San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum hosts grand opening

Monday, October 14th, 2013

After 20 year of hard work railroad enthusiasts were finally be able to check out the new San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. The museum hosted a grand opening on Saturday as part of the fifth annual Central Coast Railroad Festival. It’s the first museum of its kind on the Central Coast.

The museum is located in a former freighthouse at 1940 Santa Barbara St., San Luis Obispo near the Amtrak station. Attendees were given special tours of the museum, and presentations by railroad experts and enthusiasts. Inside the 5,000-square-foot museum, visitors can check out antiques and artifacts from the golden age of railroads.

In March 2012 organizers began a capital fundraising campaign to complete the restoration and interior improvements to the historic 1894 Freighthouse as the permanent home of the Museum. They received over $25,000 in gifts and pledges. While they still have a long way to go, it is a great start, organizers said on their website. The funding allows them to keep their contractor working to complete the new rooms and spaces that will house and exhibit our artifacts, equipment, collections, archives and miniature model railroad.

The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum was founded as a regional non-profit educational museum for the public benefit. The are working to preserve the railroad history of California and the Central Coast by collecting, restoring and displaying artifacts as well as operating historic railroad equipment.

San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

The Velocopide, a human-powered rail vehicle, is one of the many interesting pieces on display of railroad related hardware at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum.

Railroad Museum

This 1/12 scale 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive was built by hand back in 1934 by William A Cooper. It was donated to the museum by his son Tom Cooper who was on hand to explain all the intricate details.

Central Coast Railroad Festival

Entertainment supplied by the Central Coast Brass Ensemble, playing some old-time railroad tunes, and the National Anthem at the opening ceremonies.

San Luis Obispo Train Museum

A large crowd gathered for the opening ceremonies which included the president of the Railroad Museum, the mayor of the city of San Luis Obispo and city council members.

SLO Railroad Museum

Inside were many original pieces of signage and photos belonging to the Pacific Coast Railway and the Southern Pacific Railroad. Both contributors to the early growth of the county of San Luis Obispo.

SLO Train Museum

Banners and balloons decorated the old restored warehouse. Making it a festive celebration for the group who labored for 20 years to make it happen.

Photos by Jack Erhart

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