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 Post subject: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:38 pm
Posts: 527
Location: New Jersey, Central
I've been reading about the Scranton 505 and looked at the website dedicated to the Rail City Museum. My question is what happened to all those engines and equipment? I can't believe one man, Stanley A. Groman, MD, could save so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:01 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:05 am
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Location: Australia
I am also interested to learn of the fate of this equipment. The web site paints a glowing picture of a wonderful museum and the amazing effort to save all that stock and assorted equipment. But has it all survived or was it all in vain?

Wes

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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8962
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Rail City was the original preservation location for--in addition to a dozen standard-gauge 0-4-0T's from the Solvay Process Co. plant in Jamesville, NY--Huntington & Broad Top Mountain 2-8-0 38 (later at the Gettysburg RR, then Knox & Kane, and now in private hands being restored) and Bath & Hammondsport 2-6-0 11 (now also privately owned by the same guy who owns 38, as I recall). So I'm sure at least one preservationist will say with good cause that Rail City was not "in vain".

Surrey, Sussex & Southampton (later Gray Lumber) 2-6-2 24 apparently was sold to Rail City, and at least one directory says it ended up there, but the somewhat more authoritative Steam Loco Directory of North America ("the Gospel According to St. David") says it was scrapped at Waverly, Va. without being sent to Rail City.


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:38 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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u25b wrote:
I am also interested to learn of the fate of this equipment. The web site paints a glowing picture of a wonderful museum and the amazing effort to save all that stock and assorted equipment. But has it all survived or was it all in vain?

Wes


Not in vain at all.

Much like the Magee Museum, Rail City was a trailblazer. The good intentions that lead to situations like Scranton #505 also lead to equipment that never fell into disrepair before finding a new home, and some that did deteriorate only to rise again.

The most curreny well-known and visible survivor is the Gramling's Flagg Coal #2/Solvay Process #75.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 1004
Rail City was a pioneer private collection, but Dr. Groman never had the time or resources to care for everything he saved. Nearly everything was outdoors, and the harsh winters along Lake Ontario brought huge amounts of snow and ice. After Interstate 81 was completed through the region, attendance plummeted, Dr. Groman grew old, and the museum finally closed for good in 1974. Mother Nature took over, and much of the collection was obscured by weeds and brush. The collection was auctioned in 1991. Unfortunately, by that time, much of the wonderful and eclectic wooden rolling stock and even many of the locomotives were beyond saving. Fortunately, the electric cars had been sold earlier, along with the two "big" locomotives, 2-6-0 No. 11 and 2-8-0 No. 38. A few of the tank engines, including Flagg Coal No. 75, Solvay No. 1, the tiny Defiance engine, and a couple of others, were saved. But the Grasse River railbus and other GR equipment, the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain gas-electric and caboose and many other historic pieces were lost forever. Groman's son, Robert, still operates the Rail City Historical Museum, a collection of photos and smaller artifacts, as a museum about a museum, on the same location.


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2417
From what I have read, it seems Dr. Groman purchased whatever caught his fancy. While perhaps less focused, his collecting wasn't that different from Ellis Atwood, F. Nelson Blount or Dr. Roberts. When the means of the individuals ran out, the succeeding organizations either folded or became government entities. Not all the equipment they saved made it into this millennium. None of their collections survived intact and pristine.

Each did what they could to save what they could. Without them, we would have far fewer pieces of vintage equipment still with us today.

Even if we have just 40% of what Groman saved still around, that's 100% more than we would have without him ever taking interest.

And, of course, this is not a closed topic. There are still many privately owned and funded collections out there, with some pieces returning to glory while many others are returning to the earth below them. It will be interesting to watch what happens to these pieces over the next 25 years.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 658
Location: Union, IL
Afboone wrote:
My question is what happened to all those engines and equipment?


I only have records on the electric collection, but here's what I've got:

Lake Erie & Northern interurban combine 797 - acq 1955, to Halton County ???, in storage
NStC&T interurban coach 130 - acq ???, to Magee c1960s, scrapped c1970s
Rochester Transit suburban car 60 - acq 1956, to NRHS 1967, to R&GVRRM 1998, partly disassembled
Scranton snow sweeper 107 - acq 1954, to Magee 1966, to Rockhill 1973, operational
Scranton Electromobile 505 - acq 1954, to Magee 1966, to Rockhill 1973, to Electric City 2003, disassembled

I don't have any records of the Scranton tower car mentioned elsewhere but would guess it was probably disassembled on-site.

