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Stream-Liner Rolls into Frisco!

What’s 850 feet long, 16 feet high, and weighs 1.4 million pounds?  It’s the new Stream-Liner Education Center at the Museum of the American Railroad!

The Museum is pleased to announce the arrival of ten “Highliner” double deck commuter rail cars.  Just retired from Metra, Chicago’s regional commuter authority, the cars will be used as immersion experience classrooms, as well as host special events and community activities within the Museum’s new facility in Frisco.  The train represents a major commitment to education in North Texas.

Since their delivery in the early 1970s, traveling on the Highliners has been a daily ritual for millions of Chicagoans commuting between the downtown loop and south suburbs.  The electric-powered 166-car fleet is being replaced by newer versions after four decades of faithful service.  The Museum acquired the cars in a public offering, with the majority of the fleet going to scrap.  Arrival of the Highliners in Frisco coincides with the final run of the last remaining cars in Chicago this Friday. 

With the Museum’s educational programs expanding to a larger audience in North Texas, the Highliners will provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience for a wide range of grades during field trips to the Museum.  While two cars will be preserved in their original state, plans allow for others to be outfitted with the latest technology to assist with classroom instruction.  The Museum is currently seeking funding and sponsorships for these improvements.    

The Highliners will be branded the Stream-Liner, an acronym emphasizing science, technology, railroading, engineering, arts, and mathematics components of the Museum’s educational programming.  Stretching the length of nearly three football fields, the ten cars will make an impressive sight at the Museum.  Construction of the first three of ten exhibit tracks totaling 6,000 feet is underway.  Upon completion, the cars will be placed on Track #7 for permanent display and use.  

The Museum wishes to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of Metra, and in particular the Electric Division, for making acquisition of the Highliners possible.  Their cooperation and support has ensured the preservation of the cars and the creation of an exciting, new educational resource in North Texas.  “Your organization is truly a credit to the railroad industry and to the preservation and recognition of the historical significance of so many aspects of the business.  I’m proud to have been able to play a part in the support of such a worthwhile endeavor,” said Bill Badurski, Senior Management with Metra. 

BNSF Railway graciously provided reduced-rate transportation of the cars from Chicago to Texas, some 850 miles.  The Museum is indebted to the many individuals at BNSF that handled the cars with great care and provided updates along the way.  The Fort Worth-based railroad has been a long-time supporter of the Museum, which proudly displays several legacy cars and locomotives from its predecessor lines. 

More information about the Museum’s Stream-Liner educational facility can be found at www.HistoricTrains.org.  For additional information about educational programs, click here or contact ArtReach at 214-219-2049. 

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