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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:36 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2076
let me repost the data from the old thread.

Quote:
Glenn still owns 643. With the assistance of a gentleman by the name of Howard Stern (not the loser on the radio), they hired Gary Bensman to restore the boiler and the running gear back in the mid to late 80's and by the early 90's the engine was basically fully restored. However, Glenn did a very poor job of keeping the paperwork that documented the work done to the boiler. So now, with the new FRA boiler regs, all of that work is for naught. They steamed the boiler once prior to completion of the running gear repairs. You would think the engine would have been operated under its own power but I do not believe that it has.

I worked with Glenn, Bill Goslin and a few others during the summer of 1995 preparing 643 to be steamed in McKees Rocks while she was stored inside the old P&LE car shops building. We were literally just a couple of work sessions away from lighting her off and this was PRIOR to the crown sheet failure on the Gettysburg RR and the new FRA boiler regs that came soon thereafter. That summer, Glenn was trying to assemble a team of interested Pittsburgh residents and movers and shakers to try and pry the P&W Subdivsion of CSXT north of Pittsburgh (along Rt. 8 through Valencia and Mars and ultimately Eidenau Jct. outside of New Castle, PA) from CSXT to form a shortline and have a place to run 643. It didn't develop enough steam, and now we know the ulitimate fate of the line was to become a part the Allegheny Valley Railroad of Russ Peterson. I would like to think that if the funds could be assembled to get the boiler in compliance with the current boiler regs, the AVR would most likely be willing to let her stretch her legs on either or both the P&W or W&P Subdivisions which both have pretty stout bridges, heavy jointed and welded rail and really good tie conditions.

643 is certainly appropriate to the Pittsburgh area and Western PA in general. While it is true that very few if any places exist where she could be operated with an regularity, I do believe it could be done. The ex-B&O lines north and south of P-burg were well-built in the first place and are in pretty good shape today and would be a fine home for 643 someday to operate.

Rob Gardner


There may be cogs turning we don't know about. in the mean time there doesnt seem to be any danger of scrapping.


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Hot Metal wrote:
Jason,

There is quite an elevation change between the PC&Y trackage and the level the 643 is at. It would take a great deal of grading, but probably still easier than trying to move it out via CSX.


Given the elevation difference, another option would be to have a heavy haul company transport it down to the far end of Robb Street where tracks are at grade.

Yes, I know, it's a BIG locomotive. So is a Big Boy, and they moved that by road.

Yes, I know, cubic dollars. Big hassle. There's a 90 degree corner that will be a real challenge. Lots of potential problems. Just like everything else on this "wouldn't it be great?" idea.... Possibly still cheaper than building the connection. It all depends on who does the work, what kind of permits you need, etc, etc. etc.


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1903
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
"Antiques Roadshow" seldom shows you the contentious appraisals where people bring in their parent's/grandparents' "priceless" "Paul Revere candlesticks," "Lincoln autograph," "brooch owned by Queen Victoria," etc. and are told the reality that it's not worth anywhere near what they've been told by their families for decades, or that it's a fake.
Too true. It's not RR-related but I had exactly this happen lately.
I just recently went round and round with the heirs to a 'fortune' in drawings from a famous WW2 era cartoonist that I'm considered to be a minor authority on his work (sheesh, you do a couple of magazine articles and a history channel 'talking head' piece and you're suddenly an expert. Scary how that works). All of them were copies, and very poorly done ones at that. Anyone who'd just pulled out a book of the original man's work and compared them would have realized it. They all were thermonuclear when I did my best to let them down easy. They went downright pyschotic when I countered their accusation that I was just trying to lower the value so I could buy them by saying I had no intention of offering anything as I had no interest (which I think made them truly realize they had nothing). And I feel bad for the only other person out there you'd go to for an opinion, he laughed at them and almost got the snot beaten out of him for doing so, by the women in the family, no less! So instead of being remembered fondly, the man who passed away (who I believed the family when they said he thought they were real all these years) will be remembered as the man who let two generations down most painfully. They thought they had tens of thousands of dollars worth of drawings when they had a stack of paper with badly-rendered copies. I can see the exact same thing happening with anything passed down. Especially something as big as a 2-10-4, which - let's face facts, people - only has value other than scrap to someone like us. And very few of us could afford to paint the thing, much less buy it outright...

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
p51 wrote:
Especially something as big as a 2-10-4, which - let's face facts, people - only has value other than scrap to someone like us. And very few of us could afford to paint the thing, much less buy it outright...


