The Best Train Museums in NY and the Surrounding Area

The Best Train Museums in NY and the Surrounding Area

Here are the must-see train museums and exhibits for train lovers of all ages in the New York area.

Whether you have a train fanatic in the fam or you’re all looking to learn something new about a historic form of transportation, take a trip to a train museum in NY! Railroad lovers young and old can ride trains, learn about the railroad, and explore the scenic area aboard a train.

Here are the coolest train museums and railroad exhibits on Long Island, in New Jersey, in Brooklyn, in Westchester and Rockland, in Connecticut, and in Pennsylvania.

Train Museums on Long Island

Railroad Museum of Long Island

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416 Griffing Ave., Riverhead
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm
Cost: $15; $8 children ages 5-12, free for children 4 and younger
440 4th St., Greenport
Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 11am-4pm
Cost: $9; $5 children ages 5-12; free for children 4 and younger

Visit the Riverhead site for interactive exhibits of historic rail cars and locomotives, guided tours, and a ride on the museum’s 1964-1965 New York World Fair’s miniature train.

Visit the Greenport site to see the passenger station, railroad dock, turntable, and exhibits of railroad artifacts. Visitors are encouraged to visit both sites via the LIRR Greenport Scoot (Memorial Day-Columbus Day).

Wantagh Museum

1700 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh
Hours: Sundays, 2-4pm, from mid-April to mid-November (hours are subject to change because the museum is staffed completely by volunteers)
Cost: By donation

Built in 1812, the museum resides in three structures: The Station, The “Jamaica” Railroad Car, and the Original Wantagh Post Office.

Take a tour of the Jamaica car, which was a parlor car complete with solarium (a room built for the purpose of enjoying sunlight), cooking facilities, and air-conditioning. Visitors can also walk through the post office and view the historical photos on display in the station.

Long Island Live Steamers

Southaven County Park, Gerard/Howie Carpluk Road, Brookhaven
Hours: Public run days are typically held the second and last Sundays of the month, May-October, 10:30am-3pm. Check the website to confirm dates.
Cost: Tickets are free, but donations are requested.

The nonprofit railroad operates on 8½ acres of land, and on Public Run Days, families are invited to ride the steam, diesel, and electric trains. Picnic area and snack bar available. Arrive early to watch the trains “steaming up.”

Oyster Bay Railroad Museum

1 Railraod Ave., Oyster Bay
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Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 12-4pm
Cost: $5, ages 6 to 12; $7, ages 13-61; $6, ages 62 and older; free, ages 5 and under

The museum is dedicated to preserving the rich legacy of Long Island’s railroad history. The Museum is housed inside the Historic, Presidential Railroad Station of Theodore Roosevelt which is undergoing restoration back to its 1902 appearance.

There are many, various displays about trains and the people who operate them. Kids can ring a steam locomotive bell and see how a steam locomotive operates as well as marvel at an operating 8ft by 12 ft O gauge model railroad.

they have an additional property located at the East end of the current LIRR rail yard that contains a fully restored and functional 1904 steam locomotive turntable with demonstration rides at 1&3 on Saturdays.

There are also diesel and electric locomotive simulators as well as restored and in restoration railroad cars that are open for visitors.

A full size display piece from the LIRR Pavilion at the 1964/1965 New York Worlds Fair can be a great photo op and  For the little ones, there is a Garden Railway that they can control. The volunteers can be seen working on various projects each Saturday, weather permitting.

Train Museums in New Jersey


495 U.S. 202, Flemington
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10am-6pm
Cost: $36

Home to the world’s largest model railroad, this 16-acre railway features nearly 100 trains that travel over 8 miles of track, which include 40-foot bridges spanning large canyons.

Kids can experience much more than simply watching model trains as they hop aboard the 15-minute outdoor train ride, running on a real track pulled by a replica steam engine.

Black River & Western Railroad

80 Stangl Road, Flemington
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Hours: Check website for dates
Cost: Varies by event

Housed in a restored Central Railroad of New Jersey baggage car, passengers on the railroad’s excursion trains can explore the Black River & Western Railroad museum to learn about the history of railroading in the area.

The New Jersey Museum of Transportation

Allaire State Park, 4265 Atlantic Ave., Wall Township
Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 11am-4pm; trains depart every 30 minutes.
Cost: $5 train rides; $1 for children younger than 3

The museum is a nonprofit, volunteer-operated organization that owns and operates the Pine Creek Railroad. It collects, preserves, displays, and operates historic railroad equipment in order to preserve the history of railroading for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

Van Saun Park Railroad at the Bergen County Zoo

216 Forest Ave., Paramus
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10am-4pm, May through October
Cost: $2 per train ride. Zoo admission: $8 ($4 county residents); $5 children ages 3-14 ($2 county residents); free for children younger than 3 and active military

Make a day out of going to the zoo and then taking a leisurely train ride. First built in 1963, the pint-sized train travels through the many different animals and attractions of the zoo while cruising through some railroad crossings and a tunnel.

Whippany Railway Museum

1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany

Hours: April-October: Sundays, 12-4pm. Excursion train rides: 1-4pm on select Sundays, May-September (see website for complete schedule).

Cost: $2; $1 children younger than 12. Excursion train ride: starts at $13

The Whippanong Valley Railroad, an “O” gauge model railroad, is the centerpiece in the main exhibit area of the museum building. Excursion Train Rides include a collection of restored, vintage cabooses from historic rail lines that once served New Jersey and the metropolitan area.
Passengers can climb aboard the caboose of their choice and take a 45-minute ride as railroaders did for more than 100 years. The 10-mile ride travels the route of the Historic Whippanong Trail through Whippany, East Hanover, Livingston, and Roseland in Morris and Essex counties.

