Photo courtesy of Arizona Railway Museum
All aboard! Train lovers and history buffs of all ages are invited to climb aboard and explore the glory days of local and long-distance travel on America’s railways during the Fall Rail Festival in Chandler.
The celebration will be held Saturday, Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arizona Railway Museum, 330 E. Ryan Rd. The free public event is hosted each year by volunteers of the museum, located in the southwest corner of Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park.
Fall Rail Festival will include displays of artifacts and memorabilia, tours of vintage railcars and a large sale of railroad books, magazines, and timetables at very affordable prices. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Visitors will learn about the historical importance of railroads from museum volunteers who will explain the type of work that is required to restore and refurbish these railcars to keep them “alive” as a testament to the glory days of rail passenger travel. Several cars feature interior displays of the typical accommodations for the traveling public, including seating, sleeping arrangements, and dining facilities, complete with custom-made railroad dining car china.
The museum’s diesel locomotive will be open, giving visitors the opportunity to blow the horn, and Chandler’s historic #2562 steam locomotive also will be on display. Outdoor displays will include a wide variety of railroad signs, signals, and mining equipment.
The museum’s standard entrance fee is waived for the Fall Rail Festival. However, donations from the public and local businesses are greatly appreciated. Visitors should access the event on Ryan Road, from Arizona Avenue or McQueen Road. Parking is free. Although the display building and restrooms are ADA Compliant, due to the historic nature of the equipment, access to the railroad cars is not ADA Compliant.
The Arizona Railway Museum is normally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, September through May. It is closed during the summer. For more information about the museum, visit azrymuseum.org or call 480-821-1108.