Founded in 1944, The National Museum of Transportation is located outside St. Louis, Missouri, in Kirkwood. Over 40 acres wide, the transportation museum aims to both preserve and restore a wide array of vehicles that celebrate the history of America. From cars to airplanes to, most notably, locomotives and railroad equipment, The National Museum Of Transportation’s varied display of history is a large tourist attraction to the area.
Exhibits at the National Museum of Transportation
Many of the National Museum of Transportation exhibits have histories that date back to hundreds of years from today.
The National Museum of Transportation has over 190 major rail and transit exhibits in its collection. Among these are the mid-1800s Boston & Boston & Providence Railroad Passenger Coach built-in 1833, Providence “Daniel Nason,” the Union Pacific #4006 (“Big Boy”), the largest successful steam locomotive ever built, the diminutive “Charles H.,” a small steam engine from Chicago’s Lake Street Elevated rapid transit line that was cosmetically restored in 1996 to its original appearance, and the 6,600-hp, two-engine Union Pacific diesel #6944 (“Centennial”).
The National Museum of Transportation is also well known for its automobile collection found within The Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center. Many of the automobiles featured in the collection are very rare, while others are classic vehicles from American history. For example, among the collection of over 200 is a 1901 automobile built by the St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. Other standout vehicles from the Earl C. Lindberg Automobile Center are the Bobby Darin “Dream Car,” the Chrysler Turbine Car, and the 1959 Ford Gas Turbine Tractor.
Other exhibits include the Douglas Aircraft C-47A, The HT Potts Tugboat, the Fifth Avenue (New York) Coach Co. Bus #1234, and the T-33 US Air Force Trainer.
At one end of the 42-acre property is the West Barrett’s Tunnel, historically known and recognized as the first pair of tunnels to operate west of the Mississippi River. In 1978, West Barrett’s Tunnel was added to the National Register Of Historic Places, highlighting The National Museum of Transportation’s property.
Activities at The National Museum of Transportation
The National Museum of Transportation also has many available activities for all ages, making it the perfect spot for families. Among the activities available in the Creation Station, aimed at children under the age of five. The Creation Station serves as a hands-on activity to introduce and educate young children about all the different modes of transportation, focusing on developing primary early learning skills.
Among the other activities are a miniature train ride, a trolley ride, a handcar village, guided tours, and car shows.
Visit The National Museum of Transportation
The National Museum of Transportation is currently open from Wednesday through Sunday. Hours vary, but it is often open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on days from Wednesday through Saturday and opens at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Admission is $8.00 for adults (ages 13 & older) and $5.00 for children (ages 3-12). Other optional fees include a $5.00 ride wristband (miniature train, handcars, or trolley) for unlimited rides on operating units, weather permitting, and $2.00 for the Creation Station (per person – ages 12 months & older, per boarding time). The Creation Station is very popular, and admission is always on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re considering visiting The National Museum of Transportation anytime soon, the museum offers a virtual tour on its official website.
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