MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A popular attraction in the Twin Cities is riding the rails for real Monday, going from one Saint Paul spot to another.
Miniaturized locomotives and boxcars have been wheeling around the Twin City Model Railroad Museum’s giant O-scale track layout at Bandana Square for more than three decades. But on Monday, volunteers will start packing up everything for a move to their new facility near St. Paul’s Midway area.
They also have to cut up the platform, possibly bringing in chainsaws to do the trick.
“Yep, that’s probably what they’re going to have to do,” Arnie Hochholter, who’s volunteered at the museum for 16 years, said. “They’re going to cut it up into pieces and haul ’em out, one piece at a time.”
The difficult part of sectioning off the platform will be combing through the miles of wiring that have been patched in beneath the layout for decades.
“The wiring underneath is 31 years of wiring and re-wiring and fixing things. It’s kind of a rat’s nest underneath there,” Hochholter said.
The crew brought in to take apart, and put together, the layout has done stuff like this before for shows at the Xcel Energy Center. They’ll make improvements to ensure the wiring is more efficient.
“The guys that are going to be doing it are pretty good at that sort of thing,” Hochholter said.
The museum celebrated their years at Bandana Square Sunday with one final day of tours and displays.
“I really hate to leave, it’s kind of a nice historic building,” Hochholter said.
Bandana Square is a series of railroad work houses converted into offices and suites.
“But when we move into the new building, we’ll have room for more of our layouts,” he said.
The model railroad needed to move because of rising expenses and lease difficulties at Bandana Square. They were using the upper corner of one building for their main layout, and a separate facility for their toy train division.
When the move is complete to 652 Transfer Road, the museum will have room to fit all their displays on one floor.
“It’s kind of a new adventure for us,” Hochholter said. “Hopefully, [visitors] are going to like it.”
The new Twin City Model Railroad facility is expected to be open sometime in April.