Engineers, conductors and trackmen of all sizes and ages crowded the grounds of the Railroad Museum of Long Island in Riverhead today as it celebrated its 26th anniversary.

The grounds of the museum will be open Aug. 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children. Children under 5 years old are free.

One of the museum’s star exhibits is a 40-foot long layout of Lionel trains complete with buttons that operate many of the lights, gates, machinery and figures in the display. New this year are the trains that travel around tracks overhead.

Another popular attraction is the 1964-65 Long Island RR Pavilion’s World’s Fair train. The train circles the grounds carrying delighted youngsters and their parents; its bell, announcing the start of the ride and warning sightseers at the crossing gates, can be heard across the grounds.

Little ones get a toddlers-eye-view of the garden gauge layout as trains tunnel through and traverse the perimeter of a raised bed rock garden.

There are engines, old passenger trains, tractors and a caboose on the grounds just waiting to be explored by bigger kids. There’s a large tent filled with vendors of railroad related merchandise and model railroad clubs displaying their set-ups. The Long Island Antique Power Association displays machines that hiccup, hiss and belch out steam as they run.

A duet playing old-timey music on fiddle, banjo and guitar entertained visitors under a large tent filled with tables and chairs. The audience listened to music while a delightful breeze helped to cool them off.

Rail historian Edward Koehler Jr.will give a 20-30 minute talk and slide show about steam locomotives at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

This year in the train yard across the street there are working blacksmiths forging rivets to repair train equipment. Nearby a calliope made of steam whistles plays tunes from Star Wars and The Sting among others.

Photos from the day:


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April Pokorny
April is a writer, reporter and copy editor for the LOCAL news websites. She is a retired educator and proud grandma. April lives in Calverton. Email April