Capital Campaign - National Railroad Museum

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Preserve. Educate. Inspire.

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The National Railroad Museum Capital Campaign

Addressing Emerging Needs for the Future

The Museum has experienced sustained growth, with more than 85,000 visitors in 2015, and we continue to strategically expand our offerings to meet the need of a changing and diverse community. The Museum currently cannot accommodate multiple programs at once, and much of the existing exhibit space is virtually inaccessible during the winter months, and cannot preserve, store, and display Museum objects and rolling stock using best practices developed by the American Alliance of Museums. 

Between 2010 and 2015, general Museum attendance, education program participation, community-hosted event attendance, and items in the collection all increased.  Unfortunately, during the same period, the Museum’s facilities did not grow to accommodate the increased activity.  

  • Educational Program Growth . . .89%

  • Community Event Growth . . . . . 43%

  • Total Attendance Growth . . . . 31%

  • Museum Collection Growth . . . 18%

  • Facilities Growth……………………..0%

Due to the growth and emerging needs, the Museum will need

  • To meet the rapidly growing visitor numbers.

  • To expand educational programming to meet current & future demands.

  • To provide a state-of-the-art facility for the indoor, year-round preservation, display, and expansion of the collection.

  • To provide for engaging,technology-interactive spaces for both educational programming, and community gatherings.

  • To provide the necessary future for a self-sustaining and financially strong 501(c) (3) educational & cultural organization, and tourist destination..

“My experience at the National Railroad Museum has been an extraordinary career maker. I am a locomotive engineer for Canadian National Railway… I am a firm believer this would have never happened if it weren’t for my positive Museum experiences.”

—Tyler Aldrich, patron and volunteer

Project Vision and Highlights

The completed project will address Phase 1 of a strategic master site plan that will address many of the Museum’s emerging needs. The expanded, iconic round house-type facility will…
  • Create a sense of wonder, engagement and immediate recognition,

  • Support year-round accessibility, exhibit, and programming opportunities,

  • Offer a larger rolling stock gallery that will house approximately 70 percent of the Museum’s collection that was once displayed in the 44 year old, open air McCormick Pavilion, and an exciting center track turntable,

  • Provide expanded exhibit, educational, and gathering spaces that will support students of all ages to explore and learn , and the community to gather and celebrate together, and  

  • Expand the reach of our educational mission by increasing the number of individuals and groups we serve through programs, as well as volunteer opportunities and internships.  

Donate Today!

“The Museum is so accommodating, accessible, and simply a great place to visit and learn … We are extremely fortunate to be the Museum’s neighbor.”

—Maria Arena,Principal, Cormier School

Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning

by providing dynamic educational opportunities through the preservation of railroad objects, engaging exhibits and innovative programs. 

A unique collection of over 100,000 items including 70 pieces of rolling stock, railroad photographs, manuscripts and smaller railroad objects is maintained at the Museum campus. The Museum is home of the renowned Dwight D. Eisenhower locomotive and Union Pacific Railroad Big-Boy, as well as the Pullman Porters: From Service to Civil Rights exhibit.

The National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin dates back to 1956, when community leaders advanced the concept of a national museum dedicated to American railroad history. In 1958, a joint-resolution of Congress recognized the Museum as the National Railroad Museum. Since then, the Museum has operated as a privately funded 501(c) (3) educational institution. What began as an effort to acquire a single steam locomotive for a city park has grown into one of the largest, and the ONLY nationally-designated railroad museum in the United States. It is also one of the only nationally-designated museums of any kind in the Midwest!  Over 85,000 visitors enjoy the Museum each year. Be a part of helping us grow!

Donate Today!

“My family has a long history of train engineering, so it naturally interests me and my family … We have made the Museum a family affair and my children can climb aboard the trains, walk among them, touch them, sit in them … they are learning history that can’t be taught in book.  We wish the Museum was bigger as to accommodate more programs!”

—Wojtyla Family

The National Railroad Museum's Impact

The Museum has a significant positive impact on individuals, families, education, the economy, and the sense of community in the region, as well as reaches out nationally and internationally among its 85,000 visitors. The Museum is one of the top three tourist destinations in the area, and the expansion will only enhance its presence. 

Educational impact:

Educational program participation has increased by 89% within the last 6 years, providing outreach education to school groups, scouting organizations, youth groups,after school programs, child care centers, retirement groups, tour groups, railroad enthusiast groups, and colleges and universities.

Economic impact of Museum Visitors:

Current Impact 

  • 85,000 visitors in 2015
  • ~70% from outside of Brown County (59,500)
  • Each visitor spends ~$114 * 
  • $6,783,000 contributed to the local economy by NRM visitors 
  • * Figure from GB Visitors & Convention Bureau

Future Impact (post-project)

  • 125,000 visitors 
  • ~70% from outside of Brown County (87,500)
  • Each visitor spends ~$120 (estimate in 2018)
  • $10,500,000 (55% increase in contribution to local economy) 

“My Museum experience has been the greatest influence on my education and career choice … I hope to become a museum researcher or curator after college.”

—Erick Konop, patron and volunteer

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