How to relive some of railroading’s ‘Glory Days’ — all fun, no charge

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Train lovers, history buffs and people of all ages will have the opportunity to climb aboard and explore a piece of America’s railway history from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24,, during Arizona Railway Day in Chandler.

The free public event is hosted each year by the volunteers of the Arizona Railway Museum, located at 330 E. Ryan Road in the southwest corner of Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park.

Arizona Railway Day will include displays of artifacts and memorabilia, and tours of vintage railcars, including several pieces of railroad equipment acquired in the past year.

Visitors will learn about the importance of railroads from museum volunteers who will explain the type of work that is required to restore and refurbish these railcars to keep them “alive” as a testament to the glory days of rail passenger travel.

Several cars feature interior displays of the typical accommodations for the travelling public, including seating, sleeping arrangements, dining facilities, complete with custom-made railroad dining car china.

The museum’s diesel locomotive will be open, affording visitors the opportunity to blow the horn, and Chandler’s historic #2562 steam locomotive also will be on display.

Outdoor displays include a wide variety of railroad signs, signals and mining equipment.

The display building houses many examples of smaller railroad artifacts, a gift shop and restrooms.

The museum’s curator will be holding a large sale of railroad books, magazines and timetables at very affordable prices. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The museum’s standard entrance fee is waived for Arizona Railway Day, however donations from the public and local businesses are appreciated. Visitors should access the event on
Ryan Road from Arizona Avenue or McQueen Road. Parking is free.

Although the display building and restrooms are ADA Compliant, due to the historic nature of the equipment, access to the railroad cars does not meet ADA requirements.

Arizona Railway Museum is normally open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, September through May. It is closed during the summer.

Information: azrymuseum.org or 480-821-1108.

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