Great Plains Transportation Museum

Great Plains Transportation Museum Our mission is to preserve & convey the unique history of railroading in the Great Plains thru acqui
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The Great Plains Transportation Museum (GPTM) displays a wide assortment of railroad equipment. Our two largest displays are Santa Fe steam locomotive #3768 and Santa Fe FP45 diesel #93. These locomotives are unique in our collection in that they represent the last class of passenger locomotives that were built for the Santa Fe in their respective eras. Indoor exhibits include railroad prints, sig

ns, lanterns, tools, and other artifacts including a mock-up mechanical stoker used for training steam locomotive personnel. We invite you to visit the Great Plains Transportation Museum to learn more about these and many other historical pieces and displays. Also, group tours can be arranged during normal hours or by appointment, and birthday parties are a regular occurrence. We welcome you to call and schedule a tour or your next birthday party here.

On a modern locomotive, the bell is stationary and the clapper hits the side of the bell via compressed air. On our Plym...
05/05/2024

On a modern locomotive, the bell is stationary and the clapper hits the side of the bell via compressed air. On our Plymouth Locomotive the bell ringer moved the whole bell with the yoke included. Patented in February of 1921 by Viloco Railway Equipment Company the Viloco Vacuum Bellringer (as the company spelled it) was used to ring our bell on the Plymouth. The bell ringer was in bad shape and full of pitting and rust from years of outside weather. Most of the components were seized together. Volunteers David Olson and Austin Allmond took on the task of restoring the bell ringer. The cylinder of the bell ringer has been cleaned out and honed. New rings and valves were manufactured to replace the broken ones. Some broken cast pieces were welded back together using a forge. Hopefully in the near future we will have a working bell ringer for our historic Plymouth Locomotive!

As we mark the end of National Volunteer Week, the GPTM wishes to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our volunteers. Wh...
04/27/2024

As we mark the end of National Volunteer Week, the GPTM wishes to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our volunteers. Whether part of the restoration team, a docent keeping history alive, or our treasurer that keeps our lights on, our volunteers are truly the best!!

04/17/2024
We are super excited and thankful to be able to offer a painting from railroad artist John Winfield to aid in the restor...
04/04/2024

We are super excited and thankful to be able to offer a painting from railroad artist John Winfield to aid in the restoration of our FP45 #93!

Prints can be purchased here:
https://www.gptm.us/santafe93-store

Railroad artist John Winfield has created a new painting to help raise funds for the cosmetic restoration of Santa Fe FP45 93 at the Great Plains Transportation Museum.

03/12/2024
We would like to give a shout out to our friends at Buckley Roofing for the use of their boom lift! This allowed us to r...
02/11/2024

We would like to give a shout out to our friends at Buckley Roofing for the use of their boom lift! This allowed us to reach many of our light poles on the museum grounds that were either completely out or flickering bad enough to make us think we were having a nightly disco party!

Due to extreme temperatures predicted on Saturday, January 13th, the museum will be closed for the safety of our visitor...
01/10/2024

Due to extreme temperatures predicted on Saturday, January 13th, the museum will be closed for the safety of our visitors and volunteers. Thanks for your understanding.

One of our volunteers finished a restoration of a Western Railroad Supply Co. (WRRS) Electric Switch Lamp. The electric ...
01/03/2024

One of our volunteers finished a restoration of a Western Railroad Supply Co. (WRRS) Electric Switch Lamp. The electric lamp replaced maintenance intensive kerosene switch lamps that had the be topped off with kerosene and lit every night. Electric lighting for switch lamps became common in the 1890s-1900s along heavily used routes. However, kerosene lamps were common into the 1950s along lightly used routes and in many rail yards.

12/04/2023
It’s   and we are asking you to take a second to help support our mission. We are currently seeking donations for the re...
11/28/2023

It’s and we are asking you to take a second to help support our mission. We are currently seeking donations for the restoration of our FP45 #93. You can donate at: https://www.gptm.us/santafe93

Thanks for your consideration on this exciting effort!

It's a winter wonderland outside. Hope everyone is staying warm!
11/26/2023

It's a winter wonderland outside. Hope everyone is staying warm!

I know, late post is late! But I made it before midnight so it counts!
11/24/2023

I know, late post is late! But I made it before midnight so it counts!

Hot off the press! Help us restore Santa Fe Locomotive  #93!
09/25/2023

Hot off the press! Help us restore Santa Fe Locomotive #93!

Built by the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors Corporation, 93 was donated by BNSF Railway in June 1999.

Don't forget to attend the GPTM's annual Kansas Railfest this Saturday! Things are starting to take shape! The Kansas & ...
09/15/2023

Don't forget to attend the GPTM's annual Kansas Railfest this Saturday! Things are starting to take shape! The Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad delivered one of their locomotives for display this weekend.

