The town of Conneaut in the U.S. state of Ohio is a small town on the shore of Lake Erie in the northeastern most part of the state. Today, it is just a small town with a small lighthouse on Lake Erie, but it was once the site of a roundhouse for the Nickel Plate Road to service its steam locomotives. When the era of the roundhouse died, the roundhouse in Conneaut, like many others, was demolished. The town does have the privilege of having two main lines pass through town with railroad traffic running between Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania. The one thing that does remain is the old train depot. With its brick and stone, it remains as the symbol of Conneaut’s railroad heritage. Once a passenger depot for the New York Central System, it now is the home of the Conneaut Railroad Museum.
Located in its original location, the Conneaut tells the story of the railroad in the town. You see the original ticket office and many models of the trains that once made Conneaut their home plus photos and paintings. There is a model train display where you can watch trains go around.
On the outside, you have a short train. You first see Caboose Number 1825 from the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad. The next car is a hopper Number 76857 also from the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad. At the head of this train is the Nickel Plate Road Number 755. Other things on display is maintenance equipment and a New York Central System shanty from the town of Girard.
With all the great things inside and all the great things outside, another great thing is that the trains still pass through town, and the trains still pass by the old Conneaut depot. While you are looking around, you will need to pause to watch the CSX trains roll by. Once the last car leaves, you will be able to resume with looking through the museum.
The old Conneaut Depot is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is a reminder of the railroad town it once was, and it pays tribute to those who worked on the railroad. The Conneaut Railroad Museum makes its home in this depot to keep the town’s railroad heritage alive. The museum is at 363 Depot Street in Conneaut, Ohio. It is just minutes from Interstate 90 and U.S. Route 20. It is open from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend from 12:00pm to 5:00pm, and it is run by volunteers. Admission is free, but donations is gladly accepted to help keep this great piece of history. Parking is street parking. (No parking meters.) The museum does not have its own website, but they do have a Facebook page. You can go to the Conneaut town website at http://www.conneautohio.gov/visitors/conneaut_railroad_museum.php to learn more about the museum and for contact information. Along with the railroad museum, you can also visit the Conneaut History Museum located across the tracks from the railroad museum, the World War II History Museum located at 851 Harbor Street, and you can drive to the lake shore to get a great view of Lake Erie and to see the Conneaut Lighthouse. (The lighthouse is on a sandbar and is not open to the public.)
So, you never had a reason to visit the town of Conneaut, Ohio. Now you do. It is a small town with great railroad charm.