The 400+ square-foot educational Superstition Mountain Museum Railroad celebrated it’s official dedication on November 19, 2016! Be sure to include this special attraction in your list of what to see when touring the grounds of the Superstition Mountain Museum. The exhibit is a representation of how railroads played a major role in the development of the Copper mining industry, and the other “C’s” upon which Arizona’s economy is built – Cotton, Cattle, Climate, and Citrus.
Superstition Mountain Museum Railroad (SMMRR) Hours:
The locomotive and railroad cars travel through an Old West setting that visitors can enjoy during business hours, however this new exhibit is a seasonal one – open to, and welcoming visitors as temperatures permit throughout the Fall, Winter, and Spring. For running dates and times, contact the Museum at 480-983-4888.
|Be sure to visit the Museum Store for SMMRR Souvenirs!||SMMRR Tri-fold Brochure (.pdf, 919kb)|
Location & Highlights:
This permanent G-scale model train exhibit is located south of the barn on the hillside slope between the barn and the 20-stamp mill. The layout contains a mine, a stamp mill, “Dutchman’s Gulch“ mining town comprising approximately 40 replica buildings built to scale that reflect the era, cattle on the range, cotton in the fields outside of town and all of the things one would see while traveling through Central Arizona in the 1900-1912 era. The trains, buildings and all of the features are historically accurate. Many of the buildings are replicas of the buildings that used to be at Apacheland Movie Ranch. You can see cowboys riding into town, and ranchers in their wagons; there is even an old wreck at rest at the bottom of a gully.
There are several steam locomotives pulling rolling stock that currently number about 40 pieces over the 1500 feet of track, with a tunnel and a trestle bridge included in the plans. The museum’s “Big Trains” are two to four times the size of those standards of yesteryear’s hobbyists’ Lionel and HO model trains, and these larger models run on 45-mm gauge track.
Aside from being entertaining and appealing to train enthusiasts, both young and old, the exhibit is also an educational one, tying directly into the history objectives that fourth grade Arizona students pursue mastering when visiting the museum on school field trips. The many young (and older) train enthusiasts who visit the museum can see firsthand the historic trains and learn about the prominent role these trains took in the settlement of the West.
The substantial set of locomotives, railway cars and buildings was donated to the museum by member volunteer Barbara Jebelian, who very generously chose to share her late husband’s collection with museum visitors. The collection was enhanced by generous donations of both money, trains, and buildings by visitors to the museum.
It is amazing to see the attention to detail evident in the Old West buildings and desert landscaping comprising this temporary layout. Many of the volunteers working on the new layout double as Docents for the small layout, to run the trains for visitors and talk about the role of railroads in the building of early Arizona.
The smaller G-Model Railroad exhibit currently in place in the southeast corner of the Apacheland Barn, will continue to operate during the week and on weekends.