ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) An area museum dedicated to railroad history is celebrating a substantial gift. The National Railroad Museum now has a new engine to take its visitors down the tracks.
At the National Railroad Museum a 265,000 pound gift rolls on down the rails. It is a locomotive to help this facility immerse visitors in life on the railroad.
“It is phenomenal for us, it is Christmas, it is,” said on museum employee.
This diesel switch engine was donated to the museum by Canadian National in September.
“CN is happy to contribute to the National Railroad Museum’s mission of inspiring life-long learning,” said Derek Taylor, vice president of transportation for CN.
Built in 1968 CN overhauled the mechanics and the museum gave it a new paint job. Wednesday a ceremony was held to put it into service, giving people rides on the museum’s mile-long track.
“It will begin operations during the upcoming Polar Express and Holidays on Rails. It will service more than 13,000 visitors during the holidays,” said Museum Board President David Ward.
The donation comes at a good time. The museum’s two other engines are much older.
“We were operating two diesel engines, one of which was built in 1941,” said Engineer Kerry Denson.
“When you’re working with old equipment, it’s not always reliable,” said NRM CEO Jacqueline Frank.
And reliability is what this museum needs given train rides are so popular.
“Each year 100,000 people visit the museum and most mention the train ride as being the most memorable part of the visit,” Frank said.
And now this new engine takes away all those worries – allowing visitors to ride down the rails.
The National Railroad Museum is one of the largest rail museums in the nation.