Get ready to chug on over to the National Postal Museum this coming weekend! Every May, they celebrate the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. The tracks connecting the coasts allowed the Post Office Department to quickly move mail across the entire country. Over time, trains have played an important role in keeping our nation connected.
This year’s Train Day Celebration at the National Postal Museum is happening on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20. From 10am – 3pm both days, museum-goers and little locomotive buffs can enjoy a variety of educational activities with opportunities to learn, engage, and play!
Here are more details about the day’s FREE festivities:
Model Train Railroad Displays
Kids can enjoy the magical, miniature world of model railroads running throughout the museum, thanks to the Rappahannock Model Railroaders; the Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society; and the Northern Virginia NTRAK.
Railway Post Office (RPO) Training School
The tiniest RPO clerks (ages 2-5, up to 45 pounds) can ride on a toy steam train and collect mailbags in between stations. Older kids can learn all about the specialized jargon that was used by RPO clerks and become a certified Junior RPO Lingo Expert.
“Meet” Owney the Dog
Owney was a scruffy mutt who rode with the mailbags on RPO train cars across the country in the late 19th century. The RPO clerks adopted Owney as their unofficial mascot and good luck charm since no train Owney rode was ever in a wreck. “Meet” Owney and hear all about his adventures.
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.
Railway Post Office (RPO) Sorting Challenge
Do you have what it takes to be an RPO mail clerk? Board an authentic train car and see if you can sort the mail before time runs out!
Join a special train-themed story time featuring: “A Lucky Dog: Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot” by Dirk Wales and “Coolies” by Yin, a book about the brave and perseverant Chinese railroad workers who made the Transcontinental Railroad possible.
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.
Train Day Celebration
Where: National Postal Museum | 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, WDC
When: May 19-20, 10am – 3pm