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Western Railroad Discussion > Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca


Date: 05/07/01 13:54
Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Saginaw, TX on the edge of Ft Worth, now to be
a Rochelle type railfan spot. See story below
from Dallas Morning News today. This is Pure D
greatness.

Museum in the making
Saginaw plans $1 million showplace for train, grain history

05/07/2001

By Jenni Smith / The Dallas Morning News

SAGINAW – Saginaw's skyline wouldn't amount to much without its two massive grain elevators.

But these hulking gray buildings are more than easily visible landmarks. They put Saginaw on the map.

Without the grain industry, the north Tarrant County city founded in 1833 might not have taken root. Grain storage and milling businesses began moving to Saginaw in the late 1880s to be close to the railroad's last stop on southbound routes to Fort Worth.

So to honor the industries that shaped the city, the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce Foundation will open a "train and grain" museum on Saginaw Boulevard, perhaps as early as this summer.

"Obviously, these industries have played a significant role in Saginaw's history," chamber president Brendon Payne said. "It's about civic pride, and it's an excellent educational opportunity."

It could also be a financial opportunity for Saginaw.

Mr. Payne said city leaders hoped to cash in on the Old West theme and historic tourism that thrives in the Fort Worth Stockyards, a few miles south of Saginaw.

"This museum could be a good addition to the historic nature of the Stockyards because the grain and cattle industries are interconnected," he said. "They are like cousins – one supported the other. Cattle eat feed produced by the grain industry."

The cornerstone of the $1 million museum project is an authentic train depot donated by Mercantile Bank in Fort Worth.

The depot was built in the 1870s to serve Kosse, near Waco. In 1979, the bank purchased it, restored it and moved the depot to Fort Worth, where it was used as office space until it was uprooted again and shipped to Saginaw.

The depot will serve as the chamber's new offices, and will house artifacts from the train and grain industries. Some of the collection will be donated by Cargill Inc., which runs the large mill next to the grain elevators.

Mill manager Paul Wiest said Cargill would donate a railroad boxcar with a remodeled interior, milling machinery and old photographs.

"This project is good for our business in the sense that most people don't have any idea about how wheat is milled into flour," Mr. Wiest said. "Anyone who eats cereal in the morning is affected by this industry. It's an important part of life in Saginaw and everywhere, really."

Other items for the museum will be donated by the Trinity Valley Railroad Historical Association. Pieces include a train engine and a caboose.

The museum also will include a small park where train-lovers can watch locomotives lumber by, a favorite pastime in Saginaw, Mr. Payne said.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, whose Fort Worth headquarters is less than two miles from the museum site, donated 2.6 acres on Saginaw Boulevard to the project.

Railroad officials predict the project will be popular because "people are discovering trains again."

"There's a lot of history to trains that people have a tendency to forget. I guess they fly a lot," BNSF spokesman Jerry Jenkins said. "This is a good project. We have a close relationship with Saginaw because our track is so close to their town. Anything we can do to raise awareness of our industry is good."



Date: 05/07/01 14:02
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: kenw

Saginaw is moving up from when i lived in nearby Azle.....best of wishes for the effort.



Date: 05/07/01 14:20
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: Craigjp

COOL !Great ! Thanks BNSF lots better than sitting across 287 !



Date: 05/07/01 14:21
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Now all they need is an underground tunnel to the Sonic !



Date: 05/07/01 14:23
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: goofey

I worked with the girl that wrote this article! she's originally from the Arlington Morning News....this sounds great!



Date: 05/07/01 14:27
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: Craigjp

Lends a hand digging the tunnel



Date: 05/07/01 14:29
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: Craigjp

from across the street just north of Sonic ...i think last month sometime



Date: 05/07/01 14:50
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: railink

So Craig, we going back there anytime soon? Or when its done do I have to wait to see it for myself? LOL



Date: 05/07/01 14:52
RE: Ft Worth, new railfan Mecca
Author: Craigjp

I'll scope it out for you lol



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