Local history organizations to host free events celebrating the railroad in El Paso. Here’s what to know.

Union Pacific Foundation Sponsoring Railroad Exhibit at El Paso County Historical Society

El Paso, Texas – The El Paso County Historical Society and the Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso are hosting free events in April telling the story of the railroad in El Paso.

The Railroad and Transportation Museum is hosting an El Paso Train Show on Saturday, April 20. This free event will include a live train robbery, children’s activities, and the chance to board a steam locomotive and caboose.

The El Paso County Historical Society is hosting a free exhibit on the history of the railroad in El Paso. The exhibit includes photos and railroad memorabilia covering the period from 1881, when trains first reached El Paso, to World War II.

The exhibit will run from Saturday, April 27 through Saturday, May 11. The Union Pacific Foundation is sponsoring this exhibit through its Community Ties Giving Program that provides small- and medium-sized grants that align with the railroad’s priority cause areas in safety, workforce development, and community spaces.

“Union Pacific proudly supports organizations that improve the quality of life where our employees live and work,” said Beth Whited, Union Pacific President and Union Pacific Foundation President. “Investing in high-quality, nonprofit programs puts our communities in a position for future growth and prosperity.”

About the Railroad and Transportation Museum

El Paso was a remote frontier town until railroads arrived in May 1881, sparking a population boom that grew the city to 16,000 inhabitants by 1900 and positioned El Paso as a major transportation hub for the Southwest. The Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso recalls those glory days in historic photo displays and educational brochures. Its main attraction is the restored 1857 El Paso and Southwestern Railroad’s Locomotive #1, a rare example of a pre-Civil War steam engine.

About the El Paso County Historical Society

The El Paso County Historical Society was founded in 1954 with the goal of protecting and sharing the unique history of El Paso and the surrounding region including northern Mexico and southern New Mexico. The Society is headquartered at the Burges House in the Sunset Heights Historic District. The Burges House was the home of Richard Burges, a prominent attorney who drafted the first El Paso City Charter and served in the Texas Legislature.

The Society is an educational and research center, dedicated to sharing knowledge and engaging with the community. It maintains an archive of over 25,000 artifacts in the Jane Burges Perrenot Research Center, publishes historical books and a local history journal called Password, participates in El Paso History Day, and hosts historical exhibits and book talks. 

If you go: Train Show Details

  • WHO: Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso 
  • WHAT: El Paso Train Show  
  • WHEN: Saturday, April 20, 9:00 am -5:00 pm 
  • WHERE: Freeport McMoRan Copper Refinery, 850 Hawkins Blvd., El Paso, TX 79915

If you go: Railroad History Exhibit Details

  • WHO: El Paso County Historical Society 
  • WHAT: Exhibit – “Railroads and the Making of El Paso”  
  • WHEN: Saturday, April 27, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Exhibit will run through May 11, 2024 during normal operating hours Tuesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • WHERE: Burges House, 603 W. Yandell Dr., El Paso, TX 79902

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.