Special Exhibit - TRAINS

TRAINS: Transportation and the Transformation of Johnson County
May 13, 2023 through January 13, 2024


This new special exhibit showcases the impact of railroads on the county's landscape, people, and economy. Through interactive displays, historical artifacts, and engaging visuals, visitors are transported back in time to witness the dramatic changes that rail transportation brought to Johnson County.

TRAINS explores the transition of isolated subsistence farms in the county into an interconnected network of farms selling for market, the rise and fall of cities, and the emergence of new businesses that sprang up throughout the county. From the early days of the Kansas Pacific Railway to the modern-day BNSF Railway, the exhibit showcases the evolution of rail transportation itself and highlights how it continues to shape Johnson County today. 

PreK Camp and Train ModelThe exhibit also includes a working N-scale model train that depicts scenes of the type of rural depots that existed in Johnson County like Stilwell and Holliday. 
TRAINS: Transportation and the Transformation of Johnson County is included with regular museum admission. 

The Johnson County Museum is located in the Arts & Heritage Center - 8788 Metcalf Ave, OPKS, 66212. 
Open Monday - Saturday, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors/students/military, and $4 for children. 

Related Programming

Harvey House

Harvey Houses and Harvey Girls 
Thursday, November 30 |  6:00 PM
Event Space, Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center

Dee Harris from the National Archives will speak about the Harvey House restaurants and Harvey Girls - an efficient, well-trained, well-groomed corps of waitresses who played an invaluable role in railroad, restaurant, and women’s history. 

Register now.

1970.035.001Railroaded: The Industry that Shaped Kansas 
Thursday, December 7 |  6:00 PM

This is a FREE virtual program, brought to you by Humanities Kansas.

Few industries dominated the economy of the nation in the 19th century more than the railroad. Railroads brought immigrant settlers, created jobs, and fed beef markets in the East. Most Kansas towns were founded because of the railroad, and few survived without it. Yet the advancement of the railroad industry came at a significant cost to the Plains Indians who were forcibly displaced by this westward expansion. This presentation examines the complicated legacy of railroads and the impact on Native peoples who called Kansas home.

Register now.