Columbia Junction is a railroad-theme village which includes Chaplin Station, Groton Freight House, Willimantic House and 6 stall brick round-house complete with 60' Armstrong Turntable bridge.Read More
Visit Columbia Junction, a railroad-theme village of restored local railroad buildings in a park-like setting. Within the village proper are the Chaplin Station, Groton Freight House, Willimantic Section House and the rebuilt Columbia Junction 6 Stall Roundhouse. As you explore the site either by yourself or as part of a tour, you will find members working at numerous restoration projects, or various repair activities. We are doing this so the equipment and buildings survive for future generations, while at the same time helping people to understand the importance of the railroads to the past and future of eastern Connecticut and the United States.
The railroad museum opens each year with the Annual Heritage Metal Festival which is held on the first Saturday in May. Across the museum site there are multiple blacksmiths gather to demonstrate how different items were made before mass production, while bands are playing at various locations in the museum. The Annual Night Photo Shoot is held sometime during September or October depending upon the weather. Check the website or Face Book page for the dates. The photo shoots starts at dusk, where a small group of people (due to safety) are allowed to take photos of the equipment, buildings and volunteers staged in different locations through the site to recreate views of the past.Another important date to remember will be the last Saturday in August of each year. This day the museum will host its annual Railroad Day. A fun day for all ages. Besides the normal activities, there is music, food and beverage for purchase, demonstrations of the gallows Signal and Armstrong Turntable.
The railroad museum now offers train rides (fee: $3). The open car travels along a section of the original Air Line Railroad Route to Bridge Street and return. Cab rides are also available for $6, space is limited for safety. There is also an 1850 replica hand pump car - try your luck on this.
There is a picknic area with tables across the tracks from the Chaplin Station and Section-house. Bring a picnic with you and enjoy the museum. Entrance to museum is at railroad crossing in downtown Willimantic.
Tour time: 45 min.-1 hour
Other amenities: Dining Nearby, Parking, Self-guided tours
Pricing: Adults $5, children (8-12) $1, under 8 free.
Other Amenities: ADA Compliant, Bus Parking, Gift Shop, Groups Welcome, Guided Group Tours
Dates of Operation: May-Oct.