When you pull into the Colorado Railroad Museum, you are greeted by the kinds of things you’d expect to find at a railroad museum — locomotives and cars from Colorado’s railroading history fill the grounds.
But not all the railroad history at the museum is above the ground. In the basement of the museum lies the work of a model railroad club as old as some of the museum’s artifacts.
The Denver Model Railroad Club first met 62 years ago. It met in various places including the Izette Building and the Mayan Theater on South Broadway.
In the late 1960s, the club went looking for a new home. The Colorado Railroad Museum was looking for a new attraction.
When the museum is open, visitors can run trains one quarter at a time for three minutes. On the first Thursday of every month the club opens the windows and their club to whoever wants to visit, sharing their passion and continuing tradition.
As clubs go, this group is relatively small and each member takes an active role. On a railroad this size, there’s always something that needs attention.
Florescent lights are on all the time and they fade the colors. Members repaint the cars every three or four years.
Beneath the railroad is a seemingly endless network of wires that need updating with every new feature.
The model railroad is an amalgamation of popular Colorado themes, capturing the feel of railroading in our state as seen through the eyes of 25 dedicated model railroaders.