About the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum

James H. Andrew was born April 19, 1921 in Greene County, Iowa. Among his many accomplishments, Jim served as Quartermaster in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was assigned to the 4,173rd Quartermaster depot company with his job involving shipping military supplies rail. As troop train commander he developed a great love of trains and served 30 years in the military retiring with the rank of Colonel.

He married life long partner Alice Ann Thompson in 1948, and had two daughters, Karen and Jane, and a son James O. Jim became a career farmer spending many years in the profession.

After retiring from farming he returned to his love of trains and collected railroad items, amassing a large collection. Many of Jim’s items are on display in the museum and are timeless reminders from the glory days of railroading. We are very thankful to Jim, as well as many other individuals and businesses, for making the museum what it is today.

The James H. Andrew Railroad Museum

The James H. Andrew Railroad Museum at the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad is a beautiful 9,000 square foot facility featuring a research library, theater and displays featuring memorabilia from all eras of railroading in Iowa. With extensive collections of track equipment, toy trains, dining car china, passenger train timetables, lanterns and more, our museum truly does have something to interest everyone!

The Iowa Railroad Historical Society is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the history of railroads by providing educational experiences through the acquisition, operation, preservation, and display of artifacts, equipment, literature, and other resources, as well as providing opportunities to engage in various modes of historic rail travel through our operating museum.

As a sub category of our overall (IRHS) mission, the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center sub-mission is to identify, record, collect, preserve, and provide access to evidence of the railroad history of Iowa from the construction of the first railroad in Iowa in 1855 to the present. To further this mission, the MUSEUM collects and preserves artifacts and archival records related to railroad history in Iowa. Equally important, we initiate and promote research, publications, exhibits and programs, and collaborate with other organizations and institutions.

The primary focus of the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center is to acquire artifacts, archival material, stories, and people associated with railroads and railroad operations in Iowa. A secondary focus is on items associated with items from other states where railroads with an Iowa presence operated.

Achievements, because of your support in donations and volunteer time made possible:

  • The 9,000 square foot railroad museum housing more than 4,000 rare and unusual railroad artifacts donated by James H. Andrew as well as other collections.
  • With your help we organized and built a unique railroad library, housing more than 900 volumes.
  • With your help we created a children’s railroad activity area and offered tours which proved very popular.

We thank our members, business sponsors, donors, volunteers and everyone who has given of their time and energy to make so much happen.

We bring the railroaders’ stories to light through their narratives as well as present rare railroading artifacts, so that we will never forget their contributions and so future generations can learn about their lives and careers.

We hope you will enjoy the museum and pay a return visit!


Mike Wendel

Administrator, James H. Andrew Railroad Museum