Train Enthusiasts On Track To Preserve Railroad Cars In Jenks

Sunday, August 15th 2010, 8:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Broaddus, The News On 6

JENKS, OK -- Train enthusiasts in Jenks, Oklahoma are on track to preserve a piece of the past. They're working to save two old Frisco Railroad passenger cars sitting in the way of a parking lot expansion project.

"The Frisco Railroad was the first railroad into Tulsa and had it not been for the Frisco, the Tulsa townsite probably would not have been established when it was or where it was," said Bill Gillfillan, who is a railroad preservationist.

Jenks is calling the historic cars an attractive nuisance. They sit tucked away just off of Main Street.

"They look neglected, and when they look neglected, people tend to take advantage of them and tag them with graffiti and things like this," said Mike Massey, Frisco 4500 Project Manager.

The city tried to give the cars to museums, but it was too expensive to move them. The only option seemed like the salvage yard.

"They would be chopped up into small enough pieces to fit into a dump truck and hauled off for salvage," said Carl Schorfheide, who is a railroad preservationist.

Schorfheide didn't want to see a piece of Tulsa history scrapped. Now he's the engine driving a project to save the cars, but time is running out. 

"We need to be able to pay Bennett Steel $11,500 by noon tomorrow (Monday) to secure a date and time to get the cranes in here to lift them out," said Schorfheide.

Schorfheide says he has the money to make that happen. But, it's a loan. He's hoping train enthusiasts will donate to the cause so he doesn't have to cover all the costs. And, that's not the only problems he's facing.

He still needs to find a non-profit that can provide a permanent home for the cars, otherwise the deal is off and they'll be scrapped anyway. 

Donors or non-profits wanting to help can send an e-mail to:

8/9/2010  Related Story: Plan To Scrap Rail Cars Has Preservationists Looking For A New Home