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 Post subject: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Train
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
After thinking about the topic on the heavyweight cars and the Dorothy Walker Bush museum, I am going to perhaps go out on a limb... and perhaps expand the story a bit.... When it comes to the Seneca Valley, CG combine and the Southern RPO, these were only perhaps one part of a much bigger and more complex scheme.... ( it would seem )

I recall some years back, that there was another project going on perhaps simultaneously in the Miami Florida area and perhaps a few members of the forum, might remember two Army hospital cars, that at least one ( if not both ) were perceived to be some type of communications support car at some point in their lives and traveled with the Ferdinand Magellan. These cars also sat at the same location for a time as the cars originally discussed in this forum...

The story of these two cars goes back to the time the FM was running, and eventually these two support cars in the 1970's were taken out of service and were stored at the New Cumberland Army depot outside of Harrisburg Pennsylvania... At least one of the cars was known as the 1401. Historical record shows one car as being an ex Army hospital car, painted olive green, 85' in length, three axle trucks and was converted for use as living quarters for the secret service and radio personal... Also unique on the radio car was a special antenna system designed by Collins Radio. ( this will come up again later ) ...

So, with that said, I have no clue in theory if the two cars in Miami were indeed support cars for the Ferdinand Magellan but this is where the story gets more interesting...

Per an August 15, 2005 article in the South Florida Business Journal

The car ( referring to the Ferdinand Magellan ) , which is on exhibit at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in south Miami-Dade County, will form the presidential train with two U.S. Army Signal Corps cars, a hospital car already restored by the National Parks Service and the White House Press Corps Car, said Chip du Pont, whose Du Pont-O'Neil & Associates of Deerfield Beach is handling the restoration designs.

Now, with that said, it would appear for the moment at least one or two "hospital" cars were going to be used for a potential display with the FM to represent a presidential train.

So what seems wrong with the story ? Perhaps nothing, or perhaps its another Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum / Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian scam ?. Why you might ask ?

If you go to the web site of the Florida Department of State / Division of Historical Resources ( which I did ) .. and I quickly take a look at a few of their grants, I would like to share just a few of interest :

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Presidential Train "U.S. No. 1", Phase II Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian 2000 Broward 2006 $300,000.00

Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian 2000 Railroad Cars: Phase II Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian 2000 Broward 2007 $50,000.00

United States Presidential Train "U.S. No. 1" Hollywood Railroad Station Museum, Inc. Broward 2004 $27,360.00

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With that information publicly available, it would seem at least between 2004 and 2006 the Hollywood Railroad Station Museum Inc,/ Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian 2000 received 327,360,00 for grants for United States Presidential Train US No. !. . That's a lot of money to most preservationists.... ( most would agree ) all from the State of Florida.

Now, if that wasn't quite enough to get a bad feeling about all this, I refer to Frank Houston's article in the Miami New Times ( article dated November 7,2007 )

Connie Greer, executive director of the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, says Campos appeared to have latched onto the restoration game as his own gravy train. She says Campos signed on as a volunteer with her organization several years ago and won several state grants for restoration work on Gold Coast’s crown jewel – the Ferdinand Magellan Presidential Rail Car, a Pullman car designed for President Franklin D. Roosevelt that’s now a national historic landmark.
In all, Campos’ grant-writing skills earned Gold Coast, which stands near Metro Zoo, $75,000 in state funds between 2001 and 2003. But Greer says she noticed that he was authorizing work that went beyond the scope of the grants.

Greer says she heard that Campos had secured a $250,000 award from the National Park Service for, again, the Ferdinand Magellan. Trouble is, Campos neglected to mention anything to Greer about that particular grant, which was awarded under the Save America’s Treasures program. And all the correspondence for that award went to his office at the Hollywood Tri-Rail/AmTrak station.

