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 Post subject: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:11 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:39 am
Posts: 4
Have not seen this discussed on this forum yet, but it merits discussion IMHO.

http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/staff/archive/2017/02/01/a-short-line-worth-knowing-the-kentucky-amp-tennessee.aspx

Hopefully this purchase indicates a bright future for the old K&T. It is most certainly a deserving line.

You may find an excellent collection of steam-era photos of the K&T here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskEiih76


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Still trying to figure out who bought it. The article is rather vague "A business developer from Oregon". Anyone have more info?


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 367
Facebook post:

Finally! An update, from Diana Bybee and Sam Carpenter.

Until now, we’ve held off in saying anything formal about the railway’s change of ownership, waiting for the final sales and leasing documents to be signed between McCreary County Heritage Foundation and our own company, DSRR, LLC, (”Diana and Sam Railroad”). But we’re not quite there yet, and it’s time to stop being so mysterious!

We’re at the one-yard line as negotiations continue, even as the “train season” is almost here (We begin in exactly four weeks from today, with our first 2017 passengers leaving the Depot for Blue Heron.)

Who are we? Diana Bybee is Chief Executive Officer, General Manager and majority shareholder (former HR Manager at Outdoor Venture Corporation), and Sam Carpenter is Chief Operations Officer and minority shareholder (multi business owner and author). Our Marketing Director is Lucian Musgrove. Our Office Manager and bookkeeper is Katlyne King. Roger Branscom is our part-time, IT and general fix-it guy. We’ll be adding one more full-time and three part-time administrative people soon.

Our track and engineer/conductor crew? Don Powell is Railroad Superintendent (Stearns’ legendary “train guy” for the last 35 years), Jimmy Shook, Tim Vanover, Matthew "Skeeter” Crabtree and Josh Duncan. We’ll soon be adding three more people to this vital team that insures your safety and, let’s go ahead and say it here, is the heart of our operation. Thanks guys!

See the batch of photos, below!

We’ve been sorting out the myriad of legal details with Heritage Foundation since last October. The two parties signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding back on December 19th and since then it’s been an endless back-and-forth effort to sort out the complex details. But, the Memorandum gave us enough confidence to immediately move ahead with the revitalization of the railway with Heritage’s blessings.

Since signing back in December, we’ve been working ceaselessly, investing nearly $200,000 in rebuilding the passenger cars, restoring the railway itself, and remodeling the Depot office space. Our fantastic five-man operations crew, headed-up by Don, has been hammering hard on the seven mile railway, clearing brush to enhance passengers’ views, replacing ties and damaged rails, and “tightening” the track in order to keep it FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) safety-compliant…and to provide a much quieter ride.

We’ve got a railway contractor, United Rail Service of Somerset, headed up by Jim Goldson and his son Robbie, ready to come in as soon as the legalities are out of the way, to perform some heavy track work that we can’t do because we don’t have that kind of “big track” equipment. The United contract is another $97,000.

And soon you’ll see a major facelift of downtown Stearns itself, spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation

Our FRA track inspector visited last Thursday to give his recommendations and stipulations, as well as his official go-ahead. He’ll come back again in April to review our work.

Gary Clark, of Gary Clark Construction is our railway car contractor (and awesome local builder in McCreary County for the last 30 years). Gary originally built our seven passenger cars a decade and a half ago. Now he’s back, with crew members Gary Clark Jr, Aaron Jones, Tristen Sunderland, Myron Taylor, Randall Roberts and Alex West, to rebuild the cars yet again, from the bottom-up. Lester Miller of MMI Electrical is our thoughtful and creative electrical contractor. Painting of the EMD locomotive? That will be Steve Richards of Crossroads Railroad Services.

Also, much thanks to…
Stephen Whitaker, Repair and Service Solutions
Tim Jones with NAPA (Pine Knot)
Tony Musgrove at KU
Roy Baker and Niki, Wendy, Steve, Randal, Jeremy and Scott at Access Cable
Michael Sandidge at H&R Block
Jeff Kidd at Fastway
David Worley and Ray, at Big M Discount
Cristy Hill at McCreary Tourism
Gail Whitehead and Danny Troxell, for the excellent paint and carpet renovation of our office space at the Depot
The great staff at Lumber King
Sondra and David at the Stearns Post Office
Todd Jones at Fastway Fuel Mart
Teresa at United Cumberland bank, Whitley City
Kirby Stephens, Kirby Stephens Design
Our local Sheriff, Randy Waters for keeping a close watch on downtown Stearns in the middle of the night!

And words can’t express our gratitude to the hundreds of people who have visited us, or stopped us on the street, to ask if they could help with this project.

