Jackson Street Roundhouse

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Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Minnesota Transportation Museum /Jackson Street Roundhouse
193 Pennsylvania Ave E
St. Paul, MN 55130
651-228-0263

 

If you like history or are interested in transportation or want to experience something very unique and kid-friendly, the Jackson Street Roundhouse is the place for you.

The Jackson Street Roundhouse is an entertaining place for train enthusiasts of all ages.  It is run by volunteer staff and therefore is only open Wednesdays,  Saturdays, Sundays, or by appointment.  There is an admission fee for anyone 2 years old and over. $5-$10 depending on the day and the age of the visitor.

It’s in original location and is still a functional and operational roundhouse.  On Saturdays they give caboose rides on the 1/2 hour which is why tickets are a couple of dollars more.

 

In the Caboose

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

The boys and I sat in the cupola part of the caboose.  Let me tell you , if you are sitting in the seat, it probably is an awesome view.  As a mom, up there just to make sure her boys don’t fall off, you are wedged into a small space so all you can do is watch the boys or the people on the other side of the aisle.  But apparently the view was great.

In the Engine

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

The locomotive was not designed for seating lots of people.  For the boys to be able to see out the front, I had to hold them above all the mechanics.  (do you notice that JackJack’s hat is missing?  He left it on the Thomas display in the giftshop.  When we went back, there it was just sitting on Thomas.0

This particular Saturday, the Jackson Street Roundhouse was also offering a Classic Bus Tour of St. Paul.  It doesn’t happen every Saturday, but this day they were.  I convinced my boys that they would love it.

When we got outside, this is what we saw

Jackson Street Roundhouse
Okay, I’m not telling the whole truth.  Dash saw it first because I couldn’t find it.  Do you want to know why I couldn’t find it?  Because I was looking the wrong direction!  Kind of hard to miss, don’t you think?  But somehow, I managed to do just that!
Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

These are some of the buildings that were important during the railway era in St. Paul.  In the lower picture everything that the rails needed in St. Paul was made in this building which was unique.  Generally the railroad would order its parts from an outside company, but in St. Paul everything was hand crafted for their street cars.

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse

Driving the bus and asking for you to pay your fare in the working farebox.

They offered the Classic Bus Tour 3 times, and we took it twice.  The driver gave us a surprised look and just said, “Hi, again!”

 

Highlights:

  • Just outside the museum and alongside the parking lot are many old rail cars that are no longer running but available for you to check out.

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • Train tables for the youngest train lovers
Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • Anyone of any age was able to work a real engine.
Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • Open historical train cars were available to tour through from a trolley (electric train) to a business class car. Including a Caboose–JackJack’s favorite train car!
Jackson Street Roundhouse
Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • The real, working roundhouse was amazing.  I could have watched it all day.
Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • Riding on the caboose and riding in the engine.
Jackson Street Roundhouse
  • Open year round

Disadvantages:

  • It was a bit on the spendy side. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like going to an amusement park or anything.  But it’s not exactly cheap.  For my entire family to go we would have paid almost $60 which is why I chose to just bring the boys!
  • Restaurants are not nearby.  So if you plan to go for the entire day, pack a lunch.   

My boys and I LOVED this museum.  We spent all day without eating lunch (because I didn’t pack one), and when we left, we felt there was still more to see.

It is an amazing museum dedicated to perserving and honoring the history of St. Paul. What makes it even more worth it is the fact that the glue that holds it together and preserves the museum is that it’s run by volunteers.

I highly recommend it–2 thumbs up and 5 stars

Jackson Street Roundhouse

 

 

Jackson Street Roundhouse
193 Pennsylvania Ave E
St. Paul, MN 55130
651-228-0263

 

 

Open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10am-4pm, year-round, $5 – $10
 


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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids--Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at www.giannaraekordatzky.blogspot.com .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.

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