MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Twin City Model Railroad is staying at St. Paul’s Bandana Square for now. But they’ll be moving to a new site sometime after next spring.
Museum officials worked out a deal with their landlord Monday to remain open through March 2016, allowing for a full schedule of the popular “night trains” exhibit.
The landlord had previously served them an eviction notice, leading to Monday’s negotiations.
The deal reached during the eviction hearing has the museum paying about $30,000 in unpaid expenses. They’ll also pay full rent and operating expenses starting in December.
After the museum closes, leaders of the nonprofit will consolidate all layouts and exhibits in preparation for a move to a new facility. Museum president Rick Moore says they have some options.
“We’ve got one that we’re interested in, in the midway area,” Moore said. “We’ve got a couple of other opportunities that we’ve looked at a little bit further away. We feel we’ve got some opportunities there.”
The museum’s toy train division, located in a separate building in Bandana Square, closes on Monday.
With the lease arrangement made, the goal now is to raise funds to pay for a move that is going to cost a lot of money.
“Probably in the $250,000 range, I would say. This layout (in Bandana Square) needs to be cut apart, put back together, rewired,” he said. “The cost to move the layout and the work necessary is pretty significant.”
Moore said other layouts operated by the museum are much easier to move.
The museum is using donations to help pay for the move and Moore says they’ll apply for grants to make improvements once a new home is found.
“We’ve got some other grants that we’d like to pursue for some of the exhibits that would start to develop us as a better museum,” he said. “We have an interpretive plan in place and we’d like to follow through with that.”
The Twin City Model Railroad Museum dates back eight decades and has been in Bandana Square since 1984.