The Paducah Railroad Museum

Have any of you ever been to a train museum? Yeah, me neither. You probably think it’s really boring or that you might get your head stuck between the train cars or something. Well, it’s not totally true. There actually is such thing as a really cool train museum and guess what, it’s located in Paducah!


The house siding was rebuilt and realigned to allow the placing of refrigerator cars at the unloading doors. For several more years, the building handled a large amount of rail freight. Paducah freight house was used as a cross-dock loading and distribution point for trucking produce from growing areas to wholesale customers in a four-state area. By the middle of 1980 changes in railroad policies toward perishable freight business, as well as new directions in the food distribution business, caused most produce businesses to move to large refrigerated trucks. In 1992, because of lack of business, the P & L removed the lead tracks from the old L & N yards at 6th and Norton St. and the building became “land-locked”. A fantastic read.


In 1993, after the Johnstons and Backus retired, they sold the building to Charles and Carolyn Simpson who renovated the warehouse and opened a large antique mall. Because of their interest in railroad history, the Simpsons upgraded the heating and air conditioning in a section of rooms on the second floor of the freight house and gave free use of it to the National Railway Historical Society to use for a railroad museum.


The Paducah Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is responsible for the operation of the Paducah, Kentucky Railroad Museum. A half-block away from the historic NC & St L (Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis) Railway Freight Depot is the location of the new facility at 2nd and Washington Streets. The museum first opened its doors in the spring of 1996 and then relocated to its current home at 2nd and Washington Streets in 2004. The Paducah Chapter meets at the Museum meeting room on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. Visitors are always welcome at the museum.


This museum is unlike any other, but don’t take my word for it. One thing that makes the Paducah Railroad Museum unique is that it has something called a cab simulator. The Paducah Railroad Museum allows visitors to have the experience of actually driving a train.


Oo-Choo-Choo, that’s the music of a steam engine! Kchoo kchoo-kchoo! You’re invited to join us here at the Paducah Railroad Museum. We’re located downtown where you can get a glimpse of the history of railroads in and around our city. Come by, get off your train, and spend a few hours learning about and touring the museum. They’re open by appointment so round up the family, pack a picnic lunch, and bring your camera for some great shots of vintage trains!