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The city of Cowan, Tennessee was known as a railroad town. This was because during the early days of train travel, there is a huge amount of traffic coming in and out of Cowan. The local and state government saw the immense potential that this railroad traffic can provide for the city and state. Thus they further developed these tracks as well as the buildings that support the tracks. The Depot building which is now home to the Cowan Railroad Museum was one of the buildings that accommodate the facilities for NC&StL Railway.

Today the Cowan Railroad Museum displays some 1000 collections of artifacts about the railroad history of the area. It showcases the importance of railroad travel that helped propel the town to what it is today since 1849. Included in the displays are private collections donated to the museum as well as authentic equipments and settings during the old days.

The museum is an official train museum, declared by the State of Tennessee; however it mostly operates with the help of generous and loyal volunteers.
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