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Saved for now: Model Railroad Museum reaches deal to avoid eviction

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The Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum has been given more time to find a new home, after striking a deal with the owners of its current location in St. Paul.

The museum, which has been in existence for 81 years, has fallen behind on rent payments for its home in Bandana Square and had asked for help from donors to stave off eviction.

However, following a meeting with its landlord, the museum will be allowed to stay through March 2016.

In a press release, the museum says it will have to close down its "Toy Train Division" in the next door Chimney's building, but the main museum will be allowed to stay open until March – meaning it can hold its popular Holiday "Night Trains" season.

The Star Tribune reports the museum, run by around 150 volunteers, will also have to repay about $30,000 in unpaid expenses as part of the eviction agreement struck on Monday, and pay the full rent and operating expenses of $8,976 a month starting December.

It has renewed its appeal for donations to help it as it searches for a new home, and can cover the cost of paid staff who can ideally steer the organization to a more firm financial footing.

"The cost of the anticipated move and reopening of the museum will be substantial," the press release said. "Additional resources will also be needed in the future to fund professional staff as we move from a 100 percent volunteer organization in order to better manage and guide the future course of the organization."

"Our membership and executive board are incredibly touched by all the community support and attention the museum has received during this challenging time," it adds.

"We appreciate every single donation and we assure our supporters that all funds received will go towards ensuring that our museum’s legacy lives on through a new facility, improved layouts, exhibits and attractions."

Museum president Rick Moore told WCCO they are interested in a location in St. Paul's Midway area as a location for a new home, and have looked at a "couple of other opportunities" that are "a little bit further away."

You can donate to the museum using PayPal at tcmrm.org.

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