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Now with that understood you will note that Gree indicated the grants for the Ferdinand Magellan were in 2001 and 2003. Now look at the dates for the grants for the US Presidential train US 1... 2003 and 2006.. Also Save America's Treasures grants I believe are administered by the US National Parks Services....( not the State of Florida )

So now, to conclude, we have $327,630.00 in grants to the Hollywood Railroad Museum Inc for Presidential Train US 1, plus an additional $250,000.00 grant from the National Parks Services Save America's Treasures , therefore totaling over $ 577,630.00 of your Federal and State of Florida money all tagged for US #1. However which US 1 was Campo referring to ?.. Perhaps the FM... or perhaps a new car identified as US 1.

I would like to share current photographs of the exhibit and how it looks today, on a siding in Hialeah Florida.

You can made the determination for yourself if the money was properly spent on the preservation of these two cars. Also note, for the record, how the cars are identified ( POTUS 1 and POTUS 2 )...

Add the Seneca Valley, CG combine, Southern RPO, and its quite a story. Perhaps someone could share exactly what is going on here.

Time is yours


Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
Potus 1 ( or US 1 ? )


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
...and to conclude, it would appear from window pattern that the car identified as POTUS 1, likely did serve, when comparing window placement. As mentioned in the main text, the antenna was a complex system for its time. Note the overhead picture of the car in service, and the remains of the antenna system today. One of the antenna brackets was on the ground in the weeds next to the car.


Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
car identified as POTUS 1


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 1639
Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
Hmmm.

Seems like someone took clear advantage of both the State of Florida's and the National Park System's grant programs, by using actual historical (and Federal-listed!) railroad cars as his "selling point."

As an unfortunate fallout, I wonder what'll happen when the Gold Coast Railroad Museum applies for a grant either from Florida or the NPS (or anyone else, for that matter) to do actual, legitimate work on the "Ferdinand Magellan"? Have the misdeeds of the person in question left any sort of an unwanted stain on the museum? I really do hope that's not the case.

The GCRM has the best of intentions for the historic equipment in their collection. If Hurricane Andrew couldn't stop them from working to preserve rail history, I don't know what will.

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Ted Brumberg


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2365
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
For some reason, I thought the communication car was originally owned by CGRM. It was sent to Steamtown for rehab after Hurricane Andrew, as GCRM spent FEMA funds to rehab some cars. They also sent another hospital car and a SAL combine. Money ran out, only two cars were complete and the two hospital cars left Scranton, allegedly heading for scrap. How'd they get back to Florida?

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David M. Wilkins

Once told I was not good at public outreach.


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
Rainer Rails ( and the forum ) ...

Just a quick look, and over the past two years, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs ( another and different State of Florida agency ) ... gave Gold Coast Railroad Museum Inc. the following

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2013-2014

205 14.6.170.048 Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Inc. General Program Support: Discipline-Based $48,000 $10,679


2012-2013

167 13.6.114.117 Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Inc. General Program Support: Discipline-Based $48,000 $11,893


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note the first amount ( left side ) is what Gold Coast Railroad Museum requested from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, and the number to the right is what I believe the state agency gave Gold Coast Railroad Museum Inc.

Also note, below, the National Railway Historical Society issued two "grants" to Gold Coast in the last 2 years... as follows :

NRHS 2012

Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Miami, Florida: $2,800 to restore interior paint and upholstery of the Presidential Railcar Ferdinand Magellan, which served four U.S. presidents

NRHS 2013

$2,000 to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, FL, to repair glass in the dome of the Silver Crescent, a former California Zephyr observation car.


So, although this list might not be complete, it would seem that Gold Coast received $22,000.00 plus from the State of Florida, so perhaps the reputation caused by the investigations and thefts perhaps didn't do as much damage, However 22,000.00 from a requested 96,000.00 is only about 20 percent or so of what they wanted, so perhaps it might have made rail preservation in South Florida be more accountable.... Perhaps ?

On a side note, the Florida East Coast 253 ( part of what perhaps was supposed to be part of the display as previously discussed at the Dorothy Walker Bush Museum in Hollywood ) sucked up another substantial sum of State of Florida money with what many might think are perhaps questionable results to date, given the desire of the group to see that locomotive operate.

Also note below the name of the groups associated with these grants.

