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 Post subject: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:31 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
Spring is here and our railroad is back in full swing. Last fall we began construction of a Fairbanks, Morse & Co. 50 ton coaling station. As of today, the tower is mere days away from being complete and operational. Enjoy.

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Our first day of operation was quite cold. As the engine was under the charge of the evening hostler, we were greeted with what was hopefully our last snow squall of the year.

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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 145
Beautiful work, Matt! What a great addition......PD


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 249
That is unbelievably cool. Are you going to paint it or leave it "natural?" I think another trip to Dearborn might be in order...


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:49 pm
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Very cool, Matt. I find it really neat that we both made careers in steam railroading after starting the live steam hobby as kids.


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just one word--wonderful.

At least I think so, and it's cool to see not only the coaling tower but the ash hoist, too.

Now, if only you could use real passenger cars rather than the excursion cars you use.

I know the reasons for the excursion cars (same as for their use on Disney's roads), but the railroad looks so good, the engine looks so good, the roundhouse looks so good, why, they just need real passenger cars. . .at least that's what I think. . .

Again, congratulations on the coaling tower and all the other things, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
J3a-614 wrote:
Now, if only you could use real passenger cars rather than the excursion cars you use.

I know the reasons for the excursion cars (same as for their use on Disney's roads), but


A non-railroad technology and living history museum (where railroads are part of a much larger story) makes the following investments over the past 10+ years:

1. New, very authentic roundhouse and turntable with exhibits and a viewing platrom to see work performed.

2. Extensive restoration of an 1880s 4-4-0 to operation, conducted in house.

3. Maintaining a replica 4-4-0 and an original Mason Bogie in operation.

4. Repainting of historic freight cars into steam-era paint schemes.

5. Maintaining the skills to operate and maintain steam in an authentic environment.

6. Almost out of nowhere, a new, operational coaling tower. Probably the first new railroad coaling tower built in the United States since the streamlined C&O ones in the 1940s.

All of this and you nitpick over the passenger cars. Really?

The coaling tower is excellent and shows a real commitment to the telling the story of steam railroading by the management of Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. Their work should be applauded.

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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:13 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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Matthew -

WOW! This coaling station is really, really wonderful. Terrific job! Two questions.
One, I don't see a spur track for bringing coal dumped from hopper cars up into the tower; how will this be done? And two, might we eventually hope to see a vintage steam powered photo freight day with a couple of those wonderfully painted freight cars, perhaps running behind the regularly scheduled train, or on a special day, before or after the regularly scheduled operating days?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:31 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
Quote:
Are you going to paint it or leave it "natural?"

The tower will be left natural as was the standard practice.

Quote:
I don't see a spur track for bringing coal dumped from hopper cars up into the tower; how will this be done?

The receiving pit is set up to accept coal from either a front end loader or a truck. We have not gotten coal by rail for about 3 years now.

Quote:
Very cool, Matt. I find it really neat that we both made careers in steam railroading after starting the live steam hobby as kids.

Jeff, we probably shouldn't let that get out.....

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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
wilkinsd wrote:
J3a-614 wrote:
Now, if only you could use real passenger cars rather than the excursion cars you use.

I know the reasons for the excursion cars (same as for their use on Disney's roads), but


A non-railroad technology and living history museum (where railroads are part of a much larger story) makes the following investments over the past 10+ years:

1. New, very authentic roundhouse and turntable with exhibits and a viewing platrom to see work performed.

2. Extensive restoration of an 1880s 4-4-0 to operation, conducted in house.

3. Maintaining a replica 4-4-0 and an original Mason Bogie in operation.

4. Repainting of historic freight cars into steam-era paint schemes.

5. Maintaining the skills to operate and maintain steam in an authentic environment.

6. Almost out of nowhere, a new, operational coaling tower. Probably the first new railroad coaling tower built in the United States since the streamlined C&O ones in the 1940s.

All of this and you nitpick over the passenger cars. Really?

The coaling tower is excellent and shows a real commitment to the telling the story of steam railroading by the management of Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. Their work should be applauded.


No, no, not nitpicking, just wistful, wishful thinking. . .and yes, the effort IS appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4995
Actually, on a day like the one where D&LN #7 is pictured sitting in a snow squall, closed passenger coaches might be a better alternative for riders than the open cars now used. But I wonder if the railroad even has any passenger cars that could be used on such a frigid day?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
I'm certainly not privy to any inside information, considering I don't even know anyone at HFM anymore, but considering that thirty years ago the Greenfield Village Railroad was a kiddie park operation that ran 0-4-0's masquerading as passenger engines (and don't you DARE question it's authenticity, for fear of offending Henry's ghost), I'd say that whoever the driving force is, they are certainly driving the place in the right direction. Anyplace with the wherewithal to dismantle and reconstruct an entire brick roundhouse, and build an entirely new coaling tower, can certainly commission some reproduction coach stock, and hopefully that will come in the future... even if it's only a couple of cars to make a historic consist for special occasions.

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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:30 pm 

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I want to ask this politely - how are Greenfield Village's restoration projects chosen? They are spending great resources on rail, but the Suwanee riverboat was dismantled. How is the rail versus boat priority set?

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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:37 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Detroit, Michigan
I believe the SS Suwanee Riverboat was a victim of EPA/USCG Regulations...

Anyway back to the topic @ hand, I've been seeing GVRR slowly putting of this NEW Coaling Tower since last fall, and must say: "I'm very impressed". Would love to get a video and couple of picture stills of it in action this summer. ^_^

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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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Dennis Storzek wrote:
I'm certainly not privy to any inside information, considering I don't even know anyone at HFM anymore, but considering that thirty years ago the Greenfield Village Railroad was a kiddie park operation that ran 0-4-0's masquerading as passenger engines (and don't you DARE question it's authenticity, for fear of offending Henry's ghost), I'd say that whoever the driving force is, they are certainly driving the place in the right direction. Anyplace with the wherewithal to dismantle and reconstruct an entire brick roundhouse, and build an entirely new coaling tower, can certainly commission some reproduction coach stock, and hopefully that will come in the future... even if it's only a couple of cars to make a historic consist for special occasions.



Dennis makes a good point. Looking for the next great thing at Greenfield isn't a complaint, it is a compliment. They have shown dedication, skill and a willingness to invest. It is fun to dream of what organizations like that can do.

There is a big difference in thinking "so and so should do XYZ because they ought to" and "so and so should do XYZ because obviously they have the talent and drive."

Rob


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 Post subject: Re: Update from the Detroit Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:04 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2091
Location: Northern Illinois
It occurs to me that those presently employed by the HFM may not be free to comment, due to management policy or whatever.

My contact has been gone likely twenty years now; moved on to other things not in the railway preservation field. Back in that time frame, I got the impression that Greenfield Village was held in mild contempt by the professionals; the real museum was in the "big house" and the village was just a side show for the tourists, filled with expendable items of no historic significance, snake charmers, and other hucksters employed to entertain the rubes. It would appear that this view is changing, beginning with the acquisition of the DT&M roundhouse. After all, they could have just built a freelance Disney style replica; instead they opted to obtain and reconstruct a real building.

One of the problems this has caused is the village layout is really too tight, and so the real and replica facilities have the look of building kits crammed in on a model railroad, but this sort of history and evolution of mission has caused this same problem for many organizations. The fact that the HFM is adding new elements to the railroad does give me hope that the village has lost some of its "red headed stepchild" status.

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