A piece of Grand Rapids past is at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train will be on display beginning tomorrow, Saturday, November 16 through January 18 with the Museums holiday décor and displays.

The Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train is instantly recognizable to any baby-boomer resident of Grand Rapids. Beginning in 1949, they remember riding in the train high above the toy department at the Herpolsheimer’s Department Store, which sat at the corner of Fulton and Division streets, downtown, now the Grand Rapids Police Headquarters and Secretary of State offices.

The exciting thing is it has been restored to it's original design. In 2010, the GRPM contracted with David Winick to begin restoration of the train to its original theme. Using a December 1955 Life magazine photo as his guide, Winick removed the rocket nose added in the 1960s and replaced it with a replica of the original 1949 nose. As multiple layers of paint were removed, the original colors were exposed. The GRPM and Winick were able to complete the restoration of all three cars thanks to funds raised by community members at the Museum’s Collections & Cocktails event in the spring of 2018.

The Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train will be on display on the first floor of the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Van Andel Museum Center, and will be included with general admission to the Museum.


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