This New Mexico Toy Train Depot Will Captivate Your Imagination No Matter Your Age
Sometimes the off-beat attractions turn out to be the most worthwhile. This train attraction in Alamogordo is often overlooked but families, train enthusiasts, and New Mexico history buffs will want to make time to visit the Toy Train Depot.
When you mix a cool model train ride with a museum, you can't help but want to learn about trains. Though it looks like a roadside attraction, the Toy Train Depot is a real museum. They preserve all kinds of trains, but they focus on Miniature Train Company trains, like you would find at an amusement park.
Their building is a real train depot. Oral history says the depot got its start in 1898, in the town of Torrance. Later (in 1912), a mule train moved the depot to Corona where it was a stop for the Southern Pacific. Finally, In 1989, the depot arrived at its current Alamogordo location in two sections where it was lovingly put back together.
One of the museum highlights is a ride on their Miniature Train Company (MTC), 1/5-scale Alamogordo/Alameda narrow gauge railway. The ride takes passengers to park stops like North Loop, Live Tree, Rosebud, and Dead Grass.
The most popular train at the museum is the 1865 Steamer. The MTC replica of a 4-4-0 American Streamer represents the type of train that helped solidify the American railroad industry. Like the miniature, in the 1800s, the American Steamer was one of the most popular trains of its time.
If you know about New Mexico's history, you know the railroad helped shape the state. At the depot you can get a feel for that history with a recreation of the railway between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. The museum volunteers know their stuff! Ask them about New Mexico's Cloud Climbing railroad or the rail route that runs right behind the museum.
Trains of all types and sizes dominate the depot but the railroad memorabilia, track artifacts, and original railway art add depth and interest to the museum. Plus, model enthusiasts and railroad fans can pick up a little something at the gift shop.
You can visit the Toy Train Depot at 1991 North White Sands Boulevard, in Alamogordo. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 5 pm. Admission is $5 and train rides are $5, or you can do both for $8 per person. Train rides run as weather permits.
Have you been to this railroad attraction? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.
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