In our nearly two decades of fulltime RV travel we made it a point to get off the interstates whenever possible to travel the two lane roads. The pace is slower and you will get a chance to see many wonderful small towns and the treasures they hold.
One such treasure was the DeQuincy Railroad Museum in the friendly little town of DeQuincy, Louisiana. If you are a railroad buff, this is a place you really need to put on your bucket list.
Housed in the handsome 1923 Kansas City Southern Railroad Depot, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum’s displays of railroad memorabilia and rolling stock are well worth your time to visit.
The depot includes an agent/ticket office, two passenger waiting rooms with original floors and benches for seating, and a baggage room (below) filled with tools and railroad artifacts from days gone by. The depot’s upstairs rooms, originally used as offices for railroad employees, are now used for storage.
Standing in the waiting rooms, it’s easy to feel what it must have been like to come to the depot to welcome friends and family members to town, or to see others off who were heading out on some grand adventure. Displays in the waiting rooms include old railroad lanterns, train schedules, and some beautiful railroad themed artwork.
There is also an impressive display of model railroad equipment, including both steam and diesel locomotives.
For anyone doing research on railroads and railroad history, the depot is a treasure trove of railroad records, timetables, and photographs. The museum’s collection of books about railroads in general could keep you reading for years.
Outside the depot building itself visitors will find a beautiful steam locomotive built in 1913 for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Behind the locomotive is an International Car Company caboose that saw service with the St. Louis-Southwestern Railroad, better known as the Cotton Belt, which was a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific. This particular unit was known as an extended vision caboose because of the overhanging cupola, designed to give the conductor a better view of the train.
A second caboose is also on display, this one a 1950 vintage used by the Missouri Pacific and the Union Pacific and Western Pacific Railroads.
Before the days of airplanes and superhighways, trains were the most popular method of travel, and the museum has an 85 foot long 44 passenger Pullman car built in 1947 and used by the Santa Fe railroad.
It was what was known as a coach car and included two restrooms and two lounges where passengers could relax and enjoy their trip.
A small park next to the depot has playground equipment and picnic tables to relax at before or after your tour of the museum.
The railroad helped build DeQuincy, and the railroad industry continues to play a major role in the community. Every year DeQuincy is home to the Louisiana Railroad Days Festival, held at the depot the second weekend in April. If you’re anywhere in the area and you like railroads, this is something you don’t want to miss.
Railroading is still an active part of life in DeQuincy, and locals and visitors alike enjoy sitting at the stage located at the east end of the depot watching the trains of the Kansas City Southern Railway pass by.
A mile west of the depot is another good train viewing spot known as CS Junction. It is there that the east-west Union Pacific tracks merge with the Kansas City Southern Railway lines.
Located in DeQuincy’s historic downtown, the museum is at 400 Lake Charles Avenue and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, except for holidays. Admission is free and there are areas to park an RV near the depot. For more information, call (337) 786-2823.
Congratulations Karin Huth, winner of our drawing for an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. We had 63 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – A mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant.