August 2015 President’s Report
How are you? How have you been? How are you doing? All questions utilized as a greeting or part of a simple “Hello” or “Hi”. Our newsletter is replete with progress reports on projects, stories of what has been going on in the yard and in the building, numerous photos highlighting events and activities, even financial information, but how are WE doing? After each event and each week we evaluate various statistics we collect: Sales, attendance, volunteer participation, weather, what worked and what didn’t work.
More importantly, how are we doing with the public, our guests? A couple of months ago, the Danbury Railway Museum was awarded a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor, a highly recognized, independent travel site which includes the collection and publication of millions of reviews and comments from visitors and world travelers to restaurants, hotels, resorts and places of interest. Having previously received this award of excellence, we decided we had better see what our visitors were saying with regard to our Museum. Wow! Quite a few were providing great, very good, good and informative information about our Museum including some questions and suggestions to help us improve what we do.
Following are some exciting quoted headlines to be shared with our members:
“A Hidden Gem”
“A real nice museum”
“Awesome, safe, clean and many cool artifacts”
“Charming and informative”
“Great for all ages”
“Worth repeated trips”
Our first review is dated August 28, 2008 and we’re currently at 81 reviews, all of which give us insight, encouragement, and reflection.
Lastly, we wish to acknowledge the time, detail and sincerity expressed in this recently submitted review:
If you have a reason to be in the area, then this is a great place to stop if you have kids interested in trains, or if you are a train aficionado.
The museum is located about five minutes off I-84 in Danbury, about 10 minutes from the NY state line, and is located in an old station house. It was easy to find.
Essentially, the museum has two main parts. Outside, it has its own rail yard with a bunch of vintage train engines and cars, ranging from a 1907 steam engine to a diesel engine from the 1970s that you would still see on the rails today. The day we were there, five of the trains were open for boarding. My 5-year old loved all of them, but he especially loved the steam engine and the ability to ring the bell.
There is a short train ride, but we got there too late to take it, so I can’t really say anything about it. It looked fun.
Inside, the museum has a video screen showing train-related informational films and some artifacts and photos that are interesting. But most of the inside is taken up by five or so model train setups. They are really elaborate and beautiful, on a scale of what you would see at a train show during the holiday season. You can activate the trains by pressing a button, which thrilled my 5-year old.
I should note they also have train-related toys around for kids to play with (and seats for the parents to sit and watch), as well as a Thomas the Tank Engine statue (not sure what to call it…it’s a big, plastic version of Thomas) inside. My son loved posing for a photo next to it.
The volunteers who worked there were knowledgeable and really nice.
The museum is really inexpensive ($6 for adults, $4 for kids), and the gift shop had some nice train-related toys and gifts for reasonable prices (we picked up a railroad crossing sign for my son’s room and a train-shaped cookie cutter for about $13 total).
Again, the museum is not a destination for a long trip. But if you are going to be anywhere near Danbury, especially if you are driving across Connecticut on I-84 and need a good stopping off point to break up the trip for the kids (we spent about 1 hour and 15 minutes there), I highly recommend this place. My son had a great time.
Visited July 2015
With most of the submitted reviews being of this tone, maybe we can say we are doing pretty well. How we are doing, however, is a reflection of ALL our volunteers, their talents, their commitment and their dedication. Thanks to all our volunteers and members. You’ve all received recognition from our welcomed guests.
On behalf of the Danbury Railway Museum, Wade W. Roese