Signal Lamp McTague Photo Donation

Handlan workers were captured assembling signal lamps in 1902 in the attached photo.  Their employer, St. Louis’ Handlan-Buck Manufacturing Company, was founded in 1856.  For over 120 years, Handlan-Buck one of the nation’s leading suppliers of railroad lamps and lanterns.  Handlan family member, Thomas McTague, recently donated digital copies of treasured photos from the company.

The generosity of the public provides many of the artifacts used by the museum to create and continually enhance its many exhibits. If you would like to discuss donating an item(s) to the museum, please contact the Curator at (314) 821-1180, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or by email at [email protected].

Boss Lithograph Donation

The Museum of Transportation received a recent a donation of a framed, limited edition color lithograph entitled, “Ellis, Kansas – 1950.”  This gift from the Estate of Ernest H. Mai, is by artist, Michael K. Boss.  The lithograph was created from his original caesin painting that he describes as a depiction of Union Pacific steam and the Ellis, Kansas, railroad yard in their glory days. More of Boss’s work can be seen on his website http://www.michaelboss.com.

The generosity of the public provides many of the artifacts used by the museum to create and continually enhance its many exhibits. If you would like to discuss donating an item(s) to the museum, please contact the Curator at (314) 821-1180, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or by email at [email protected].

Sunday, April 30, Bioblitz at TNMOT

Bloomin’ Good News…The National Museum of Transportation was recently included in the ‘Grow Native! Gardens of Excellence!’ On Sunday, April 30, 2023, Missouri Master Naturalists will participate in a two hour bioblitz photo-capturing and recording the hundreds of plants, shrubs, trees, pollinators, and birds at the Museum.

Our Landscaping Volunteers Rock! Recently painted rocks by our volunteers are planted around the gardens for guests to find and relocate for the next guest to find.

Trolley Track Extension Progress

The trolley track extension will take the line down to a stop at the Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center.

Currently the trolley’s line starts near the Roberts Pavilion, ending near the Barrett’s Tunnel entrance. The trolley stops, and trolley drivers take a few minutes to make adjustments with the wires and such before heading back in the direction where they started.


Trolley rides give those who once rode the streetcar rails a memory jog while younger visitors have a chance to experience the dominant form of mass transit of the first half of the 20th century. Volunteers operate he trolley and give riders fun facts and stories about streetcars.


John Crowley, a Museum volunteer since 2008 in his seventh year as a trolley operator, likes to emphasize to guests how important streetcars were. “A lot of people look at the streetcars as just another means of transportation without giving much thought as to just how important they were. Before the automobile, and even after the automobile started to appear, the streetcar was the only transportation a lot of people had,” Crowley said.


The St. Louis Waterworks Railway #10 is one of the restored streetcars that runs. The popular St. Louis Public Service Co. #1743 is parked by the Lindburg building now as it awaits a repair part, Crowley said.


Trolley crews look forward to the completion of the extension. “One thing people like about the plan is that they won’t have to walk up the hill anymore,” Crowley said. “Just go to the auto building, up to the mezzanine, out the back door, and we’ll come down to pick you up.”

Hear more here about #44, #10, #2740, and #1743.

Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Exhibit at TNMOT

The National Museum of Transportation (TNMOT) created an exhibit about the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild, a competition where participants crafted a model coach (later a concept car) to be judged by GM designers and engineers. Winners were often awarded significant college scholarships. The Craftsman’s Guild competition ran from the 1930’s into the late 1960’s.

TNMOT is associated with multiple individuals who competed for the Fisher Body scholarships.

Hear more here about Bob Cass and his Fisher Body contest experience.

Hear more here from John Marasa regarding his competitive Fisher Body submission.

Hear more here as Frank Bloemke describes his Fisher Body competition.

McDonnell Exhibit – Visit Time!

Thanks to the McDonnell family and their generous support, the Museum has an exquisite Sanford N. McDonnell Tribute Exhibit wing with bountiful amounts of splendid plane models and history. The exhibit’s presentation is top notch and well worth a visit by any ardent aircraft enthusiast.

We recommend a minimum of two to four hours for your visit to our Museum since we truly want you to have adequate time to experience our 70 locomotives (several of which you can tour inside the train cars), historic artifacts, automobile museum, Pollinator Junction, as well as our McDonnell Exhibit. Thank you!

Big Boy Song!

“Roll On Big Boy” is a song written by Phil Brey with his son’s assistance about the Big Boy UP #4014 that returned to life in 2019 and is presently making its way around the middle of the U.S. throughout August 2021. The Big Boy can be seen rolling past The National Museum of Transportation, how appropriate, around 9:30 am on Monday, August 30, 2021. We are opening at 8:30 am that day and expect a crowd. Go here for the full article on the Big Boy song, its creator, and the process of writing well into his eighties. To only view the song’s video, go here. Thank you, Phil and Mark Brey!

Click here to see a list of our Big Boy products available for purchase.

Big Boy UP #4014 Came to St. Louis!

Big Boy UP #4014’s came to St. Louis on Monday, August 30, 2021. Watch these videos from the inaugural run of #4014 after its restoration was completed in 2019 to stoke your train flames!

Here’s the Union Pacific video of “Bringing the Big Boy Back to Life” in commemoration of the Gold Spike anniversary, with the restoration of #4014 and the start of its journey.

And here is an ardent fan’s video of the #4014’s touring locations in California in 2019. Have we kindled your interest now?

UP Big Boy #4014 Passed by TNMOT 8/30/2021

BIG BOY – Big Day!

The Union Pacific Big Boy #4014 passed by-and stopped at!–The Museum of Transportation on Monday, August 30, 2021, at approximately 9:30 am. The Museum has its own UP Big Boy, #4006, and guests visiting St. Louis will want to visit the #4006 and see inside the cab and get up close and experience that “Big Boy” is a well-earned moniker.