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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 Hudson Valley.

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.

Specifics on visiting the Empire State Railway Museum were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
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