In 2020, The City of Edwardsville partnered with the Edwardsville Children’s Museum and the Edwardsville Community Foundation to move, restore, and renovate the 135-year-old Nickel Plate Railroad Station, located on the N.O. Nelson Campus of Lewis & Clark Community College in the Historic Leclaire neighborhood.
Since its reopening in 2021, the Nickel Plate Station has become a popular expansion of ECM, located just steps from the main doors of our Museum. This historically-significant landmark provides transportation, STEAM, and geography exhibits and programming for older children that are connected to themes of travel and trains.
We’re proud to be part of the preservation of one of the few train stations of its kind in the country!
Through the use of visuals and audio, “Stories of the Nickel Plate,” introduces your family to four Edwardsville residents from bygone eras whose memories of the depot intersect with defining moments in our region’s history. In addition, kids can create stories of their own by climbing aboard our wooden replica train to enjoy a pretend meal in the dining car or snag a mail bag like the railway post office clerks of the past!
Nickel Plate Station is home to a wooden railway table handcrafted over 170 hours by Boeing engineer Tom Stephenson just for ECM. Our train display is the fourth that Stephenson has made and donated to nonprofits supporting families over the past few years. Your kids are invited to engineer their own adventure at Nickel Plate railway anytime ECM is open to the public! You can also book Nickel Plate for train-themed children’s birthday parties.
The addition of Nickel Plate allows ECM the space to host special exhibits and temporary attractions throughout the year.
Our popular “Into the Arctic” returns to ECM just in time for winter each year. Join us from the Saturday after Thanksgiving through the end of February to build an igloo, try ice-fishing, ride a dog sled, crawl through animal tunnels, and learn about the Northern Lights without the subzero temperatures.
If you have a train fan in your house, visit Nickel Plate Station, home to our modular wooden railway table that lets them play engineer for the day. We even offer train-themed birthday parties at the Station!