orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

August 4, 2013

All aboard!

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE —

The last passenger train maybe have been in 1969 but that has not stopped the DeQuincy Railroad Museum from celebrating the history of traveling by train.

The mainline passenger trains now travel straight to Beaumont, Texas, no longer stopping in quiet little towns such as DeQuincy.

The 1923 Kansas City Southern Depot is an example of Mission Revival architecture.

Mission Revival style architecture usually has arched dormers and roof parapets. Some resemble old Spanish mission churches with bell towers and elaborate arches.

The rooms inside the depot has an office with waiting rooms on each side. The waiting areas were segregated at the time and as one walks from room to room, it becomes apparent the difference in the size of the waiting areas. The original tile floors, plaster walls and ticket windows are still in place for visitors to admire. Next to one ticket window are several train schedules for several railroad companies.

The museum houses a Steam Locomotive No. 124, a Passenger Car No. 4472 and Caboose No. 13487. The cars are occasionally open for the public. 

The city owns the depot which is operated through grants, membership dues and donations.

“Membership helps pay the expenses,” Les McMahen, museum historian and display coordinator, said. “It’s like friends helping the museum program.”

McMahen, whose love for trains started when he was given a train on a string when he was a small child, said the greatest discovery he has made while organizing and cataloguing artifacts for the museum is a Morgan’s Louisiana & Texas Railroad and Steamship Company switch lock key.

“The company was small and not around a very long time,” McMahen said. “To find one was a jewel in a haystack.”

The DeQuincy Railroad Museum is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Tues. - Sat. and closed during city holidays. For more information go to www.dequincyrailroadmuseum.com.