Working on the Railroad: $150,000 donation funding major makeover for exhibit
A 104-year-old steam locomotive housed at the Texas Forestry Museum in Lufkin will soon undergo a major makeover.
Thanks to a $150,000 donation from Houston-based Black Stone Minerals, the 1908 steam locomotive and the 1906 wood-burning steam log loader, located in the outdoor exhibit area of the museum, will receive a much-needed restoration.
The project will include rebuilding the track and roadbed beneath the railcar exhibit, installing a new roof over the railcars, restoring the log loader and log car, and restoring the museum’s Moscow, Camden and St. Augustine Fairmont railcars. Additionally, about 1,000 feet of simulated logging spur track will be constructed in the forest area behind the museum to give visitors a better understanding of the historic relationship between logging and railroads, and about 200 feet of track donated by the Angelina and Neches River Railroad will be added to the existing rail, allowing for the train to be moved to the track extension.
Once the work is completed, the train will be pulled back into its original location, and a hurricane-safe roof will be installed to cover the entire train exhibit, including the railcars.
“The ties under the train itself have deteriorated and are tilting, so we’re going to have to put in some temporary rail lines to move everything our of the way, put all the cars back and replace that bed,” said Carol Riggs, the museum’s interim director. “The ties are totally rotten underneath. While we’re doing that, we will be replacing the shed that is out there. We want to make a taller shed so you can actually see the depot through there, and it would continue down the length so all of the railcars are covered and protected. If they are out in the elements, they deteriorate rather quickly. In the 30 years I’ve been around, the caboose has been rebuilt three times, so it’s imperative to get better protection.”
To read more on this article at The Lufkin Daily News go to http://lufkindailynews.com/news/local/article_980616b6-ade5-11e1-9459-001a4bcf887a.html