advertisement

This stately depot faces historic 25th Street, with lovely flowers and a fountain gracing the cobbled courtyard in front. Built in 1924 to replace the original depot, which was destroyed by fire, the station now houses several museums, an art gallery, a gift shop, the Union Grill, a Forest Services information center, and the Ogden/Weber Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Plan to spend an hour or two here.

The restored lobby is the place to start. The immense room is graced with murals at each end commemorating the building of the railroad and the linking of east and west. Both 12*50-foot murals were done in the late 1970s by Edward Laning, based on murals he painted in 1935 for New York's Ellis Island Immigration Building.

The Utah State Railroad Museum displays gas-turbine locomotive designs and has an extensive HO-gauge layout that depicts the construction and geography of the 1,776-mile transcontinental route. Wander around on your own, or let a railroad buff guide you through, describing the whys and wherefores of what you're seeing. The Browning Firearms Museum displays Browning guns from 1878 to present, a replica of an 1880s gun shop, and a film describing the Browning legacy. The Browning-Kimball Car Museum features beautiful examples of classic cars, mostly luxury models. You can see about a dozen vehicles from the early 1900s, including a 1901 curved-dash Oldsmobile, Pierce-Arrows from 1909 and 1931, and a 1932 Lincoln. The Gallery at the Station exhibits a variety of art through invitational and competitive shows. Outside, the Eccles Rail Center pays tribute to the Goliaths of the rails -- locomotives designed to pull long trains through the steep mountains of the West. On display are a burly "Big Blow," a gas turbine rated at more than twice the horsepower of typical modern locomotives (one of only two on display anywhere), and a commemorative car used in the torch relay for the 2002 Winter Olympics.