Lehnis Railroad Museum rolling into summer activities

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
From left, Clint Welch, 6, of Bangs, Logan Wright, 5, of Brownwood and twins Drake and Wyatt Stephenson, 6, of Comanche, are among campers building a model railroad outside the Lehnis Railroad Museum Wednesday afternoon.
Crystal Stanley

With summer barely underway, it’s an active time for the Lehnis Railroad Museum.

“We’ve got lots of stuff happening,” said Crystal Stanley, director of the Museum and Visitors Center. “The next three months are pretty busy.”

The train museum, at 700 E. Adams in Brownwood, recently began serving as the city’s Visitors Center.

The Visitors Center occupies the lobby area near the railroad museum's entrance. While the center is open on Mondays, the museum is keeping its normal hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The mini-train, which normally operates on Saturdays, is also giving rides on Fridays through the summer.

Summer activities include a model railroad camp for children ages 5-13, which began Wednesday and ends Friday. The camp, which is outdoors, returned this after being cancelled last summer because of COVID. The campers are split into two groups, with one group building a G Scale model railroad, and the other group building an HO-sized railroad.

Other summer events include

• Saturday, July 19 — Donuts with Dad in honor of Father’s Day. 

• Saturday, July 31 — Lehnis’ Ridiculous Rails, formerly known as Harry Potter Days.

• Mid-August to Mid-September — traveling exhibit from the Union Pacific Railroad Museum called Move Over, Sir. The exhibit is tailored to the needs of small towns and institutions, schools, courthouses, senior citizens centers and libraries, the museum’s website states.

Weekend events will be held along with the exhibit, Stanely said.

Additionally, the railroad museum’s display of five signal lights, which were donated by BNSF Railway, will be working soon thanks to the efforts of an electrician.

Visitors to the museum will be able to see the lights operate by pushing buttons. 

“All five will be working,” Stanley said. “Each light will do a different color and some of them will flash. It’s just for display but they are real signal lights.”

Stanley also hopes to pick up the pace on the mural she began working on in January. “The rain put me behind, and then I lost a staff member,” Stanley said. “I have been picking up all of those extra hours.”

A new staff member is about to begin work at the museum, and Stanley said she hopes to “get the ball rolling” on the mural and have it completed by the end of summer.