Relocating Railroad Museum Lifts, Moves Trains

Museum of the American Railroad continues its move to Frisco

Some of the Museum of the American Railroad's more delicate locomotives are on their way to their new home in Frisco.

Two massive locomotives weighing 362,000 pounds and 189,000 pounds, respectively, were lifted from the rail lines in Dallas Fair Park onto massive flatcars.

"To pick them up like this, you've got to get them in the right place so you don't do any damage to the frame and so forth," said Bob LaPrelle, museum president and CEO.

The flatcars will eventually travel up the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line to the museum's new site just off of the Dallas North Tollway near City Hall.

Dallas native and railroad enthusiast Bill McPherson said he remembers seeing the No. 7 locomotive in action at Union Station as a child.

"Those are things that are embedded in you in an early age," he said. "To watch the steam locomotive is the epitome of action. ... Hopefully for the younger generation, they can appreciate the equipment we used to have."

The magnitude of the effort was not lost on Tim McMillon, a Dallas high school senior and museum volunteer.

"It's not something we see every day," he said. "Just the power of them, what it takes a locomotive to pull things."

McMillon said he has been inspired by his work with the museum to pursue a college degree in engineering and, eventually, work for a railroad company.

McPherson, who devotes much of his time to model trains, said the cross-generational appreciation of trains is part of the museum's legacy.

"Working with trains -- it keeps some of that enthusiasm going," he said. "It keeps us young."

The loaded flatcars must undergo safety inspections before they can travel north, a process that could take a few weeks.

Once they arrive in Frisco, the museum and its contractors will have to repeat Wednesday's process -- unloading the locomotives from the flatcars onto the newly built Frisco track.

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