Railroad museum nearing national recognition - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Railroad museum nearing national recognition


Sitting in one of the large buildings at the Sioux City Railroad Museum is an item on the National Historic Register.

A big item: a steam engine.

"It was recognized in December of 2004." said Larry Obermeyer, Railroad Museum Nomination Author.

The process of applying is a lengthy one with a lot of work involved.

"Its technology - why was that unique. Then, find out about its service history, where it operated. Then you have to put it into the context of overall railroad history." said Obermeyer.

Now the museum is working to get the entire grounds on the historic register. Quite a ways away from where they were 20 years ago when they moved here.

Back then the group needed a larger location for their displays including the steam engines.

However, the new site was in ruins.

"It was in very rough shape. When we go back and look at the pictures of when we first came out here it's even hard for us to get our minds around." said Matt Merk, Railroad Museum Executive Director.

Things have changed greatly.

So much so that, with the unique items on display, they are close to earning the National Historic Register placement for the entire grounds.

"This has actually helps us say that the site is important to the nation as a whole, to the railroad industry as a whole. So it just elevates it to a higher level of recognition." said Obermeyer.

"To bring it from a salvage yard state up to a beautiful grounds and the museum that it is today, it's pretty phenomenal." said Merk.

And now they are on the fast track to national recognition.

The application for the National Register isn't the only thing the Railroad Museum has been up to.

They've also been working on some upgrades to their model trains.

Volunteers have given the displays a fresh paint job.

The museum's executive director says it is a vital and very involved process.

"They do a lot of touch up, a lot of track work. It's very tedious. As you can see, there's a lot of detail in it and it's somewhat fragile. It requires a lot of work and upkeep and maintenance. They've made some great strides in making improvements to that." said Merk.

They have also made progress on a cordless stationary steam engine display.

The flywheel and crankshafts have been put into place.

Work also continues on their Grand Scale Train, which they hope will be running on the grounds some time this spring.

Powered by Frankly