SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – On a hot June day, we are greeted by volunteer Richard Aitken at the gate of the Railroad Historical Museum in Grant Beach Park. Tucked away behind the water park, it’s hard to miss four train cars parked nearby.
“They’re going to find a story of the railroad memorabilia from the early 1800s to the present day,” Aitken said.
Our visit to the museum begins where all the journeys are made, at the station to collect our tickets. The Depot is a recreation of the 1890s style depot that was located in Elsinore, MO.
“We have tickets, a TTY machine, a telegraph that we use, that people can send messages back and forth. Just a treasure trove of things train enthusiasts love, ”said Aitken.
We walk past the train wheels that weigh a ton each on locomotive # 4524, which once crisscrossed the country for the Frisco line from St. Louis to San Francisco.
“The reason to preserve it is that, just the history of Springfield. A lot of people don’t realize that at one time there were two Springfields, ”Aitken said.
We pass through baggage cars, passenger cars, and dining cars, all filled to the brim with memorabilia from the Frisco Line era from 1876 to the 1980s.
“It’s so important because at one point the city was talking about scrapping the train because it had been vandalized and everything and Max Jan came in and said, ” Let’s start a museum ” and that ‘was all his job, “Aitken said.
According to Aitken, the Museum has stayed on track thanks to the passion of its volunteers.
“Well, most of the people who volunteer here are former railroad employees, they worked somewhere in the railroad, which helps us give more history. I learned so much from the people who are here, some of the rich stories, ”Aitken said.
The Historical Railway Museum is open every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The museum can be rented for birthday parties for a fixed fee of $ 40. They are also looking for more volunteers. To learn more, click here.
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