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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:53 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
This is the most recent article that I have seen:

http://cjonline.com/news/2014-06-01/deb ... unty-court

CSR has stated that they will go to court to resolve the issue of ownership.


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:24 pm 

Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 8:56 pm
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Location: New York
Most recent developments from the wire:

TOPEKA, Kansas – An effort to rebuild and modify an historic Santa Fe steam locomotive into the world's first carbon-neutral, high speed engine has been stalled in court.

Former Santa Fe 4-6-4 No. 3463 is in the middle of a legal battle between a Minnesota-based group, the Coalition for Sustainable Rail, who wants to restore it and a group of Topeka residents who say the engine should stay in Kansas. In May, CSR filed a lawsuit asking a judge to determine who owns the historic engine. CSR claims that it purchased the engine in 2011.

“We want to clarify (the ownership of the engine) once and for all,” says Matthew Bergmann, an attorney for CSR. “We want the court to give us a legally binding decision.”

But the attorney representing the Topeka residents refutes the claims that the engine was ever legally sold to CSR. “This was a charitable gift to the city of Topeka and they can't just sell it to a third party,” attorney Tai Vokins says.

CSR is a joint venture between the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Enviroment and the nonprofit Sustainable Rail International, which is headed up by Rob Mangels, Shaun McMahon, John Rhodes, and Davidson Ward. The primary goal of the coalition is to create a clean steam locomotive that runs on biofuels and could possibly be used in passenger or commuter service. To test the theory of clean steam, the group turned to Santa Fe No. 3463, which has been sitting in a Topeka park since 1956. Plans call for the engine to be moved to the Twin Cities to be rebuilt and retrofitted with the new technology and, in an effort to prove it, run the engine at speeds up to 130 miles per hour.

“The ultimate goal of Santa Fe No. 3463 is to serve as a test best for the technology that could one day create a modern steam locomotive,” says Ward, who previously has been involved with the Milwaukee Road No. 261 project.

ATSF No. 3463 was built in 1937 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and spent most of its time in passenger service between Chicago and Colorado. The engine was retired in 1953 and later donated to the city of Topeka. As the railroad prepared to donate the locomotive a group of volunteers formed a nonprofit group, the Topeka Children and Santa Fe Railroad, to build a display site and help maintain the engine. The engine was officially put on display at the Kansas Free Fairgrounds during a small ceremony on Nov. 3, 1956.

Kansas Legislature revised state law to require all corporations to file annual reports. In 1972, the secretary of state requested an annual report from the group but no one from the original nonprofit was left or around to respond. In 1973 the entity was deemed revoked.

In the mid-1980s, the engine was moved from its present location due to construction and a few years later, according to court documents, ownership of the engine was transferred to Topeka Railroad Days Inc., operator of the Great Overland Station Museum. Later Topeka Railroad Days became Railroad Heritage Inc.

In 2011, CSR began its search for a locomotive for its project and discovered No. 3463. Negotiations took place and on Nov. 15 of that year a purchasing and sales agreement was signed. The following year, CSR began a cosmetic restoration and, on Jan. 11, 2013, a bill of sale was executed between Railroad Heritage and CSR. But a few months later three local rail enthusiasts, Phillip Dittmer, Thomas Dittmer, and Jerry Petrel, claiming to represent the revived Topeka Children and Santa Fe Railroad nonprofit, stated that their group was the proper caretaker of the engine and that it could not be moved. On May 17, 2013, the group sent a letter to CSR demanding that it “cease and desist” any efforts to restore or move the locomotive. The individuals also began making claims to the locomotive online and in emails to various publications, including Trans Magazine. In an article published in the Topeka Capital-Journal, Petrel likened CSR's plan to retrofit the locomotive to taking the Wright Flyer from the Smithsonian Institute and putting a jet engine on it. CSR states that any changes they make to the engine will be reversible.

Upon hearing the claims, Bergmann, the attorney for CSR, said his group tried to reach out to the individuals but to no avail. “We spent a year trying to contact these individuals and explain what we were going to do but we just could not get anywhere,” Bergmann said.

On May 21, CSR filed a petition for declaratory judgment in Shawnee County District Court. Two months later, in early July, Vokins, representing the Topeka Children and Santa Fe filed a response to the motion. In the motion, Vokins argues that the engine was intended to remain in Topeka for the enjoyment of its citizens and, because it was a charitable donation, the city has no right to sell it to another group who is going to move it.

