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 Post subject: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:46 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 17
Hello,
I’ve been scroller/watcher of this site for awhile now, and have learned a great deal of interesting ideas, opportunities, etc., from those who post here regularly. After reading several of these posts, I decided to take the opportunity to post an announcement/opportunity of my own. As I’ve seen on several other posts, I’m sure there will be both support and criticism, but either way, I’m also sure that there will be some great ideas and suggestions.
I wanted to take a moment to introduce this railway preservation community to the West Virginia Railroad Maintenance-of-Way Museum, Inc. Our mission is “to preserve the artifacts and history of the men and women involved in the construction and maintenance of railroad structures and right-of-way via the Maintenance-of-Way departments and to give the public an understanding and appreciation of their role in railroading and national development.“ We are working on this mission every day. While this is not just a shameless solicitation, I know that there are many on here with the means to help projects along and that have helped fund many of the great works being undertaken at institutions represented here. We will be here seeking advice, sharing project updates, etc. Unfortunately, our funding streams have been slow at present, but we are making progress in spite of that. There are many ways to helps, as we are always looking for willing volunteers, experience is a plus, as most of our group at present is very inexperienced, but learning. Donations of dollars or materials are obviously a big plus, as well. While we don’t have a permanent location at present, our collection is mostly centered in Webster County, West Virginia, with documents, etc., stored safely in a climate-controlled location in Putnam County, West Virginia.
The centerpiece of our collection at present is also our biggest challenge: A circa 1900 30’ steel-framed flat car. This generous donation came from Amherst Industries near Charleston, West Virginia, and is believed to be the only surviving piece of Campbell’s Creek Railroad rolling stock extant. It spent its life from 1951 onward as the rail & tie car for the railroad. It is said to date to at least 1902, and was one of the original pieces of equipment on the Campbell’s Creek Railroad, supposedly spending its entire working life in MOW service. We have worked to remove all non-necessary wood from the car, and clean up the metal to minimize weather damage. This project will cost approximately $30,000 to complete. Amherst Industries has committed to match a portion of this expense.
Another project is the moving of a speeder trailer used in ambulance service on the Canadian Pacific Railroad from California to West Virginia. We estimate this project at approximately $2,500 in moving expenses. This project is still in need of funding.
One other project is the relocation of a track push cart from Illinois to West Virginia. This project is fully funded and is awaiting weather. We are also removing the remnants of a crossing shanty from a ditch and planning on re-constructing with what materials are salvageable. This project is funded through the removal/re-location phase, but will need lumber and other materials once secured.
Finally, in the project department is the restoration of a former C&O Railway Fairmont push cart. This cart is in need of frame replacement/welding, cleaning and new decking. We estimate the restoration of this cart at $300-$500.
If anyone is interested in volunteering for or donating to any of these projects, your help is greatly appreciated! Yes, even moral support is still support and helpful! Checks may be made payable to the WVMOW Museum, and our mailing address is P.O. Box 815, Cowen, WV, 26206. E-mail may be sent to wvmowmuseum@yahoo.com, and we are on Facebook. The West Virginia Railroad Maintenance-Of-Way Museum, Inc., is a 501(c)3 organization, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Therefore, your monetary support is deductible to the extent allowable under Federal Law. For those wishing to volunteer, please send us an e-mail or private message me on RYPN and I will give you contact information. Please bear with us as there are a lot of irons in the fire right now, but we are making headway. If you are interested in supporting the museum, but short on funds or time, we are a participant in Goodsearch. Goodsearch is a search engine similar to Yahoo, Bing, or Google, but you may choose to support an organization and approximately one penny per search is donated to that organization. If you have not used Goodsearch or do not have an organization that you support on Goodsearch, please consider us, as you can typically input the terms, “West Virginia Maintenance” and we’ll pop-up as your option, located in Cowen, WV. Every little bit helps, and something as simple as searching, or even making purchases through Goodshop, which helps you find items online at retailers such as Amazon, helps us out. Thank you again for your time and consideration! Shameless solicitation over!

