About the Empire State Railway Museum
From the late 1800's through the 1940's the rugged steam locomotives of the Ulster & Delaware; Catskill Mountain Railroad; New York Central; New York, Ontario & Western; and Delaware & Northern climbed their steep and winding mountain grades bound for the grand hotels and humble boarding houses of the Catskills Mountains. They returned with lumber, bluestone, dairy and agricultural products of the region for transport to the New York City metropolitan area. ESRM is dedicated to bringing alive the history of these railroads, their people and the towns they served, to the residents and visitors of the Catskill Mountains and the greater Hudson Valley.
Chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1960, the ESRM established residence in the former Ulster & Delaware station in Phoenicia, New York in 1984. Built in 1899, the historic structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It houses the Museum's summer exhibition of photos, films and artifacts. Three antique railway cars are currently being restored in Phoenicia: A 1900's Boston & Maine wooden baggage car, a 54-foot Central Vermont 1929 automobile-carrying box car (one of the earliest of its kind), and many others.
The newest addition to our museum complex is the Catskill Mountain Live Steamers, our 7.25" gauge live ride-on train, powered by either our model diesel or live steam locomotive. Tickets are $3.00 each and small children must have a parent accompany them. Hours are 11:00 a.m. until museum close.
Museum members are invited to learn railroading firsthand by attending seminars and participating in work sessions on locomotive and rolling stock resotration. Work continues on the restoration of our 1910 Alco 2-8-0 Consolidation-type steam locomotive located near Kingston, New York. It is our goal to one day have Engine #23 pulling excursions along the Ashokan Reservoir, offering spectacular vistas of the Catskill Mountains for a new generation of adventurers to enjoy. In the meantime, the Catskill Mountain Railroad's Esopus Scenic Train will give visitors a taste of what's to come.
Thank you for visiting our site. Don't forget to stop by the Museum Gift Shop. Also, please consider supporting our efforts by becoming a member of our museum. We are a non-profit organization that depends on the generocity and support of its members.