Railroad Museum of New England
We’re a not-for-profit educational and historical organization whose mission is to tell the story of the region’s rich railroad heritage through our educational exhibits and operation of the Naugatuck Railroad.
Founded January 1968 as the Connecticut Valley Railroad Association, we are more than 500 members strong and growing. Our museum includes a diverse collection representative of New England railroading including locomotives, passenger and freight cars, and cabooses.
The original Naugatuck Railroad was chartered in 1845, and opened in 1849 between Bridgeport and Winsted, adjacent to the Naugatuck River. Changing economic climates over the years led to a number of ownership changes until regular service north of Waterbury ended in 1995.
Around the same time, after three decades of preserving and restoring New England’s railroad heritage, we were looking for a new home, and we chose Thomaston. The old Naugatuck Railroad name was restored by state charter, and the new Naugatuck Railroad was incorporated June 7, 1995 as a wholly owned subsidiary of RMNE. Our first passenger trains ran in October of 1996 and continue to be a popular attraction.
We currently operate between Thomaston and the Waterville section of Waterbury.
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Our beautiful Victorian station was built in 1881 by the original Naugatuck Railroad to serve the growing community of Thomaston. Passengers last used the station in 1958, and after years of neglect the station later fell victim to a fire set by vandals in 1993.
Since operations on the new Naugatuck Railroad commenced in 1996, our volunteers have cleaned and stabilized the structure in preparation for a full restoration. With your support, we can meet our goal of restoring Thomaston as a complete and functional railroad station of the 1950s.
Thomaston Volunteer Shop
Our restoration shop is nearing completion after several years of planning and construction by RMNE volunteers. With two through tracks, an inspection pit, wide work areas, good lighting, full insulation and heating, this modern shop will enable restoration and maintenance work to take place year-round on our collection of vintage locomotives and cars.