Sincerely,

Kent Walker, President
The West Virginia Railroad Maintenance-of-Way Museum, Inc.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 257
Location: Amherst, Oh
Good luck. Railroad museums are having a difficult time as it is, let alone to have one that is so specific. You might want to see if there is a museum in your area you could partner with.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5419
Location: southeastern USA
Welcome. you have chosen a little interpreted part of railroad history. I would also encourage you to team with other museums or even depot preservation projects to increase the marketability by being part of a project of greater breadth and interest.

Your mission statement as written allows you to pursue a very wide range of areas, both physically and geographically. You won't have much trouble finding old iron, but you might want to focus on preserving knowledge and life experience of those who were the last to work in MOW during the final days of the large section crews and manual rather than automated working. There's a very limited time left available to find these people and interview them. If you could record and reenact the old school lining bar gangs and the songs and chants........you could be a welcome addition to events at many rail museums taking your show out on the road.

Good luck, and don't sweat the hardware - it's the easy part of the job. Making the history meaningful and interesting is the greater mission.

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
I'd love to see an excursion train of passengers loaded up in troop cars garded up in maintenance of way work garb carrying light plastic spike maulers and plastic spikes as their gift for the ride....then have them "schooled" on the ride how track maintenance is done. Find a small steamer, have a short ride to run out to the "section" of track to be "worked" on. then simulate a broken rail, bad tie replacement etc, you could have a prepared tie already with spike holes so you could pound in plastic spikes with ease. the pull the spike, hand it back and declare to the passenger/helper "you fixed the railroad!" have some kind of award piece of paper to give to them for participation signed by some railroad "president" declaring "you layed 10 miles of track in one day" or some fun kind of thing.

then go off to a picnic lunch or whatever.

ideas fly...


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:11 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
Posts: 699
Location: cheyenne
Interested to know what you intend to do to the flat car that could possibly cost $30,000 ? seems awfully high.

Mike Pannell


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:45 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
Has anyone heard from the Buckingham Lining Bar Gang lately? When we saw them ten years ago they were down to just a few members who were able to travel and they were debating whether to quit or train young men to take their places. All I can find right now are some YouTube clips.
If any of them are available to talk with you, I'd be getting hold of them real soon because even ten years ago none of them were young.

ETA: My, my, this is quite a story...
http://scottsvillemuseum.com/transporta ... egang.html

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--Becky


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:57 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 17
Emmo213 wrote:
Good luck. Railroad museums are having a difficult time as it is, let alone to have one that is so specific. You might want to see if there is a museum in your area you could partner with.


A lot of good comments, suggestions and questions. We are always working to expand partnerships and networking opportunities. We have had some criticism locally over the "narrow scope" of the museum. The problem with much broadening is that we are a mere 50-60 miles from the West Virginia Railroad Museum, and don't need to infringe on their territory. We are also only 40-50 miles from Cass, which while a state park, is also technically a railroad museum. We have received some rebuff from a member of the West Virginia Railroad Museum about overlapping them already. On the other side of that, we have had some limited discussion with their president about partnering on some programs and opportunities as we do have much in common. We have varying levels of partnerships with most organizations in our area, including Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association, the West Virginia Railroad Museum, the Cowen Historical Railroad Festival, and are working on/have sought advice from or with Strasburg Railroad, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Railroad Museum in North Carolina. As a few of you have suggested, I would like to see us collaborate with the museum in Crewe, Virginia and the Museum of the Railway Worker in, I believe, Colorado, both of which have a similar mission.
Dave, both yours and dinwitty's ideas are well-received and very similar to suggestions that I have laid before our board. Unfortunately, we're just not at a stage to fully implement them, yet. However, one of our new Facebook contacts is working on getting us a contact to interview about MoW gang work. I have tried to get the Buckingham Line Gang (I think that the name is right) for the Cowen Historical Railroad Festival for years, but cannot seem to come up with a current contact for them. Either way, I love the ideas. Along with your closing comments, Dave, an point made by a co-worker when I was working on forming this museum idea both opened my eyes and stuck with me. The first step is explaining terms that we (the rail community) take for granted, with a basic display explaining what "gauge" "roadbed" "ballast" "crosstie" "frog" and many other basic components are and how rail, roadbed, lining and surface all work together in the physics of railroading. She suggested explaining "standard gauge" "narrow gauge" and "broad gauge" as she put it, "because I didn't know what any of that stuff meant until you just explained it."

