Museums and culture

The Railroad Museum

Railroad Museum

Railroad Museum

As soon as you walk through the doors of the Galveston Railroad Museum you are transported into a different world. Travelers from all over adorn the train station, made of plaster molds of real people. Damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008, they were restored in 2010 by Mt. Carmel Academy of Houston. They are now back on display and ready to join you on your railroad adventure to wherever your imagination wants to go.

General Admission Fees

Location Highlights

Contact Information

Exhibits

Entering the Train Depot

As soon as you enter the train depot you will see that you are not alone. There are several other travelers around either waiting for their trains to depart or waiting for their train to arrive. There are porters ready to help you with your luggage, children amazed at their adventure, and long-lost travelers finally getting to see one another again. Along the wall of the station are phone booths and, though you may not be able to make a call, if you lift the receiver, you can eaves drop on some conversations of the past and hear what travelers were talking about oh so many years ago. 

The Map Rooms and Rotating Exhibits

The Orphan Train

Currently being displayed in the Map Room is The Orphan Train 1854-1929. Throughout the life of the Orphan Train, almost a quarter of million children would travel across the country and Canada, out of the overcrowded urban areas like New York, and disbursed throughout the Midwest in search of better lives and futures for the parentless children. Not all of the children were without parents. Many parents were poor and homeless and were looking for a better life for their children than they could give them, children cast aside by an alcoholic household, or those pushed out by a stepmother or stepfather. Follow the story of the those who helped home and clothe the children, and the stories of just some of the children who were able to find a new and better life. You can learn more a bout the Orphan Train through the PBS website and their presentation of The Orphan Train Movement.

The Rail Yard

Engines

The Main attractions of the Galveston Railroad Museum are the engines Santa Fe Texas Chief, Missouri Pacific Lines Texas Eagle, and the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine #1. You can catch a ride on the Harborside Express, an open-air caboose that takes you a mile up Harborside Dr, then returns you to the Galveston Railroad Museum. Tickets are a $6 add-on to your museum entry ticket.

Train Cars

Illinois Central Post Office Car #100

Rail Post Office Cars were equipped with a hook and arm on the side of baggage door where the RPO cars could pick up mail as they passed through towns. Clerks had to memorize the zip codes that were on their route and always be aware of which zip code they were in at any given time. This car, manufactured in 1914 and weighing 123,400 pounds, has 50 sorting cages and 744 “pigeon hole” slots for sorting and organizing mail. Rail Post Office Cars were also a target for robbers, so each worker was issued a .38 revolver for protection.

Other Cars On Display

Observation Car Mt. Darwin was manufactured in 1924 and can hold up to 40 passengers. In 1935 it was equipped with an air conditioning system and in 1946 was part of one of the most historically significant train wrecks in American history. After the wreck passenger trains were limited to 79mph, “greatly reducing American high speed rail development for decades.”

Union Tank Car Company #31589 manufactured in 1918 and has a storage capacity of 10,210 gallons. Modern tanks can hold over 30,000 gallons of liquid.

Southern Pacific Boxcar #34828 was a “Steel Saver” built with as much wood as possible to conserve steel for use in World War I. It was manufactured in 1917, weighs 44,600 lbs and can carry an 80,000 lb load.

Louisville & Nashville Baggage Car #1205, used by the L&N railroad, is a four-door baggage car. Before high-level cars were used, which allowed passengers and baggage to be carried together and taking up less weight and space, baggage cars like this were usually placed behind the locomotive for ease of switching between trains. It was manufactured in 1914 and weighs 123,400 lbs.

Western Fruit Express #66354 is a refrigerated car built in 1928 weighing 55,400 lbs and has a load limit of 77,000 lbs. Specialized cars like this one weren’t normally owned by railroads, but leased from private companies that would build and lease the cars to the railroads. The car was kept cool with insulation and around 10,000 pounds of ice.

Professional Filming Policies

All professional filming is subject to additional fees. Please call our office with all inquiries at 409-765-5700.

All Photo Shoots before or after regular museum operating hours require reservations and are subject to the below fees.

6:00 am – 10:00 am: $125 per hour
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: $125 per hour
7:00 pm to Midnight: $175 per hour

Hours of operation

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