Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Ridgway, a small town with a renowned railroad history, was founded in 1890 as the headquarters of the Rio Grande Southern narrow gauge railroad.

A gateway to the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, Ridgway was an ideal location for the railroad to serve the area’s rich silver and gold mines, along with ranches and farms. Today, the railroad is no longer in operation. However, the world famous Rio Grande Southern remains a vital part of the community through a specialized historical railroad museum.

The Ridgway Railroad Museum, located at 200 North Railroad Street in Ridgway, is “dedicated to the preservation of the history of railroading in Ouray County and surrounding areas.” Previously located at the town’s visitor center, the museum is now situated on a 16-acre site, complete with a half mile loop track. Assorted cars, cabooses and even a “Galloping Goose” are featured as part of the museum’s historical collection.

Built in Ridgway’s roundhouse, the seven vehicles known as, “Galloping Geese,” were automobile-based rail buses that carried mail, passengers and light freight as a more economical way of transportation versus a steam train. Galloping Goose Number 4 is the only one of the seven that has not been restored or modified. The Ridgway Railroad Museum has an agreement to restore Number 4 to operating condition.

The museum is also home to a re-creation of Motor Number 1 by Karl Schaeffer. The original Rio Grande Southern Number 1 was built in 1931 in Ridgway but was scrapped for parts in 1933. In 2000, Schaeffer built the re-creation using a 1926 Buick Master Six modified to look like the original 1925 used for the Number 1.

The museum is a non-profit 501(C)3 corporation. Museum members work on the restoration projects including carpentry and painting. Visitors to the museum will be delighted with the free rides provided on available equipment from 9 AM until noon on Saturdays from early May to late September.

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

No

Open from

May 01 to September 30

Pros

Authentic railroad equipment. Loop track. Non-profit.

Cons

Short season. Limited hours.

Features

Historically significant
Family friendly

Location

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

You May Also Enjoy