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National New York Central Railroad Museum

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The National New York Central Railroad Museum, located in Elkhart, Ind., recaptures the glory days when the America's railroads were symbols of progress and goodwill ambassadors across the country. The Museum was founded in 1987 and is an ever-growing preservation site of both local and national railroad heritage pertaining to the New York Central System.

The New York Central was once the second-largest railroad in the United States, with 11,000 route miles of track in eleven states and two Canadian provinces. Elkhart is a natural home for the Museum: the New York Central's Robert R. Young Yard (now Norfolk Southern Railway's Elkhart Yard) is the largest railroad freight classification yard east of the Mississippi River. Just as when the railroad first arrived in Elkhart in 1851, Elkhart functions as a vital link in the chain connecting the Atlantic Seaboard with the Midwest and beyond. The Museum's goal is to tell the story of the vast New York Central System, and its predecessors and successors into the modern era.

The National New York Central Railroad (NYCRR) Museum's entryway is centered on the Museum's gift shop and front desk. Visitors can explore a 1937-built streamlined observation car before proceeding to the main part of the Museum. A 1914[?]-built passenger coach is filled with exhibits on the early history of New York Central predecessor companies, centering on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway. A timeline traces the local railroad history, from the Buffalo & Mississippi Railroad in 1833 through the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad's acquisition of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern in 1914. At the end of the coach, visitors proceed into the main exhibit area and gallery, located in the New York Central's freight house complex, this portion of which was built in 1906[?]. This area features the history of the New York Central at both the local and national levels. There are also several hands-on exhibits to help visitors experience railroad history.

-A "Gandydancer" display lets visitors construct a representation of railroad track.

-An interactive display of the Museum's L-3a 3001 Mohawk steam locomotive with bell, whistle, and throttle sounds, letting every visitor live their dream of becoming a locomotive engineer.

-A video room allows both adults and children to sit and enjoy many railroad-related videos, including the children's favorite, "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends."

-A reconstructed and much expanded O Gauge model railroad layout in an adjacent room.

A second passenger coach along the freight house houses the Museum's archives. Upon leaving the freight house complex, visitors proceed down the freight loading dock past an EMD E8 diesel-electric locomotive, into which they may enter both the engine compartment and cab. Beyond the E8 is the Museum's rolling stock collection, open to the public for exploration.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue10:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed10:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr10:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri10:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM4:00 PM
Notes: Mondays and Major Holidays - CLOSED


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