11 Cool & Interesting Railroad Museums in Texas

Published By Ketki

Last Updated

Did you know that there are several amazing railroad museums in Texas?

These are the perfect places to visit with train crazy kids, teens, as well as train lovers of all ages.

At these Texas Railroad museums, rail enthusiasts can experience vintage train rides, see model railroads, as well as see an amazing collection of railroad memorabilia.

Here are the best railroad museums in Texas to visit with the kids.

Railroad mural in Rosenberg downtown historic district
Railroad mural in Rosenberg downtown historic district

Galveston Railroad Museum

Galveston Railroad Museum, located on Galveston Island, is one of our favorite railroad museums near Houston.

This is a large Railroad Museum and has an amazing collection of restored locomotives.

The museum also has several exhibits about the Texas railroad industry and railroad history.

The museum collects artifacts

The Galveston Railroad Museum is, undoubtedly, one of the best museums in Texas.

Museum of the American Railroad

The Museum of the American railroad is located in Frisco, Texas.

The museum was originally located in Dallas Fair Park but has moved to Frisco to allow room for expansion.

The non profit organization is an excellent place to learn about railroads in the country and understand their impact on American life.

On a guided tour of the Frisco train museum, visitors can see the railyard, engines, rolling stock, railroad artifacts, as well as the switching tower.

The museum also has an amazing miniature railroad where you can see a variety of locomotives running through an amazingly detailed model of Dallas.

Visitors can even see staff working on the historic preservation of the locomotives including the famous Union Pacific ‘Big Boy’ steam engine.

The Museum of the American railroad in Frisco is hands down one of the best things to do in North Texas.

Texas Transportation Museum

Texas transportation museum is located in San Antonio and is a must for rail lovers.

The museum also has model railroads, vintage artifacts, locomotives, and train rides.

Visitors can see restored Pullman cars, cabooses, as well as antique cars on display.

The museum is a great place to spend an hour or so with the kids.

Their special Christmas excursion coach, called Santa’s Railroad Wonderland, is one of the best Christmas things to do in San Antonio with kids.

Entrance to the Palestine railroad depot
Entrance to the Palestine railroad depot

Texas State Railroad

The Texas State Railroad is located in Palestine, Texas about two hours outside of Dallas.

It is one of the most popular things to do in East Texas.

The regular excursion occurs between Palestine and Rusk and is about 4 hours long.

It takes visitors through gorgeous East Texas landscapes and is amazing in the fall.

While the ride aboard the vintage train is lots of fun, both the Rusk and Palestine railroad depots have lots of informative exhibits.

Visitors can see vintage photos, artifacts, memorabilia as well as purchase toy trains and souvenirs in the depots.

Their holiday excursion of The Polar Express in Palestine, Texas is one of the best things to do in Texas for Christmas.

Grapevine Vintage Railroad in Grapevine Texas
Grapevine Vintage Railroad in Grapevine Texas

Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Grapevine Vintage Railroad train rides always feel similar to visits to an open-air Railroad Museum!

Their excursions run from Main Street of Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

At Fort Worth Stockyards, visitors can see the historic buildings, cattle drives, western saloons, and be immersed in Fort Worth history before taking the train back to Grapevine.

A separate excursion in Fort Worth along the Trinity River is also worth the visit.

On this excursion, you can see the large engine being turned on the turntable.

On all excursions, visitors ride aboard the historic Victorian train from the 1920s.

During Christmas, the railroad conducts the popular North Pole Express train ride.

This is one of the most popular Christmas trains in Texas.

On the magical North Pole Express, kids get to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and participate in the holiday festivities.

New Braunfels Railroad Museum

The New Braunfels Railroad Museum, located in the Texas Hill Country, is a hidden gem.

Here visitors can see model trains as well as walkthrough dining cars and a historic engine.

The museum also has many exhibits related to the history of the railroad in the Hill Country.

The best part is that the museum is free to visit.

Entrance to the Rosenberg Railway Museum
Entrance to the Rosenberg Railway Museum

Rosenberg Railroad Museum

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum is one of the best things to do in Houston with kids.

Visitors can explore the many gems in this museum on a guided tour.

Kids can see luxury train cabins, model trains, switch tower and system, restored caboose, as well as other educational exhibits about trains.

There is also a beautiful mural painted outside the museum.

The museum is located adjacent to an active railroad line, so kids can also admire the trains as they go by.

Also Read: 16 Best Things to do in Rosenberg, Texas

Rosenberg Railroad Museum is a must visit attraction for kids
Rosenberg Railroad Museum is a must visit attraction for kids

Austin Steam Train Association Museum

While the Austin steam train Association is more popular for its train rides, the small on-site Museum is also worth a visit.

Located in Cedar Park, this railroad museum in the train depot has plenty of vintage photographs, railroad artifacts like lanterns and railroad calendars, as well as railroad engineer uniforms.

It is a fun place to spend some time either before or after your vintage train rides and special excursions beginning from the Cedar Park Depot.

Travel tip – Looking for an amazing, budget-friendly train ride for kids near Austin? Visit the Cedar Rock Railroad and enjoy a ride on the quarter scale Railway.

Cotton Belt Depot Museum

The Cotton Belt Railroad Depot Museum in Tyler is a small but interesting railroad Museum.

The free museum has miniature railways, interesting exhibits about railroad history in the Cotton Belt, vintage photographs and documents, signages, and more.

It is a great place to visit while spending time in downtown Tyler.

Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum

Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, located inside the Santa Fe Railroad Depot, has plenty of local history.

You can also see model trains, historical displays, a steam engine, and other memorabilia at the museum.

The museum has a nice play area for kids with a variety of train-themed activities.

Also Read: 15 Best Things to do in Temple, Texas

Historic Jefferson Railway

The historic Jefferson Railway is located in the Piney Woods Region of East Texas.

This historic train offers an amazing ride along the Big Cypress Bayou.

The narrated tour is a great way to learn the history of the area and the spectacular views of Caddo Lake are a highlight of this trip.

You can often spot alligators from the train.

Historic Marshall Railroad Depot in East Texas
Historic Marshall Railroad Depot in East Texas

These railroad museums in Texas are sure to excite and intrigue young kids as well as adults.

The train museums, their interactive exhibits, model displays, heritage lines, and rolling stock are some of the best ways to learn about the development of the railroad in the Lone Star State.

Which is your favorite train museum in Texas? Let us know in the comments!

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