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Construction underway in Crosslake for model railroad museum building

Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association club members announce that construction of the model railroad museum's new home in Crosslake has begun, with the building's exterior resembling a train depot.

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Construction begins on the new Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association building in Crosslake. Submitted photo.

Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association club members announce that construction of the model railroad museum's new home in Crosslake has begun, with the building's exterior resembling a train depot.

The museum lost almost its entire inventory and the facility it rented to a fire last June. Since that time, club members have raised adequate funds to begin construction of a new facility on the land donated to them by the previous owners of Pineberry Plaza.

The current construction activity - phase one - will include framing in and enclosing the facility in a weather-tight shell. Contractors project completion of this phase within the next couple of months.

To finish the facility (phase two), including the interior rooms, new model train layouts and displays, the club needs to raise additional funds. It will apply for grants to help offset phase two expenses and hold fundraisers throughout the Brainerd lakes area.

The organization has already received generous donations and support from local citizens, business owners and its members to it to complete phase one. More than $65,000 in donations have been raised. Also, a local contractor and architect donated many hours of time at no charge.

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Another patron donated the sign posted on the site. Several other model railroad clubs have offered to donate or loan model train layouts and exhibits to help the club get started again, once the building is complete. Crosslake Mayor David Nevin is also supportive of the organization.

The club's members and building committee members are hard at work planning the design of the new train layouts, developing plans for membership drives and for fundraising. Members hope to have a few smaller layouts in place by summer so visitors can come in and see the plans for finishing the facility and the final, larger layouts.

The NMRHA members believe that finishing the building is an attainable goal, and they want to once again offer the joy of model trains and railroading to everyone in the area.

If you are interested in joining the club and/or helping the NMRHA raise funds, rebuild new layouts or offer some in-kind construction expertise, contact the building committee at 218-829- 8922 (ask for George) or mail a note or tax-deductible donation to NMRHA, PO Box 494, Crosslake, MN 56442.

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