The Danbury Railway Museum is pleased to host the 13th annual Danbury Railway Days on Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4. Two days full of educational activities and FREE train rides for the whole family is planned. The fun will begin at 10am on Saturday, 12:00 noon on Sunday and end at 5:00 PM, with train rides hourly from 10:30 on Saturday, 12:30 on Sunday to 3:30 both days. Admission to the museum is $12.00 for ages 3 and up. To honor railroaders, admission will be FREE for current or retired railroad employees showing proper identification.
The museum will be operating the Railyard Local — a short FREE trip being pulled by an ALCo RS-1 locomotive, built in 1948, with locomotive cab rides available. The train will stop at the old New Haven RR turntable, built circa 1914 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, where visitors will detrain and hear a discussion about the use and history of the only power-operated turntable in Connecticut, currently undergoing a significant restoration. Then, walk down the “red carpet” and tour the New York Central’s famous 20th Century Limited observation car, “Tonawanda Valley” built in 1928, an award-winning restoration in progress. Also included, a visit to the steam-era water tank pump house, and children get to try their skill at driving a railroad spike into a wooden crosstie with a “gold” spike to each child that participates.
After a return to the station, watch a demonstration of coupling and uncoupling train cars and a demonstration of vital railroad communications via hand signals.
In the Danbury museum building, visitors can explore railroad history exhibits, operating electric train layouts, static model displays of the station and railyard, many one-of-a-kind artifacts of railroading history, a wonderful gift shop, and many other items of interest, including a used book and model sale.
Outside in the historic railyard, guests will find walk-through exhibits, including a visit to the cab of #2006, one of the museum’s famous FL-9 locomotives, a unique piece of New Haven RR history which is 62 years old this year; an operating New Haven RR forge; and a vast assortment of train cars and locomotives, many that ran in Danbury during its railroading heyday. New this year are two unique displays: “Commuting through History,” a walk-through lineup of railroad commuter cars from old to new; and a photo-ready lineup of vintage American Locomotive Company (ALCo) RS-1, 2 & 3 locomotives.
Back by popular demand is the museum’s “Hands on the Throttle” program. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the Engineer of vintage diesel locomotive? To feel the power of the engine at your fingertips? To blow the horn? To ring the bell? If you’re 18 years old or older, you now have that opportunity! This program includes instruction on the operation of a diesel-electric locomotive and basics of railroad operations; then you climb up in the cab of a vintage 1947 GE 44-Tonner with coupled caboose, get your “Hands on the Throttle” and run your train in the railyard. Cost for this approximately 45-minute program is $75, which includes admission to the event for the day. Instructions and supervision will be provided by a competent and qualified crew member. Contact the museum to reserve your time slot for this popular activity.