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The Drive from Denver to Douglas and the Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center 7/12/2016



by Chris Guenzler



Robin and I got up and I finished the Georgetown Loop story before we had breakfast at the Super 8 in Westminster. We gassed up the car then drove out to where 88th Street goes under the new Denver Fastrack line to the Denver International Airport to wait for Chris Parker to call and tell us he landed in Denver. We would see trains cross 88th Street so sit back and watch the show.















That was the new Denver Fastrack trains coming and going from the Denver International Airport. Chris Parker then called and said he had landed and would be out front of the arrival area. We left eight minutes and drove to the airport to the arrival level but no Chris so we made a second pass and Chris was standing there so I pulled up. Robin went to the back seat and I helped Chris put his bag into the car. We left the airport and took the Toll Road to Interstate 25 heading to Wyoming. We stopped at a Colorado Rest Area before we drove by the Terry Bison Ranch and showed it to Chris from the freeway. We then stopped in Cheyenne and we showed Chris the Merci Car then took him to Holiday Park to see the Union Pacific Big Boy. We had lunch at Arby's before we left Cheyenne and started the drive to Douglas. We stopped at a rest area near Glenco before we drove the rest of the way to Douglas and our only stop of the day.

Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center

The Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center is a railway museum in the town of Douglas, in Converse County of the state of Wyoming in the United States. The exhibition is located in the former railway station, the Passenger and Freight Depot of the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad and in the outdoor area in front of it.

History

The construction of the railway westwards had great influence on the colonization in this region. In 1886, the city was founded Douglas. At first it consisted of only a few wooden huts on a dirt road. The surrounding land was used by livestock farmers who wanted to transport their livestock with the help of the railway to the consumers. In the founding year of Douglas and the Passenger and Freight Depot was built. The railway line through the village was opened on August 26, 1886, for two years ended the track here in Douglas until the other section by Casper was opened. In the station building is one, for small stations in the west of the USA very typical wood construction, with a waiting room, a ticket office, two toilets and a storage room for goods. In 1950 the station was closed to the public when the passenger has been set on this track. From the Union Pacific Railroad, he was used until about 1970 as a railroad depot and storage. After that the building was empty about 20 years for the city of Douglas, it took over 1990 levels. In 1992, the renovation of the building and the vehicles which today are ocated on the former station square as exhibits began, were transported to Douglas. Then some of them have been restored, others are still in the original, unrestored condition. The museum finally opened in 1995, the former station building is in the National Register of Historic Places entered the United States. In addition to Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center is still the Chamber of Commerce of Douglas here, owner of the building is the city of Douglas. The railway line through Douglas is still of the BNSF Railway operates, today it is primarily for the transportation of coal used.

Museum

The grounds of the museum covers an area of about 9,000 meters square. With the restoration of the building great attention was paid to preserve the original character. The ceiling panel and some walls are still in their original condition. In depot now houses a small exhibition on the history of railways in Douglas. Outside, a locomotive with coal tender, six trailers and a can motor handcar be visited. From the exhibited here steam locomotive type at Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was built, a total of only five copies have been preserved, of which one in Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden is, one is in private hands, a located in the Depot in Sheridan and one is in the city park of Saint Joseph. The museum grounds are created and also wheelchair accessible. None of these vehicles is operational, the rails are provided separately from the main line.

List of Exhibits:

Steam locomotive CB&Q 4-8-4 5633 built in 1940.
Dining car CB & Q, Silver Salver 196 built in 1947.
Livestock Cart 48330D built in 1914.
Sleeping cars Empire Builder 1182 built in 1950.
Baggage car 1897 built in 1911.
Coach 1886 built in 1961.
Coach 1884 built in 1961.
Begleitwagen 14140 built in 1885.
Railcar 217980 built in 1960

The visit to the museum and the vehicles are free of charge, to the Museum a small shop attached. Parking and a picnic area are located right outside the building. Some railroad cars are open during the opening times of the museum and can be visited from the inside.

Our Visit

I was here once before with Bill Compton on our Powder River Basin trip back in 1984.





The C&NW train and the Douglas C&NW Station.





The Douglas Chicago and North Western station today.





A Jackalope.





CB&Q wooden caboose 14140.





Chicago & North Western coach 1886.





Chris Parker and Robin Bowers meet the Jackalope.





Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 4-8-4 5633.





CB&Q dining car Silver Salver 196 built in 1947.







The inside of the Silver Salver.





Union Pacific Railway Express Agency baggage car 1897 built in 1911.




Union Pacific bi-level livestock car 48330D built in 1914.




Great Northern Empire Builder sleeper Agassiz Glacier 1182.





Museum scenes.





Fairmont motor car. I went into the office and was just signing their guest book when we heard a horn and we missed the first part of this BNSF coal train.





The BNSF coal train eastbound through Douglas.





One last museum view and a recommedation for Dinner we drove over the the CB&Q Douglas station now called the Depot Restaurant.





The CB&Q Douglas Station.





The CB&Q freight house in Douglas.





A view of the C&NW freight house in Douglas. We had our dinner here with me having a Pub Steak which was excellent. After dinner we drove over to the other freight house in town.





The C&NW freight house in Douglas. We checked into the Super 8 where I wrote this story. I called it an early night.





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