Skip to Main Content
Bookmark and Share

Train Day Celebration

Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20, 2018
10 am - 3 pm (both days)

Every year in May, we celebrate the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad (May 10, 1869) at the National Postal Museum. Finally there were train tracks connecting East and West, allowing the Post Office Department to quickly move mail across the entire country. Over time, trains have played an important role in getting the mail delivered and keeping our country connected.

On Train Day, come and experience the Railway Post Office by checking out the inside of a train car, and learn how train conductors use whistle signals to communicate. We will also have model trains running through the Historic Lobby and the Museum Atrium. Enjoy a special Story Time and “meet” Owney the Dog, the mascot of the Railway Post Office! Free admission; all ages welcome.

Visitors viewing a model railroad display

Activities include but are not limited to:

Model Train Railroad Displays

Enjoy the magical, miniature world of model railroads. Model trains are brought to you by following program partners:

  • Rappahannock Model Railroaders, Fredericksburg, VA

  • The Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society, Arlington, VA

  • Northern Virginia NTRAK, Springfield, VA

Railway Post Office Training School

This activity is designed especially for our Tiniest Railway Post Office Clerks (age 2-5 years old, up to 45 pounds). As a Clerk, your job is to ride on the toy steam train, and then snatch a mailbag on the way to the next station! Don’t forget to bring Owney along on the trip as a lucky charm. For bigger kids, you can learn all about different lingos that were used by Railway Post Office (RPO) Clerks and become a certified National Postal Museum Junior RPO Lingo Expert.

Story Time

Join us for a special train-themed story time featuring:

  • “Coolies” by Yin
    Learn about the perseverance and bravery of the thousands of Chinese railroad workers that made the Transcontinental Railroad possible.

  • “A Lucky Dog: Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot” by Dirk Wales
    Join the adventures of Owney the Dog, the beloved mascot of the Railway Post Office.

Railway Post Office (RPO) Sorting Challenge

Do you have what it takes to be a mail clerk aboard the Railway Post Office? Take the challenge and find out – see if you can sort the mail before time runs out!

Train Whistles

Crack the secret code of the railroad crews as you learn to communicate by train whistle. After you master the skill, take a train-shaped whistle home with you.

Refueling Station

Running out of steam? Put a brake on your day at the Refueling Station. Lighthearted music to give you an energy boost and complimentary tea, lemonade and sweet treats are provided while supplies last.

Visit the museum’s event calendar for information on the many fun and educational programs available at the National Postal Museum.