WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It was an emotional morning for many residents who pleaded with Wichita Falls City Councilors in hopes of saving the Railroad Museum, one of which was President of the Railroad Museum Board Alyssa Johnston.
“Well it appears that we’ve gotten good support and positive feedback from the councilors and the mayor about moving forward with plans to reopen the museum,” Johnston said.
Plans that Johnston said they will continue to develop over the coming months before going back in front of councilors in hopes of receiving a lease agreement, but with fewer items than they started with.
“The vote that city council members took today essentially gifted the small artifacts from the Railroad Museum. We’re talking paper logbooks, smaller items were gifted to the Museum of North Texas History for them to preserve those items,” Johnston said.
Leaving many residents thinking that the museum might sell the gifted items.
“We don’t own it. We don’t gain from it. We are not selling it. It was just a recommendation to come up with a plan to make it viable to raise funds to put the better shape one on display,” Executive Director of Museum of North Texas History Nadine McKown said.
McKown said although they won’t be selling the items, they will have a permanent home at the museum.
“That means they become part of our collection. Obviously, there were probably more artifacts and we heard in the City Council meeting today that there are members of that group that privately have some items. None of that was in discussion today so we don’t take ownership of any of those,” McKown said.
While the Railroad Museum Board would have ownership of the rolling stock, such as train engines and passenger cars.
Johnston said they will meet with City Councilors in the coming weeks to discuss what final steps need to be taken in order to reopen the museum to the public.