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New Braunfels Railroad Museum

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The present depot was built for the I-GN 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 block factory of Moeller, Mordhorst, and Blumberg cast the blocks and tiles.  These materials are unique to the depot, and not used anywhere else on the I-GN system.

Chimneys and decorative dormers were removed by the railroad when they placed a metal roof on the building.  City ordinances required a metal roof to minimize fire exposures.  Also, the railroad remodeled the building in the 1960's and again in the 1970's to accommodate changing business needs.

Replicas of the chimney and dormer were replaced in October, 2012.

 

In October 1986, 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 continue to upgrade and restore the area (new sidewalks, access steps, displays, and an additional track for future rolling stock).  Future plans include 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.

 

 

 

In July 1987, NBHRMS took delivery of its caboose, which has been restored.  This caboose was built  by the Missouri Pacific Railroad at its Sedalia MO shops as I-GN #276 in August 1950.  It was rebuilt as MP#13385 in 1964 by International Car Co. It was rebuilt again in 1970, and listed as "retired" in 1980.

These were all steel cars (type SSW2) with heavy duty underframes and cushion draft gear.  These standard steel cabooses were big, roomy cars with massive underframes that could take a lot of abuse. Over the years, many modifications were made to the original car, including addition of electricity, radio equipment, modern cooler/ice chest and drinking water systems, oil fired stove/heater, and comfortable interiors.

 

 

Locomotive #7, was purchased in November 1993 with donations from area citizens, and delivered to the museum on Dec. 20, 1993.  It was built for Florida Portland Cement Co. of Brooksville FL by H. K.  Porter Locomotive Co., in July 1942, construction #7367; sold to a private individual in the early 1970's, and used at the Gold Coast Museum in the Miami FL area; then leased and sold to the Texas Tank Car Works (dates unknown) in San Angelo TX. as their yard switcher. It is an 0-6-0T, Steam Engine type, tractive effort 30,125#, weight empty 138,000#, 44 inch driver diameter, 19" x 24" cylinders, working boiler pressure 180 psi, and burned #5 fuel oil as fuel. It has been cosmetically restored.

 

The Museum was the recipient of a Missouri Pacific sixty foot high-cube boxcar in January 2010.  Mr. and Mrs. David Bush donated the car to us.  It served as a swimsuit/sunglasses retail store located on Loop 337 in New Braunfels for a number of years (hence the graphics you see on the car in the photo).

We are in the process of exterior repaint and interior renovations, and plan to use the car for additional museum displays and office space.  As the car was used for retail space, it has heating/air conditioning, a restroom, and interior lighting.

We purchased a 1920's Pullman car in 2009.  This car once ran on the Illinois Central Railroad as a coach; subsequent owners converted it to a "table car" for excursion service.

The car is shown here in March 2010 at the BNSF yard in Ft. Worth Tx, on its way from Guthrie OK to the Museum.  Extensive brake work and other minor mechanical work was required to make the car roadworthy for transport to the Museum.   The car has been placed alongside our other rolling stock, on its own piece of track.

See the dining car page for more information on the car.

Model railroading is also a part of the museum displays.

The museum houses a permanent HO scale layout, the Joske Department Store (Downtown, San Antonio) Display, an HO Circus (circa 1910), and an N Scale layout, all available for viewing to all visitors of the museum.  As is the case with most model railroads, they are always a work in progress.  Children enjoy seeing all of the trains in operation.

The Museum also owns a number of N scale "NTrak"  modules, which are used primarily as traveling exhibits at area train shows.  These are also used during special occasions and events at the Museum.

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