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Rosenberg Railroad Museum: Adjacent to 3 Active Train Lines

Rosenberg Railroad Museum
Posted: March 8, 2019 at 11:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

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Railroad Aficionados Take Note!

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum is one of six railroad museums in the State of Texas. The Galveston Railroad Museum is the next closest one found in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Cleburne, Plano, Frisco and San Angelo have the other four locations in Texas.

Outdoor Grounds

Outdoor Grounds

Outdoor Grounds

Outdoor Grounds

Location Rosenberg

The address of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum is 1921 Avenue F, Rosenberg, Texas 77471. It is located right in the heart of the historic downtown. So if you are coming from a distance away from Rosenberg, there is plenty to occupy your time.

You can pack a picnic lunch and eat right on the grounds of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum. You could also choose to dine at the ‘Ol Railroad Cafe located in the historic Vogelsang Building or choose from a variety of other enticing enterprises in that town.

Outdoor grounds with picnic tables

Outdoor grounds with picnic tables

Viewing platform from which to watch passing trains

Viewing platform from which to watch passing trains

View Passing Trains While Picnicking

Picnicking at the museum would be fun for families with children. The kids can play on the wooden train structure. Trains often pass this spot regularly with three different train lines that use these tracks adjacent to the railroad museum.

There is a platform built up against the see-through fencing for an even better view of the passing trains.

One of many displays inside of the museum

One of many displays inside of the museum

One of many displays inside of the museum

One of many displays inside of the museum

Museum Pricing & Displays

Museum pricing is exceptionally reasonable. $7.50 is the top price for adults, and it goes down from there. They even take discounts such as those from Groupon. Check out their website for more details regarding membership, group tours, birthday parties, special events, and more.

The first thing typically done after entering the Rosenberg Railroad Museum is to watch an 8-minute film. After that, a docent leads an interactive tour through the different rooms of the museum where railroad artifacts are on display.

Different displays covering many topics

Different displays covering many topics

One of many displays inside of the museum

One of many displays inside of the museum

Information Regarding Hobos

I was particularly interested in the items regarding hobos. My mother was born after the Great Depression, which forced many men to hit the road, often riding the rails from place to place to survive.

Often she witnessed a hobo eating food that my grandmother had given to him. My grandmother also collected used clothing to hand out to those who needed it. The hobo would have wished to complete some chore such as shoveling snow if it was during the long Wisconsin winter months. Most often, they did not want pure charity without doing something in return.

My grandmother would have made the hobo sign list as a kindhearted lady as well as other positive notations.

Information regarding hobos

Information regarding hobos

Information regarding hobo signage

Information regarding hobo signage

Outdoor G Scale Layout

Outside of the museum building which looks like a Union Depot from 1883, there is a G Scale layout. Model trains operate on the 4th Sunday of each month, weather permitting. We, fortunately, got to see the model trains in action on our first visit.

Outdoor G-Scale model train display at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Outdoor G-Scale model train display at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum

1972 Missouri Pacific Caboose

1972 Missouri Pacific Caboose

1972 Missouri Pacific Caboose

Next, on our tour, we got to go through the red Missouri Pacific Caboose #13591, which originated in 1972. Cabooses such as this used to provide a home-away-from-home for the conductor as well as the brakeman and flagman. They would eat, sleep, and wash up in this environment.

As a child, I well remember waving at the men in the caboose as we would await the end of the train as we sat, stopped, at the train tracks. They would typically wave back.

Inside of the caboose is a sign which reads as follows: “Before trains used automatic air brakes, the engineer would signal to the caboose when he wanted to slow down or stop. You would climb along the top of the train and turn the brake wheels that were on the top of the freight cars! Did you know that it takes over a mile for a train to stop once it starts to break?”  What a dangerous sounding job!

Newer technology has made cabooses a relic from bygone days.

Inside Tower 17 at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Inside Tower 17 at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum

View from Tower 17

View from Tower 17

Docent inside Tower 17 demonstrating the Interlocker

Docent inside Tower 17 demonstrating the Interlocker

This Advanced Train Control System inside Tower 17 monitors real time movements of trains.

This Advanced Train Control System inside Tower 17 monitors real-time movements of trains.

Tower 17

We next climbed the steps up the two-story yellow-painted building called Tower 17. The men assigned work there spent long hours making sure that only one train at a time passed this location, which helped to prevent train accidents.

In the tower, men used a machine called an Interlocker which manually controlled railroad signals and switches. The Interlocker is also a relic from the past. A computer in the year 2004 replaced this one. On view now is a modern high-definition monitor which allows people to see the real-time movement of trains.

Views from the two-story building overlooking the railroad tracks and museum grounds are magnificent.

1879 'Quebec' Rail Car

1879 ‘Quebec’ Rail Car

1879 ‘Quebec’ Rail Car

Next on our guided tour was the ‘Quebec’ rail car. The Canadian government once owned it, and heads of state would have spent time in it while traveling.

Note the rich wood paneling, patterned carpeting, stained glass, and other luxurious appointments within this rail car.  A parlor on one end with an observation deck mirrors the dining room and observation deck on the other side with three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, and mechanical room in between.

Parlor inside of the 'Quebec' Rail Car from Canada

Parlor inside of the ‘Quebec’ Rail Car from Canada

One of the bedrooms in the 'Quebec' Rail Car

One of the bedrooms in the ‘Quebec’ Rail Car

H.O. Scale Model Train

Viewing the H.O. scale model train is not dependent upon weather conditions, because it is set up inside of a building with a whimsical train mural on the exterior.  Someone decidedly spent a lot of time and effort in creating this fabulous display.

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1895 Bathhouse

On the grounds of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum is a rustic bathhouse (circa 1895) built by railroad workers before having running water in local boarding houses. Bathing in the Brazos River was a common way for railroad workers to rid themselves of grime and soot. Someone used artistry in its design of the name on the useful outbuilding.

Railroad worker's bathhouse

Railroad worker’s bathhouse

There is much more to see and enjoy when visiting this fantastic railroad museum. More items will be coming such as a restored 1945 Santa Fe switcher diesel according to their website.

It is hard to absorb all of the information about the Rosenberg Railroad Museum in just one visit. This museum is a venue that you will wish to return to again and again.

Railroad signal near the train tracks at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Railroad signal near the train tracks at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum

To learn more about this fascinating museum, be sure to watch the video below.

Comments (2)

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  • April 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm Bruce

    Enjoyed reading this post. It brought back pleasant memories of a long ago train trip with my mother about 70 years ago.

    Reply
    • April 4, 2019 at 3:11 pm Peggy

      Hi Bruce,

      It sounds like you have good memories of a train trip. I have never taken a long train trip, only a couple of short ones. Our neighbors are planning one that will take them across the Canadian Rockies. That sounds like it will be a memorable one for them!

      Reply