Railroad History Brought to Life

The Scottsdale Railroad Museum captures generations of railroad history into a unique, one-of-a-kind attraction.  The museum consists of the historic Peoria Depot, the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car and a number of other railroad artifacts and memorabilia that’s sure to bring the history of railroads to life.  Admission to the museum is free for all park visitors.

Railroad Park exhibit captures the gratitude and personal history of World War II France

Visitors to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park from October until May will be able to view a special thank you message steeped in history and sacrifice.

In 1948, not long after the conclusion of World War II, the residents of France packed 49 rail cars full of donated items and delivered one to each U.S. state well as Washington D.C. as a way of saying thanks to Americans for their support. The gifts were known as Merci Cars.  The cars arrived in New York City on February 3, 1949.

Arizona’s Merci Car has been on display at the railroad park since 1989. In October, the original contents of that car will also go on display at the park, part of a rotating display made possible through a partnership with the Arizona Capitol Museum.

The Merci Car exhibit will feature personal items from the residents of France dating from this historic period – toys, books, clothing and thank you notes that express a nation’s gratitude for U.S. support. This exciting new exhibit will be unveiled during the re-opening of the newly renovated Scottsdale Railroad Museum.

Engine No. 6

Magma Arizona Railroad Engine No. 6 hauled copper ore from Superior to Magma, Arizona for 38 years. Built in October 1907 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the hard working 2-6-0 engine served the mining railroads of Arizona for 54 years before being retired in January 1960. Engine No. 6 was purchased by the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society in 1977 and is the only Arizona & New Mexico engine remaining in Arizona.

The Roald Amundsen Pullman Car

The Roald Amundsen Pullman Car was built in 1928 for $205,000. As one of the last cars built by the Pullman Company, the Roald Amundsen is best known for being used by every president from Herbert Hoover through Dwight Eisenhower. It was on this car in 1940 that President Franklin Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister W. L. McKenzie King signed the agreement that provided for the joint defense of North America, now known as NORAD. The car was donated to the park in 1971 by Mr. and Mrs. Franz Talley. The car has been placed on the National Historic Register.

The Peoria Depot

The historic Peoria Depot is the entry way to the Scottsdale Railroad Museum.  In service for The Santa Fe Railroad from 1894 to 1972, the Peoria Depot was moved to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in 1974 from its original location on 83rd Avenue just off of Grand Avenue.  Fully renovated, the Peoria Depot now houses a large portion of our historic train artifacts and memorabilia and offers museum goers an insight into Arizona, national and international railroad history.

The Baggage Car

The Baggage Car houses a large portion of the Scottsdale Railroad Museum’s most precious items.   One of four dining cars built in 1914 by the Pullman Company for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; it was converted to carry baggage during World War II.  The Santa Fe Baggage-express car is typical of those utilized throughout the Santa Fe System. The car was purchased and moved to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in 1982 by the Scottsdale Railroad & Mechanical Society.

The Gabe Brooks Machine Shop

The Gabe Brooks Machine Shop was built in 1930 by Mr. Brooks, widely considered the finest machinist in the country during World War II. Guests are able to see original machining equipment used by Gabe Brooks himself on display in this 20 foot by 20 foot workshop. It offers a view into the past of machining and into the mind of a true genius. It is a truly one of a kind exhibit.