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Preserved North American Electric Railway Equipment News
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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 1004
A couple of corrections to the listed dispositions of the electric cars from Rail City:
There was a Rochester single-truck sand car, which went to Magee around 1965 and then to Rochester in 1973. As far as I know, it's still there.
If I'm not mistaken, the Lake Erie & Northern 797 went to Seashore.
And I guarantee that no Niagara St. Catherines & Toronto car ever came to Bloomsburg. I vaguely recall some discussion about this car, but that was all 45 years ago, and I don't remember the details at all.
Finally, the Rail City cars that did come to Bloomsburg all came in late 1964 or early 1965. They were not there on my first visit in September, 1964. But all three were there when I started working there in September 1965.


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 658
Location: Union, IL
G. W. Laepple wrote:
A couple of corrections to the listed dispositions of the electric cars from Rail City:
There was a Rochester single-truck sand car, which went to Magee around 1965 and then to Rochester in 1973. As far as I know, it's still there.
If I'm not mistaken, the Lake Erie & Northern 797 went to Seashore.
And I guarantee that no Niagara St. Catherines & Toronto car ever came to Bloomsburg. I vaguely recall some discussion about this car, but that was all 45 years ago, and I don't remember the details at all.
Finally, the Rail City cars that did come to Bloomsburg all came in late 1964 or early 1965. They were not there on my first visit in September, 1964. But all three were there when I started working there in September 1965.


Thank you for the corrections! My mistake on the Rochester sand car (#0243), that one went to Magee and is now at Rush disassembled, and on the 797 (to Seashore, year unknown, and thence to Halton County in 1999). The NStC&T car I have only scant info on - since it's no longer in existence I hadn't bothered to record its ownership history as well. There's another note in my file that it was at Warehouse Point at one point so it may have gone there instead of Magee as previously noted.

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Preserved North American Electric Railway Equipment News
Hicks Car Works


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:29 am
Posts: 61
Location: NE Indiana
All but one of the steam engines that were there in 1991 survived. Flagg Coal #75 is restored and runs at various locations. It is the only one that runs and probably will be the only one that ever runs. The 0-6-0 was bought by a scraper at the auction and cut up. The Baldwin 0-4-0t went to western PA. All of the other 0-4-0ts were Alcos. One went to MO. One went to Revelstoke (sp?) BC. One went to a RR museum close to Syracuse NY. Three went to a man in southern PA which have since been sold. Sorry for the incomplete information I am in FL and all of my papers are at home.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 1004
I have just been informed that the former Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain gas-electric was not scrapped after Rail City closed. Rather, it was acquired by the Central New York Chapter, NRHS, and is on display at their museum in the village of Central Square, NY. I'm happy to be proven incorrect about this, as well as the steam locomotives.


Last edited by G. W. Laepple on Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:21 pm
Posts: 211
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario
LE&N 797 is definitly at the Halton County Radial Railway near Guelph Ont. It is undergoing a lengthy restoration but is stored indoors, out of the weather. The NS&T car was beyond repair after Railcity closed, and many components were stripped by one of the east coast electric museums, from what I was told. The remaining body was left to rot on site. It is unfortunate, as this was the only NS&T interurban car saved, and would have been great if it could have been saved, but...

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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:22 pm
Posts: 219
I visited Rail City in 1954 and shot some 8mm movies there. I rode the cab of #38(I think it was #38) and also pumped a hand car around the loop. I have movies of the rows of Solvay locos, but nothing of the electrics.


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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum HBM Motor Car
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:45 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1881
Details about the car are posted here. Central NY NRHS also owns the body of a Syracuse streetcar and an interurban body from the same area.

http://www.cnynrhs.org/Markers/Brill.pdf

Wesley

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 Post subject: Re: Rail City Museum
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:56 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 450
Location: Illinois
About 15 years ago TRAINS Magazine did a good article about Rail City - if you purchased the new DVD set it is worth looking up.

Chris.


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