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 Post subject: Detroit Edison #203 0-6-0
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 am
Posts: 746
Location: Michigan
The engine that started it all for me (most likely), DTE #203, in the park at Marysville, Michigan. I can clearly remember builder's plates AND headlight on her, as well as tender light. Sometime while I was gone, they redid her, and things went, well, missing. Still kind of cool that my son and daughter beg me well, EVER DAY, to go climbing on her. With apologies to Eddie Gross for use of photo.

TJ

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Edison #203 0-6-0
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 8139
Location: Wilton, NY
At least it made out better than the 207 at Allen Park, which was cut up about 1970. The loss of parts is probably due to the city hiring contractors to make the engine safe as a piece of playground equipment. They typically cut off whatever is in their way of asbestos removal or rusty protrusions, and scrap those pieces.

For this sanctioned vandalism, I don't blame the contractors nor city officials, none of whom has a clue about locomotives, but I do blame those of us who cherish these artifacts. Instead of shooting yet more photos of Dash 9s or building an HO scale yard in the basement, we need to be forming small, effective groups to stabilize and restore these engines we revere so much.

With capable and persistant volunteer help, donated materials and services, a small group can do wonders at restoration of such derelict locomotives. Surprisingly, the real important work is not what is seen, but involves such nasty work as journal polishing; smokebox, firebox, ashpan and tender cleaning, and so forth. With those items finished, then the appearance may be tackled. I'll bet the "collectible" pieces from the 203 would turn up with some queries and searching also.

There is really no reason why the 203 and other locomotives in the same condition can't be restored to look like they are operable. It just involves a serious committment by a few people to make it happen. When those persons demonstrate their comittment, local support is usually forthcoming. I fear that if we don't get off our collective duffs before too long, many display locomotives won't be around in another 50 years.

I live a long way from your city, but if I did live there, you'd definitely see me down in that park getting dirty. I can't think of anything I'd rather do.


Last edited by bobyar2001 on Mon May 02, 2005 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Edison #203 0-6-0
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:00 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2779
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I believe there is a photo series on this engine in Trains of the 1960's or 1970's. It shows the engine being moved to this location under steam, and then operating back and forth during the dedication ceremony. The text was criticising the deterioration of the engine at that time, which of course is nothing compared to its stripped condition now.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Edison #203 0-6-0
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:43 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 6419
Location: southeastern USA
bobyar2001 wrote:
For this sanctioned vandalism, I don't blame the contractors nor city officials, none of whom has a clue about locomotives, but I do blame those of us who cherish these artifacts.


I do blame them, Bob. If a bureaucrat in Gainesville, GA can have the sensibility to know that a steam locomotive is not a jungle gym but an artifact so can bureaucrats in any town. If we have a responsibility, it is to remind them of it and insure they are teated not as a disposable asset like the swingset that will be replaced when it rusts out in 15 years, but as an irreplaceable bit of history the city took the responsibility to exercise stewardship for at some point in history - if they choose not to do so, they need to offer it to those who will.

Hold them accountable and enforce high standards.

dave

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“God, the beautiful racket of it all: the sighing and hissing, the rattle and clack of the cars over the rails. These were the sounds that made America the greatest country on earth." Jonathan Evison


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Edison #203 0-6-0
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 11:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Saint Clair, MI
I'm glad that the people involved with that engine have "re-railed" it! About five years ago, the DE steamer was plow-first in the dirt, sinking more and more every year. They shored it up, leveled it out and at least made the ballast around the engine more attractive than it was. Me and my wife had our engagment pictures taken there back in '02, and they turned out GREAT!!

I would rather see a historic piece of equipment restored and USED, but if it is beyond any realistic means of restoration, then on display in public view is a great second-choice! The DE steamer was from the power plant just up the road, so it was a local piece. I kinda wish more cities, villages and townships would have to foresight to acquire more local RR pieces, such as the "local switcher", a home-road boxcar, an interlocking tower, semaphore, wig-wag, CPL signals and the such, or anything that piques the interest of those who see it. Since the railroads were such an intregal part of most cities' existances, almost EVERY museum should have a RR piece in it's collection! The more people that can recognize relics from their past are more likely to have an interest in helping keep it in good shape/restore it. I think with having a local engine in the park helps keep the locals interested in seeing it preserved. If it were say a Southern Pacific engine in the Marysville, MI park, it would keep the diehards interested, but not too many locals would be able to relate to the "foreign" equipment. Same can be said for operating RR Museums. If you run a train in Oregon, a B&O sleeper car may not be the best choice for your train. Unless you need a car and can save it from the scrapper! Then all bets are off!

Take care and God bless,

Dave Jandron


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Edison #203 0-6-0
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 11:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 am
Posts: 746
Location: Michigan
Yeah, Dave, your probably right. I could fain the ignorance of a teenager at the time (I didn't know any better), but somebody should have. At this point, I'm not sure what we could do ---- local politics being what they are, Marysville really doesn't care to listen to those of us from Port Huron, and even building, say, a structure over top of it would be a stretch.

Maybe Bob Kutella know, but from what I understand, IRM may have made a bid for it at some point, but was refused by the city. This would have to have been while I was gone (1993-1999). The only reason i think its IRM is that a Marysville official, when I tried to speak with them about it, indicated "some Chicago area museum tried to get it, but we told 'em no."


T.J.


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