Florida East Coast Railway Steam Locomotive #253 Gold Coast Historic Railway Foundation, Inc. Miami-Dade $218,100.00

and then later

Florida East Coast Railway Steam Locomotive #253, Completion Phase Steam Locomotive Association #253, Inc. Dade 2008 $48,000.00

These grants were again issued by the State of Florida Deparment of Historical Resources ( the same department that tossed away the money on the Seneca Valley, CG combine and Southern RPO ) ... Add it all up in South Florida and I think we are at approximately $1,250,000.00 possibly spent with not much to show for it, and $1,000,000.00 of the money came from the State of Florida Deparment of Historical Resources...

Now, what could you preserve if you received state and federal grants in excess of $1,250,000.00 ?

And speaking of FEC 253, here are the results of $266,100.00 ( which is not per say a reflection of this group ).... and of course $266,100.00 is just from the Department of Historical Resources.

Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 337
Dean, to be quite honest, from the reports I remembered seeing over the past 4 or 5 years, IIRC, the group working on 253 seemed to be making some real, genuine, progress and were really working on the engine, as opposed to the total shell game that seemed to be playing out with Mr. Campos and the "presidential" passenger cars. If I followed your reporting correctly, it looks like the funding for 253 was coming from the same source as the passenger cars, so apparently all funding for both seemed to come to a skreetching halt. While restoring 253, a bulky 0-8-0, would be nice, was it really an appropriate engine to pull a train of presidential passenger cars around? It seemed like an unlikely candidate for the job at hand. If FEC was really going to support such an endeavor, as I recalled the 253's website indicated originally, why wouldn't a properly thought out plan include restoring one of the two FEC 4-6-2's at GCRM instead?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:20 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
Rob

I didn't want to imply the money was in theory "wasted" on the FEC 253, its just when you go to Ft. Pierce it does not per say look like a place where a steam restoration is ongoing. Now with that said, it would appear that one of the driving forces of this operation, Steven L. Spreckelmeier, unfortinately passed away this year. I likely believe that his death likely caused great hardship for this all volunteer group, and from what I can see, the operation in Ft. Pierce is more like a weekend siding open for tours to an occasional visitor. I also stated that the grant money for the 253 was issued to two different receipants, which makes you question what happened initially.

Perhaps time will tell, and their progress will show results like the tremendous efforts and accomplishments that were performed on the CNJ 113. However, in the case of the $266,100.00 that was extended to the 253, hopefully getting out of Hialeah ( which I am sure was a gigantic effort ) helped, however with limited funding, outdoor Florida conditions, and one of the leaders of the group unfortunately no longer present, one can only hope at this point.

Granted I am not a member of the group... however their Facebook page has no information about the locomotive and I believe last had activity a year ago, and their web site for the locomotive does not seem to open.

Perhaps someone knows a bit more.


Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:32 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 309
Does anybody know if the trucks for the radio cars survived?

This seems like a worthy project, it really does go towards telling the story about the Presidential use of a railroad car. Is there anybody out there who knows the entire story from the other side of the fence? Anybody...?

T7


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:13 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm
Posts: 429
T7 and the forum...

In regards to the trucks .. and a bit more information from a gentleman who apparently had direct connection to the saving of these cars....

Thought this was very interesting that one set of trucks was scrapped ( likely for profit ) and another set was likely sold ( likely for profit ) .... Wonder where the money for the trucks went ?

The attached black and white photograph show the General Myer ( I believe the car identified now as POTUS 1 shown earlier ) ..shown at the U.S. Naval Gun factory in Wash.DC.

DL


Donald Nichols wrote:

In it he (W8SU) wonders about the fate of the Myer and the Crew Car Morn. Both still exist. At present they are at the center of a felony investigation with one person already under arrest. The person in custody applied for state funds for the cars' restoration. However nothing of the such was done and that is where felony theft charges come in. Due to the legal problems, nothing is being done for the Myer and so it is going downhill fast. I last saw it in October and believe that it is now beyond being able to be saved. One of the set of trucks for it or the Morn were scrapped and another sold to another group. I don't know if it was the Myer's or the Morn's that were scrapped. I was the person who arranged for it's saving back in 1987 when NASA had it up for disposal, and worked on it when it was at the Gold Coast RR Museum. I also went to Steamtown as a consultant when the museum was going to have it restored using FEMA funds for damage caused by Hurricane Andrew.

