The Oklahoma Railway Museum is a 501c3 tax exempt non-profit organization. It is self-funded through memberships, train fares, special events, donations, and grants for restoration projects. If you would like to contribute to the museum please contact the Museum Administrator. Planned giving is also encouraged.
The Oklahoma Railway Museum’s mission is to provide an educational experience of railroads and how they shaped Oklahoma and the nation.
Our goals are:
- Continue to expand and maintain an Oklahoma rail transportation museum
- Provide an exciting, educational experience about rail transportation: our past, present, and future
- Provide an experience of preservation and restoration
- Operate a working railway system
- Create partnerships with people, communities and organizations
There has always been a certain fascination with railways in North America and the significant impact of those railways on our lives. There are many people who remember their first ride on a train or their first sighting of a railroad car. Others remember the steam engines billowing smoke and the sounds and smells of the station.
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.
Oklahoma’s location as a crossroads of the nation affected our history as a territory and later a state. By 1888 Oklahoma was crisscrossed with rail lines. The railroad was used during the land run of 1889 by pioneers who jumped off the train to stake their claim to land. Railroads brought settlers into the center of the country, and brought their agricultural goods back east. Transportation has always paralleled economic progress and the railroad has been called “the fundamental innovation of our time”.
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; 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.