Railroad museums

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I plan on driving from New York to Florida. Does anyone have any suggestions of little known railroad museums along the way?

-- Richard H Kearns (rhenryk3@att.net), December 14, 1999


Dear Marc, The Central Florida Chapter, NRHS, operates an excellent railrad museum in the old Tavares & Gulf Railroad Depot, Winter Garden, FL. A portion of the Chapman Root Family collection is there; artifacts and railradiana, as well as such from many sources. Last time I visited, they were open Sundays, 2-5p. -- A move is afoot to merge the operations with the Heritage Museum of Winter Garden to provide a daily vsitation service. There are two depot museums in W.G., ACL pax is Winter Garden Heritage Museum; T&G is CFC museum. Look for them near the vintage water tank downtown, "WINTER GARDEN" Enjoy your trip. Don C.

-- C. Don Copeland (doodlebugcope@wmconnect.com), July 12, 2003.

In Richmond, the Old Dominion Chapter, NRHS, maintains a museum of local railroad items and history almost within sight of I-95. Take the first exit south of the I-95 James River Bridge...Maury St. Make your way over to Hull St..about 3 blocks after exiting I-95. Museum is at ex-Southern Railway's Hull St Station, just before Hull St crosses over the James (Mayo Bridge) to downtown. Only oper 11-4 Sat & 1-4 on Sun. Station is currently being restored, museum and gift shop are in adjacent baggage car.Other equiptment on grounds. Famous Triple Crossing is about 500 yards to the North, across the James.

-- Greg Hodges (105452.2520@compuserve.com), December 20, 1999.

Richard, while not a museum, there are several pieces of equipment right beside I-95 South as you pass through downtown Richmond, Va.. C&O 2-8-4 #2732 is here, beside a relocated C&O depot, as are a RF&P Passenger car and RF&P wooden caboose #918. Get off at the Boulevard exit. No admission, and morning to mid-day light works best.

-- Russell Underwood (Jay611@home.com), December 17, 1999.

Richard, How hard are you pressed for time? Both the Wilmington and Hamlet, NC museums are very interesting, but a little more than an hour off of 95, if I remember correctly. Both have a lococmotive and caboose on display at their locations. The Wilmington museum is across the river from the Battleship North Carolina site, which is also well worth the trip. If you travel down 74 to Wilmington, stop at Chadbourn,NC to see the ACL Depot Museum, which has been fully restored to the correct colors, inside and out. They have an ex-SAL cab lettered ACL, but it's still nice. You may also get to see the Carolina Southern, which still runs F Units on occassion. The Historic RR Shops in Savannah, Ga. is also a nice stop if you're fond of the CofG and S&A. You won't leave disappointed! You may want to check the web sites for these museums for their hours before you leave. There is also a museum in North Florida, but I'm not sure where. They too probally have web sites.

-- Russell Underwood (JAY611@ home .com), December 15, 1999.

I would think you would want to catch the SAL Museum in the old Hamlet depot on Hamlet, NC, which is not too far off I-95. I would also make the side trip over to the old Coastline headquarters town of Wilmington, NC and see the ACL Museum in the old freight warehouse office right downtown on the river. The rest of downtown Wilmington is really set up for tourism, so it would make a great trip. :-) Best of luck, Marc

-- Marc L. Hamel (gigsup@aol.com), December 15, 1999.

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