Fort Worth-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway recently completed installation of a switch in its main line through Frisco to provide rail access to the Museum's new site on Cotton Gin Road. The switch will allow the Museum's 40-piece collection of historic locomotives and rail cars to move the 55 rail miles between Dallas and Frisco and enter its new facility on their own wheels. Many of those pieces are not capable of movement by any other means due to their immense size and weight.
"This is a major contribution from BNSF, one that literally makes the Museum's relocation possible. We are grateful to BNSF for their continued support of this project, and their commitment to preserving our nation's railroad heritage," says Museum CEO, Bob LaPrelle.
The majority of the Museum's rolling stock collection consists of heritage pieces from BNSF predecessor lines, including Santa Fe, Frisco, Fort Worth & Denver, and Northern Pacific. The largest heritage piece, the 800,000 lb. Frisco Steam Locomotive #4501, will negotiate the new switch this Fall when a modern BNSF diesel locomotive eases it onto the Museum's new trackage. BNSF has graciously agreed to donate transportation of the Museum's collection as part of the move.
The Museum's track contractor completed the final 500 feet of lead track between the new site and BNSF's main line switch in late July. A symbolic driving of the last spike ceremony took place on July 26th, with Frisco Mayor Maher Maso and several Council Members taking part in the event. Final inspection of the track took place last week and some pieces of the Museum's collection are now on their way to Frisco.