by George Turczyn
The Naples Train Museum is a true hidden gem in the heart of Naples! We’ve lived in Naples since 2014, but only recently visited for the first time with two of our grandchildren. We had a blast! The kids were mesmerized as they immersed themselves in the massive hands-on and interactive train displays.
My favorite part was getting to take a ride on the miniature outdoor steam train.
We had no idea what we had been missing!
A world-class collection of model trains
The Naples Train Museum hosts a world class collection of model trains including some rare models as well as operating a large layout running 10 trains.
Over 30 buttons surrounding the display table operate everything from sawing logs, loading coal, setting hot air balloons in flight to watching the fire station answer a call.
You can even see yourself on the Drive-In Movie screen.
History of the Naples Train Museum
The Naples Depot building was constructed by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and opened in 1927.
The museum was founded in 2000 because of a gift from the William von Liebig Foundation.
Visiting the Naples Train Museum
The Naples Train Museum is located at the historic Naples Depot at 401 10th St South.
It is open to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM from mid-October to the end of April.
Hands-on and Interactive
The community and countryside include popular Naples landmarks and takes you back into the glory days of railroading.
A push of the buttons puts the scenes into action. Dimming the lights provides a night view of well-lit passenger trains, buildings, and streets.
The entire visit is interactive and young visitors are amazed and the older ones are lost in memories.
Take a train ride
Then there is the train ride outside around the Depot adjacent to US41 and 10th St.
The 7 ½ inch gauge railroad features open air passenger cars pulled by either a Live Steam Locomotive, like the original Orange Blossom Special, complete with a steam whistle, or a period correct Diesel Locomotive.
Bringing up the end of the train is a WW2 era Atlantic Coast Line Red Caboose.
At the end of the run, the young and young at heart are invited up to either blow the whistle or sound the horn.
Although the train is a much smaller scale, a little imagination makes the train ride exciting for adults and children.
How much does the Naples Train Museum cost?
Tickets include unlimited train rides and the interactive train museum.
The ticket is $8 for adults and $4 for children 3 to 13, first responders, and veterans, military and medical.
Children under 3 are admitted free.
The Naples Train Museum is Looking for Volunteers
The museum is operated by a staff of volunteers that are rewarded by Smiles and Laughter.
All the Trains, Buildings and Displays require constant maintenance. Many of the needed parts are no longer available and the volunteers have often gotten parts custom manufactured.
The museum is always looking for volunteers to carry on the wonderful future for this unique community resource for many generations to come.
Interested in trains, interacting with children, making friends, learning new skills?
Got 4 hours on a Friday or Saturday?
The Naples Train Museum has a spot for you.
How was the Naples Train Museum impacted by Hurricane Ian?
Hurricane Ian destroyed a good part of the outdoor Railroad.
The Engine House was filled with 26 inches of seawater and covered all our equipment. It delayed our Autumn Opening Day.
It took the volunteers nearly 800 hours to rebuild all of it.
Our Diesel Locomotives required many new parts, including a new motor, complete rewiring, and restoration.
The Steam Locomotive had its boiler, flues, tender flushed of saltwater.
All the equipment was desalinated, cleaned and some cars were even repainted.
The tracks have been repaired.
The Trains are running.
We’re back and better than ever!
All of this became an unexpected financial drain.
If you'd like to support the Naples Train Museum
Donations and Fundraising are critical to the success of the museum. Donors play an essential role in keeping the Train Museum open, running, maintaining, and improving. The museum is also seeking support to help us recover from Hurricane Ian.
You can support the museum through our Buy-A Brick program. Our donor website allows you to design and purchase a custom-made brick for our Outside Train Boarding Area. You can add one of the many clipart images to the brick which you can choose on the website at http://www.naplestrainmuseum.org/
Simply click on the “Buy a Brick” icon. The cost is $60.00 for a 4”x8" concrete brick without clipart and $70.00 with clipart.
Cash donations are always welcome.