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BNSF, Progress Rail, and Gandydancer Services Team up to Install a New Main Line Switch

When the Museum of the American Railroad completed its 18-month move of its 45-piece rolling stock collection from Fair Park to Frisco in 2013, the temporary connection to BNSF’s main line was removed.  The connection, which had been a gift of the Railroad, was essential in establishing the new Museum.  When the switch was removed, negotiations began to create a permanent connection in its place. 

Through the generosity and cooperation of BNSF, along with contributions from manufacturers and rail contractors, a permanent connection will be re-established, enabling the Museum to move cars and locomotives to and from its new home.  The switch was purchased at cost from Progress Rail, which manufactured the device just north of Frisco in Sherman.  Final assembly and initial installation was generously provided by Gandydancer Railroad and Excavating Services at no cost to the Museum.  BNSF crews performed final installation and “tie-in” to their main line. 

The 150-foot long “vertical point” switch is a recent development, having newly-designed components that ensure quiet, safe operation of trains over the main line, while still allowing light density traffic in and out of the Museum.  “This represents a significant investment by the Museum that re-connects us to the national system of rail lines.  It ensures our viability and sustainability as a rail attraction, with the ability to grow and host special events,” said Bob LaPrelle, the Museum’s CEO. 

The Museum is indebted to BNSF Railway for their continued support of its expansion of programs and services in North Texas.  The Museum’s collection represents over 100 years of BNSF history through the preservation of legacy pieces, including a 1900 Fort Worth & Denver Railway business car, and locomotives & cars from the famed Chicago-Los Angeles Super Chief streamliner of the 1950s. 

The Museum is also very grateful to Gandydancer Services of Cleburne and Progress Rail’s Sherman operations for their generosity in supplying and installing the new main line switch. 

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