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Congresswoman Esty Takes The Controls At Danbury Railway Museum

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty tours the Danbury Railroad Museum Thursday, and drives one of the trains. Here, she gets a lesson from Conductor Jim Teer. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
From left: U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Museum President Wade Roese, Steve Gould (museum PR), Conductor Dave Fuller, state Rep. Bob Godfrey of Danbury. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The group stands in front of one of the oldest engines on the site. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Riding on 'the turntable.' Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
U.S. Rep. Esty inside one of the old trains at the museum. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
U.S. Rep. Esty tours the Railway Museum and checks out the train displays. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Esty and Godfrey tour one of the old trains with elaborate interiors. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
One of the toy engines on display at the museum. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

DANBURY, Conn. — U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty dropped in for a visit Thursday at the Danbury Railway Museum, a popular local tourist attraction for kids.

Danbury’s old railway station, which was built in 1903 and closed in 1993, has historic roots within the city. Due to the existing infrastructure – it's just around the corner from the current Metro-North station — and a strong community interest in preserving the railway, the station has operated as a museum.

Thousands of visitors — especially youngsters — visit the museum each year, creating an important tourist attraction within her Fifth District, Esty said.

Esty is a member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, and a strong advocate for funding and improving railway infrastructure in Connecticut. On her visit, she got a glimpse of railroading history in southwestern Connecticut. 

At its peak period 125 trains stopped there in a day. The stations is architecturally distinctive, with Colonial Revival touches on a Richardsonian Romanesque structure. Alfred Hitchcock filmed station scenes for his film "Strangers on a Train" on its distinctive curved platform. 

In 1986, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was joined on the Register in 2005 by the railway turntable, the only intact and working one in the state.

In winter, the Danbury Railway Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. 

Admission for ages 3 and up is $6, or free for members and visitors under 3. Prices may vary for Special Events. Train rides are extra, when available. 

The museum is located at 120 White St. in downtown Danbury. For more information, call 203-778-8337 or visit its website.

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