Railroad museum looking for a home
November 27, 2008
TRUCKEE “-A planned Truckee Railroad Museum may be making a stop at the downtown train depot before settling into a permanent home.
The Truckee Donner Railroad Society plans for a museum to highlight the town’s railroad history, and ultimately aims to end up in the Railyard development on the east end of downtown. But until that project is approved and built, a smaller version may open its doors next to the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce.
“We see several benefits from having this next to the depot,” said Don Davis of the railroad society. “It will attract people downtown, celebrate Truckee history, offer an educational experience and allow us to gain visibility.”
The temporary museum would be housed in a caboose donated by Teichert, Davis said.
“The basic approach would be to have themed areas representing different areas of railroad influence in Truckee,” Davis said.
Early planning shows the depot parking lot shouldn’t loose any parking spaces, but the town and the society will have to figure out a way to get utilities to the caboose before the town council ultimately decides to approve it, Davis said, but council members offered encouragement and support.
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“I’m very impressed with the effort put into this,” said Council Member Richard Anderson. “This is something the community will benefit from certainly.”
Council Member Carolyn Wallace Dee suggested having historic railroad equipment scattered throughout the town, rather than in just one location.
Along with the caboose, the Society has accumulated a rotary snowplow, a crane, an engine, and a sleeper car, all currently in the Railyard site.
Davis said the 77-member society has raised almost $50,000 in donations and spent $14,500 on the equipment.
Bob Bell, president of the railroad society, said rehab work on the caboose and other rolling stock is underway.
Bell said he would like to have the doors open at the train depot site downtown by June in time for summer visitors.
“We’ve had real support from the community,” Davis said. “This is the first time I’ve been involved in a public venture where I haven’t encountered somebody saying, ‘this is a bad idea.'”