A special exhibit documenting the first 50 years of the Colorado Railroad Museum opened in conjunction with the anniversary event, Saturday, July 11. The exhibit was funded through a grant from the Golden Civic Foundation. There you can learn about the museum’s origins, the first steam locomotive restored on the site and Johnny Cash’s visit in 1974.
Visit the museum’s Web site at www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org.
I Hear The Train A ’Comin’
By Meredith Knight, GOLDEN TRANSCRIPT
It was a heck of a showing for a birthday party.
More than 1,000 railroad enthusiasts and residents came to the Colorado Railroad Museum Saturday, July 11 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening.
The crowd was treated to free train rides along the museum’s McKiney Loop, a circle of track that circles the 15-acre site.
But the star of the show was an eight-locomotive long parade, which featured many locomotives that were restored on site at the museum’s facility.
“It was a great day for the museum,” said Museum Director Donald Tallman.
Railroad aficionados Robert Richardson and Cornelius Hauck opened the Colorado Railroad Museum in 1959 to preserve and document the history of rail transportation and its importance within the context of state history.
The museum holds railcars from the steam locomotive era to the art deco lined luxury cars of the 1930s.
Over the past few years, the museum has expanded its focus, from attracting diehard rail enthusiasts to bringing more visitors from the general public to its campus at 17155 W. 44th Ave. in Golden.
To continue that trend, Tallman emphasized the need of interpretation, so visitors can know the history of the museum’s collection and its importance.
“Otherwise all we have is a collection of stuff,” Tallman said.
At Saturday’s event, Tallman emphasized the importance of the fleet of volunteers who clock over 30,000 hours a year doing everything from running tours to painting locomotives.
“The volunteers are really the heart and soul of the museum,” Tallman said.
The museum plans to continue its community outreach.
This year the Web site was upgraded to be a better information portal to the museum. Visitors to the Web site can check progress on restoration projects at the Roundhouse and find out about special events and train rides, such as the upcoming Wine and Cheese Train on Aug. 8.
The museum plans to add more interactive exhibits and expand their library to be nationally recognized reference library.
“We want people to come back and find that it’s still relevant every time,” Tallman said.
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters