MUSEUM

museumThe Railroad Museum of South Florida operates a 3,200-square foot museum located in Lakes Regional Park. Currently, the museum is open 6 days a week (currently, we are closed on Mondays) although we do have a shorter summer schedule in August and September.

Located in the museum is an “S” scale model train layout, as well as an overhead “G” scale train, a “live steam” scale locomotive, and artifacts including an authentic brass bell from a steam locomotive (one ring per visitor, please!), rail tracks, lanterns, ticket punches, spikes, tools, and baggage carts on display. There is an interactive locomotive simulator, featuring the actual control console from a decommissioned diesel locomotive.

The “S” (1/64) scale layout theme is Florida railroading in the late 1950’s, which features the 4 leading industries at the time; fishing, logging, farming, and tourism. Passenger service by the Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Coast Line make regular stops at (a scale replica of) the Fort Myers ACL train depot, built in 1927.  The freight mainline features a recently purchased 7 car Seaboard Coast Line set, and 3 freight trains operate in the freight yard. A logging train operates continuously around the forest/logging area. Push buttons operate billboards, an ice station, a forklift in a warehouse, an American Flyer “walking brakeman” atop an ACL boxcar, and an American Flyer smoking K-5 locomotive.  Other recent additions include operating crossing gates and flashers, a Gulf gas station, Mels Diner, and a shrimp boat.  The layout, one of the finest of its kind, has been featured by “Dispatch” magazine, a journal for the National Association of S Gaugers.

7 dioramas in ho scale have recently been completed to help tell the story of railroad history. The dioramas feature the “DeWitt Clinton”, a Civil War-era freight train, the “Golden Spike”, the “Burlington Zephyr” (and subway), a WWII Troop train, a majestic GG-1 crossing an arch bridge, and a beautiful ACL F7 A-B-A Passenger Train with its striking purple and gold paint scheme.
A recently donated western mountain scene diorama (“O” Scale) features a highly detailed, hand-built trestle bridge.  Also, a display has been created so that those interested may compare first hand the most common sizes of toy trains, namely Z, N, HO, S, and O. In our ongoing pursuit to continue telling “the railroad story”, we will develop a USA Railroad/Florida RR History timeline on the wall in the theater.

The museum also houses a movie theater where you can sit and watch a video giving some history of the park and railroad.

There is also a wonderful little gift shop with many train-related items for children and adults!  We have t-shirts, train whistles, key chains, engineer hats, bandanas, jewelry, and much more!

All this is possible thanks to the tax-deductible membership contributions that are made!!

Currently the museum hours are: Tuesday through Friday: 10:00 am to 1:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday:  10:00am to 3:30pm.  We are closed on Mondays.

Holidays: 10 am – 3:30 pm (Includes New Years Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day).  We are closed Christmas Day.

PLEASE NOTE: The Museum closes 30 Minutes prior to the last train of the day.  No food or drinks allowed in the museum.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.