Railway Preservation News

Steam: Collection vs. Restoration
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Author:  Dennis Hogan [ Mon Jun 22, 1998 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Steam: Collection vs. Restoration

While the rate of acquisition of old steam locomotives may have picked up slightly in recent years due to towns getting rid of their park engines, I don't see the rate of cosmetic restoration rising at most museums. To inject a note of realism, I think the interest, manpower, and money to do steam restoration has peaked. [ I mean both restoration to operation and cosmetic restoration.] I see this trend in both large and small museums. CSRM, for example, still has not done anything with its Santa Fe collection! IRM is collecting a lot more steam, but last visit there revealed to me a lot of the steam collection out in the elements with little work evident. The examples could go on....<p>I really wonder if the recent collection of these steam locomotives is not just forming concentrated "ghettos" for them to be ignored and eventually scrapped----all best intentions aside.<p><br>

Author:  Kevin Gillespie [ Mon Jun 22, 1998 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Steam: Collection vs. Restoration

Gentlemen,<p>At the time SP #975 was moved to the Illinois Railway Museum, it was the only way to keep it from being cut up on the spot. If you look at Wes Barris' list, we have lost too many steamers in recent years. We can't afford to lose any more, since there is for all intents and purposes a limited number left.<p>Af for them being concentrated in iron horse ghettos (I'd prefer the word corrals), I don't know of any museum that would sell a steamer for scrap with the possible exception of the Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, after the outrage they committed with their UP E-8 #928.<br>Yes I know it wasn't a steamer, but these days E units are as scarce as whale dung in Kansas.<p>To sum it up, I applaud any museum that rescues a locomotive from certain death. If securing it on their property is the best a museum can do, so be it! At least it will be around for someone to restore in the future, unlike CB&Q #5632 or GTW #5629. <br>


Author:  Ron Goldfeder [ Mon Jun 22, 1998 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Steam: Collection vs. Restoration

Thr real limiting factors in cosmetic restoration are money and trustworthy people. Those who want to see it happen faster at museum x should be reminded that donations toward the restoration of engines will oftern be of great help in getting the people who are available to work on the item of your interest sooner. Every museum has money problems, and the financial support of the fans is worth every bit a much as their moral support, perhaps even more. <br>


Author:  Todd Schultz [ Tue Jun 23, 1998 10:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Steam: Collection vs. Restoration

Kevin's comments are right on line. I recently became involved in preservation, and am discovering that everyone thinks preservation and restoration is great, but it takes a lot of persuasion to get people to actually contribute money. I am working on a project to acquire a Baldwin DS-4-4-1000 diesel switcher for our museum, and raising the money is the biggest hurdle.<p>The point? If people think item X should be restored, they should give some money to the organization that is working on it. If they don't want to or can't give any money, they should help raise funds or get out there and sacrifice some sweat.<br>


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