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 Post subject: Museums
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:42 am 

To spark an interesting discussion, I would like to ask these questions. What is the single biggest problem in the American Railway Preservation movement and what is the biggest possible trap that a museum or other railway preservation organization might fall into?<p>Thanks!<br>Paul K<br>

 Post subject: no money, not enough people and failing to connect
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 1998 8:36 am 

sorry, paul, i never could just pick one, but i'd have to say that 1. we're under funded-- we love the equipment but we don't work hard enough to raise, make or otherwise come up with the money; 2. we don't work hard enough to bring in enough talented people as either volunteers or professionals and 3. we do a lousy job of connecting to the general public; <p>i'll shut up now; <p>next speaker, please... <br>

 Post subject: Re: no money, not enough people and failing to connect
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 1998 9:07 am 

I concur with Jim Wrinn's remarks. I would also like to add that another one of our downfalls is ego ,pride, stubborness etc. especially when it deals with relations with other organizations. How many groups do we have that exist in the same area, with the same goals, but cannot cooperate with each other because the leaders and members can't get along? So instead of pooling our limited resources and cooperating, we are constantly competing for the same limited amounts of support we recieve. <p>I have first hand experience of this phenomenon. Ten years ago I joined a railroad historical society which has about 50 members but only about two active volunteers working on a dozen or so pieces of historic equipment stored in an industrial park. Then about five years ago another group started up 20 miles away and acquired 10 pieces of equipment, but also got a piece of land to start a museum. So I started volunteering for that group figuring that my efforts would be put to better use. Then a Chapter of the NRHS moved in with an interlocking tower that they got from CSX and moved to our site. So within a 10 mile radius we now have three seperate organizations, all with very similar goals, not a lot of money, not too many volunteers (I am the the most active restoration volunteer for all three groups), and competing with each other for public and private support to preserve forty plus pieces of rail equipment and a wooden structure. <p>So why can't all three organizations just combine efforts, eliminate the redundancy, pool resources, and present a unified effort to preserve railroad history throughout the REGION? Sounds like a very rational and logical solution, one that would strengthen rail preservation efforts in this region. But will it happen? Probably not. <p>Its the egos involved. That's the only reason I can think of. Everyone wants to be king of his or her particular hill, even if this means that someday these groups will disband and the equipment scrapped. <p>Let's start acting more professional, consolidate efforts if possible, form strategic alliances, pool resources, jointly apply for grants (granting agencies and foundations really love to see more than one entity working on a project). Its easier now than it ever has been with the existence of the Internet. Let's work together before we all lose.<br><br>

 Post subject: Re: no money, not enough people and failing to connect
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 1998 10:48 pm 

Amen - and well said. Here here. Let's start with rationalizing our collections.<br>

 Post subject: Re: no money, not enough people and failing to connect
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 1998 8:46 am 

Yes to all of the above.<br>Our beloved magazine, Locomotive and Railway Preservation, had several articles on fundraising and organizational structure which should be required reading for any proactive rail group. In particular, there was a series written by Ray Crapo among others. Additionally, John Hankey provided enlightning commentaries on museum content and exhibit presentation. Is it possible to post some of these timeless articles on this site?<br><br>

 Post subject: Re: no money, not enough people and failing to connect
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 1998 2:29 pm 

Although L&RP is the inspiration for this site we have no legal connection to the original magazine. We would be happy to reprint articles from L&RP if we could do so legally. Which, I guess, means getting permission from Pentrex, or whoever ends up with the rights to L&RP.<p>Can you be more specific about which article(s) and what issues they're in? I have an almost complete L&RP collection, but don't currently have time to search through it. If you can find the articles, I'll ask for permission to reprint them. I suspect Pentrex, if they're willing to allow reprinting, will do so case by case.

Railway Preservation News

 Post subject: Here's a start
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 1998 2:43 pm 

Hume, start with Sept-Oct 87, "The Single Most Critical Skill" (continued in the Nov-Dec 87 issue); "As the Board Goes, so goes the Railway Museum," May-Jun 88; "Every Visitor a Lobbyist," Jan-Feb 89. <p>I actually had them out to get permission from Pentrex to put them on SteamCentral, but didn't get around to it. They'd be much more appropriate here at RYPN. <p>Contact Mike Clayton. I can't imagine he'd have any objection to RYPN posting them.<p>JAC


 Post subject: Re: Permission Denied
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 1998 12:57 am 

Regretably, not a surprising response from Pentrex. Some time back, I stopped buying Pentrex products when they did not keep a promise to continue to cover preservation news in Vintage Rails after their killing of L&RP.<p> I consider Pentrex's current business strategy to be fundamentally parasitic. When the market stops rewarding their strategy, maybe they will get the message.<br><br>

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