August 2, 2014 in Blog
Just a few miles off the western border of Lincoln National Forest, sits Alamogordo and New Mexico’s first railroad museum, The Toy Train Depot. Remember the little trains you used to ride in a big arc around the zoo or theme park, sitting next to mom and dad with your head out of the top? This museum focuses on these rides, many of which have been retired from those attraction sites. Rick Haskell is the museum’s curator, a train engineer, and a rail historian. If you ask him, he will tell you the fascinating story of an ancient decree by Caesar involving the width of two horse’s rear ends that directly influenced the current width of railroads in America today. Seriously.
Wednesday through Sunday, the Depot runs three 16” narrow gauge railway rides. This is a great outing for the family and a fun ride for the kids. The museum is a non-profit educational foundation, and you can enjoy learning some of the history of these vehicles after the 10-scale mile ride. Built in a now retired actual train depot, which was erected in 1898, the museum has memorabilia from the real national rail system, model trains of all types and sizes, huge displays of old rails more than a hundred years old, original railway art, and a golden spike that was awarded to John Koval, the original collector whose prizes became this museum.
Whether you are a serious fan of trains, want to become more acquainted with this hobby, or just looking for a fun day out with the kids, The Toy Train Depot can provide a great afternoon.