NEW YORK — The Smithsonian Institution and Amtrak are teaming up to open the museum, service and parking at the western rail museum.
The Smithsonian’s Railroad Museum, a $20-million, five-year-old, $4 million project that will also include an Amtrak station, will open in 2020, and the Smithsonian Rail Museum, an Amtrak facility, is expected to open in 2021.
Museum staff are working with Amtrak on their rail museum, which will be located near the museum and will be able to accommodate about 2,000 people.
The Smithsonian and Amtrak have agreed to share facilities, equipment and personnel to meet the needs of both the museums and Amtrak.
There are also plans to establish a regional rail museum in Philadelphia, where Amtrak trains depart and museums are located.
Railroad museum director and Amtrak executive director Mark Lippe said that in addition to the museum’s space, Amtrak will have an indoor rail museum with more than 1,500 rail cars, more than 100 locomotives, more then 200 locomotive engines, and more than 5,000 locomotive seats.
For the museum to operate, the Smithsonian has to acquire the land and get permits for the building and construction.
Amtrak will be responsible for leasing the land for the museum.
Railway Museum spokesman Dan Kuchling said that Amtrak is a partner in the project, as well as Amtrak’s rail infrastructure.
Amtrak operates more than 4,400 miles of rail lines.
Kuchling, who is also the president of Amtrak’s Rail Heritage Group, said Amtrak has an investment in the railroad museum.
The rail museum will include exhibits about the railroads, but there will be no exhibits on the history of the rail industry, he said.
Amtrak has been partnering with the Smithsonian for several years on rail infrastructure, he added.
In addition to a rail museum and Amtrak station in Philadelphia and a rail facility in Pennsylvania, Amtrak is also investing in an Amtrak Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., which will open later this year.
The museum will house exhibits about trains, but will also house a science and technology museum and an information center.