I'm aware of a string of passenger cars that are slowly rotting in the rain because the daughter of the deceased owner thinks they're worth a not so small fortune. Meanwhile, the longer they sit there un-cared for, the less they're worth. There is a potential customer very close by that could access the cars pretty much at the drop of a hat, just cut a bit of brush and reach in and grab them. Unfortunately, the perceived value is simply too high for that to work. At some point they'll be so far gone they won't be worth trying to save.

But they must be worth a fortune, after all, one of them was used on the Freedom Train!


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Bobharbison wrote:
I'm aware of a string of passenger cars that are slowly rotting in the rain because the daughter of the deceased owner thinks they're worth a not so small fortune. Meanwhile, the longer they sit there un-cared for, the less they're worth. There is a potential customer very close by that could access the cars pretty much at the drop of a hat, just cut a bit of brush and reach in and grab them. Unfortunately, the perceived value is simply too high for that to work. At some point they'll be so far gone they won't be worth trying to save.
But they must be worth a fortune, after all, one of them was used on the Freedom Train!

Bob, TWO of them were used on the Freedom Train (203 and 205). I took all the modern photos of those cars used on the Freedom Train page: http://www.freedomtrain.org/american-freedom-train-consist-main.htm
It pains me to see them in that condition, and you're right that they're an excellent example of what we're talking about here.
Being a big Freedom Train buff (I'll never forget seeing it in Tallahassee, Florida at age 6) it's tough seeing those cars slowly rotting away like that.

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1604
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Sadly there's another graphic example that being Jack Showalters two G-5's and cars stored in Virginia.

I'm very fond of Jack and wish him the very best, but, he has for several decades, yes decades been trying to sell his equipment at totally unrealistic prices and there it all sits in the weeds with the weather taking its toll every day.

There's no easy answer because the owners don't want to face reality and until they pass away and the estates transform the assets into cash ( in many cases the junk man is the only viable party with cash in hand as is, where is) the stuff sits there and rots.

Sad but true.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
Posts: 475
The main issue that all these stories share is that people try to put a price on sentimental value. Personal example, I own an Eisenhower proof dollar coin that my late grandfather gave me. If I could attach a price to it that would reflect its sentimental value, it'd be worth its weight in gold.

Bottom line, there's always a big different between what something is worth and what you feel it should be worth, and many people don't realize this until it's too late.

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Mark Z. Yerkes wrote:
The main issue that all these stories share is that people try to put a price on sentimental value.


That's usually true, but not always. Take my dinner train example. She simply thinks something that big MUST be worth a lot of money. Should you show up with her asking price, she'd sell in a New York minute and laugh all the way to the bank. It's simply a business transaction.


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2076
it would be a very big attention grabber if Pittsburgh had this engine running trips out from it.

There are ways to get it going, if the 765 troupe could do it, why not.


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
dinwitty wrote:
it would be a very big attention grabber if Pittsburgh had this engine running trips out from it.

There are ways to get it going, if the 765 troupe could do it, why not.



All we need is time, manpower and money.

Which of the three can you provide?


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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5251
Location: southeastern USA
Sigh.

First, you prove the market is there for a rail excursion program, what size, what brand, how much tickets cost, who buys them, etc........

Then, you find a railroad that is willing to be your parter or run your train for you at a price that fits your business model.

Then, you find the right equipment to fit the train you will run. How many passenger excursion trains need a very heavy and large ore drag hauler?

Try it from the other direction: bring a workable plan for it in some legitimate market and then propose it to people who might actually be able to make it work.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Youngstown, OH
I was down in Pittsburgh a couple of days ago and drove over to McKees Rocks to determine the status of the industrial track that serves the siding that the 643 is parked on. After driving through the remains of the P&LE shops and through an amazing amount of mud (thankfully I was driving a Jeep), this is what I found:

Image
059 by Todengine, on Flickr

Image
060 by Todengine, on Flickr

The industrial track is GONE. It now ends several hundred feet west of the 643, and even the ROW on which the track was built no longer exists. It is now a wide and deep drainage ditch.

Image
063 by Todengine, on Flickr
This pic is taken about a half mile west of the 643 looking toward the bridge that I was sitting next to taking the previous pics. The industrial track appears to be in very good shape with welded rail.

All is not lost though as it appears possible to build a new track from the end of the industrial track onto the property to pull the 643 out.

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Check out Google EARTH's archived images of the site.

I plugged in "Munson Ave. Pittsburgh" and it pulled the site right up.

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Last edited by joe6167 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3724
Location: Maine
Thank you for the contemporary research. Okay, it's mud season and the soup is on, still it doesn't look like an impossible rescue, assuming one can get cooperation from a) the railroad, or b) property owners who might allow temporary truck access. Expensive, yes; impossible, no.

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 Post subject: Re: B$LE 643
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2355
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Thanks for posting up-to-date photos.

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Wilmington, DE

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


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