“Our position is that the city can't just sell the engine who is going to remove it, retrofit it and run it at 200 miles per hour, or whatever speed that want to run it,” Vokins said.

For now, Santa Fe No. 3463 remains in Topeka awaiting its fate. For more information about the project, visit www.csrail.org.


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Frank J. DeStefano wrote:
But the attorney representing the Topeka residents refutes the claims that the engine was ever legally sold to CSR. “This was a charitable gift to the city of Topeka and they can't just sell it to a third party,” attorney Tai Vokins says.

This comment alone is nuts. Cities have sold donated items countless times. A friend of mine owns a WW1 field artillery piece that a city sold to him when they bulldozed over a veteran memorial and had no further need of it. I'm sure many of you also know of plenty of situations where a donated item was later sold by the city or county that had it...

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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Or worse, scrapped.....municipal vandalism is SOP.

Can any bunch of people actually resuscitate an organization that has been defunct and legally dissolved for a couple decades? Maybe another group of people could make another similar claim to the same organization and say they did in fact sell it....this could go on forever.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Dave wrote:
Or worse, scrapped.....municipal vandalism is SOP.

Can any bunch of people actually resuscitate an organization that has been defunct and legally dissolved for a couple decades? Maybe another group of people could make another similar claim to the same organization and say they did in fact sell it....this could go on forever.

dave


The classical attorney answer is "it depends." I am not liscensed to practice in Kansasi and haven't looked at their corporation law. However, using what is termed "black letter law" otherwise the generally accepted legal norms, yes. You can ressurrect an old corporation, in some cases.

In this case, from what I read they followed the law in ressurecting the corporation. The corporation had been what is termed "administratively dissolved" by the state of Kansas for failing to file the proper yearly paperwork. Most states allow you to corret this remedy by filing appropriate paperwork, the reinstatement then relates back to the date of the administrative dissolution. The key here is that there has to be some continuity of leadership from one incarnation to the next.

From what I have read, there was one or more surviving board members of the old organization who held a special meeting and appointed new, temporary board members. That factor alone is what I feel makes this situation unique. If there was one surviving board member, then you should not have competing claims, as you cannot ressurect a corporation out of thin air. Had there been no surviving board members, the attempt to ressurrect the corporation would not be able to occur.

That being said, there's a whole can 'o worms with regard to other legal issues, such as adverse possesion, etc. It's going to take a while to untangle this mess.

David Wilkins
Corpus Juris Canonici, Utah

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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:55 pm 
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Dave wrote:
Maybe another group of people could make another similar claim to the same organization and say they did in fact sell it....this could go on forever.

Dave, you know this is exactly what they intend.

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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1058
Location: Pacific, MO
Sounds like another case of "You can't have it, it's ours" but we will just let it sit and rot away rather than do a cosmetic restoration and make it attractive. I remember seeing in in 1996 when we were there with 1522 and it was pathetic then. Has anything been done to it since then?


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:44 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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I caution against being blinded by the vision of #3463 steaming gloriously down the mainline as God intended, versus “rotting away” in Topeka. Things are not always what they seem.


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:52 pm
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When I encounter crisis scenarios like this in my business, I break the situation down much the same way that a General would view a potential battlefield.

1. What is the victory here?
2. What are my potential casualties?
3. How does this fit into the larger picture?
4. Never forget what Von Richthofen used to teach his pupils: only fight battles you know you can win!

In this instance, the victory here would appear to be custody of the desired locomotive. However, the potential for a expenditure of immense capital to achieve this goal cannot be overlooked. Victory in the courts is far from certain and this battle is being fought on a far away land unfamiliar to local and friendly counsel. By the time they acquire this engine, the group could very well find themselves in a fiscal pickle when it comes to effectuating their intended plan. Plus it is never a good place to be where you have burned many favors but yet are far from your intended final destination. If the larger picture is to prove a scientific point, perhaps it would make more sense to request refund of the dollars expended to the city, chalk up the cosmetic work as learning experience, and begin again their conquest for a more willing subject?


