’s significance in coming up with the concept behind the modern, streamlined railroad dome car. Denver & Rio Grande Western streamlined F9A locomotive No. 5771, which pulled the original Zephyr and its Rio Grande successor, will be open for cab tours. We’ll be showing video documentaries on our new big-screen Video Wall in the Pavilion, and of course, Saturday Train Rides will be operating. Watch for more details coming soon!
Rides depart every 30 minutes 10am-3p.m.
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Admission: $10 adults, $5 ages 2-17, $8 seniors ages 60+. Free for Museum members and children under age 2.
Train Rides: $4 adults, $2 ages 2-17. Free for Museum members and children under age 2.
The Colorado Railroad Museum features a large, outdoor exhibit space and is effectively an active rail yard. Please wear appropriate clothing for Colorado weather and good footwear – we recommend good walking shoes or hiking boots as well as flexible layers. Grounds open 9am–5pm. Rides depart every 30 minutes 10am-3pm (crews take a lunch break at 12:30pm).
15-acre railyard with over 100 locomotives is waiting for you to explore.
17155 W. 44th Avenue
Golden, CO 80403
9:00am – 5:00pm
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