Trip Report: St Louis Museum of Transportation

Amy’s sister Melissa was visiting over the week, so we decided to make a couple of day-trips into St Louis. On Thursday we decided to visit the Museum of Transportation. We thought Ty and Kate would enjoy riding the miniature railroad and climbing on all the big trains.image

We started out early on a very chilly morning.  When we arrived at the museum we bought our tickets for admission as well as tickets to ride the railroad. Admission was $6 for adults and $4 for kids 5-12 and seniors. Kids under 4 were free. Tickets to ride the miniature train were an addition $4. The building where you purchase tickets also contains the museum gift shop and a snack bar.

We decided to go ride the train first, so we headed over to the loading area for the tram that takes you to the train. The tram was scheduled to arrive every 20 minutes. We had just missed the last tram, so we decided to take a look inside the Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center which is right next to the tram stop.

Inside the Auto Center the museum has around a dozen classic cars on display. I was very happy to see that they had one of my personal favorites: a ’65 Chevy Corvette.  After I was done drooling, we decided to head over and check on the tram.



We had a few more minutes to wait before the tram picked us up and took us down to where you board the miniature railroad. The train is a scaled down DSCF3705 replica of a classic steam locomotive, but it apparently runs on unleaded since you can see the fueling station along the tracks. The train itself is very nice looking, but the train ride is a bit unexciting. You do pass by the train sheds where they do restoration work as well as a couple of trains in the process of being restored, but the bulk of the trip is through an empty area where the “future” visitor’s center will be. Along with this you get a few signs asking for donations. The ride was also pretty chilly since the weather was still overcast and cool. You get to make two laps before your ride is finished. Your $4 ticket is good for unlimited rides on the train, but we decided to take the tram back to check out the other exhibits.

The bulk of the museum is dedicated to the restored trains in their collection. There are quite a few locomotives and rail cars to look at. Several of the cars and locomotives are open for you to climb up in and look around. A couple of our favorites were the Union Pacific “Big-Boy”, one of the largest steam locomotives ever built, a hollowed out fuel tanker that the kids thought was fun to yell in, and one locomotive that the kids got to ring the bell in. They do also have a couple of vintage aircraft and a tug boat, but none of these are in a location that is easily accessible.



Next, we drove over to University City to have lunch at Fitz’s American Grill & Bottling Works on Delmar Ave. Amy and I had been there before years ago, and we had mentioned a couple times wanting to go back. Not only is it a good restaurant, but they actually bottle the soda right there in the restaurant, so you can watch the bottling while you eat.  Unfortunately, they were not bottling any soda while we were there for lunch.  The kids were still impressed though because their meals came out in little cardboard classic cars that they got to keep. I had one of the best Mushroom Burgers I have ever had, and we all enjoyed the Fitz’s soda. The cream soda is a personal favorite of mine, followed by the root beer. You can see the menu here.  After lunch we headed back home to relax and take naps. And of course the weather had gotten much better now that we were done. Oh well. 

Photo credits go to Melissa, since we forgot our camera.  Bad tourists.

Starting fresh

Thought I'd try something different than on the last blog. I think previously I was a little lost as to what I wanted to accomplish. I decided to narrow my focus and stick with just one subject. You can probably guess from the title, but I chose to make this blog about travel. More specifically, our family vacations and trips. Plus I'll probably slip some things in now and then about trip planning which is something I tend to enjoy quite a bit. More to come later.