It’s been in the works for years although Truckee’s rich railroad history started making its indelible mark on the development of the mountain town in 1867.
Located next to the new California Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce in downtown, the museum currently consists of a caboose from the Sierra Pacific Railroad line that was used in the area.
The caboose is an interim museum with the goal to move it and other cars to the planned Railyard development east of downtown. As a tribute to Truckee’s cultural heritage, the museum includes photos, exhibits, and memorabilia celebrating the impact of the railroad on the development of Truckee.
“Truckee is really here because of the railroad. Off of this came the logging industry, then the ice industry, the railroad was intertwined with all of Truckee’s economy 100 to 150 years ago,” said Bob Bell, president of the Truckee Donner Railroad Society. “And the railroad will continue to impact us for the foreseeable future.”
The Truckee Donner Railroad Society has been restoring the caboose, and has already collected a Pullman Sleeper Car, diesel switcher, rotary snow plow and logging train to provide a broader overview of the role the railroad played in Truckee. Restoration of these pieces will continue by the Truckee Donner Railroad Society.
The Truckee Railroad Museum will work to preserve and educate the public about the important historical connection between logging and the railroad as well as the railroads’ critical function in snow removal. The museum will be open weekends and on Truckee Thursdays at no charge. Donations are greatly appreciated.
Photos courtesy of the Truckee Donner Historical Society.