National Railroad Museum: All aboard the new Jodey Lenfestey Children’s Discovery Depot


For additional information:
Deanna Novak
National Railroad Museum
(920) 437-7623, x-12
[email protected]

Date: 15 April 2013

The National Railroad Museum’s new interactive children’s exhibit opens May 18, 2013.

Ashwaubenon (Green Bay, Wis.) – This is big railroading in a child’s size. The Jodey Lenfestey Children’s Discovery Depot at the National Railroad Museum will introduce youngsters to railroading in a fun, engaging, hands-on style. The Children’s Discovery Depot opens on Saturday, May 18, 2013. It will be located in the renovated Hood Jct. Depot at the Museum (2285. S. Broadway, Green Bay, WI).

“Trains are fun and intriguing for children of all ages,” commented Jacqueline Frank, Museum executive director. “In the Children’s Discovery Depot we’ve scaled everything down to child size and will encourage boys and girls to touch, operate, role play and explore railroads on their terms. The National Railroad Museum is an educational institution and through the Children’s Discovery Depot we are continuing to foster a family learning environment.”

The exhibit centerpiece will be “see-through” steam locomotive. A look inside will reveal how the engine generates power and introduce youngsters to basic science concepts like temperature, motion and simple machines. Exploring the steam locomotive and other exhibit stations will provide role-playing opportunities, including that of engineer, fireman, conductor, brakeman and gandy dancer.

The Children’s Discovery Depot will also include:
A passenger train board game – the board measures 3-feet by 8-feet
What’s In The Freight Car? loading area – children will match oversized commodities with large freight car models
Green Bay Railroad Play Table – a wooden railroad of Green Bay for hands-on operation
The Safety Theater – an animated Engineer Bob and mischievous Bad Timmy explore train safety at a basic level
An S-scale model railroad that everyone can operate

The Children’s Discovery Depot has been moved forward with a significant bequest from the Jodey Lenfestey estate.

“Jodey and the entire Lenfestey family are outstanding advocates of the National Railroad Museum. While we are deeply saddened by Jodey’s recent passing, she has furthered her family’s legacy with the Museum and the community through the Children’s Discovery Depot.”

About Hood Jct. Depot – The Children’s Discovery Depot will be housed in the Hood Jct. Depot building. This building was constructed on the Museum grounds in the late 1950s and served as the Museum’s first offices and exhibit space. It is a replica of the depot in Langely, South Carolina. Depot construction was originally funded by the American Shortline Railroad Association. At the time, James Hood was president of that organization. Hence, the depot name.

About the National Railroad Museum – Founded in 1956 and designated as America’s railroad museum by an act of Congress in 1958, the National Railroad Museum educates the public through programs, exhibits, and preservation projects about the ongoing impact of railroads in our lives. Visiting the National Railroad Museum offers you an opportunity to explore our railroad heritage. Sit in the cab of the Union Pacific Big Boy, one of the world’s largest steam locomotive. Examine the future of railroading in the sleek 1955 General Motors Aerotrain. The Museum is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the U.S.

The Museum is open Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 – 5:00 p.m. The Children’s Discovery Depot will be open during Museum hours.

FOR MEDIA PLANNING: An opening reception and dedication will be held on May 17, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Children’s Discovery Depot. Speaking at this event will be Museum officials and community partners. The exhibit will be open to invited guests.