Train Museum CEO Says Rolling Stock Will Leave Fair Park For Frisco in Late April

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bigboyUP.jpg
Via.
LaPrelle says the Big Boy's move in April has prompted calls from all over the world.
Got a call this morning from Bob LaPrelle, president and CEO of the Museum of the American Railroad, which, as you're well aware by now, is due to roll out of Fair Park to its new digs in Frisco. I'd left him a message a while ago, even before Justin took those photos earlier this week, to see how the move was coming; as you may recall, per its settlement with the city the museum was supposed to have been gone by year's end. But it's been pushed to 'round "late April," LaPrelle says this morning, though the old Tower 19, now cut in half, will begin its trek north Monday evening.

"This is very bittersweet for us," says LaPrelle. "I'm a Dallas native, and I hate to see Fair Park lose any of its institutions, so it's tough." He's also referring to last night's announced move of the Texas Museum of Automotive History, which will leave Grand Place in July. "But we want to show the city progress and that we've met the terms of the agreement. We're making every day count."

Says LaPrelle, the delays this time have been due to rain, which has kept workers from laying down around some 4,000 feet of track that will connect the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe main line with the Frisco location. That, he says, should begin one week from Monday. Another major hurdle will be removing the roof from the old train depot currently sitting at Fair Park; says LaPrelle, "it kills us to have to take these buildings apart," especially since they were moved to Fair Park decades ago whole.

"Our museum is still connected to the main line," LaPrelle says, explaining how the trains will roll out of Fair Park. "We go east across Washington to the main line, the Union Pacific line, and then it goes around the southern sector and by the South Side of Lamar, then through Union Station, then west on the Trinity Railway Express line, which is the old Burlington-Rock Island line, then it goes to Irving, where BNSF picks it up, then through Carrollton all the way to Frisco."

So, yeah -- April, he says, fingers crossed. "Though I am sure there will be some unexpected things," he says, given the fact most of the museum's stock hasn't been out on the main line in at least 40 years. "We know it's not going to be a slam dunk." Which is why experts are being brought in to give the trains the once-over before the hit the tracks -- to make sure they're fine-tuned for the ride north.

Speaking of: Given the fact most of the trains haven't been seen rolling on a track in decades, says LaPrelle, he expects the farewell to be quite the spectacle. "We've had calls from all over the world, from Japan to New Zealand, about the move -- especially the Big Boy," he says, referring to the Union Pacific Big Boy 4018 built in '41 and last operated in '57.

"There's a lot of interest and anticipation" surrounding that piece in particular, LaPrelle says. "People wanna know when we're gonna move it. They want to know so they can come see it. Because we've rolled it back and forth at the museum, but it hasn't been on the main line in decades. And they're coming from all over the world to see it again."
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19 comments
Frankr87gt
Frankr87gt

Did this actually occur yet? I had hoped to take the kids down there to watch.

Donnerwetter
Donnerwetter

Delayed because of rain, huh?  Like there were not enough dry days in 2011 to do track work?Sounds like mismanagement not mud that delayed this train move.  Watch out, Frisco!

W W
W W

. Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got

'Til it's gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot..

Note: Fair Park is finally becoming inhabitable.. Shame the City of Dallas doesn't see these trains as a treasure.. a true testimony to our manufacturing ability, and our past.

G_David
G_David

I admit I was perfectly ambivalent about the museum and its impending move until I read this story.  Now I'm a little wistful.  Not sure who is to blame here, but my first instinct is to assume this is just another thing the city has f'ed up.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Try former council man Ron Natinsky.

Ellum08
Ellum08

Well, it would be nice to read some of the previous articles about the Railroad Museum before you assume anything, but then again, this is Unfair Park.

G_David
G_David

I did read all of them, and they definitely made the Railroad Museum folks sound like the a-holes in this story.  But there are 3 sides to every story, and I would no more assume anything based on reading just the Observer as I would not reading anything.

Bob
Bob

But you admitted that you made an assumption based on not reading anything, so why is that better than making an assumption based on reading just the Observer?

And reading Unfair Park is not the same thing as reading the Observer--in Unfair Park, you have the benefit of the collective wisdom of scores of people who have nothing better to do than to make snarky comments about everyone else while maintaining their own intellectual superiority.  How much more authoritative could a resource be?

Bubbabgood2u
Bubbabgood2u

Please keep us posted on the actual move dates so those interested in seeing them moved can be there.

Donnerwetter
Donnerwetter

"Round late April" could mean June or December in MAR-speak.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

 I second this.  My older son is the biggest train buff around, and to see these engines move would be the thrill of his (admittedly short) life.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

Wasn't Big Boy fixed up and rolled out for a movie roll a few years ago?

Paul
Paul

 Yes

Burfus Otis
Burfus Otis

No.  The movie deal fell through.  The premise was insanely stupid.  The idea was that some guy would steal a Big Boy and run it all the way north to Canada to save it from the scrappers torch all by himself.  When the movie company realized what an idiotic plot it was, they shelved the movie and the restoration of the Big Boy.

Paul
Paul

 It was moved as part of the lead up to the anticipated movie deal as it had not been moved since it had arrived in the early 60's.

Gaffer
Gaffer

idiotic plots rarely shelve movie deals. idiotic expensive plots are another story.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I'm not a train buff, but that is an awesome train. Wow.

Ket354
Ket354

Healine seems a bit unfark.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Yeah, I farked that up pretty good. Fixed now. Note to self: Head in the game.

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