The most complete collection of American railroad power is not in Chicago or New York, or Memphis.
It’s tucked away in St. Louis County, just a few miles south of West County Center. The Museum of Transportation, at 2933 Barrett Station Road, has more than 70 vintage locomotives.
The museum also has a variety of historic cars, buses, streetcars, aircraft (twin-engine 1943 Douglas Aircraft) and even a tugboat.
It’s been in the same location since 1944. The first piece in the collection was an 187- mule-drawn streetcar.
Originally, the land the museum sits on was owned by the Pacific Railroad of Missouri, later called Missouri Pacific.
The museum has 190 separate exhibits, most of which center around rail. Most significant are a Boston & Providence Railroad Passenger Coach built in 1833 and a steam engine from Chicago’s Lake Street L. In 1996, it was completely restored.
And if you are a fire truck aficionado, the museum will be holding it’s annual Pumpers & Pistons show on Saturday, May 20. It’s co-sponsored by the Gateway Fire Historical Society and the American Truck Historical Society.
The auto showroom at the museum is full of classic cars. They include the Bobby Darin “Dream Car,” a turbine car that is one of only 55 produced by Chrysler in 1963.
The Museum of Transportation is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children 3-12.