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 Post subject: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:54 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:11 pm
Posts: 371
I have been told that the Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum in Mentor, Ohio has a "serious" offer on the table to purchase B&LE 643 along with the diesel and that ex-C&O business car.

You can find their side of the story halfway down the page at their website, right after the "Kiddie Train" announcement:

http://www.wrmrrm.org/

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:03 pm
Posts: 248
Location: SE, Mich.
Well at least two good things come of this...the steamer will get a brand new and exciting new future; and I now know what Chessie 29 looks like, inside and out (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30595&hilit=chessie+29).

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8355
Location: Baltimore, MD
The obvious and serious questions (and stop calling me negative):

1) Do they have a place to GO with this stuff? Even sitting in another industrial building, stored on secure sidings, and/or as a plinth in the parking lot may be better than the current situation(s) involving these things.

2) Do they plan to operate this equipment?? If so, do they have a place to operate, and/or at least a "handshake" agreement that the stuff can operate somewhere if acquired? If not, just what is the point here--to flip the stuff for a quick profit?

3) This museum either has a lot of money, access to same, a healthy relationship with at least one well-to-do benefactor/patron, or totally hapless delusions of grandeur. Which?

4) Does anyone know just where those 16 ex-Metro-North cars are, and are they ETH/HEP equipped? If so, can they be self-contained, or will they need a HEP car/locomotive? (And 16 cars is a lot to ask of the typical F40PH HEP plant.)

At best with this situation, we have another Jerry Jacobson, Pete Waterman, or Andrew Muller coming out of the woodwork. At worst, someone is perpetrating a massive fraud that will negatively tarnish the rail preservation field. In between lie several other possibilities--the Paulsen Spence or Nelson Blount model, the Escanaba & Lake Superior model, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic or Grand Canyon RR model.......

One final observation: It's only a "serious" offer if the current ownership(s) actually pays one iota of consideration to it.


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:43 am
Posts: 388
Location: Dalton, Georgia
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
4) Does anyone know just where those 16 ex-Metro-North cars are, and are they ETH/HEP equipped? If so, can they be self-contained, or will they need a HEP car/locomotive? (And 16 cars is a lot to ask of the typical F40PH HEP plant.)


They are in Ashtabula on CSX property. They are former electric MU cars (on what part of Metro North were they used?) that have all had their traction motors removed and are in rough shape at best. They also all have full cab controls in each vestibule (both ends not unlike an RDC) with 26L brake equipment and were apparently set up to run on 600 or thereabouts volts DC. Also, there was some issues surrounding ownership with these cars. Someone was marketing them that apparently had no right to do so, but I don't recall the whole story.

Seems to be a bit of pipe dreaming to me. The photos of 643 are older as the building has been torn down (reported here, as I recall). I thought Mr. Campbell was a bit, well, eccentric. Also, the equipment is described as fully restored and FRA compliant - 643 needs a part 230 inspection, the MU cars are certainly not "restored" and are far from operating in any capacity and FRA dead (brakes are all out of date) and that little Alco appears questionable. I highly doubt there is an in-date blue card on it. The Chessie 29 might be ok.

On another note, can you imagine trying to go to sleep in that bunk in Chessie 29 with that wild wall decor? Whoa!

Best,
Mike


Last edited by Newriver400 on Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
"Who ARE these guys??"

That website/museum and the 643/NYC MU cars/other stuff seem like a real oil and water mix.

The MU cars are 1962-64 Pullman-Standard cars from the 4600-4700 series. Strictly 600 VDC third rail power. They have plastic interiors and 3-2 seating for 120 per car--- not what you'd want to ride in for a premium excursion fare. They were retired about 4-5 years ago by MNCR.

Howard P.
Cynical, NY

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8355
Location: Baltimore, MD
Howard P. wrote:
The MU cars are 1962-64 Pullman-Standard cars from the 4600-4700 series. Strictly 600 VDC third rail power.


Do I understand this right that they would have to either be wired for a 600V DC power supply (presumably with a connection to be added between cars), or totally rebuilt for HEP or whatever?

If so.....

[turns around with hands in pockets, whistling and looking at the clouds....]


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
They need 600 VDC to function: propulsion, lights, A/C, heat, etc. So, perhaps simply adding some long extension cords or an HEP-style power car to the "naming opportunities" list the development director is soliciting would do the job, eh?

