Great Wisconsin Summer Destinations

The National Railroad Museum is in our backyard

CREATED Jun. 4, 2013

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  • Big Boy’s job was simple – move 3,500 tons of freight at once over the mountains of Wyoming and eastern Utah as quickly as possible. Using the brute force of 6,000 horsepower, the Union Pacific Big Boys lugged freight trains through the 1940s and 1950s, helping America win World War II and move into the atomic age. Union Pacific #4017 is preserved at the National Railroad Museum.

  • Born of the ingenuity of Sir Nigel Gresley, British Railways #60008 is among the fastest steam locomotives in the world. The locomotive is capable of speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h. The British named #60008 to honor Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for his command work during World War II. Image by Studio 44: National Railroad Museum collection

  • Pennsylvania Railroad #4890, one of 16 GG-1s preserved today, now finds its home in the Lenfestey Center at the National Railroad Museum. Exhibited in the famous Pennsy “cat-whisker” strips, one can almost see her racing between New York and Washington, D.C. with a first-class passenger train Image by Studio 44: National Railroad Museum collection

  • Assigned to the Pennsylvania Railroad, the sleeping car Lake Mitchell was part of George Pullman’s great moving hotel. For the traveler, a Pullman sleeper meant service equal to a fine hotel. However, for the Pullman porter, who served the rail passenger, the work was hard, the hours long and the pay minimal. Learn more about the life of the Pullman porters in a new National Railroad Museum exhibit opening in July 2008. The Pullman porter exhibit will be housed a restored Lake Mitchell sleeping car. Image by Studio 44: National Railroad Museum collection

  • Born of the ingenuity of Sir Nigel Gresley, British Railways #60008 is among the fastest steam locomotives in the world. The locomotive is capable of speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h. The British named #60008 to honor Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for his command work during World War II. Image by Studio 44: National Railroad Museum collection

  • Pennsylvania Railroad #4890, one of 16 GG-1s preserved today, now finds its home in the Lenfestey Center at the National Railroad Museum. Exhibited in the famous Pennsy “cat-whisker” strips, one can almost see her racing between New York and Washington, D.C. with a first-class passenger train Image by Studio 44: National Railroad Museum collection

  • Assigned to the Pennsylvania Railroad, the sleeping car Lake Mitchell was part of George Pullman’s great moving hotel. For the traveler, a Pullman sleeper meant service equal to a fine hotel. However, for the Pullman porter, who served the rail passenger, the work was hard, the hours long and the pay minimal. Learn more about the life of the Pullman porters in a new National Railroad Museum exhibit opening in July 2008. The Pullman porter exhibit will be housed a restored Lake Mitchell sleeping car. Image by Studio 44: National Railroad Museum collection

  • Big Boy’s job was simple – move 3,500 tons of freight at once over the mountains of Wyoming and eastern Utah as quickly as possible. Using the brute force of 6,000 horsepower, the Union Pacific Big Boys lugged freight trains through the 1940s and 1950s, helping America win World War II and move into the atomic age. Union Pacific #4017 is preserved at the National Railroad Museum.

GREEN BAY - One of the rich parts of American history lives in Green Bay.  The National Railroad museum - it has an official Congressional delegation as such - sits just southeast of Lambeau Field.

"We have about 70 plus pieces of rolling stock plus all sorts of railroading items," said museum Executive Director Jacqueline Frank.  You'll find everything from passenger cars to a wide variety of locomotives including steam, diesel and electric.

Some of the interesting attractions, "We have our Big Boy Locomotive.  It's considered the largest locomotive out there."  It comes with a loud sound system that makes it sound like it's running.

"We have cars that were used by Dwight D. Eisenhower during World World II."

In addition to all the stuff to see, there's also stuff to do.  The Day out with Thomas event is next week.  That's where kids can ride on a train car pulled by a life size Thomas the Tank Engine.

If you're into a more adult crowd, there's a rails and ales event.  Yes, it involves beer.

One of the new exhibits this year is a children's discovery depot exhibit.  "It's all hands on interactive activities for children to participate with each other, as well as different families," Frank said.

Why did Green Bay get the National Railroad Museum?  Frank says some businessmen who wanted to start a railroad museum in the 1950s just happened to have connections to Congress.  "So when they were working with Congress they'd already started the museum in Green Bay and it just kind of flourished here."

The museum is open seven days a week.  Click Here to check out its website.