Starting at 10am, K&O will conduct a "Locomotive Load Test" on their GP-38-3 Locomotive WAMX #3832 every hour until 3pm. Load tests will last just a couple of minutes. Shout-out and special thanks to the K&O and Watco for their continued support of Kansas Railfest!

05/26/2023

Fun Fact Friday: "Wichita grew because the railroad connected the town with other places...A sign was placed where people first entered the town. It read: 'Everything goes in Wichita.
Leave your revolvers at police headquarters and get a check.
Carrying concealed weapons strictly forbidden.'"

(Source: The Story of Wichita by Carol Brunner Rutledge, 1979.)

📸 Great Plains Transportation Museum, The Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway

Guess what she is going to do today
05/24/2023

Guess what she is going to do today

Press Release regarding vandalism over this past weekend. WICHITA, Kans. – May 22, 2023 / During the early evening hours...
05/23/2023

Press Release regarding vandalism over this past weekend.

WICHITA, Kans. – May 22, 2023 / During the early evening hours on Saturday, May 20, vandals gained access to the Great Plains Transportation Museum (GPTM) equipment display adjacent to the Union Station platform level in Old Town, causing at least $10,000 damage to a locomotive, passenger car, two cabooses and a converted passenger car used as a repair and fabrication shop, based on a preliminary estimate. A museum building window was also smashed.

The Wichita Police Department apprehended three suspects. The vandals were first seen by the operator of a Virtual Railfan Camera installed at the museum in early 2022. The camera operates 24/7/365 and provides those interested in railroad operations a view of trains passing the museum on adjacent tracks through downtown Wichita.

“This type of criminal vandalism is sickening,” stated GPTM President John Deck. “We’re a 40-year-old, non-profit, educational and preservation organization, and our museum is staffed by volunteers who work hard to conserve the region’s rich railroad heritage for people to enjoy. Our funding comes from donations and grants. Damaging historic railroad equipment displays serves no beneficial purpose for the community or our museum. It is unfortunate that some people chose to act with malice toward others who choose to preserve history, not destroy it.”

The museum will work on repairs to damaged equipment and replace the broken window, but the repairs could take some time. “We apologize to those coming to view the museum displays,” explained Deck. “Our resources are largely allocated to existing preservation projects, such as the completion of a working locomotive and fully restored wooden caboose, so it may take several months to repair damage done by the vandals.”

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For more information visit www.gptm.us

Media Contact: Drew Meek / 316-371-6277 / [email protected]

The one and only GPTM member and Union Pacific conductor, Bob Gatton, took this outstanding photo with UP 1979 "We Are O...
04/17/2023

The one and only GPTM member and Union Pacific conductor, Bob Gatton, took this outstanding photo with UP 1979 "We Are ONE" locomotive in front of the Beachner Grain Elevator Mural.

"The mural is the largest mural in the world painted by a single artist and holds the Guinness World Record. The mural is aimed at connecting two underrepresented neighborhoods, the predominantly Latino NorthEnd and historically African American Northeast, both of which are separated by large grain elevators along the industrial corridor."

What a stunning and moving photo! Great job Bob!

It was nearly two years ago, in May of 2021, that Union Pacific conductor Robert Gatton had an idea.

First off, sorry about the lack of updates. Volunteers have made quite a bit of progress on the Witcomb locomotive resto...
04/03/2023

First off, sorry about the lack of updates. Volunteers have made quite a bit of progress on the Witcomb locomotive restoration as the nice weather has helped. The air system has been put back together, a new engine wiring harness has been installed, throttle linkage has been rebuilt in the shop, and time has been spent on making improvements to the engine set up. This locomotive has received several different engines rather quickly and as you can imagine some things were jerry-rigged to make the locomotive operational. When you're a business having your locomotive down costs money! The Whitcomb locomotive has a long past, starting life out as a switcher for New York City subway system before being sold and used at several different refineries. It's last job was at the Mobile refinery in Augusta, Ks. When this Refinery closed the locomotive was donated to the museum.

Dagny, one of our volunteers, checks out a new Fairmont track cart that was graciously donated to the museum. She was re...
03/20/2023

Dagny, one of our volunteers, checks out a new Fairmont track cart that was graciously donated to the museum. She was reluctant to get off til I gave her a ride!

09/19/2022
09/18/2022

Open Streets ICT
We are open today. If you are participating in Open Streets ICT come in and see us, and if you’re not participating, come in and see us anyway!

Another big shoutout to Fred Cross of 22 Hobbies and to musician Amanda Blake (who I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of)!
09/18/2022

Another big shoutout to Fred Cross of 22 Hobbies and to musician Amanda Blake (who I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of)!

09/18/2022

A big shoutout to Stumble Home and their awesome music! They have been regulars with us at Kansas Railfest and we appreciate it. Thank you!

Address

700 East Douglas
Wichita, KS
67202

Opening Hours

Saturday 9am - 4pm
Sunday 1pm - 4pm

Telephone

(316) 263-0944

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