Railway Preservation News

Railroad Improvement in Tucson: Patricia Konarski
Page 2 of 2

Author:  Alan Walker [ Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Improvement in Tucson: Patricia Konarski

wilkinsd wrote:

It actually isn't a new thing. During World War II, the U.S. Navy built a supply depot for the Pacific Fleet near Clearfield, Utah (north of Salt Lake City). After World War II, the center became a commercial shipping point for the west coast. Utah revised its tax code to allow no inventory tax on stored items that were destined for out of state sale. The Union Pacific and General Electric coordinated movement of consumer appliances through the center into the 1980s.

On a side note, I'd be interested to see how an above ground cold storage facility in Tucson is insulated. Back in St. Louis, I had a client who owned an underground cold storage facility, built out of a bluff side rock quarry. The owner explained how much energy savings there were locating it underground, as it was easier to maintain temperature.

Very well, I can assure you. I have not seen any details about it myself, but I am certain that it will be state of the art. That type of facility is well known here in Arizona, as produce importation is already a large business here. There are existing cold storage facilities in Nogales, Arizona where a lot of produce comes up from Mexico. Any new facility will be state of the art, but the old insulation practices also work well here. Old Pueblo Trolley uses two PFE reefers for storage and even on 100 degree days, the interiors remain relatively cool.

Perhaps the better question would be how it is refrigerated or how much power the refrigeration units will require/where will the power come from? A large facility such as that will have plenty of space on the roof for solar energy panels-not enough to operate the facility, but enough to reduce the overall utility costs.

Author:  rock island lines [ Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Improvement in Tucson: Patricia Konarski

Has your trolley group sold off all its old cars? If not, is there any future for them in Tucson? I hope so.
I need to come down there and give the new "Modern Streetcar" a try.

Author:  Alan Walker [ Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Improvement in Tucson: Patricia Konarski

We have not sold off any cars and are not looking to do so. Some interest has been expressed in the Belgian car, but no firm offers to date.

We are rebuilding our 1924 Brill to operate on the modern system, but that is moving along slowly due to the complications presented by the 750 volt DC system that the City went with. We are having to build equipment to step the voltage down and as can be expected, that is a very expensive proposition.

Long term, we do expect to return our cars to the streets. Whether that is operating on the modern system or building another line on our own, it will happen. Currently, our highest priority is to purchase a property that can be used to house our extensive streetcar and transit coach collection, as everything other than the equipment stored at the 8th Street car barn is on leased property. The most urgent consideration is to relocate the transit coaches stored at the leased property at Park Avenue and Broadway Boulevard as the City of Tucson has approved the widening of Broadway. That will take up the entire storage lot between the building and the street. We have identified a property and obtained a guarantee from a couple of our donors to match contributions towards the building fund up to a predetermined amount. Our estimate to acquire the building, make any necessary improvements and move equipment is approximately $1 million. That would provide us with warehouse space to store materials and a very large shop space to restore equipment as well as garage space for our restored coaches. The lot that the building sits on is sufficient to house all of our stored coaches and streetcars and we would want to cover the outside storage, preferably with parking ramadas with solar panels on top.

Currently, our operating fleet of vehicles consists of three transit coaches: 1927 Warren Bisbee Lines Twin Coach; 1938 Warren Bisbee Lines No. 8 (Yellow Coach) and Old Pueblo Transit Company No. 135 (1960 GM TGH-3102). The Twin Coach runs but is only about halfway through the restoration-grant funding has run out and we are preparing applications for the next grant cycle. We have to date invested more than $100k in it.

The 1938 Yellow Coach was a ground up restoration and we invested roughly $100k in its restoration. It was completed a few years ago and is occasionally brought out for display and operation.

The 1960 GM TGH-3102 was retired by the City of Tucson in 1974 and has never been restored, nor will it ever need extensive work on the scale of the other buses. It has almost all of the original interior seats and hardware as very shortly after its retirement, it was acquired by a former Tucson Rapid Transit employee named Mark Hart. Mr. Hart kept the coach in running condition and donated it to us in the 1990s. Basically, all it needs is bodywork, some window parts, a new destination blind and paint. We recently completed replacement of all the wiring in the engine compartment and have a very short list of system repairs. Total estimate for restoration is about $20k-it took us less than $5k to get the coach from the dead line to reliable and licensed.

At the moment, the collection is only available for viewing on appointment. If you decide to visit Tucson, PM me and we can arrange a tour of the facilities.

Author:  rock island lines [ Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Improvement in Tucson: Patricia Konarski

Thank you, Alan!

Very happy to hear your progress report from Old Pueblo Trolley. I was worried that the new Sun Link cars had put an end to your wonderful group.

I spent an hour tonight watching all the videos I could find on the Old Pueblo Trolley. The best one I found was narrated by the past president, Mr. Dick Guthrey. I was amazed to learn from him that this public street-running operation was accomplished entirely by volunteers. That's truly remarkable! (Video link).

Author:  Alan Walker [ Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Improvement in Tucson: Patricia Konarski

Mr. Guthrie is still heavily involved in the street railway. When we were operating, we had the distinction of being the only streetcar museum operation that operated exclusively using a public right of way. That said, we had a greater incident rate regarding collisions due to running in the public street. In my time as a motorman, I was involved in three collisions with vehicles. In each case, the vehicle made an illegal turn directly in front of the streetcar.

Old Pueblo Trolley's mission does not revolve around one specific mode of transportation. Our mission is to preserve the transportation history of southern Arizona specifically and Arizona in general. Railroads and streetcars are but a small portion of that. Historically, the streetcars that we have are in some respects the least historically significant items in our collection. They were primarily obtained with the intention of establishing a functional electric street railway. None of the operational cars had any historic connection with Arizona. The car that is being restored never ran in Arizona, but is being restored to represent streetcars that operated in Prescott, Arizona. The acquisition policy of the Street Railway Division has always been to acquire cars that are in restorable condition. State or local history connections would be nice but are not required.

On the other hand, the Motor Bus Division has a very strict acquisition policy. Buses acquired must have a documented service history that identifies the specific bus as having operated for a transportation company in Arizona. The only exceptions are cases where we want to have a specific vehicle and it is known that no original vehicles survive. In those cases, a suitable substitute will be obtained and restored to represent that class. So far, all of our buses have documented histories of operation here in Arizona. The documented histories have aided us in obtaining historic preservation grants to fund partial restoration of two of our vehicles so far.

Then there is the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum which operates our museum at the train station downtown. They put on a number of events each year for youths and adults and work to preserve the local railroad history.

Page 2 of 2 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group