RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Today’s Kids Corner segment takes us back to the Science Museum of Virginia. This very location on Broad Street is rich in history, with its roots dating back to 1917. But it’s not for the reason that many of us know it today. In 2015, children and adults alike come here to learn about science. But nearly 100 years ago, it was bustling Broad Street train station, one of two main train stations in Richmond.
Ground broke on the train station in 1917 and it opened to the public for the first time January 6, 1919. To celebrate the history of the building, the science museum will be hosting the 38th annual model railroad show Thanksgiving weekend.
“People get to come and check out 7 different model train layouts that we have spread throughout our rotunda and side rooms. There’s miniature cities, really cool on display train cars that people get a chance to see,” says Katie Gantt, Manager of Special Projects and Inspiration at the museum.
The Learjet of train travel back in the day made with mahogany wood throughout, you can tour the O&E train car.
“This is reserved for the higher ranking members of the RF&P, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad company, so the president of the railroad would ride this back and forth to Washington Redskins games in Washington, DC back in the day,” Gantt says.
Truly incredible what luxury these passengers rode in, Gantt tells us that “this one can sleep comfortably seven people, there’s actually beds right overhead here that you can pull down in the living quarters here and there are several bedrooms in the back including the presidential suite.”
Along with touring actual train cars, there are plenty of other things to do too.
“We’re also really excited that we’re going to have Clydesdales on-site Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re also going to have trackless train rides on Friday only, and a blacksmith on site … so that’s a really cool things for guests to experience while they’re here,” she said.
The model railroad show is included in museum admission, and will be happening the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.