The Oklahoma Railway Museum’s mission is to provide an educational experience showing how railroading shaped Oklahoma and the nation.
The goals are as follows:
It is important to secure and preserve for posterity the disappearing artifacts, equipment, and structures of our railway heritage. The Oklahoma Railway Museum will preserve this history while teaching us how the railroads affected our lives. In addition to the physical preservation of the rail lines, equipment, and artifacts, the museum will tell the stories of the people whose lives were changed by the railroads.
At ORM’s incorporation and still today our goals are: to operate exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. To preserve the memories and images of railroading through education by; holding educational programs emphasizing all aspects of railroading; establishing and maintaining a library to preserve and make available to the membership and the public any and all kinds of written, visual, and aural materials related to all aspects of railroading; establishing and maintaining a museum for the purpose of preserving and operating any and all types of railroad equipment and memorabilia for the enjoyment and education of the membership and the public; and establishing and maintaining any other activity in furtherance of this educational purpose. To foster stimulating group discussion and the exchange of knowledge concerning railroading by sponsoring tours, trips, and excursions, and by publishing a newsletter and other publications.
The Central Oklahoma Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) was founded in 1972 by railroad enthusiasts who had interests in modeling, photography, historic preservation, and riding trains. The Chapter discussed building a museum to be an outlet for sharing their hobby with the public. The museum would also be a central repository and display space for the many artifacts and equipment the group was collecting.
A start was made when equipment was displayed behind the Kirkpatrick Center in the 1980’s until that facility expanded. Seed money for the museum was raised between 1987 – 1995 by running the Watonga Chief Dinner and passenger trains on the AT&L Railroad and running the Union Pacific historic E9 Diesel locomotives and passenger car fleet with seating for over 1600.
In the spring of 1997, the Chapter began working with the Center for Non-Profit Organizations to develop a business plan for the establishment of a railway museum. Also, the Chapter began a partnership with the Central Oklahoma Parking and Transportation Authority (COPTA) for use of the old M-K-T tracks from NE 16th Street to NE 36st Street. During the first year, volunteers donated over 890 hours to clean and restore the right of way which included the Oklahoma City school yard siding where equipment was stored. Thus, the ability to operate excursion trains started.
With this work underway, a piece of property was located along the line in early 1999. Members raised $50,000 to improve the site, purchase track materials, a 1905 depot, and to make plans to move our equipment to the site. The Chapter at this time changed its name to the Oklahoma Railway Museum, Ltd., the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the NRHS (ORM).
Between 2000 and the present, the Museum has grown from one operating locomotive to four. The passenger car fleet and cabooses can handle almost 400 passengers per train. ORM is handling a growing number of passengers annually, from approximately 150 in 2003 to almost 25,000 in 2014.
Railroad operations are under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), The American Association for State and Local History, (AASLH), the Oklahoma Museum Association (OMA), the Association of Tourist Railroads & Railway Museums (ATRRM), the National Railway Historic Society (NRHS), Frontier Country Tourism Association, and is an associate member of the Adventure District of Oklahoma City.
1. Visibility. Much of our needs can be met with greater visibility within our community. We believe visibility will strengthen every area of our organization. From increased membership which will in turn bring more volunteers to increased attendance that will raise funds to continue to enhance and expand our museum.
2. Partners. We feel to be successful in our community, we need to be more involved with it. We welcome new partnerships in our community so that we can be a better servant to our community.
3. Staff/Professional services: Our museum is currently in a planning stage for a museum expansion project. Additional staff or the offer of professional services such as: Help with developing marketing and communication plans. Assistance with collections management.
4. Capital Campaign: We are in the early stages of developing a capital campaign to fund our museum expansion. Assistance is needed to help our board and staff with creating and launching a successful campaign.
The Oklahoma Railway Museum is a young Museum. Our roots go back to our incorporation as the Central Oklahoma Railfan Club in 1976, but the museum was not started until 2000. Since then, our board and very involved volunteers have managed and grown our museum. As we continue to grow, we will evaluate the need for an Executive Director, but at this time we currently do not have an Executive Director.
