Route 10 West and Whippany Road
Whippany, NJ 07981
Website: Whippany Site
Located on Route 10 West, in the small town of Whippany, New Jersey, nested behind its original stonework station, is a small railway museum. Certainly not as impressive as SteamTown USA, its small size and friendly natured staff assures an enjoyable time. A picnic area is provided as is free parking for a family outing.
At a costly sum of $1.00 for adult admission, and Fifty Cents for the kids, itís not going to make break the piggy bank.
Open ONLY on Sundays, during the summer months this museum is staffed totally by volunteers, and itís funding is by donations from private sources, local businesses, and foundations. So money is always tight, and restorations may not go as fast as would be wanted.
To offset the operating expenses, they run a Sunday train ride, consisting of the road worthy cabooses. The cost of the ride is a paltry $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for children under 12, but if you can carry them, they ride free!
I took a trip over there on my day off, a Thursday, not knowing the place was closed. I asked the watchman if it was OK for me to wander around and take pictures, and he told me no problem. Friendly place already, I started by walking the line, and this brought back many childhood memories, and started taking photos. Of course Mr. Sun played heck with my light meter, as some were is extremely bright sunlight, and others in a pretty good amount of shade. Along my travels through the museum, I ran across a volunteer, giving a tour for some personal friends of his. A rather chatty fellow who told me to knock my sox off if I wanted to climb aboard the steam engine for photos, just be careful, and watch out for a red car as he was the guy in charge, and would get upset with me climbing on the stuff. He opened one of the cabooses for me, and also told me to check out the Jersey Central observation car they are in the process of restoring.
I proceeded to enjoy my time, snapping photos, and came across another volunteer, working on a restoration of a caboose originally built in 1899. Thatís even older than me!
I spent a few minutes chatting with this fellow, and again found him to be helpful, and cheerful, and it was a pleasure to see that volunteerism still existing, and going strong at this small museum.
I was told that the Rail Bus is a runner, and they fire it up all the time for fun rides for the volunteers. The interesting thing is that it contains its own turntable underneath it. You jack it down at the end of the line, swing it around then jack it up to go in the other direction.
I spent an enjoyable late morning to early afternoon wandering around this small, interesting and friendly museum. If you are ever in the Morristown, New Jersey area, and have even a passing interest in railroading, I would suggest stopping in.