Morn is the crew car for the Myer. It was built out of Hospital Unit Car USA 89426 and carried 87426 in Presidential service. W3WTE operated out of that car. It was later replaced by 89501, a Hospital Ambulance Car built in 1952 as part of a 52 car order as a replacement car for the Morn, Myer, and 50 other cars sent to S. Korea.


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:37 am
Posts: 10
Good Day Gents,

I am Tom Flanary, one of the current board members from the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. I am also the current Treasurer. I was hoping to remain somewhat incognito with this username, but unfortunately it seems that cannot be the case.

On behalf of the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, I feel that it is important to emphasize that we were in no way associated with this action, and that the person who was named in this investigation has been arrested, and was, to my knowledge, sent to prison. Unfortunately this criminal used our museum's name, the Bush's name, and drug them both through the mud.

If anyone can verify that they were associated with the Ferdinand Magellan, you can imagine that we'd have a great interest in them, and go through great lengths to acquire and restore them professionally. So please let me know of any evidence you have, and I'm more than happy to present it.

Likewise, we are presently finishing the restoration process in the observation room on the FM, which should be done in a few weeks. I invite you all to stop by and see it.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me, or I invite you to email me at tom.flanary@gcrm.org


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
I am SOOOOOOO tempted to bring up something about the "armored car" on the "mysterious secret Waldorf-Astoria siding" in Grand Central Terminal.......... >;-D


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:43 am
Posts: 388
Location: Dalton, Georgia
The aforementioned Mr. Campos was found to have mishandled only a small portion of funds regarding the inappropriate disposal of an asset purchased with grant funds. Those funds were not spent for personal enrichment, but to pay regular operating expenses of the organization that was originally granted the funding. Though nothing went for personal enrichment, the provisions for handling granted funds have lots of legal navigation required. He did not go to prison. He did decide not to post bail when he was initially arrested. The case was adjudicated earlier this year and he was given probation. Mr. Campos did in fact have connections to the Bush family.

The contractor involved in the restoration work was investigated and found to be in full compliance and with good records to back his invoices for payment. He was a friendly witness to the state. Unless someone has before and after photos that are date relevant of work performed and materials present at the time, not seven years after vandals and neglect have been unleashed on the cars with no protection (due to the ongoing investigation and legal proceedings no one was allowed to protect them), then posting current photos with commentary that sniffs of indignation is disingenuous to be sure.

Oh, and those trucks - they were scrapped by the FEC thanks to the late leader of a certain locomotive project that didn't get so far with his grant, either.


Last edited by steaminfo on Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Political content removed


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 Post subject: Re: Hollywood Florida Railroad Museum & the Presidential Tra
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:11 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:38 am
Posts: 2
Tom,

The car labeled as "POTUS 1" is in fact the Gen. Albert J Meyer, SC-1 a communications car that always accompanied the Magellan once the leased B&O combine 1401 was retired. This is well documented online and in Bob Withers book, "the president travels by train" on pages 136, 276, 384, 390, and 395-397. Page 276 also mentions the communications crew car that served as a dormitory for the Meyer's crew. This was also a former Army Hospital Car, and very likely the one labeled "POTUS 2." I also have some archival information I gathered from Ft. Eustis library when I visited there several years ago supporting this.

The window and door arrangement on the car labeled "POTUS 1" unmistakably identifies it as the Meyer, the other car would take more deeper investigation to prove its lineage.

However I offer this, in my research travels I went to Steamtown in Scranton where the CGRM's hospital car 89436 was restored and have spoken to the guys to performed the restoration and obtained copies of all the materials and information used from the archivist there.

At the same time 89436 was at Steamtown, so was the Meyer and its accompanying crew car, now labeled "POTUS 2." I have photos of all three cars at Steamtown being unloaded from the flatcars to be restored. For whatever reason, only the 89436 was restored and the other two have ended up in Miami in the legal mess they are in now. I personally would love to see them restored and on display at GCRM with the Magellan.


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