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Still chugging along: Model Railroad Museum getting new life in new home

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A few months ago there were fears that the Twin City Model Railroad Museum had reached the end of the line.

The all-volunteer nonprofit that's been in St. Paul since 1934 had fallen behind on its rent and faced eviction from its home in Bandana Square.

But supporters rallied around the museum, the landlord gave them some more time, and now comes an announcement that they've found a new, more affordable home – that even happens to be next to some real railroad tracks.

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The new location is in the Midway area of St. Paul, near the former Amtrak station for the Twin Cities.

While affordability was their top priority, Museum spokesman Brandon Jutz tells BringMeTheNews the new

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d11292.576074980947!2d-93.19396759660188!3d44.9610663789956!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x52b32cae8fefcef5%3A0xa1139c12f0601707!2s652+Transfer+Rd%2C+St+Paul%2C+MN+55114!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1453508501732&w=240&h=240]

space will provide room for additional exhibits and programs.

"We'll be able to build new layouts that better represent our members interests as well as allow more interaction for the visitor, " Jutz said in an email.

The museum launched a fundraising drive with a goal of raising $100,000 to pay for their move. The Pioneer Press reports they've raised $80,000 of it so far (donations can be made here).

https://twitter.com/PioneerPress/status/690667942875418629

The Museum's announcement says they'll stay open at their Bandana Square location through Feb. 28 and plan to have their new location ready in the spring.

"The move is daunting for sure," Jutz says. Their library and collection of memorabilia are easily movable, but taking down, moving, and rewiring their train layouts is a bigger chore. "But, it's an opportunity to fix worn out track, old wiring, and add new features to these well loved layouts to give them a fresh face," he says.

The museum spent much of its history in St. Paul's Union Depot. It moved to Bandana Square – formerly the locomotive shops for the Northern Pacific Railroad – 31 years ago.

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