1907 INTERNATIONAL and GREAT NORTHERN DEPOT
Home to the New Braunfels Railroad Museum
The present depot was built by the International & Great Northern Railroad and opened in 1907. The depot was constructed on a concrete slab, with concrete block (interior)/unique dark gray cement tiles with red grout (exterior). The local factory of Moeller, Mordhorst, and Blumberg cast the blocks and tiles. These materials are unique to this depot, and not used anywhere else on the I-GN system.
Chimneys and decorative dormers were removed by the railroad when the worn out shingles were replaced with a metal roof. The railroad remodeled the building in the 1960’s and again in the 1970’s to accommodate changing railroad needs. Replicas of the chimney and dormer were replaced in October, 2012.
In October 1986, the New Braunfels Historic Railroad and Modelers Society was granted a long term lease of the then-closed depot. Thus began the restoration and museum efforts. The interior was restored with wainscoating and painted floors; the exterior color was repainted to match paint applied during one of the remodels; and brick pavers installed along the west or ‘front’ of the depot. Air conditioning was added to aid in the preservation of the museum artifacts and displays. We continued to upgrade and restore the area (new sidewalks, access steps, displays, and an additional track for future rolling stock). Future plans included acquiring a passenger car, providing a canopy to further preserve the rolling stock, and complete restoration of the building exterior to its original configuration and finish.
During 2007, members undertook a complete make-over of the display area. This included new custom made display cases, track lighting, and additional displays of items which previously had to be stored due to lack of display space.
Displays include a rare velocipede from the late 1800’s; several restored baggage carts, a complete telegraphy system and its history; a history of “standard time” (developed 20 years prior to its adoption by the Federal government); area specific railroad photos; and lanterns, timetables, passes, uniforms, and other “tools” required of the railroad employee to get his job done.