Our goal is to have two enclosed cars and one open car rebuilt and ready-for-passengers by April 1st. You’ll love the new forest green color, enhanced audio and lighting systems, and complete interior remodel. Gary and the gang will have all seven cars completed by October 1st. Yay!

Are the cars going to be historically accurate? You bet! You’ll be wonderfully comfortable, but think you’re back in the big-timber and big-coal early 1900’s era.

The EMD primary engine? Our crew says, “Make it historic!” And so we are, painting it glossy black (of course!) and it will have green tiger stripes on the nose. Now, THIS will be a proper locomotive for the wild Kentucky back country! Yeah man!

The pricing structure? Diana and I are making nearly a one million dollar investment, so we’ve had to raise ticket prices. Not much, though, this year an average of 20%. (But yes, next year there will be another increase). However, McCreary County residents will always get a 30% discount….and note: Military men and women, both active and retired, ride for free (to them and their families: THANK YOU so much for your sacrifice to keep America free!)

When we’re ready for ticket sales on our new website, and over the phone (any day now!), you’ll see we have a 24 hour-before-departure refund policy so you will be safe in making ticket purchases far in advance. We’ll be operating on Sundays and holidays, too. Yes, there will be Halloween and Christmas trains. And, we’ve added three “full moon excursions.” Yipee!

Join our entire team at the grand opening celebration at the Depot, in April. Stand by for details!

How will we operate? Via detailed protocols and procedures, per Sam’s Work the System Methodology as described in his book, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less.”

Regarding Blue Heron: Niki Nicholas and her team at the National Park Service have done everything possible to assist us. Thanks Niki!!

Upon signing, we’ve got a brand new high-powered website ready to be launched (Everything you’ll want to know will be posted there, at bigsouthforkrailway.com), and 70,000 brochures are ready to be mailed. Day and night, we’re working hard on the final details of the sales and leasing agreements with the Heritage Foundation. We can’t proceed with ticket sales without that happening, as you can well understand.

Yes, both sides of this deal – McCreary County Heritage Foundation and DSRR – agree this negotiation has dragged out too long, but we’re almost there. Thanks from all of us for being patient!

Our aim is to have 60,000 passengers in 2017, and 100,000 in 2018. As soon as this deal is signed, we’ll start personally contacting all of our businesses county-wide to see how we can work together, as thousands of new visitors pour through our communities.

Let’s join forces to revitalize McCreary County!

Do you want more information, to subscribe to our mailing list, or can we send you a brochure? Email us at info@bigsouthforkrailway.com, or call us at (606) 376-5330 or 1-(800) 462-5664

Please share this post!
Stay tuned! We’ll post regularly on this page from now on.
- Diana and Sam


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 258
From the looks of the pictures on Facebook, 14 looks to have her cab on and insulation being put on the locomotive. Looks as if the new owners are really making a go of it, great ride if you haven't gone and done it!


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 7
southern154 wrote:
From the looks of the pictures on Facebook, 14 looks to have her cab on and insulation being put on the locomotive. Looks as if the new owners are really making a go of it, great ride if you haven't gone and done it!


Hate to burst your bubble but the cab and insulation were going on the last time I physically saw her over 2 years ago before the shop building got put on lockdown from the public. If anything it looks exactly the same as it did then with maybe the exception that the ash pan looks like its been put in.

If you read the comments from the facebook posting these new owners are making it clear that "the 0-6-0 whose name we dare not speak" is NOT part of their plans nor is it now owned by them. The loco is now owned by the party which owns the Outdoor Adventure Corp. factory across the street from the railroad. If I remember correctly I think this is the party which previously owned the K&T Railway's physical assets and sold it to these new owners.

So now not only is it a financial and legal boondoggle, it's now also a third party piece of equipment sitting in a shop on a railroad that doesn't own it. We all know how great that situation always ends.

It's the south's 1361 and she's gonna stay that way for a looooong time.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2364
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
parktrains wrote:
southern154 wrote:
From the looks of the pictures on Facebook, 14 looks to have her cab on and insulation being put on the locomotive. Looks as if the new owners are really making a go of it, great ride if you haven't gone and done it!


Hate to burst your bubble but the cab and insulation were going on the last time I physically saw her over 2 years ago before the shop building got put on lockdown from the public. If anything it looks exactly the same as it did then with maybe the exception that the ash pan looks like its been put in.

If you read the comments from the facebook posting these new owners are making it clear that "the 0-6-0 whose name we dare not speak" is NOT part of their plans nor is it now owned by them. The loco is now owned by the party which owns the Outdoor Adventure Corp. factory across the street from the railroad. If I remember correctly I think this is the party which previously owned the K&T Railway's physical assets and sold it to these new owners.

