Preserve Western Ranch Theme Railroad Dining Car

$7,686 of $32,850 goal

Raised by 73 people in 10 months



Help save this 1950’s work of art! Built for the iconic Great Northern Railroad’s “Empire Builder” which ran from Minnesota to Washington state. These dining cars welcomed riders to enjoy a meal in a classic Western atmosphere.  Decorated with rustic wooden timbers, murals of ranch scenes, and brown & white leather seats, this dining car makes you feel like you are on a Montana ranch and is a time capsule of America history. Great Northern Empire Builder’s Ranch Car “White Pines Lake” needs a new home. 

It has been restored, loved, and cared for in Columbus, Ohio but now must move. 

The owners will donate it to the Minnesota Transportation Museum but we must raise the funds to move it by highway to Minnesota. Our short term goal is to have the car as a static display while we work to acquire the correction power generation system and air conditioning for the car. Long term, we plan to have the car in full operational service on our Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway.

With your help, it can join the collection of the Minnesota Transportation Museum in St Paul, Minnesota so future generations can experience this piece of history. Give today to help make this vision happen! Our goal is to have the funding in place by April 30, 2019.

All funds donated on this campaign go directly to the Minnesota Transportation Museum which is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization.

Donors will receive a tax receipt for their gift from PayPal Giving Fund for income tax purposes. More information on the ranch cars can be viewed at: 

"The Ranch Car Program" - Donor Recognition Donation of $100 or more: Invitation for you and a guest to the unveiling celebration. (To be scheduled at a later date)   Donation of $250 or more: Limited edition collectible with image of the car, GN logo and commemorative text. (Items will be sent upon completion of the move to MN)   Donation of $500 or more: Your name will be included on a contributor recognition list permanently displayed in the car.   Donation of $1244 or more: (Limited availability) Your name will be attached to a chair in recognition of your contribution. This will be done in a nice engraved nameplate.

*If our fundraising goal is not reached this year, donors will be contacted and be offered a choice of a full refund of their donation or choose to donate to another project at the Minnesota Transportation Museum***

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SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA - The Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM) is thrilled to announce our fundraising effort, to bring the Great Northern Ranch Car number 1244 to MTM, has reached a major milestone.

1244 is coming home to Minnesota!

Due to the overwhelming donor support for the 1244 project, and the generous donation offer of this beautiful piece of history from the Barry Fromm family of Columbus, Ohio, the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Transportation Museum voted last night to allocate funding from the Richard Kolter fund to make sure the 1244 comes to MTM for future generations to enjoy. The board voted unanimously to dedicate funds for the effort.

The MTM will continue to accept donations from people who wish to be part of making this acquisition a reality and to sponsor its care and restoration. The car will eventually require mechanical systems such as a generator and air conditioning to prepare for potential future operations.

Thank you very much to the donors of for this project and to those who generated support for this effort. This historic railcar acquisition is a very welcome addition to our Great Northern railway collection of items.

As mentioned above we will CONTINUE to raise funding to support this railcar in Minnesota. Please consider donating to establish funding for work the car will need.

More information will be shared about the upcoming movement to Minnesota as it is confirmed. The movement will happen in summer 2019.

On behalf of the MTM and our Board of Directors, we would like to thank you again for all of your support


Brandon Gatz
1244 Project Lead
Board Director
Minnesota Transportation Museum
The Ranch Car - GN 1244
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Thanks to the generous donation by Twin Cities Transport & Recovery for the lifting operation when the car arrives in Minnesota we are proud to announce that we are reducing the target amount for this project from $50,000 DOWN to $45,000!

We are almost a third of the way to our goal, currently at $14,766 raised total between funds donated directly to the museum and this campaign. THANK YOU to all who have supported us so far, but we have a favor to ask...

Please continue to share the word about this phenomenal opportunity to bring a beautiful piece of Great Northern Railway and American passenger travel history back to Minnesota! Every dollar counts at this point and we have been given a deadline to raise the money. We have to have the movement funding secured by May 2019 to make the move off the property to Minnesota.
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The generous donations keep on coming in at the Minnesota Transportation Museum for the Ranch dining car movement! We have received two checks at the museum for The Ranch Car project totaling $1,850!

Those two donations push us over $9,100 raised!

To account for these donations, the "target" of our fundraiser is still $50,000 total. To reflect the direct donations to MTM, the GoFundMe page goal will be reduced to show the progress.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all of our donors and to those who have been with us along the way. Please help us get OVER the $10,000 mark by spreading the word about this effort! Funds can be donated directly to MTM or on this GoFundMe page.
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Happy 2019! It is a happy new year indeed for The Ranch Car effort. The Minnesota Transportation Museum received a $4,000 donation directly for the move. We also got another private donation on the fundraiser page. That brings our total JUST OVER $7,250!

Thank you VERY MUCH to every single donor and to everyone who has kept us in their thoughts as we raise these funds to bring this beautiful piece of railroad history to Minnesota.

These funds are going directly to the movement of Great Northern Ranch/Dining car #1244 to MTM.
Since the donation was made by check directly to MTM and not to the GoFundMe page, the easiest way to reflect progress toward the goal is to reduce the goal from $50,000 on the page, to $46,000.

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$7,686 of $32,850 goal

Raised by 73 people in 10 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Minnesota Transportation Museum
Certified Charity
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St. Paul, MN
EIN: 237066156
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