GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum is prepared for a steamy summer and hopes to include a few more railroad cars, a steam engine and the rail to go with it.
According to Museum Board President Jim Love, the museum recently cut down vegetation in order to dig out a new path in order to lay more rail for more railroad cars. He said the museum is looking at acquiring another car from the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway and would potentially only need to pay for its transport.
“It’s a combination passenger roomette car,” said Love. “You could sleep in it and it had seats. It ran on the 20th Century Limited between Chicago and New York. It’s one of the old heavyweight cars with the six-wheel trucks.”
The museum is looking to acquire two cars and a steam engine. The museum already possesses a caboose which was installed at the museum last year. Love said he had a meeting this Saturday to discuss moving the engine. Love said he is also anticipated to meet with area engineer Randy Breech soon about architectural work on the freight station building.
Around $125,000 is slated to head to the Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum and its rehabilitation efforts as part of the passage of Ohio’s capital budget bill which dedicates funds to various applicable projects throughout the state. A member of the state visited the museum Thursday to discuss the funding and rehabilitation efforts the museum would like to tackle first.
On top of everything else, the museum is looking at installing a track switch into its plans as it places a somewhat Y-shaped rail system outside the museum.
“We’ve looked at a railroad passenger car which happened to have belonged to (Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus),” said Love previously. “It’s an old Pennsylvania sleeper car and Barnum and Bailey converted it to a five compartment sleeping car. It’s in Huntington now and they’re stripping it out and we’re just getting the car and we’ll put our own interior in it.”
The board anticipates to make the passenger car into a meeting room with a warming oven and cooling unit for catering and would like to rent it out to individuals who like to have parties or meetings. The car is planned to sit on museum track right beside the station. The car is a model from 1949 and is stainless steel. Board members feel the car is still “railworthy” and able to travel. It weighs around 95,000 pounds with its trucks being around 5 tons a piece. Board members plan to transport the car by placing rubber wheels on it and pulling it as a tractor trailer rig.