July 03, 2013

Salamanca Rail Museum is an Experience for Train Lovers of All Ages

The Salamanca, New York train station and warehouse are alive and well to day as a functioning train and rail museum. The train station houses the museum, which included artifacts from early train travel. The station, built in 1912, has been restored with its high ceilings, the covered platforms, oak benches, metal work stone work and more. The original warehouse is being restored and will house many more artifacts documenting the history of train travel. A trip to the Salamanc Rail Museum is an experience for kids of all ages, and will leave you wanting more experiences for the trains of yesterday.

The majestic Salamanca Train station is a work of art, with its peaked roof, ornate woodwork, custom stone and metal details. You can not only see the craftsmanship in the station but the train cars, clothing, designs and artifacts in at the museum. Stan Carlson works at the museum and is more than just a tour guide. He is a walking encyclopedia on trains and the history on the lines in Western New York. He stated that he worked on trains that serviced Western New York within the past twenty years. His grandfather worked on the Western New York train lines when they actually stopped at the Ellicottville Train before it was moved and is now the popular Elliccottville Depot Restaurant. He is more than happy to share stories about the train lines, show blue prints of the Salamanca station, roundhouse and turntable, as well as tell you about the train cars and steamers that are still running in the area. Stan Carlson is also an artist; and his paintings are on display at the museum. He has been painting trains and stations for years, and one of his paintings will be used on the cover of a book from a local author. His stories paint a picture of what life was like when the steamers and deisels rolled through the station.

The Salamanca Rail Museum has several cabooses, box cars and worker cars on site. The museum is hands on, so you can walk through the cars to see the bunks, stoves, and equipment that was used when in services. Daily, Stan proudly hangs two karosene caboose lanterns on the back of their original  Pittsburgh / West Virginia line caboose. The lantern has a red lens on the back side with blue side lenses, to warn trains approaching the train from behind. The museum has conductors hats and uniforms, railroad crossing signs, railroad company logos, and a working N scale train city. The N scale train runs through a scenic countryside with many lines that can be controlled by switches. There are model trains of all sizes and even ones that sound like and smoke like a real steamer. Each year there are featured portrates, rolls in history or tributes to the trains of yesterday. The exhibits are at the museum and on their facebook page. 
The Salamanca Rail Museum is a great piece of history that is sure to please all train, history and architectural enthusiast. Kids and adults can spend hours strolling through the museum. The museum is free, but they do accept donations to help keep up the museum. The museum relies on countless hours of volunteers to help restore and preserve it's rich history. The donations go along way. They also have a gift shop with train memorabelia, kids trains, books and even Stan Carlson's accrilic paitings and prints.

Do you need lodging for your trip?
Caboose Kerosene Lantern
On your next trip out to Ellicottville,  Salamanca or anywhere in Western, New York; take a afternoon trip to visit the Salamanca Rail Museum and you will take home a piece of history. Kids and adults will love the inspiring archetecture of the station and marvel at the artifacts from the prime days of train travel in the United States. Make sure that you talk with Stan Carlson and you will become a train lover too!

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