Alabama tourist railroads you must visit include restored depots and everything in between. Here’s our list of must-see tourist railroads, museums, and displays — for almost every region in Alabama.
Bridgeport Depot Museum
An important Civil War railroad junction of the Memphis & Charleston and Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railroads, the current Bridgeport depot was constructed in 1917. It houses a collection of railroad memorabilia along with local military and Native American artifacts. The museum is open Thursday and Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Location: 116 Soulard Square, Bridgeport
Decatur Union Depot
The historic Decatur Union passenger depot was built in 1905 by Southern Railway to serve the Southern and Louisville & Nashville railroads. The depot was abandoned in 1979 and later renovated and converted into a transportation museum and city offices. Exhibits include the original ticket office and a model train layout depicting Decatur, along with local railroad artifacts and signage. The depot is open Monday through Friday.
Location: 701 Railroad Street, NW, Decatur
Fort Payne Depot Museum
Located in northeast Alabama, the museum is a former passenger station built in the late 1800s of pink sandstone, and it displays railroad artifacts in a caboose. It also includes local historical, military, and Native American items. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Location: 105 5th Street, NE, Fort Payne
Huntsville Depot & Museum
Built in 1860, the depot is the oldest in Alabama and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can read graffiti left by Civil War soldiers and climb aboard several steam locomotives for an up-close look. The annual WhistleStop festival takes place in early May.
Location: 320 Church St NW, Huntsville
Leeds Historic Depot
Built in 1884 and the oldest surviving depot in the Birmingham District, the Leeds depot was authentically restored in 1984 and serves as headquarters for the Mid-South Chapter, R&LHS. The chapter has restored the agent-operator’s office with a working real-time ATCS display of local train movements. A former waiting room holds an exhibit dedicated to Southeastern rail photographer Frank E. Ardrey Jr. A new exhibit featuring Birmingham’s Terminal Station, including a detailed 8-foot scale model of the iconic station, is planned. Open on regular bi-monthly meeting dates (listed on website) and by appointment.
Location: 901 Thornton Avenue, NE, Leeds
Scottsboro Depot Museum
The Scottsboro Depot Museum houses a wide range of railroad and local exhibits in a brick depot constructed in 1860 by the Memphis & Charleston Railroad Company. The depot is the oldest extant commercial structure in Jackson County and one of only three remaining pre-Civil War depots in Alabama. The museum is open Fridays.
Location: 230 North Houston Street, Scottsboro