Train Museums in Brooklyn

New York Transit Museum

99 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights
Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: $10; $5 children ages 2-17 and seniors 62 and older; free for children younger than 2; free for senior citizens 62 and older on Wednesdays

Exhibits include: Steel, Stone, & Backbone: Building New York’s Subways 1900-1925; Moving the Millions; On the Streets: New York’s Trolleys and Buses; and Fare Collection are some long-term gallery exhibitions at the museum.

They explore the history of New York subways, trolleys, buses, platforms, and the various fares and collection devices used throughout public transportation’s history in NYC. The museum includes more than 50 derailed model trolleys and a resident expert on the subject.

Train Museums in Westchester and Rockland Counties

Rye Playland

1 Playland Parkway, Rye
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Hours: May 11-12 is opening weekend, and the park is open 12-8pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for additional dates and times.

Cost: Park admission: $39.99; $29.99 for children shorter than 48 inches; free for children ages 2 and younger. Westchester residents receive a $5 discount.

The Kiddyland section of the amusement park features the handicap-accessible Playland Express train ride. Children shorter than 42 inches, including infants and non-walking children, must ride with an adult.

Suffern Railroad Museum

79 Orange Ave., Suffern, NY 10901
Hours: May-October: Saturdays, 9am-1pm, and by appointment

Opened in 1998, the museum is housed in a 1908 Wells Fargo Express Building, restored to showcase Suffern’s rich railroad history forged with the Eerie Railroad. Call to make an appointment.

Train Museums Connecticut

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

1 Railroad Ave., Essex
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Hours: Dates and times vary based on type of excursion and special events.
Cost: For train and riverboat connection: $45;  Train only: $25

Choose between the 2½-hour steam train and riverboat excursion or just the 1 hour train excursion, both beginning at the historic 1892 Essex Station.

This 12-mile, narrated adventure takes riders into the heart of the Connecticut River Valley through the picturesque New England towns of Deep River and Chester.

At Deep River Landing, passengers are escorted onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a 1¼-hour cruise through the breathtaking coves, marshes and inlets of the Connecticut River. The round-trip excursion concludes at Essex Station.

Danbury Railway Museum

120 White St., Danbury
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Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: $7; free for children younger than 3

Train rides are offered at the Danbury Rail Yard Local hourly on weekends from April through November and during special events ($3-$10). The 20-minute ride tours the Danbury Rail Yard and includes a ride on an operating turntable.

Naugatuck Railroad/Railroad Museum of New England

242 E. Main St., Thomaston
Hours: Check website for dates and times
Cost: varies by excursion

From the 1881 Thomaston Station, board the railroad’s restored vintage passenger coaches for a scenic train ride through the Naugatuck River Valley. Leave time to tour the displays at the train depot and explore the charming village of Thomaston.

Railroad Museums and Train Exhibits in Pennsylvania

New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

32 W. Bridge St., New Hope, Bucks County
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Hours: Hourly Excursions offered Saturday-Sunday, 10am-2pm; see the website for a year-round schedule.
Cost: Varies dependent on trip, visit website to view more.

Travel back in time to the Golden Era of steam railroading on hourly excursions as you traverse the rolling hills and valleys of historic Bucks County aboard an authentic steam locomotive or historic diesel locomotive.

Train rides are about 45 minutes and include narration about the history of Bucks County and the New Hope train line. (Tip: It’s worth the upgrade fee to ride in the outdoor car!

Strasburg Rail Road

301 Gap Road, Ronks
Hours: Hours vary by day and season; open daily, April-June. Visit the website to reserve your ride.
Cost: varies by experience

Enjoy a 45-minute train ride on America’s oldest short-line railroad, through the serene Amish countryside to Paradise, PA and back.

Choose to ride in a first-class, open-air, coach, or dining car (prices range from $2-$20), with an accompanying audio experience that will provide interesting facts and history about that unique railroad.

Choo Choo Barn

226 Gap Road (Route 741 East), Strasburg
Hours: Through Dec. 31: daily, 10am-4pm. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas days. See website for full schedule.
Cost: $10; $6children ages 3-11; $6 active and retired military rate; free for children younger than 3; discounts for groups of 15 or more

A short distance from the Strasburg Railroad, Choo Choo Barn’s miniature model train is great for train-lovers of all ages. The 1,700-square-foot model train layout features more than 150 hand-built animated figures and vehicles and 22 operating trains—all at a child’s-eye level.

National Toy Train Museum

300 Paradise Lane, Paradise Township
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Hours: April to December, 10 am to 5 pm daily
Cost: $8.50; $7 seniors 65 and older; $5.50 children ages 4-11; free for children younger than 4. Family discount: $24 (for two adults and three or more children or one adult and four or more children). Group rates available on request.

Designed like an old-time train station, the museum features a massive toy train collection with models dating from the 1800s to the present. With LED lighting and seven interactive train layouts, this museum features exhibits perfect for all ages.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

300 Gap Road, Ronks
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday, 12 to 4 pm
Cost: $10; $9 seniors 65 and older; $8 children ages 3-11; free for children 2 and younger

This museum features a collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and vintage railroad cars on exhibit. There’s also a railroad photography exhibit, simulated train operation demonstrations, and a children’s room with train-themed activities for the younger crowd.

Psst… NYC Summer Streets are back and bigger than ever this year!