By Russ McCaskey

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FRISCO (CBS11) –  It’s said the railroad and trains have touched every aspect of our lives.

“North Texas is really the center of commerce it is today because of the railroads,” said Bob LePrelle, the CEO of Museum of the American Railroad.

It was the intersection of two rail lines in Dallas that put this region on the map.

“The first line through Dallas was in 1872 was the Houston and central railroad. Much of it is still intact. Although part of it is central expressway,” LePrelle said.

And that’s just part of what you will learn at the Museum of the American Railroad.

For decades the museum was located at Fair Park, but a few years ago, they rolled north to Collin County and set up shop in Frisco. It’s a place with a railroad history.

“Frisco was railroad community. It was originally a water stop to replenish steam locomotives that had a great thirst for water to produce steam,” LePrelle said.

The Museum has one of the largest collections of locomotives and cars in the country. And they have a star attraction.

“But this is the one everyone wants to see. This is the Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotive #4018. It was built in 1942 and weighs 1.2 million pounds. It could pull over 110 freight cars. It is a monster,” LePrelle said.

While they are open, the museum is very much a work in progress.

“It’s all patterned after a big city train station that you might have seen at the turn of the century. It will be perfect complex to display this and have visitation and public events,” LePrelle said.

The museum already educates about the past. Eventually they will also explore new technologies and transportation solutions — Which makes this another jewel, right here in north Texas.

Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco (Russ McCaskey - CBS11)

Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco (Russ McCaskey – CBS11)

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