Opinion | Patrick Brower: Some exciting additions at Moffat Road Railroad Museum
Grand Enterprise Initiative
If all goes according to plan, there are some exciting additions coming to the Moffat Road Railroad Museum in Granby that will help make Granby even more of a destination town for locals and visitors.
Before I go into exactly what’s being planned I’ll have to confess that I’ve been putting in some extra time at the Moffat Road Railroad Museum through my work as Enterprise Facilitator, helping the museum’s Executive Director Dave Naples with the museum’s expansions.
So perhaps I’m a little biased in touting what’s in store for the museum, which is located at the Granby Kaibab Park complex (by the ballfields). The museum offers an extensive model train layout, Shay locomotive, a restored caboose, a true steam “train crane” and many other artifacts and displays that inform and entertain museum patrons about the value of the Moffat Road Railroad in Grand County. It’s an interesting, informative and entertaining place.
The first new item for the museum, which is set to be put in place this summer, is a family train ride that was purchased for the museum with the help of a Moffat Road Railroad Museum benefactor who sees the value of the vision for the train museum as a Disney-type, train-focused attraction. This train ride will be a small scale train ride powered by a custom-designed locomotive that resembles the original steam engines used on the old Moffat Road.
The train ride will allow families to take a ride on a fun train that passes through the Moffat Road Railroad Museum grounds in Granby. This will surely be a family priority for kids and kids-at-heart who will enjoy a railroad-type diversion right in town.
The train ride completion and delivery to Granby, which was originally scheduled to be in Granby by the summer of 2021, was setback due to major delays in supply chain and manufacturing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But finishing touches are being put on the train now and we are hoping for delivery in early July.
Dovetailing nicely with the train project is the planned relocation of the historic Dumont Depot to the site of the Moffat Road Railroad Museum in Granby, where it will serve as a ticket booth for the family train ride, a community events center and a place for rotating museum exhibits.
The Dumont Depot has been donated to the Moffat Road Railroad Museum, but it sits in Dumont on a foundation and it must be moved from that location by the end of August. Dave Naples and I have been working hard to raise funds to pay for the depot relocation, remodel and renovation of the depot.
Plans now are that the depot will be moved in two pieces from its location in Dumont and placed on a foundation at the museum grounds in Granby. The depot is a true and historically accurate (it was built in 1902) depot from the era of the Moffat Railroad. David Moffat, the railroader and financier of the Moffat Road, also helped with financing of the rail line where the depot sat in Dumont.
The Dumont Depot was an active depot for the trains that ran up and down Clear Creek in the mining days. It was part of the Colorado and Southern narrow gauge railroad. It was also the post office for Dumont at one time. Once complete, the Depot will offer a great community meeting space that is historically accurate for the Moffat Road.
In tandem with these developments is the ongoing work on an HO scale model layout of the Moffat Road Railroad all the way from East Portal to Craig. It shows the layout and geography of the Moffat Road when it passed over the Continental Divide, making it the highest railroad in the world. The layout also shows the current Moffat Tunnel placement and orientation.
These are exciting new developments for what is already an excellent destination for locals and visitors in Granby.
Even better, these new additions are working to help make Granby a “destination” town in Grand County and on the Western Slope, helping to boost visitor revenues and visits to Granby and the county.
Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He is also the author of “KILLDOZER: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage.” He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.