Empire State Railway Museum
Located in the historic 1899 Ulster
& Delaware RR Station, the museum offers exhibits
of archival photographs and film related to the history
of railroading in the region. Besides a 2-8-0 steam
locomotive #23 built in 1910 by Alco, and a 1913 Pullman
dining car stored in Kingston, the museum is currently
restoring two baggage cars and an automobile boxcar
on site in Phoenicia. Open weekends from Memorial Day
thru Labor day from 10 to 4.
From the late 1800's through the 1940's
the rugged steam locomotive of the Ulster & Delaware,
Catskill Mountain Railroad, New York Central, New York
Ontario & Western and Delaware & Northern climbed
their steep and winding mountain grades bound for the
grand hotels and humble boarding houses of the Catskill
Mountains. They returned with lumber, bluestone, dairy
and agricultural products of the region for transport
to the New York City metropolitan area.
The Empire State Railway Museum is
dedicated to bringing alive the history of these railroads,
their people and the towns they served, to the residents
and visitors of the Catskill Mountains and the greater
Chartered by the New York State Department
of Education in 1960, the ESRM established residence
in the former Ulster & Delaware station in Phoenicia,
New York in 1984. Built in 1899, the historic structure
is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It houses the Museum's summer exhibition of photos,
films and artifacts and is the center of our restoration
of rolling stock. Three antique railway cars are currently
being restored in Phoenicia - a 1900's Boston &
Main wooden baggage car, a 28 foot Pennsylvania RR 1890's
wooden bobber caboose and a 54 foot Central Vermont
1929 wood/steel auto-carrying box car (one of the earliest
of its kind).
The ESRM founded and licenses for
publication the Steam Passenger Service Directory, North
America's definitive guide to tourist railroads and
museums. Museum members are invited to learn railroading
firsthand by attending seminars and participating in
work sessions on locomotive and rolling stock restoration.
The museum is open on weekends and
holidays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day from
11am to 4pm.
While visiting the museum, you
may wish to ride the historic rails of the old Ulster
& Delaware Railroad. A train of vintage equipment,
operated by the Catskill Mountain Railroad, makes a
stop at the museum. Ask the Museum Volunteer for information
on schedules and fares.