The general public will have its first chance to check out the new Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco on Saturday, which is National Train Day.
The museum, which was previously located at Dallas Fair Park, moved its historic depot and 40 train cars from Dallas to Frisco in 2012 and 2013, culminating in moving the historic rolling from Dallas to Frisco last summer. Some of the old train cars moved by rail, while others were towed over-the-road.
On Saturday, the museum will lead tours of five cars from its collection, including a coach, a dining car, a lounge car, a Pullman sleeping car, and a Santa Fe caboose.
“Visitors will be able to see the basic accomodations that people would have encountered in the 1930s and 1940s, and really up through the 1950s,” says Bob LaPrelle, museum president and CEO.
The museum is in the early stages of building its new 15-acre site in Frisco. The museum will begin construction in a couple of weeks on 6,300 feet of exhibit track, where 44 train cars will be displayed. Future plans call for the construction of museum buildings. All told, the project is expected to cost about $30 million and take another 10 years to complete, LaPrelle said.
“We’re a nonprofit, so we pay as we go,” LaPrelle said.
In the meantime, Saturday’s National Train Day event will serve as a trial run for the National Museum of the American Railroad’s summer offerings. Starting in June, the museum will offer twice-daily guided tours a couple of days per week, LaPrelle said. The Frisco Heritage Museum will serve as a staging area for the tours. Visitors will buy tickets at the Frisco Heritage Museum, which will also showcase a video and exhibit related to the train museum.
Saturday’s event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with presentations beginning at the top of each hour between 10:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Frisco Heritage Museum. Guided tours of the Railroad Museum site will begin every half-hour between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children ages 3-12.