Railroad Museum Slowly Heading to Frisco

Museum says new space should be ready for visitors by fall

The Museum of the American Railroad will continue its slow chug north from Fair Park in Dallas to Frisco.

By the end of this month, people can expect to see antique locomotives traveling up the BNSF Railway lines to the museum's new home.

CEO Bob LaPrelle said the new site will be 12 and a half acres, a stark contrast to the 1 acre or so it currently occupies.

"Frisco gave us the opportunity to really expand our mission and our programming," LaPrelle said.

This month, workers are continuing to lay railroad track at the Frisco site. The process must be completed before beginning the move.

"We've got about 4,500 tons of rolling stock," LaPrelle said. "Rolling stock means the cars, the locomotives, everything that is on wheels in our collection."

The museum's rolling stock will be on the move by the end of May, using existing lines that will take the locomotives through Irving and up to Frisco, LaPrelle said.

Staff had an early taste of the enormity of this move earlier this year, when Fort Worth-based moving company H.D. Snow and Son Inc. transported the museum's Santa Fe Tower 19 from Dallas to Frisco -- cutting the tower in half to accommodate the highway system's overhead clearances.

Museum officials said the move could be the largest of its kind in the country in close to three decades.

The city of Frisco and its Convention and Visitors Bureau said they are happy to see progress after years of talks.

"It just all started coming together as a good match, clustering these museums together and having something of this significance up in Frisco," said Marla Roe, CVB executive director.

She said the city's strategic plan calls for an increase in arts and culture venues such as museums.

Roe said one phone call from Frisco began a conversation after the museum started putting out feelers to cities about a possible move.

The museum is planning to welcome visitors in a soft open by this fall.

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