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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:37 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:07 am
Posts: 319
Dave Crosby wrote:
. After our June 2010 NRHS event closed, after operators were compensated, visiting equipment paid, expenses settled, we were left with a profit of roughly $95,000. If I could have gotten extra cars, we’d be well into six figures.

Dave


One big difference -- Jason Johnson's events use paid staff for planning and execution of their events, NRHS conventions and chapter operated excursions are planned and run by volunteers with just the type of expenses Dave mentioned.

You can get a rough idea of how the Owosso event came out financially by looking at their 990 which is available on Guidestar.

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 746
Location: Michigan
Taking a q from John's lead....

I suggest we all let those who are involved in said lawsuit handle said items by themselves. Whether there are other unpaid parties, or others who have issues with the promoters, is a matter between those parties and Mr. Johnson alone. Speculation is just that, and until other things happen, I suggest we leave it as it is.

What is truly sad here is that this most likely will be the death of the large steam/ event Trainfestival concept, and in large part it is because of what can happen when things don't go right. We have become such an insurance/ law suit-driven society that we aren't even willing to take a risk unless we are guaranteed of success; and I'm sorry, contrary to what some posters state here, there is no guarantee of success, even if you bring trains in on a weekend, use their group/ equipment from a large midwestern city, even if you had a weather machine, a "do-over" button, etc. Sometimes when you roll the dice, you see a GS-4 go through Durand, Michigan; other times, you sit in disbelief as Class Ones tell you they can't move an ex-LS&I 2-8-0 a few miles. Sometimes you marvel and enjoy the personal reward of seeing seven steam locomotives around a turntable in Owosso, or a mix of first generation diesel adn 21st Century steam in Rock Island; other times, you read in disbelief the letter stating you have a lawsuit coming at you.

Railway Preservation, the operation of historic equipment, running over ANY railroad anymore, brings with it risks. Like it or not, Jason Johnson was willing to take risks that others weren't. Until you have put yourself on that kind of line, where you put yourself, your business, your personal and professional reputation on the edge of a cliff, you have no idea what it takes to pull something like a Trainfestival together. If you are willing to look off the edge of that Cliff and make that jump....well, power to you. If not, then stand back and marvel at the fact that this guy did it not once, but FOUR times, and be saddened at the fact that he may never do it again.

And finally --- its been dually noted that, just as they have done in the past, a certain poster on this board was the first person to kick an individual and their event when he/it was down, with little knowlegde beyond what was put in a press release, and state how "they would have done it," that it didn't work becuase they werent consulted, and that "they demand to be answered." And this individual wonders why the organization he proports to represent doesn't get chosen for partnership in events, and he isn't asked to participate. Who wants to do that with someone that will turnaround at the first sign of trouble and blame others, whether blame is deserved and needs to be assigned, or not? Think before you attack ---- others read, others watch......and we SURE as hell remember.

Jason --- no matter what happens, as John notes, you have friends who still believe in you, and will help where we can. Hang in there bud.

T.J. Gaffney


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:35 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:42 pm
Posts: 1700
Quote:
Whether there are other unpaid parties, or others who have issues with the promoters, is a matter between those parties and Mr. Johnson alone.


Not really... They had the chance to resolve this in private, and for whatever reason, that did not work.

Now that the court system is involved, the information will become public, and they both get to air their dirty laundry in front of the judge, the court, and anyone who is interested. That's part and parcel of a lawsuit, like it or not. They may settle out of court, but if it goes to trial it's public info.

That said, I would agree that rumors and speculation aren't going to help anyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:40 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:42 pm
Posts: 1700
Unseenthings wrote:
As we have seen IAIS run trains for flood relief, fire departments, and town festivals, I can't imagine that they broke even on any of those. For all the good that TF11 did for the quad cities and IAIS brand, I'm not sure what they are upset about.


They're upset that they're owed money that hasn't been paid, nearly $100K worth of it. Seems pretty simple, really... That's serious money, even for a railroad.

The difference between the other events and this one is that if they provided free services for those other events, they chose to do so willingly, and knew that in advance.

It's the difference between volunteering at the museum and your boss saying "Sorry, we're not paying for this week's work..." In both cases you worked for free, but your expectations were different.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:05 pm
Posts: 152
Location: Somewhere in NM...
Agreed. Bear in mind that we may not know (and likely don't know) all of the facts regarding this matter; it would be very wise to withhold judgement until those facts are available.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 6420
Location: Baltimore, MD
ctjacks wrote:
I hate to be in the rumor business, but rumor has it there is at least one more bill outstanding. If I am wrong please correct me.


"We ain't heard nothing yet."

Read into that what you will.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:53 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:42 pm
Posts: 1700
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:

"We ain't heard nothing yet."

Read into that what you will.


What I'm reading into it is that you were busy reading Trains in English class instead paying attention. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:46 am
Posts: 1901
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Bobharbison wrote:
Now that the court system is involved, the information will become public, and they both get to air their dirty laundry in front of the judge, the court, and anyone who is interested. That's part and parcel of a lawsuit, like it or not. They may settle out of court, but if it goes to trial it's public info.

Not so much. For it to reach the public, somebody's got to physically go down to the courthouse and pull copies of the proceedings, often at $1/page. (once you pull them, feel free to republish, but who knows that? Besides most people are too cheap to give away something they just paid for, or they figure it's copyright since it was not free.) There's no such thing as RECAP for local courts.

