Red River Museum on track

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

DENISON, Tex. - The Red River Railroad Museum holds many artifacts highlighting much of Denison's past. A few months ago we told you the museum seemed like it would be history. In the meantime some activists have been busy working to keep the facility up and running.

What a difference a few months makes. In February, members of the Red River Railroad Museum were brainstorming ways to stay afloat, fearing the museum would hold the same fate as the old Denison High School. Now it seems like their hard work is paying off.

"It's been really exciting, it's an exciting time to be involved with the museum right now because of all the ideas that really, things that are really going to happen," said Tina Ditoma, a museum board member.

One of those things will be happening this week. The museum will expand to three rooms inside the Katy Depot and will be getting its own direct entrance. Extra space isn't the only thing that's grown since that February meeting.

"I think we've had like 15 to 20 volunteers sign up, and we've had a number of people interested in seeing the development of the railroad museum."

Many of those people have donated their money to support the museum. One member says in about 20 days the museum raised around $14,000. Members say all of these developments, like getting life-like diesel and steam train simulators, are encouraging, the still need help.

"I pretty much see the salvation of this railroad museum and its expansion as perhaps, one of Denison's last hopes and something they need to grasp onto and use it for our tourism."

Museum board members constantly look for volunteers and donations to help keep the spirit of the Katy alive.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Midniteryder Location: Sherman on Mar 31, 2008 at 10:43 PM
    As a railfan, I'm 100% for keeping the museum open, and even expanding the facilities. It's a necessary thing to keep memories of the MKT alive. Perhaps even showing how intertwined the fortunes of both Denison and the Katy would be good, to show folks a little bit about the history of Denison. Perhaps even some old MKT rolling stock (boxcars, gondolas, etc) along with the cabooses and locomotive already on display. Photos and perhaps models of the car shops and Ray Yard would also be helpful. There is (or was) a model RR club across the street in the former Katy offices that was working on a model railroad depicting Ray Yard- perhaps if they're still around, include their work. This is an opportunity not only for Denison but the entire area.
  • by Bill Brown Location: Arlington,Texas on Mar 31, 2008 at 06:06 PM
    I glad to see the Railroad museum getting the most needed support. I'm the son of a Katy locomotive engineer. The Katy was our life and livelyhood of many Denison families. I'm also a former employe of KXII. When the station opened, I was one of the two first camermen hired. When I left KXII after graduating college, I was a full time director. This was before the days of video tape. We did it all "LIVE"! I directed the Kids show, a program called "Current" (local activities) and the 6 & 10 news cast. We had to use still pictures on easles. The film room had two 16mm film projectors, a slide projector and a telop. We were black and white and fearless! We had to be because we did everything live. I would like to come visit the station sometime and see the changes. Bill Brown
  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Mar 31, 2008 at 02:50 PM
    Lynn, I suppose those who go to a railroad museum would be those who are interested in Railroad history. Pretty much like any other kind of museum that is out there.
  • by Lynn Location: Sherman on Mar 31, 2008 at 09:38 AM
    Who in the world patronizes this place? You'd have to pay me to go. Maybe that's part of their problem...Jazz it up. But, how in the world can you jazz up a railroad museum?
  • by Railroader Location: sherman on Mar 31, 2008 at 09:33 AM
    It is not quite accurate to compare the RR museum to the old high school. the museum is a collection of RR history, and it may be moved to another city. the high school housed nothing, and the memories are in the hearts and minds of former students, not in that old building.
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