WEBSTER GROVES, MO (KPLR) - The former Frisco Train Station in Webster Groves is in need of anywhere from $90,000 to $1 million dollars worth of repairs, starting with a new roof.
Ken Risley is a member of the Big Bend Railroad Club, which owns the building.
“Some of the electricity needs to be replaced,” said Risley. “We have the knob and tube wiring in some places. The building itself needs work; our blacktop out there needs to be replaced.”
Big Bend Railroad Club members showed a FOX 2 videographer some of the intricate detail that goes into their model train sets, on display inside.
Bob O’Neill said, “On the rail here, all these ties are individually cut, a quart-inch square. There's over a half a million railroad spikes in this model railroad.”
Risley and his fellow club members believe maintaining this building is important for the next generation of rail fans here in the middle of America.
“But in order to do that we need to come up with funding from somewhere,” he said. “We've gotten a few grants, and we have operating nights like tonight. We have donation barrels, plastic tins. We ask people to put donations in.”
Tuesday was the first Tuesday of the month. And that means the Big Bend Railroad Club was holding its monthly open house. It’s a chance for people like Jim Crawford and his grandson, Cameron, to get their “train” on.
“He lives in Chicago, so we come down by train,” said Crawford. “We've got to go to the zoo to see the train, so for a year now he's been infatuated with them.”
Risley said the fund-raising is a process.
“Well, we don't have large amounts of funding. For now we have a limited budget. We're making the changes and fixes and rebuilds with what we can do. And we've been getting a few grants here and there.”