DALLAS - Work may be beginning on the removal of the beloved model train display at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
The trains currently take up more than 5,000 square feet of space. The hospital wants to remove them to make room for a new two-story multi-purpose area featuring an outdoor courtyard, all-abilities playground and full-service Starbucks.
A spokeswoman for Children’s would not comment on when the trains will have their last run but workers appeared to be putting up boards in the area late Wednesday.
The hospital’s decision to remove the trains that have been in place for three decades ignited a firestorm on social media at the beginning of the year. Former patients and parents made passionate pleas for the hospital to find a new location.
In just a few days, a petition to save the trains grew from a few thousand to more than 28,000 signatures.
In January, Children’s agreed to incorporate the trains into the hospital’s lobby. Then everything was put on hold because of the pandemic.
The hospital said Wednesday it is still coming up with the plan for how the “spirit of the Trainscape” might be incorporated into the lobby.
“Now more than ever, we understand the importance of providing the patient families we proudly serve and our health care heroes with an environment and experience designed entirely around them, whether it is by offering opportunities for safe play or a place for respite during what may be a stressful time. As we remain committed to providing a positive experience, we will also continue to assess opportunities for incorporating the spirit of the Trainscape in the lobby of our Dallas campus. Due to COVID-19, we are still in the planning stages of updating our lobby and look forward to sharing more details in the future,” Children’s Health said in a statement.
The boards appear that they will block the view of the trains to patients and visitors once fully installed.
Children’s would not confirm or deny that is what is happening and refused to comment on how much longer the trains will run.
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