The Colorado Railroad Museum is tucked between hills in an industrial section of Golden. The place was hopping on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon.
It’s not huge or fancy, but I had a good time. The old station has a small museum in the basement with a model railroad layout.
The red caboose-looking cars above are a bunkhouse (interior at lower left) and a cooking car for railroad crews.
I could have had a ride on one of the “Galloping Geese” and regretted that I didn’t pay the $4 to do so. Here’s what the web site says about them.
Three of the original seven Galloping Geese can be found at the Museum. Created from a freight box mounted on an automobile frame, the “Geese” allowed RGS to continue passenger and freight service to remote parts of southwestern Colorado. Geese were less costly to build and operate than traditional steam passenger trains. Designed to self-balance on uneven mountain track, the swaying back half of these cars look like geese waddling down the line; hence their popular name.
There was an outdoor model railroad garden in full swing.
I was able to enter many of the cars on the property (minus two that were reserved for kids’ birthday parties). Here’s the outside and inside of two cabooses.
The green car in front of the bottom picture above is a mail car. They had it set up inside to look authentic (lower right, below). When I saw the mannequin with the paper, my immediate thought was “I can make a hat, or a broach, or a pterodactyl.” The rest of the photos (clockwise) are a test weight car used to check the accuracy of track scales; the inside of a business car, one of the old Pikes Peak Cog Railway engines; and a railway telegraph office.
The turntable is authentic. It’s balanced so that two men can turn it by pushing the black and yellow handle on the left. The roundhouse is a reproduction where restoration work takes place.
The museum was a bit hit or miss about signage on the outside equipment, and the grounds are a lawsuit waiting to happen. But I’m glad I went and would happily go back again sometime.
I spent the morning at Rocky Mountain Arsenal and the afternoon at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. Somewhere along the way, I’d added Bob’s Atomic Burgers to my list of restaurants to check out, so I headed there for lunch in between my bigger adventures.
I cleverly managed to arrive just after the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The town was packed, and the line at Bob’s was out the door and down the sidewalk. But I was there.
It’s a pretty grubby-looking place with a slow ordering system. It took me 45 minutes at least from the time I got in line until I got to the register, and then another 10 minutes to get my food. When you place your order, they give you the name of some pop culture character/person. When your food is ready, they call out the name. I heard Andre the Giant, Elvis, Bozo the Clown. I think it’s supposed to be funny. I was Natalie Portman.
I’d asked for a cheeseburger and fries. When I got to my car to eat it, I discovered my sandwich was sans cheese. After the long wait and the incompetent system, I was primed to be unhappy. But the burger and the fries were both really good.
I never pass up on an opportunity to see old vehicles. I don’t even know why I find the fascinating, but I do. This small museum houses a couple old firetrucks and some even older wagons. It’s only open on weekdays, so we wandered by after leaving the Broadmoor.
The four vehicles are (clockwise from upper left), a 1945 American LaFrance Pumper; a 1926 Ahrens-Fox Pumper; a 1898 Metropolitan Steamer, and an 1898 Hose and Chemical Wagon. As far as I know, all four were used in Colorado Springs.
Display cases housed a variety of fire-fighting equipment, most of it unlabeled.
The most interesting bit for me and worth the price of admission (it was free) was a display on fire marks, which I had somehow never heard of. While you’re learning about them, enjoy the creative use of capital letters and sentence structure.
The inner wall displayed a history of fire fighting in the Springs. Sally found this bit on the local IRS office.
There wasn’t a lot to the museum, and we didn’t stay long, but what was there was worth stopping in to see on a lazy morning.