The tedium, expense and logistical challenge mean that a lot of things that should be public - aren't. For instance a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit, can get the plaintiff barred from filing further lawsuits if he can show the guy often files frivolous suits. But to do that, he has to FIND the other frivolous lawsuits, which can only be found by looking at all of them. It's very rare for a defendant to "do the legwork" especially if it means paying his lawyer to bill out a bug-hunt. So frivolous litigants keep getting away with it :(

It's not that hard to go to the courthouse and pull the records. Go.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:37 pm
Posts: 802
Location: Pacific, MO
I'm still in favor of the involved parties working it out without all of our expert advice and suggestions.
Hashing it over and over and talking about all the whatifs and whys and wherefores just use up bandwidth and help no one.
Unless of course if someone wants to step up and write a check..............


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 6420
Location: Baltimore, MD
Frisco1522 wrote:
I'm still in favor of the involved parties working it out without all of our expert advice and suggestions.
Hashing it over and over and talking about all the what-ifs and whys and wherefores just use up bandwidth and help no one.


No.

This festival, and ones like it before, were being billed as THE way we were going to "spread the gospel" of railroad preservation and heritage and get the next generations of folks interested in steam and railroading. Going all the way back to the Columbian Exposition and Fair of the Iron Horse, these gatherings, on through the Sacramento Railfairs, Steam Expo, and NRHS Conventions, have been our best and greatest hope for keeping main line steam alive in the 21st century, aside from NS/UP/CP steam programs.

A "bad apple" or two in our midst is just the excuse the railroad network of modern railroads needs to permanently kill any hope of such an event ever happening again, short of someone else starting up another Ohio Central, Steamtown, or Blue Mountain & Reading. IF this is either incompetent/criminal business administration OR a "design flaw" that can be dealt with in the future, it needs to be addressed properly, NOT "swept under the rug."

For years now, I've heard lots of private, back-channel rumor-mongering here and elsewhere about a major steam operation somewhat like this that left a huge swath of bills unpaid in its wake, and as a result pretty well "sabotaged" any prospect of a repeat by either the original operator OR any other steam locomotive group/museum. If any of it is true, I don't believe we, as a group, are helped by not talking about it. Rather, we need to recognize that securing a sound financial footing, or the explicit willingness of the railroads to accept a loss as a public-relations investment, is a must, and we need to call out the "bad apples" for what they are.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:32 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:15 am
Posts: 718
Location: Illinois
I have been biting my tongue here, but I know for a fact that IAIS is not the only one that has not been paid. And for a non profit volunteer organization to be unpaid - it is a big deal, and can have a big impact on ongoing current preservation activity. The full text of the story says that IAIS received a check which bounced. That does not leave a good taste in my mouth and doubtless led to in part to their lawsuit.

Bob Kutella


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:29 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:18 pm
Posts: 360
Location: Illinois
Bob, you are not the only person biting your tongue. I am surprised that this story has stayed off these sites as long as it has.

I want to address the general idea that we should not discuss issues such as this. I have long felt that situations such as this would benefit from MORE discussion, not less, especially before the event started.

Chris.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:22 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:10 am
Posts: 1833
Location: Twitter @aheadofthetorch
Given the incredibly productive, positive and (quite frankly) uplifting results of Internet discussions about Dick Jensen, #1361, Steamtown, and <insert favorite beaten dead horse here> I say it is high time to address all innuendo here. It leads to such a good understanding between people, becuase only reasonable folks with actual first-hand knowledge will participate. It is a bonding force in the community.


Snark over.

Do you really want RYPN to devolve into something like the NG Dead Goat Saloon or New England Railfan? I don't.

Just look at this thread. It didn't take long for the second guessing to begin... not to mention the seemingly irresitable temptation to dredge up 20 year-old grudges and rumors for another beating. Any negative story is a chance to get out the old axe grind.

I just don't see this being productive.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:28 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:37 pm
Posts: 802
Location: Pacific, MO
Operative words are "before the event". I would think you would have better results with PMs between you and the interested parties.
In the case of charlatans, the louder the better on a public site. They have gotten away with too much already by people not outing them.
IMHO


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa Interstate Sues Train Festival 2011
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 265
Watching this thread very closely I am becoming increasingly worried that we are headed down the wrong track. I am asking that the Moderators consider locking this thread to prevent us from heading down bad track. My reasons are as follows;

A.) I can tell you of two accidents involving miniature operations where-in the lawyers found our threads and ended up using them and or calling from them witnesses. RYPN is a preservation page, not a "find your best witness for litigation" page. Comments like "I know for fact that there are unpaid bills" could or can cause any good litigious lawyer to "want to know more."

B.) No matter what any of us "think" we know about the situation. The reality is; Jason knows his situation and the powers that be at Iowa Interstate know theirs. None of us here are Jason and none of us here are the powers that be at Iowa Interstate. The reality; none of us are in this fight and therefore, we should rid ourselves of debate related to the subject in respect of item A. above.

C.) It should be maintained that this page is a Preservation Page. This thread, this discussion, this speculation has NOTHING to do with preservation. We need to extend our best wishes to Jason and the Iowa folks and express clearly that we appreciate efforts made by both sides and that we raise our hand in support of a amicable resolution to the question on the table. PERIOD!

My Public Plea:

Moderators, please consider locking this thread, keeping RYPN, it's viewers and our cause for preservation from becoming suspect in motive and desire. A continuation of this thread could cause long term unfavorable impacts on the parties involved and the future of our desires to engage in meaningful conversation while we invite others to join. I agree, we should not allow this page to denigrate to the point that we become like the rest. This is and must be maintained as the BEST Railroad discussion forum in the field!

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