Gopher State Railway puts new display building into place

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Gopher State Railway Museum is starting small with its plans for a railroad museum two miles north of New Prague... That is, if you consider a project that involves moving a building to be small.

Chuck Tuma, vice-president of the non-profit organization, explained that Steve Meger of Meger Moving moved the building from the south end of the museum's 20 acres along Highway 21 to the northeast corner of its property.

Meger and son Scott jacked the building up onto wheels on Saturday, July 11, and moved it the next day. On Monday, July 13, the Megers with aid from Tuma lowered the structure into place. Meger estimated it was 15 to 20 hours of work.

The area where the building now sits - off of 252nd Street West - is covered with gravel. Gopher State Railway had the area developed last fall as part of its early plans for the land.

Tuma said the building will be renovated to resemble a station house. A deck will be added, to also provide handicap access, windows will be installed and a semaphore will be placed outside the structure. Inside will be various railroad items the museum has collected. Tuma estimated the building could be open to the public by early fall.

Long term plans are to develop the 20 acres to include a museum park with various buildings, trains, cars, equipment and other artifacts. The organization also plans to install tracks and a switch, to provide access to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks east of the property to offer train rides.

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