Railway Preservation News

GTW 5629, question
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Author:  bobyar2001 [ Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  GTW 5629, question

Prpbably not long before it was cut up at Blue Island, Illinois. If faced with a similar scenario today, what could we do better? There are still some locomotives owned by eccentric persons who may be told to move them or else, in the future. Something to think about now.

http://abpr.railfan.net/abprphoto.cgi?a ... 81_240.jpg

Author:  hjebone [ Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Richard Jensen was responsible for allowing more locomotives to be scrapped than saved. I was around Chicago in those days, so I know. He was evicted from the C&WI roundhouse for the same reason, back rent.

He made it impossible for Metra to move the 5629 by removing the axle bearings on the locomotive. When IRM came in at the 11th hour to try to save the 5629, they couldn't move it , even if they had been able to pay the bill. Jensen was also responsible for CB&Q 5632 being scrapped, and he fired and alienated his master mechanic because the man refused to cut his hair.

We worked long hard hours for this man in an unheated roundhouse as volunteers with hazardous materials like asbestos so he could get the engine running. Then on the days of the steam excursions, he would act like he had never met us and pretended not to remember our names.

Author:  Howard P. [ Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Just which "axle bearings" were removed? The driving box crown brasses would be difficult to remove without a press; if it were tender or trailer or lead truck brasses, replacements should be simple and pretty standard. I would think IRM, of any place, would have that stuff sitting on a shelf or in a boxcar. Heck, cars and locos have been moved hundreds and thousands of feet or more on oak "brasses" with lots of grease. Somehow, I don't think lack of journal brasses was what immobilized that engine.

5629 was, in my opinion, one of the nicest looking, well-proportioned steam locomotives around. The first time I ever got to Chicago, in Feb. 1972, I had the person who met me at the airport take me directly to the ATSF-PRR-AMTK 21st Street yard so I could see it in person. It was gray, snowing and cold as I heard Chicago could be, and 5629 was as impressive as I'd imagined. What a sin it was, when it was allowed to die.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

There are still some locomotives owned by eccentric persons who may be told to move them or else, in the future. Something to think about now.

I am personally aware of at least two such scenarios under development right now. If certain twists of fate happen the way they could, we may see at least three steamers under serious jeopardy, and at least two municipalities are acting against "junkyards" of stored rolling stock.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Certainly Dick Jensen was eccentric and stubborn. But the fact is that some of the locomotives that he saved, ARE still with us. This includes Burlington 2-8-2 # 4963 and Georgia Northern 4-6-0 # 102. I mourn the loss of the Q's 4-8-4 # 5632 as much as the next person. I rode behind her, and paced her, and know what she could do. But as for GTW 4-6-2 # 5629, the fact is the locomotive did not have to be scrapped. METRA, upon whose property the Pacific sat in Blue Island, stated that it had to be moved, or destroyed, because a building was going up on that exact spot. That building has never been built! So 5629 could still be sitting there today! Or the engine could have been dragged the necessary feet to clear this never-built building. METRA just took the easy way out on this one. The responsibility for scrapping the engine rests with them entirely.

Les Beckman

Author:  Howard P. [ Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

And what about the "forgotten" Jensen locomotive--- NKP 2-8-2 965, scrapped at the same yard 5632 was. The NKP engine is hardly ever mentioned in discussions of Jensen's locomotives.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question


Someone from the Nickel Plate Road Historical Society once told me that Jensen never formally purchased the 965. Whether that is true or not, it is a shame that the Mike was not saved. She was one of the original NKP 500 class 2-8-2's although I don't remember her original number.


Author:  Stephen S. Syfrett [ Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question


I was not aware (or don't remember) that Jensen was responsible for saving Georgia Northern 102 (4-6-0), or should we say, what is left of 102. My understanding is that the large parts, the frame with wheels and boiler, the cab and tender, were about all that was saved before going to its present location in MN. The story I recall (from a brief write-up in L&RP years ago) has it that the rods, appliances and other small parts had been removed and stored in a boxcar for shipping from the Kentucky (?) mine/quarry where it had last worked. The parts were never reinstalled on 102, and the boxcar was later scrapped, parts still inside. Can anyone expound on this?

Maybe this would qualify as a possible worst-case scenario for a restoration started but never finished (other than those where the loco was eventually cut up)? She certainly is a poster child for the result of disassembly before having a good plan and funding in hand.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629 question and 4-6-0's


This is what happens when you try to make comments from memory without checking your records. In my original comments above, I said that one of the Jensen locomotives saved was Georgia Northern 4-6-0 # 102, but that is NOT the engine I was thinking of. GN # 102 was saved of course, and more on that in a moment. The Ten-Wheeler I MEANT to list, was Mississippi Eastern #303 (York Southern # 1), which is now down at Monticello Railway Museum in Monticello, Illinois. My apologies (another senior moment!)

