We’re definitely not as bad as Sheldon, but we do like trains. I plan to see all the great mountain ranges by train before I die.
So, naturally we had to veer off the interstate to visit The Historic Rail Park: Train Museum and L&N Depot in Bowling Green on our way home from Nashville.
As luck would have it, the monthly meeting was happening that very Saturday morning and 1. the museum was open early, 2. a guest speaker was lecturing on how he lives on a caboose (a moving caboose, that gets towed behind trains, ya know – not a parked in the backyard, rusty caboose), and 3. they had o.j. and doughnuts. Since we interrupted their monthly meeting we didn’t feel right about eating their breakfast and just walked as quietly as possible through the museum during his talking points. Very awkward.
As far as museums go, though, this one was tidy, bright, and manageable. The two-story building showcased model trains, period posters, informational exhibits and restored waiting areas and ticket windows (two of each, since it operated during segregation).
The best part of this pit stop, however, was outside.
I took about 800 mediocre photos of the train tour but will only bore you with these few selections. Our tour was private, since we were the only fools up that early and young enough to walk up the train stairs, and guided by a knowledgeable young man who was very excited about his upcoming trip to D.C. with his 4H Club. He dutifully led us through the Railway Post Office Car, Dining Car, Sleeper Car and Office Car and answered any of the lame questions we mustered up. I suspect he has never given a tour to folks who know less about trains. We were an embarrassment to true train enthusiasts everywhere. Regardless, everyone there treated us newbies with respect and I highly recommend you swing in to the museum next time you’re in the area – or need to stretch your legs on a four hour car ride.