The Houston Railroad Museum could call Tomball its new home, according to city officials who met with museum leaders May 29.
Although officials from the museum are considering other options in Houston, Philip Scheps, the museum's treasurer, said Tomball remains the top prospect for relocating the organization.
"We have great interest in Tomball," said Jerry Dorcz, who is heading the relocation efforts for the museum. "It is becoming the center of a lot of growth in the area, and it's a destination spot. The location is ideal for our organization."
However, the status of the move is at a stalemate, pending permission from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to attach a track to their main line in Tomball that would hold the museum's trains, according to Scheps.
If the BNSF grants the museum permission, officials can purchase the city property and begin building new tracks. Museum officials are still discussing exactly where in Tomball a potential site would be located, but the Historic Tomball Depot Plaza is being considered.
Museum leaders began looking to relocate from their home of 35 years at the Railwood Industrial Park when property owners decided to expand their business.
Then, the Tomball City Council took one step toward moving the museum to town when it voted last November to approve an agreement with the Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
City Manager George Shackelford said the museum would be a great addition to Tomball, especially with the city's beginnings as a railroad hub.
"The museum is a good destination point and it would also draw lots of tourists to our area," Shackelford said. "It's a good match for our city because of the railroad history here that lots of people are interested in."
Scheps said negotiations for the possible relocation are ongoing.
The Houston Railroad Museum holds a collection of locomotives, railway express equipment, freight cars and artifacts, such as signals, lanterns and signs. It also offers a scholarship to the National Park Service's Rail Camp in Pennsylvania, and provides railroad speakers at special events.
The museum is currently moving its collection to temporary storage and its current location remains closed until further notice. Scheps said he hopes the museum can reopen at a new location in early 2014.