Rail enthusiasts look to transform California freight depot into museum

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HEALDSBURG, Calif. — Railroad enthusiasts in northern California are eyeballing an old Northwestern Pacific freight depot as the potential site of a new railway museum.

Leaders at the newly established Healdsburg Freight Depot Museum Society recently pitched their idea to city leaders in Healdsburg, The Press Democrat reports.

While city leaders showed enthusiasm for the project, the final decision will be left to the owners of the property, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency.

A local model railroad society is already leasing a portion of the structure to use the building for storage. Now, preservationists are hoping to renegotiate a long-term lease and have the new freight depot fixed and oversee its maintenance.

Dave Sheber, a preservationist involved in both the newly formed preservation group and the model railroad club, says he estimates it could take as much as $500,000 to improve the depot’s electrical and plumbing and making the structure accessible to those with disabilities.

“We’re open to talking with them and to hearing their ideas,” says Jeanne Mariani-Belding, a spokesperson for the transit agency.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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