The Railroad Museum is located in the town Río Grande of Atenas, exactly at the railway station. Here, visitors not only learn about the history of the train, but they can see tools, railway work equipment, photos, and there is a chance to ride in a real locomotive. You can also gain valuable insights on agrarian culture, through the various tools and machinery used by farmers over the years.
The creation of the museum was initiated by Juan Arguedas, a former employee of the Costa Rican Railways Institute (Incofer in Spanish), who as a child was fascinated by the engines. But the idea of transforming the old railroad station into a museum, came from a group of neighbors who had formed a religious committee called the Jesus Heart Committee, who gave maintenance to the image that is in the place. It was after 1999 that this group began to worry about the deterioration and neglect that the building had fallen into. In this way was born the Rio Grande Station of Atenas Rescue Committee, a group set with the goal to restore the former railway station.
After several efforts, INCOFER gave the installations to the committee, which, through various activities and hard-work, managed to gradually restore the building, which was officially opened to the public on September 14th, 2001. Since then, the museum opens its doors on Sundays and holidays. From the museum you can admire the railway bridge dating from 1901 and parallel, the new vehicle bridge linking Rio Grande with Cebadilla, which was completed in 2002 and declared a Historic-Architectural Heritage of Costa Rica, according to Executive Decree No. 30936-C, published in Official Gazette No. 12 on January 17th, 2003.
The first station was built in wood, with the typical characteristics of railway stations: platforms, corridors, waiting room, office and warehouse. That first structure was entirely destroyed by a fire in 1933. The current building dates from the mid-1930, with 6 meters wide and 56.84 meters long. Internally, the distribution presents bedrooms, two warehouses, an office and a big place for boarding and unloading. The roof is made with galvanized iron, wooden walls with concrete plinth, the waiting room with wooden columns, wooden ceilings and concrete floor. In enclosed spaces, concrete floors, wooden walls, metal gates, wooden trusses, frames and glass.
The Atenas Railway Museum (Museo Ferroviario de Atenas) has a small sample of old photographs, an exhibition of tools and other objects associated with the railways, and with an agricultural area where, in addition to showing everything that farmers needed to do their job, visitors can also observe old kitchen appliances like mud ovens and “comales”. The museum also has a games and entertainment room, as well as a kitchen.
Address: Former Railway Station in Rio Grande, district: Concepción, canton: Atenas, province: Alajuela, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 20505.
GPS Coordinates of Rio Grande of Atenas: 9.9624,-84.355889 (9°57’44.64″N, 84°21’21.20″W)
Schedule: Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Phone: + (506) 2446-0091 / 810-0660