Museum of Transportation

gf_guruilla likes to go to quilt shops. Me… it’s train museums.

Today, I went out to the Museum of Transportation (whilst the rest of the family went to the Art Museum—I may join them later, as I got done early). The capsule summary: A very nice museum.

The Museum of Transportation (StLMoT) has both strengths and weaknesses compared to OERM.

Strengths: It has a much more extensive engine collection, including some giant ones I haven’t seen before, including some a Mikado unit, a gigantic snowblower (UP #90081), the Burlington “Silver Charger” (CB&Q RR #9908), and the Rock Island “Aerotrain” (which looks quite a bit like the Disneyland Viewliner, except on a real train scale). It has a nice automobile and bus collection, and a segment of a motel that used to be on US 66. It has wonderful interpretive displays: some of the best signage I’ve seen in any train museum. Every car is labeled with its history on a clearly readable sign. It has numerous walkthroughs (including a milk car and a car that once held Nitric Acid), and quite a few engines have their covers off and parts clearly labeled.

Weaknesses: None of the mainline cars are operated, unlike OERM, where we regularly operate diesel and steam. It has a much smaller trolley collection than OERM (at least that I could see), with only three cars operating. The cars that do operate are much more modern. The grounds appear to be smaller than OERM, even with the proposed expansion. The bookstore is oriented more towards children than the railfan. I don’t know how much of this is the difference between public county museum (StLMoT) vs. being a private, volunteer run museum (OERM).

Would I go back? C’mon, its a train museum. You really had to ask?