The Oklahoma Railway Museum operates over a former Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad
(The Katy) in Northeast Oklahoma City. The museum and train operations serve an educational
experience for both young and old, which provide the experience of railroad travel in a
1940-50's streamlined passenger train and the feel of the mixed train passenger service
that once operated across the state.
The museum maintains and operates 2.7 miles of mainline track between NE10th and M.L. King Blvd and NE 50th Street just east of the Firefighters Museum.
The museum operates a variety of different diesel locomotives and passenger equipment ranging from the 1920's to the 1950's. In addition there are many pieces of freight equipment and display locomotives. The museum also houses many artifacts from the Oklahoma Railway Company that operated the trolley system in Oklahoma City until it was shut down in 1946. These are displayed in the Frisco Pullman Car at Oakwood Depot.
The Oakwood Depot is the restored 1905 depot from Oakwood, Oklahoma that served the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad, which was later purchased by the Santa Fe Railroad.
The Central Oklahoma Chapter of the National Railway Historic Society has put this museum together. In the late 1980's the Chapter operated the Watonga Chief Dinner train in Watonga, Oklahoma with the help of the AT&L Railroad.
In 1995, the Chapter arranged to have the Union Pacific historic passenger cars and E-9 diesel locomotives brought to Oklahoma City. More than 1,600 people rode the special passenger trains from Oklahoma City to Shawnee and then back to El Reno. The following day the train ran from Oklahoma City to Enid and back to Oklahoma City. The revenue from the trips served as seed money for a museum.
In 1998, The Chapter contracted the use of the old Missouri, Kansas, Texas main line right of way, owned by the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. Since then members have donated many hours of volunteer labor cleaning, mowing, painting, replacing ties and rail to make the track operational. In 1999, three acres of land were purchased just south of NE 36th Street for the Museum.
Track and a depot were placed on the property during 2001 and 2002. The museum opened in 2002 and its first trains began operating from the museum.
The BSNF Railroad made a donation of the last Oklahoma railroad turntable to the Museum in 1996. With the purchase in 2009 of the property north of the Museum, the museum now has the space to install the turntable and to extend the yard tracks to the north.
Both of the major railroads in Oklahoma City, the Union Pacific and the BSNF, have been supportive supportive of the museum. In addition, the museum has had the support from the Oklahoma regional railroads, Farmrail, Stillwater Central, Arkansas and Oklahoma Railroad, Kiamichi Railroad, along with many other short lines.
One of the prize displays is the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Caboose built in 1878 by the Wells and French Company. The caboose was built with wood beam tracks, commonly used in the those days. The caboose was in service with various area railroads until its retirement in 1973. Former owner and mayor of Oklahoma City, George Shirk, donated the caboose to the Central Oklahoma Railroad Club in 1981. It was restored to its present condition by Museum volunteers in 2005 and is believed to be the oldest caboose in Oklahoma.
We had a great time at the museum. There is a lot of things to see. I want to thank Harry for a spending so much time with us showing us around. Harry is one of the proud volunteers at the museum. As we talked to Harry, we could tell he takes a lot of pride in the restoration efforts at the museum.
Oh by the way, did I mention that the museum is free to the public.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
9am - 4:30pm
Oklahoma Railway Museum
3400 NE Grand Blvd
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma