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Why a model railroad museum?

Independence, Missouri, the home of Missouri Model Railroad Museum, is known as “Queen City of the Trails” for its role as a “jumping off” point for three principal trails so important in our nation’s westward expansion. With the advent of the Transcontinental Railroad, wagon trains gave way to steam-powered trains and westward expansion went from trails to rails. Soon, railroads crisscrossed Missouri and the state came to have an extensive rail system, impacting not only the state, but the region and the nation. Present-day Missouri continues as an important rail hub. To this point in time, Missouri has not had a museum telling the history of railroads in the state and region and celebrating the role played by railroads in America’s greatness, and it has needed one badly. Missouri Model Railroad Museum looks forward to filling that void as we make history come to life.

Where will the Museum be located?

The Museum will be in the historic Waggoner-Gates Mill, the current home of the National Frontier Trails Museum, which will be moving from the location as part of the National Frontier Trails Museum Master Plan. The address of the Museum will be: 312 W. Pacific Avenue, Independence, Missouri.

When will the Museum open?

Embarking on a journey into the heart of railroad history, the Missouri Model Railroad Museum announces it’s soft opening on May 11th and 12th, coinciding with the celebration of National Train Day. While the museum awaits its full operational status, enthusiasts and curious minds alike are invited to partake in this exclusive preview.

“See the Dream” echoes through the halls as visitors immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of railroad artifacts, artwork, educational films and scale model displays. As the museum unfolds its narrative, patrons will glimpse the aspirations and innovations that shaped the world’s railway systems. Join us on this inaugural voyage, where each exhibit offers a glimpse into the past, present, and future of train travel in Missouri.

I like the idea of a museum, what can I do to help?

We have a marvelous building facility for the museum, but aside from that, we’re a “start-from-scratch” operation.‍

  • We need donations of time from talented, creative, enthusiastic volunteer modelers to design and construct layouts in all aspects of the build – decks, ballast, rail, wiring, scenery, etc.
  • Volunteers are also needed to research the histories of the railroads of interest to the Museum.
  • For those who can’t donate time, we need monetary donations for projects and programs.
  • We need donations of model railroad items and railroad memorabilia and railroad artifacts.

(Note: Missouri Model Railroad Museum deeply and sincerely appreciates the efforts of the Independence City Council, City Manager, and Independence Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department in making the Museum a reality.)

Is MMRM an IRS 501(c)(3) organization?

Absolutely. MMRM is incorporated as a Missouri Non-profit corporation and is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) charitable/educational organization. All donations of cash and/or property are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted.

Programs and operations at the Missouri Model Railroad Museum wouldn’t be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers and donors. When you volunteer and/or donate, you enter a community that shares a passion and commitment to railroad history and model railroading. We are proud of our partnership with the City of Independence, Missouri; it provides the necessary building blocks to help make our dreams a reality.

Volunteer opportunities include working with museum artifacts, displays, and museum events. Or, join our group of craftsmen who will be working on the museums HO scale model railroad layout.You can be one of the framers, track layers, electrical experts and scenery designers. If you’re a Master Modeler, you could be a team leader in helping to build one of the best model railroads in the country.

For updates and more information regarding the Missouri Model Railroad Museum, please enter your contact information below and you’ll be on the inside track for the latest updates on this unique railroad themed museum.

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The Museum will be in the historic Waggoner-Gates Mill, the current home of the National Frontier Trails Museum, which will be moving from the location as part of the National Frontier Trails Museum Master Plan.