The members of the Oklahoma Railway Museum (ORM) have worked extremely hard the last 16 years to get the museum to where it is today. We have several successful events that serve the community including: Train rides throughout the summer, Day Out With Thomas© event and train ride, and our Halloween and Christmas train ride events. ORM is in a position to expand our physical size to allow us to better serve our community. Our focus is the education of our visitors about our railroad history and how it shaped Oklahoma and the nation. Our current challenge is lack of display buildings and areas. We are currently planning our museum expansion that will allow for additional educational displays. This is a huge undertaking for a small group of volunteers. We are actively pursuing and working with community organizations to assist us such as The Center for Non-Profits and The Oklahoma Group. I am relatively new to the Oklahoma Railway Museum, but I have seen the fruits of our member’s labor. They have performed almost the impossible reviving 3.5 miles of mainline railroad tracks. Some of which were buried underneath a foot of dirt and debris. I believe this group has the drive to make the Oklahoma Railway Museum meet our dreams and more.
When I started volunteering for the Oklahoma Railway Museum, I have no aspirations to be in a position of leadership, much less the President. As I worked closely with the volunteers, their dreams and aspirations became what I wanted as well. I don’t think I have met a more dedicated group of individuals that have poured so much time, work, and their own hard earned money into such a worthwhile organization.
At Oklahoma Railway Museum's incorporation and still today our goals are: to operate exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. To preserve the memories and images of railroading through education by; holding educational programs emphasizing all aspects of railroading;
The Oklahoma Railway Museum's education program serves students of all ages in the community by providing engaging and enriching education experiences throughout the year. Education at Oklahoma Railway Museum' has three main areas of focus: Interpretation, which provides meaning for works of art and is delivered through gallery labels, didactic panels and gallery guides, audio guides, and catalogs; Education, which complements formal, school-based curriculum for grades Pre-K through 12 and is delivered through docent-guided tours, resource guides, and a Traveling Truck of resources for teachers; The Oklahoma railway Museum also puts on a Railroading Merit Badge program to assist Boy Scouts and others to learn skills, find inspiration to pursue a career and explore fields of study and interest beyond the limits of the school classroom.
It is important to secure and preserve for posterity the disappearing artifacts, equipment, and structures of our railway heritage. The Oklahoma Railway Museum will preserve this history while teaching us how the railroads affected our lives. In addition to the physical preservation of the rail lines, equipment, and artifacts, the museum will tell the stories of the people whose lives were changed by the railroads. From those who rode the railroad to a new life in a raw new territory, to those who worked the rails, there are many memories to be preserved. Those stories must be captured while the people who lived them, can tell them.
The vision of a permanent museum of railroading in Oklahoma City was realized in 2000, with the incorporation of the Oklahoma Railway Museum (formerly the Central Oklahoma Railfan Club). The Museum's collection includes equipment, depot structures, blueprints, maps, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and books, focusing on railroading in Oklahoma but also nationally.
The Oklahoma Railway Museum’s mission is to provide an educational experience of how railroad’s shaped Oklahoma and the nation. A large part of this is the establishment and maintenance of an operating museum. This will allow us to preserve and operate all types of railroad equipment and display memorabilia for the enjoyment and education of public and our membership. Oklahoma Railway Museum uses train rides to educate the public, especially children, about travel and the history of railroads.
At Oklahoma Railway Museum's incorporation and still today our goals are: to operate exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. To preserve the memories and images of railroading through education by; holding educational programs emphasizing all aspects of railroading; establishing and maintaining a library to preserve and make available to the membership and the public any and all kinds of written, visual, and aural materials related to all aspects of railroading.
Since 2006 she is the owner and Textile Conservator of Murray Conservation Services in Oklahoma City. She has worked at various Smithsonian museums including the National Museum of American History (NMAH) working on the Military Uniform Re-housing Project and The Star Spangled Banner Project. She was a two year Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Textile Conservation at the National Museum of the American Indian. Anne attended New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, Conservation Center with a concentration in textile conservation. She received her BA in Anthropology and Art History at the University of Colorado in 1997.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
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