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:20 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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The Topeka group wants the engine to stay in Topeka as a restored static display. As a concession to that wish, the CSR group has repeatedly said that their work will be reversible. Clearly the implication is that the Topeka group need not worry about losing their historical artifact. However, this glib assurance of reversibility needs to be explained in order to mean anything.

In the first place, anything is reversible. Scrapping a locomotive is reversible. Is CSR offering to pay for the reversal of #3463 back to its original condition after their extensive modifications? Are they offering to reverse the work and return the locomotive to Topeka? CSR has announced their purpose for the locomotive as being an extensive testing, touring to promote their torrefied fuel, and setting the world speed record. So how long would the Topeka group have to wait before they could reclaim their “reversed” locomotive?

Without clarification of these details, the assurance that the CSR work will be reversible strikes me as being quite shallow.


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
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Quote:
Without clarification of these details, the assurance that the CSR work will be reversible strikes me as being quite shallow.


While brief, CSR has set out their policy here:

http://www.csrail.org/images/the_train/csr_locomotive_documentation__preservation_guidelines-web.pdf

http://www.csrail.org/index.php/news-information/research-preservation

This information has been readily accessible on their web site for quite a while.

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
The Topeka group seems to have been conspicuously absent fur decades letting it rust....an odd thing for them to have done if they claim to care so much about it. They come across like reactionary opportunists to me.

dave

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Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:00 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
Dave wrote:
The Topeka group seems to have been conspicuously absent fur decades letting it rust....an odd thing for them to have done if they claim to care so much about it. They come across like reactionary opportunists to me.

dave



The Topeka group did not let the engine deteriorate to its present condition. That was the done by Great Overland Station, who presumed to own the engine during the deterioration phase.

Prior to that phase, there was considerable repair and restoration work under way with another group working with Great Overland Station. G.O.S. had intended to finish that restoration and move the engine a mile or so to their site. But they decided not to do that and then prevented any further work on the engine. That is where the deterioration began.

After some progression of that deterioration, G.O.S. was approached by CSR to acquire the engine for experimental work. At that point, it was learned that the engine would leave Topeka and the chance for restoration in Topeka would be lost forever.

And since G.O.S. had given up their ownership, there was an opportunity to question the actual ownership of the engine, and question the right for G.O.S. to have sold (or given) the engine to CRS. So the sudden absence of G.O.S. blocking the restoration, and the sudden question of ownership reignited the earlier quest to restore the engine that was underway before G.O.S. stopped it some years back.


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
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Mr. Travis,

You state the following, "Scrapping a locomotive is reversible."

Please tell me how? As I see the fabric is gone forever once something is scrapped. Or is this not correct?

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: ATSF 3463
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:30 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
Robby Peartree wrote:
Mr. Travis,
You state the following, "Scrapping a locomotive is reversible."
Please tell me how? As I see the fabric is gone forever once something is scrapped. Or is this not correct?
Robby Peartree


Here is my point:

CSR is telling the Topeka group not to worry about losing their historic locomotive because the CSR work will be reversible. So nothing will be lost forever if the work is simply reversed. It sounds so easy, almost like flipping a switch. But reversing the dramatic modifications that they have announced is likely to be very expensive in both time and materials.

Therefore, saying their work will be reversible is meaningless unless they clarify who is going to do it, when they will do it, and who will pay for it. Otherwise anything that is ever built is “reversible.” I was just emphasizing that point when I said that even scrapping a locomotive is reversible. You simply build a new one after the scrapping of the first one. Granted, it won’t be the very same locomotive, but it will be identical in every way, but just new instead of the age of #3463. But building a brand new locomotive after scrapping an existing copy of it as an exercise in reversing would be about as farfetched as CSR saying that their work on #3463 will be reversible.

It is true that they have detailed a historic preservation procedure on their website, but when I read it, I cannot grasp what they are actually committing to do other than removing and storing certain parts that will not be used in the new work.

This claim of reversibility will be very complex to develop in full detail. For instance, if modifications involving welding, cutting, and machining are called for on the cylinders, valves, pistons, rods, drivers, spring rigging, frame, engine trucks, etc.; will they remove all those historic parts, set them aside, and build completely new parts of the new design? Or will the go ahead with the cutting, welding, and machining modifications of those parts so that reversing would require either reversing the cutting, welding, and machining or making new parts as the “reversal”?


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