The “Donald Cooper Railroad” at the Mahwah Museum, 201 Franklin Turnpike, is back in operation after being closed for the summer. This interesting and exciting HO-scale model railroad has seven trains running at most times, including replicas of many of the trains that ran through Mahwah in the golden age of the railroad. There are two railroad yards, one for passenger trains and one for freights, so visitors can see how the operators of the railroads moved cars around as they were needed.
The scenery includes all aspects of the rural and suburban country side and features a replica of the Great Falls in Paterson. There is a New York City subway, complete with graffiti. A street fair is held at the south end of the layout.
The Donald Cooper Railroad was the gift to the Museum by Renee Darboe, a Mahwah resident, whose late husband, Donald Cooper, collected over 700 cars and 70 locomotives during his lifetime. The layout is the devoted work of a group of railroad volunteers who work many hours each week to wire the tracks, maintain the cars and the tracks, and keep the railroad in good condition. The meticulously detailed scenery is primarily the work of Starlene Van Dunk.
The Donald Cooper Railroad is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. and, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, will also be on Friday night from 7-9 p.m. This is a great attraction for “engineers” of all ages. For more information visit www.mahwahmuseum.org or call 201.512.0099.
The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from the New Jersey Historical Commission in the Department of State.