More displays headed to Frisco (Texas, that is)

friscobob Mar 20, 2013

  1. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Movement of the display pieces from the Museum of the American Railroad's old site at Fair Park in Dallas to its new home in Frisco is moving along. Check out this article by Tim Blackwell from the latest issue of Cowcatcher Magazine:

    MAR now in position to make ‘clean sweep’ of remainder of collection at former site
    20 March 20th, 2013
    By Tim Blackwell/Cowcatcher Magazine

    With two aged steam locomotives now resting peacefully on new track in Frisco, TX, the Museum of the American Railroad is about to clean house at Fair Park. If everything goes well with a planned 10-piece move, all but a handful of the museum’s signature locomotives will remain in Dallas in early April. By the end May, all of the pieces should be in Frisco.

    MAR, which has been in the process of moving its collection since last summer, is ready to move most of its remaining rolling stock now that room can been made in Frisco. On Tuesday, Frisco No. 1625 “Decapod” and Dallas Union Terminal No. 7 were lifted from flat cars by cranes onto the museum’s new RIP track before several onlookers and media representatives. Once BNSF removes the flat cars, track will be clear into the site to accept more pieces.

    On April 7, MAR plans to move a consist of locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars that has been assembled at Fair Park. After the train leaves, all that will remain are the Union Pacific Big Boy, Frisco “Meteor” No. 4501, F-7 diesel and two boxcars used for storage.

    “It’s going to be a big train,” MAR CEO Bob LaPrelle said. “It will be a clean sweep of everything non-essential to the move of the Big Boy and No. 4501.”

    The final pieces will move sometime in May.

    Two cranes provided by Crocker Crane took about eight hours to place the locomotives and tenders, which sat atop three flat cars since arriving shortly after the New Year. To prepare for placement, No. 1625 was positioned adjacent to the H&TC Depot near its final resting spot. The other flat cars were placed on nearby extensions or ”pocket” tracks to facilitate unloading after the locomotive was set down

    Cranes first lowered the Decapod onto large oak pallets 90 degrees to the track, then swapped their hold so the locomotive could be turned 180 degrees for final placement. Placing No. 1625′s five driving wheels and one pilot wheel on the 15-degree curved track took some maneuvering, but all six axles finally aligned and the locomotive was eased down. Once the draw bars and coal auger were aligned with the locomotive, the tender settled onto the track.

    Lifting of Dallas Union Terminal No. 7 was less complicated . The Baldwin 0-6-0 switcher was placed just behind No. 1625, along with its tender.

    Throughout the process, Santa Fe Motorcar M-160 performed flawlessly while positioning the flat cars during the lifts. Cars were shuttled between lifting points and the pocket tracks.

    Both steam locomotives will remain at their present location until the RIP track is lengthened during the next phase of track construction. The track, which will branch off into two parallel tracks, will ultimately terminate at MAR’s planned repair and restoration shop.

    In the meantime, volunteers are readying the next pieces to move by performing air tests on each. Officials were happy to find that brakes on three of the cars that have been on static display for several years performed well during initial testing, LaPrelle said.

    Also, volunteers shored up the brake system on the 113-year-old Fort Worth & Denver business car Texland. Additionally, last minute inspections and repairs are being made to the older friction type journals, with new pads and oil added as necessary.

    MAR is making repairs to one of the switches at Fair Park that will be needed to move the Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1, which is expected to move separately from the 10-piece consist but at the same time. Decayed ties are being replaced to firm up the switch so it can not only handled the GG-1 but also the Big Boy.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I am trying to recall a reason for the move. Was it a losing their Dallas site, which brought this activity?
  3. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    Bob, thanks for the info. I suspect the move of the Frisco 4-8-4 and the Big Boy will be a real railfan magnet.
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    And hopefully Bob will get us some photos! :)

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