car57 wrote:
Interested to know what you intend to do to the flat car that could possibly cost $30,000 ? seems awfully high. Mike Pannell


Mike,

It may be a little on the high end. In fairness, we are still soliciting bids for this work, and I have an overdue e-mail to send to a local (relatively speaking) shop interested in the work. However, the bids so far have been $20,000 (current leader) and roughly $160,000 (far too prohibitive). The $10,000 cushion was built in to ensure that we totally cover crane and trucking. The bright side is that we have a local crane company and it only takes one crane and can load on a standard 40' or so flatbed without special permits. So, at present, the total may end up being closer to $25,000. This may still seem high, but one must remember that the car is in very rough shape with a lot of rot to the steel structure. This was both from years of neglect and also the large amount of sand uncovered when doing wood removal would indicate at least one if not several flood survivals. The sand didn't do the steel any favors over the years with moisture retention.
Thank you all for the support and suggestions. Keep them coming!

Sincerely,

Kent


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:05 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
Posts: 699
Location: cheyenne
Hi Kent
Thanks for clarifying that have you spoken to Wasatch RR contractors too ? They have shops in other areas as well as Cheyenne ? I understand now that if you are outsourcing the work then the costs will be higher, be worth looking for an independent /out of work ex welder ? I will PM you on this.

Mike

Here is a link to their facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Vir ... 9564090364


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:19 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
other museums should think of competition, its about education, preservation on all levels, everybody needs to help one another.

Don't worry about them, keep your focus, its unique, you can make a unique experience out of it. You can make it interesting and surprisingly fun if you do it right.
The early days of railroading had multiple gauges and there were places that had multiple gauge track, wide, standard, narrow at the same place, the same track.
Triple gauge track.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5419
Location: southeastern USA
This is nonsense....we're not in competition with each other unless we offer essentially the same product in the same area. Interpreting the history of railway construction and maintenance is very different than operating a train ride for tourists, or interpreting the technology of motive power or American passenger trains. Band together and support each other.....share marketing if you can't also share a physical location and jointly develop programming.

My sense in reading your response is you are still primarily interested in the technology rather than in the people and process. This is a road to irrelevance to all but those of us who already know a lot about the technology. Start with the people, and only use what parts of technology you need to use to tell human stories.

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to RYPN from Small, Young Museum in West Virginia!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 17
Mike: I have not spoken with Wasatch, and am not too familiar with them other than posts here on RYPN.
Dave: I'm sorry that my response would convey a disregard for the people over the hardware, as this is not the case. On the flipside, it does take a certain degree of hardware to engage the audience and tell the stories. Perhaps the best way to express where we're at on projects is that we'd like to finish what we've started in terms of wrapping up the projects listed in the initial post, and as a sidenote, getting a small traveling display together that tells the basics of maintenance-of-way, as well as displaying some of the tools. The stories follow naturally with this. You know as well as I do that speaking to John Q. Public about MoW, usually has them ready to discuss Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, Dixie Chopper and cutting deck width, until you explain the "rest of the story." Usually, when discussing it, as I'm still learning myself on the topic, I immediately compare it to the DOH/DOT guys that do road maintenance, only on the railroad. Typically, this is something that people can connect with as most people either drive, or have ridden in a car, or at least walked along a road and seen construction zones, potholes being patched or snowplows running, so they get the gist of it. I hope that this helps.

Sincerely,

Kent


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