So this place is a museum of model trains, and also builds (for a price) custom model railroads? Has anyone out there in RyPN-Land ever visited/heard of this outfit?

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 951
Has anyone tried the phone number to see if these folks have any clue what they're talking about?


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 665
Location: Northeast Ohio
I live about 50 miles from Mentor and never heard of this group before.

Guidestar.org is our friend, and their 2009 form 990 is online. They do seem to be sitting on a quarter million dollars in assets, but those assets are listed as model trains/equipment. $147,876 in revenue, $57,980 in expenses.

Knowing a bit about rail preservation in northeast Ohio, my guess is that these people are clearly out of their league. I do not believe that there is any railroad anywhere near Mentor that would run this train, and I do not believe that they own even one foot of standard gauge railroad track to put it on. Not to mention not having any shop space, experienced people, tools and equipment, etc.

Last year I had thought that the French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society in Meadville, PA was close to an agreement with Glen Campbell on the 643. I guess they backed out? Apparently though this does mean that Glen may be willing to part with the locomotive. I wish I had room for it in Youngstown, but it would never make it over the bridge!


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 665
Location: Northeast Ohio
Also in a similar vein of questionable Ohio entities, the Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry recently popped up out of nowhere with plans to build a big museum in Berea. I would view them with a bit of skepticism until they actually do something to prove they are not a bunch of fans with a big plan and no backing to carry it out.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:41 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:11 pm
Posts: 345
"Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry recently popped up out of nowhere with plans to build a big museum in Berea"
. Berea? Last year when they approached us about W&LE 3984 NKP 384 they wanted to take it to Their "Akron Facility" It was going to be in an old Blimp hanger.
Now Berea? good luck there.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:51 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 665
Location: Northeast Ohio
Their website is actually quite vague as to where they will be located at. The only reference to location is their Berea street address.

http://www.omti-oh.com/index.html

Akron blimp hangar? I'm speechless.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:52 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1604
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
We inspected the ex-MetroNorth coaches during our vetting process for equipment for the GBX train. In the interest of being polite let me say that we found them to be " extremely rough" in condition. I have recently been told that they have been scrapped in place on the CSX yard track near Erie,Pa. where they sat for a long while?? I do NOT know if that report is correct but it wouldn't at all surprise me if it proves true.

As to the steam locomotive, acting as a "friend of the court" I brokered an offer for Mr. Campbell from an extremely reliable party that was willing to make the substantial investment needed to reconnect it to live rail ( it now sits on a disconnected piece of track and is thus landlocked), prepare and move it to his new facility, cosmeticly restore it and make it available for public viewing when his place gets done and the offer was refused.

I am sad to say that its future is at best poor as its owner is evidently incapable of dealing with the real world realities surrounding its present situation.

Obviously I hope I'm wrong but my best guess is that there's a strong chance that eventually it will end up being scrapped in place??

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:31 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 206
Location: Lancaster, PA
Hello,

The prognosis does not look good.

Here is a more recent picture of her, less the building....October of 2010.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trainplanepro/5083078953/

As I may have posted before, the 643 will fit on Jerry's table and will likely fit nicely in his new house....perhaps this is the party Ross references here. On the practical side, he may not want to run this due to its weight and speed limitations.....ie a very expensive static show piece.

In the memory department, back in the PRR 1361 resto # 1 days, I believe, the 643 was being overhauled at the same time. It reached a live steam up (at PL&E shops?) but never stretched her legs on a railroad? I don't recall if they moved her under her own power within the shop complex. Another detail, I believe Glen had to make new pistons for her.......new forgings for very large cylinders.

Hopefully someone has some mercy here. Likely she is sitting on someone else’s property and that party may not care and get a court order for her "removal"......what ever it takes.

Unfortunately her size is her detriment.....450 tons of steel....and no where to go.

You can see her on Google maps.......

[url][color=#FFBF00]http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=McKees+Rocks,+PA&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.184175,57.919922&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=McKees+Rocks,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania&ll=40.471029,-80.057132&spn=0.001183,0.00283&t=h&z=19[/color][/url]

There is not much rail to lay in order to get her out of there.

Regards,

Randy


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:35 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 206
Location: Lancaster, PA
Hello,

Lets try that Google maps link again.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=McKees+Rocks,+PA&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.184175,57.919922&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=McKees+Rocks,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania&t=h&ll=40.47122,-80.05733&spn=0.002367,0.005659&z=18

Regards,

Randy


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