As for GN #102, from what I recall of her when she was down on the south side of Chicago near 100th and Torrance Avenue, is that she was loaded on a flat car. The flat car was ex-Rock Island as I recall and had a slight sag in it, due to the weight of the 4-6-0. As I recall, everything was on that flat car, including the tender! I assumed that the rods, appliances, etc. were in the tender, or located somewhere on that flat car. Perhaps they were not. Was there a boxcar with parts there too? I don't recall it. I do know that two tenders from Illinois Central 2600 class 4-8-2's were there (at last report still in existance up in Rockford, Illinois) but I just don't recall a box car. Of course, it could have been at some other place. And who took note of plain old box cars in those days? All of that equipment was there for quite some time and maybe someone else remembers just exactly what was there.


Author:  J.David [ Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Oh goodness!
I haven't the time to fully reply to all of this (there is a book in my mind, working title "SAVE-RJ"), but I will make a couple of brief comments.
The 5629 was the first steam locomotive I ever worked on. I volunteered for Dick from August 1966 until about September 1969 when we finished cleaning out the C&WI roundhouse...
To the best of my knowledge the trailing truck bearings were removed for some reason (perhaps to disable the locomotive) and METRA wouldn't move the locomotive. Where would they move it to? They didn't want it on their property and it wasn't in interchangable condition and Jensen had no where to go with it anyway.
The trailing truck bearings were not "standard". They were for a collarless axle. Nor did we have a pair "on the shelf" at IRM. But it never got that far. METRA was well aware of the legal tacitics use by the C&WI and the aftermath and didn't want to repeat that. So they decided to evict. Since the property couldn't be moved whole, it got moved in bits and pieces.
I happened to be in town one weekend during the scrapping. I cried when I saw the '29 about 1/2 cut up.
The rods for GN No. 102 (I helped Dick remove them from the locomotive when it was still in Kentucky) were in the box car that went to Ehrman-Howell alone with CB&Q Nos. 5632 and 4963. When that car was scrapped I would guess that the rods were scrapped too.
By the way, this box car was a wooden one with some windows, not to be confused with the steel box car that he had later on the CWP&S with the York Southern No. 1, IC tenders, wheel lathe, etc.
Enough. Too depressing.

Author:  Howard P. [ Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Was waiting for you to show up with the facts....

Your last line pretty much covers it.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

J. David:

Do you happen to know what (if anything) was in the steel box car that Jensen had on the CWP&S? Do you have photos of the box car or at least its reporting marks? I assume it was sold for scrap too; do you know for sure?

I never helped Jensen when he had his equipment at the C&WI roundhouse but did help him one day before that when he had 5629 down on the lakefront on the Indian Hill & Iron Range (was that the right name?) I came home that day filthy dirty! My mom was not too happy! He mentioned that I should try to acquire the IH&IR's standby steam switcher. He was kidding of course. At least I think he was. That engine was a former B&OCT 0-8-0 numbered 900. Who'd want an old 0-8-0? Well I can think of one old codger who might be interested today! Think she's still hidden somewhere down there? Maybe under some muck pile? I am sure she met her demise shortly after Jensen ran his first fantrip over the B&OCT. That's another story JD. You might want to add it to your book!


Author:  Stephen S. Syfrett [ Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Thank you for the GN102 info. It is much too sad that this locmotive, presumably the last GN loco that ran under steam, was not preserved intact. The folks at the End-O-Line museum in Currie, MN have done well with what they had to work with, although there are some problems with the valve rods...

Am I correct in thinking the engine went to IRM before going to MN?

Author:  J.David [ Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

Les: I believe that the box car went to Rockford, IL with the rest of the stuff sold at the auction. I have no idea where the car came from or reporting marks. I recall that Gary Bensman recieved some of it's contents in exchange for handling the moving arrangements.
Stephen: The IRM acquired the 102 (with tender AND flat car) from Dick's sister Rita. I think that it did go to IRM at Union, but I don't think that it was ever unloaded there. Perhaps Bob Kutella could say for sure...

Author:  Les Beckman [ Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTW 5629, question

J. David-

Thanks for the info. I don't recall the boxcar up at Rockford, but it could have been there. I DO know however, that parts were apparently unloaded from it and put in a building of some type at the owners property. So apparently whatever was in the box car was not lost. Now, was that stuff for GN 102 (which wasn't at Rockford) or for ME 303 (which was.) That I don't know. Plus, as you say, some had already gone to Gary Bensman.


I have seen photos of the 102 on display up in Minnesota and yes, the rods are all wrong. BUT, even if you are just using display rods (made out of wood or whatever) there is no need to display them incorrectly. I have never seen how the drivers on the locomotive sit. If they are out of line, there is no way you could display the valve gear appropriately. Maybe someone has close up photos.


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