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 Post subject: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
The thread about putting substantial funds towards rebuilding a Pennsy T1 and comments from EDM, got me thinking about endangered steam. One of the more highly respected steam guys in the country told me, "I see a second age of mass scrapping of steam coming". His rationale being that so many neglected locomotives remain out in public parks or are owned by individuals with no plans to restore them. First on the list was Reading 2100. There's that "collection" in the northwest, parted out, sitting in a field. B&LE 643 is really in danger, as is that former CPR Mikado in Depew, New York. Obviously, nobody can make the owners sell them or act to move and restore them. Still, if my steam-wise friend sees clearly and speaks the truth, we're going to wonder why we haven't acted more proactively than we have.

It might be time to address the owners, determine what they want for their equipment, locate parties willing to accept the locomotives, and get to work securing funds for moving and stabilizing the equipment. A million bucks raise for this purpose seems a better model for donations over starting a ham-strung project like rebuilding a distressed steam design.

Who will launch the first flaming arrow?

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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:03 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:50 am
Posts: 69
Commendable and thoughtful.

I'd chip in that the same applies for passenger cars. Many going off metal to become restaurants. Now those cars have become superannuated in that role. Many are beyond financial hope of recreating, so such cars need a home other than a scrap yard. Maybe a tax break for donation rather than scrapping.

While it might look soggy to the big 4 class I's, I'd like to help with a committee to try to have them take a beneficial posture toward moving and housing such stock. It might be a hard sell as the first class trains were a first class money loser for them, but if you don't ask....


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:18 am
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The B&LE 643 is either ON or adjacent to where CSX would like to build(or is building) their new Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminal. I think it is in the most immediate danger out of all of the steam locomotives listed.


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
It's probably less endangered if it is where heavy equipment and rail constructions is happening. I can't imagine an easier means of removing it to a better location.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
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Location: Pacific, MO
As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, etc, etc."

Maybe Don Corleone could make these people an offer they can't refuse, but until then they own the stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:33 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
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Dave wrote:
It's probably less endangered if it is where heavy equipment and rail constructions is happening. I can't imagine an easier means of removing it to a better location.

dave


Or an easier means of cutting it into pieces small enough to be trucked to a mini-mill.


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:36 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:56 am
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Location: Roanoke Va.
I would also like to see a list of endangered passenger cars, and for that matter, first generation diesels. In the past few years, there have been two N&W passenger cars scrapped that we probably would have tried to save, had we known about their status or location

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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:41 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:55 am
Posts: 70
Richard Glueck wrote:
It might be time to address the owners, determine what they want for their equipment, locate parties willing to accept the locomotives, and get to work securing funds for moving and stabilizing the equipment. A million bucks raise for this purpose seems a better model for donations over starting a ham-strung project like rebuilding a distressed steam design.

Who will launch the first flaming arrow?


No doubt there will be locomotives lost in the future (as have been in the past) . You already pointed out the reasons. Yet I do see projects as the T1 (if properly manned and funded and located) as a good additional way to revive the interest in steam at all.

If there were enough willing parties around today, all these endangered locomotives and cars would have been stabilized already. So obviously the cake is getting smaller and instead of complaining why the personal favourite loco is not being taken care of (and admitting the own personal efforts are smaller than the engines require...) we need to look for more young folks to help us to make the cake bigger.

Easier said than done...

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
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Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Having tried unsuccessfully to act as a friend of the court in the 643 issue I'm sorry to say that the only real hope for that engine is if the owner passes on and his estate sells it.

The reality of the situation is that there's a very strong probability that it will end up being scrapped in place as the huge costs involved in getting it moved will put that option out of reach to nearly everyone.

Sad but true.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:49 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:24 pm
Posts: 70
I agree with Mr. Glueck regarding an endangered list as well as regarding diesel and car equipment. I suggest that we consider where this list would be most suitable and accessible? I think that RYPN might be a suitable host for short such lists - a new 'tab' on the main page - or a new forum in the interchange?
However, I also respect and understand that:
1) the moderators and owner/maintainer of the site might have different opinion
2) this use might not fit the 'News' part of RYPN (though I think the list and changes to the endangered pieces would be news...)


