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Your support makes a difference!

The National Railroad Museum® opened its doors in 1956 and received a Congressional designation as a national museum two years later, making it the only nationally designated museum in the Mid-West.

Despite its designation, the National Railroad Museum® receives no federal, state or local tax support funds supporting its operations come from admissions, grants, fundraising events, mission-related business activities, and through the generosity of private donors.

What began as an effort to bring a steam locomotive to a city park has grown into one of the most distinguished rail museums in the country. Serving more than 105,000 visitors annually, its professional staff 20 full and part-time employees and more than 300 volunteers, provide dynamic educational programming for all ages through throughout its preservation of more than 100,000 railroad objects, engaging, interactive exhibits and innovative programs.

Throughout the years, the Museum also partners with many area schools to provide programs for individuals with special needs, those within at-risk demographics, and STEM programs for both boys and girls.

Donations go to support general Museum operations, restoration projects, and education programs.

Here are a few examples of how donations have made a difference:

  • $15.00 – Craft supplies for story time for ages 2-5 years-old
  • $25.00 – Bag of Fun for a family with the Howe Community Resource Center
  • $50.00 – Provides a 1-hour in-school program for an at-risk school
  • $100.00 – Sends ONE 5-7-year-old to Fireman Summer Camp
  • $150.00 – Pays for busing for an at-risk class to attend a program at the Museum
  • $200.00 – Provides admission for 30 students to the Museum

Railroads have touched every aspect of life, ranging from the products on the store shelves to the scientific advancements that enhance our lives. Museums have a unique ability to connect with those who may not strive within a traditional classroom setting, spark ideas, and strengthen intergenerational connections within families. We believe that in order to grow, we need to PRESERVE the past, EDUCATE the present, and INSPIRE the future generation of leaders and thinkers.

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