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:59 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 141
Location: North Carolina USA
The issue with any list of endangered and historic artifacts, is that it begs the question of this list having any utility. In other words, lets say you compiled a list, then what?
I think what lurks behind this concept of an inventory is the lack of any viable national organisation comparable to The National Trust For Historic Preservation, specifically aimed at drawing together a coalition of like minded individuals to highlight, educate
and invigorate public interest in railroad heritage.
The current problem is a sort of myopia when it comes to a focus on the minutia of history, and the archivist's perspective when it comes to history as detached from preservation, and as a result, we have a great deal of knowledge that already exists with an out of kilter rapidly shrinking list of the very artifacts that reams of volumes have already been published about.
The local nature of the movement as it stands is hit and miss affair that cannot draw in national support for local efforts. I think the old axiom of strength in numbers applies.
This sort of regional mindset has resulted in a number of museums calling themselves National Train Museums which are either a cornucopia of localized organisational
efforts cannot ( due to their random collections) truly represent a national scope, which reflects the scattered nature of split efforts and energy as well as funds.
What we need is a national organisation with some teeth in numbers that looks beyond publishing essays, lists or photographs, which, frankly would do better if attached to a national preservation organisation, an umbrella for these disparate efforts, to bring to bear national resources to local efforts.
This guy has a steam list..and over there that guy has an interurban list..this guy has a such and such list..this sort of scatter shot listing needs to take the next step forward..and become a nationally based repository with a organisation whose aim is preservation of historic artifacts..some focus is needed here in the U.S..otherwise, its just dilution of the hard work and efforts that have been done to the present. Otherwise, we will have the same sort of attention deficit disorder that has hallmarked efforts and interest to date..preaching to the choir as it were, an insular affair lacking a meat and potatoes spine..we, as a nation seem to enjoy pampering our pet corns complaining rather than have a vision..a goal that is coherent to others. Would the Smithsonian join such an effort in expertise, or say, The National Trust as a coalition with a common goal? I think a short list of experts on a board of trustees is a better list to actually do something..in relation to what to do with lists..as the current organisations simply lack this vision.Well thats my morning pseudo rant for what its worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3731
Location: Maine
We've often talked about a national historic preservation fund, either underwritten by lottery or tax deductions. Perhaps the best way to preserve individual locomotives is to simply create a fund to "Purchase the (Reading 2100/B&LE 643/CPR xxxx/you fill in your choice) Locomotive" and go after it in that manner. Form a 501c3 group dedicated to only one mission and start plugging away. Seeing as Steamtown in a National site, is that an available repository? Others? If endangered locomotives are placed on museum property, it doesn't insure preservation, but it better protects it from further vandalism and reduction to sherds.
Each locomotive is, of course, a unique case and unique project. It would seem a non-profit company, set up for the sole purpose of intervention might be an angel waiting in the wings.
This discussion could boil down to the usual dogs chasing their usual tails, but the conversation needs to be considered before torches are lit.

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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:58 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
co614 wrote:
The reality of the situation is that there's a very strong probability that it will end up being scrapped in place as the huge costs involved in getting it moved will put that option out of reach to nearly everyone.


I agree with Mr. Rowland. Whether it is the 643 or any other piece of historic equipment, it is a shame when the owner is so disconnected from reality and has no realistic plans for the continued preservation of the artifact.

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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:32 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:24 pm
Posts: 70
Mr. Duensing,
I respectfully disagree with your opinion regarding the list - The utility and purpose of the list is to #1)collect and gather the information into an entity for #2)the tracking of items, their history, story, and educating other about WHY we seek to preserve them or WHY they are endangered.
As an example, steamlocomotive.info - is an excellent example of the value of lists - as I see it regularly used here and elsewhere.
I'd appreciate Doug Bailey's thoughts on this subject.

I agree with you on the other points about the lists authority and duplication elsewhere being problematic. But sometimes it is better to move the stones we can, than to sit and wonder - ie, some list is better than no list to me.

Your point about a National group is well taken, does this not sound like NRHS...
ROTFL - now I'm not suggesting that in the current state NRHS can be this group, but doesn't that seem like the logical candidate??


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 Post subject: Re: Short list of endangered steam.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:24 am 
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"we need to look for more young folks to help us to make the cake bigger."

And that is why railroad museums need to get on par with other museums and heritage organizations out there. Railroading is a HUGE part of American history. Yet, how many kids today have not ridden a train? While volunteering at my local rail museum, I've come across middle-aged folks and young parents who tell me that "this is my first train ride!"

Could this change? I think it will. Rail seems to be having a renaissance of sorts. New commuter lines are appearing, new light rail, new streetcars (both heritage and modern), but gone are the days of classic railroading with pullman green trains pulled by steam engines, controlled by colored glass and kerosene flames...except for at our museums.

I think our nation's rail museums need to become all-in-one rail history centers. Yes have a tight, well-developed mission statement and collections policy. Once you've focused on what story you're going to tell, tell it. And tell it well.

Allow me to share, being a young guy (22), what I've seen in my 6 years of volunteering at my local rail museum (which is growing and developing in big ways right now).

I'm seeing "my" museum grow from being 2 train depots with a train running between them (with a big "boneyard"), to a full-fledged center for railway history.

Located in the heart of one town, just 2 miles away from a big waterfall (big tourist attraction) is a scene out of the past: an 1890 railway depot built in the Victorian style. At the other end of the line in the next town is a smaller, replica depot, which has easy access to the nearby freeway. You can get on the train in either town.

Inbetween the two towns is the still-being-built Railway History Center. This complex consists of a display shed, and restoration shop, and, someday, a library/archives/office space/depot. These facilities allow for the archive of everything from the photo of ol' 97 to ol' 97 herself. The displays show the history of railroading in the entire region. The train operating on 5 miles of track right outside the door gives you a taste of what the entire region was once like. It's a part-to-whole relationship. It allows people to experience travel on a historic train, and then understand that everything was once this way.

We already know railroad history is significant. We know it needs to be preserved. The question is; does the the general public know that? Do your visitors know why the railroad is so important. Preservation and interpretation. They go hand in hand. Unfortunately, I think the latter often gets overlooked, and so the interest for the former dies off.

Don't just tell them "we need to save ol' 97". Don't lecture them as to why "ol' 97 is historically significant" (what a wonderfully bland, flavorless term that is). Let them, to the best extent possible, experience that earlier time. Then they'll understand why ol' 97 is so important.

One last note; look at Youtube. We've got young steam fans out there. We've got young model railroaders who love to model the 4449, the 765, etc. I know I've never been interested in building a massive model railroad ever since my first trip as Car Attendant on the 5 miles of track at the museum. The real thing is so much cooler.

If we're going to re-save steam locomotives, passenger cars, interurban, etc., I think we need to get rid of the image of "train ride with some old freight cars around", and instead start making our museums centers for both long-term preservation and living-history demonstrations of our great railroading heritage. Let's become the go-to source for railroad history.

--Drew Black

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