So now not only is it a financial and legal boondoggle, it's now also a third party piece of equipment sitting in a shop on a railroad that doesn't own it. We all know how great that situation always ends.

It's the south's 1361 and she's gonna stay that way for a looooong time.



Which if what you say is accurate goes counter to the assertion that a certain railroad contractor had crews working "3-2 weeks a month" on it, as evidenced here:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=39965&p=254054#p254054

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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 7
Quote:
Which if what you say is accurate goes counter to the assertion that a certain railroad contractor had crews working "3-2 weeks a month" on it, as evidenced here


All I know is I just looked at a picture I took in 2015 and compared it to the picture that got put on facebook this morning and the locomotive sitting behind that woman is exactly the same down to the dang rust spots. Unless that pictures 2 years old too, and considering one of their new excursion cars is in the background I'd imagine it's fairly recent.

Also the ash pan I was thinking of is already in my picture from two years ago.


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 Post subject: Moderator...Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1227
Location: Henderson Nevada
Lets keep this about the Big South Fork Scenic and not about "the (steam) locomotive which cannot be named" (TSLWCBN)

As far as I can tell it (TSLWCBN) was not sold with the railroad and is not property of the new owners... As noted by others it (TSLWCBN) is a toxic subject which has lead to numerous locked threads, and possibly a law suit for defamation. At least a couple of people have had their posting privileges limited due to this thread.

Randy

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Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 672
There sure seems to be a small but vocal cadre who want this entire project to fail.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:39 am
Posts: 4
The Big South Fork Scenic has just as much, if not more potential to be an excursion operation akin to the Great Smoky Mountains Railway. The Big South Fork itself is somewhat of an alternative to the Smoky Mountains--different terrain, gorgeous, but not nearly as populated.

I wish the new operator well in their endeavor, steam or no steam....


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:42 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 334
Lincoln Penn, it is indeed sad that the same few people are constantly trolling and chumming the waters trying to create dissension and discord within the community. Fortunately, I think most folks here are smart enough to not take the bait.

Overall, this thread would appear to be good news for the BSFS operation. I've never made it down there to experience it firsthand, but it looks like a line with some spectacular scenery. Here's hoping they get things ironed out once and for all with the 14 and steam becomes a distinct possibility once again in Stearns.

What is the primary driving reason for converting freight cars to the open air excursion cars? Are they built from existing freight cars already on the property? Would the line's curvature permit standard 70' to 80' long passenger cars or is that the limiting factor in using the freight cars for this purpose?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:19 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 7
Quote:
What is the primary driving reason for converting freight cars to the open air excursion cars? Are they built from existing freight cars already on the property? Would the line's curvature permit standard 70' to 80' long passenger cars or is that the limiting factor in using the freight cars for this purpose?


The line has always had to have custom built cars to fit through a very close clearance curved rock tunnel the train has to pass just above the Barthell mining camp. Regular sized passenger equipment simply can't pass through. This is also why the line has always been handled by smaller sized switching diesels. I was told once they had looked into larger power on the order of a GP-9 but calculated that it wouldn't fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:45 pm
Posts: 91
I can certainly state that the clearances in the tunnel are very tight. I have done some charters of the railroad, including renting the community of Barthell for lodging for the weekend. On one charter, it went from 70 degrees to 20 in just a few hours, so we did night photos in the tunnel until the rain and winds died down. Great photos, but we had to move the train in and out to make boarding easy.

It is not just the tunnel though. There are several narrow rock cuts, especially in a few curves.

The line is steep in many places and is very scenic running next to a tumbling river/stream. The coal tipple at Blue Heron is great for photos also since a few freight cars are spotted there. There are several flat miles at the bottom of the valley, but even here a thick forest really has you away from people.

The line is certainly worth a visit by anyone in the area.

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 367
I designed the current cars, loosely based on the Cass Scenic cars with some "improvements".

The RR originally had 50' or 60' clerestory wood cars (length approximated from photos), so I knew those would fit the close clearances and tunnel. I based my overall dimensions on the Cass cars, and general dimensions of turn of the century cars as found in the passenger car Cyclopedia. The flat cars are 53'.

Nevertheless, after finishing the first car in 2003+/-, we took it down the line very carefully, and found that the closest clearance in the tunnel was along a roof edge, and measured 5 inches. For those who don't know, the tunnel is in a curve.

Since that time, the track has been rebuilt / relaid in the tunnel, so I'm not sure what current clearance is, but I'm sure it's tight.

The current work on the cars is to replace rotten sheathing, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 367
From Facebook today:

"Today, the McCreary County Heritage Foundation Board informed Sam and me that Heritage Foundation has elected - effective immediately - to terminate all negotiations for our purchase of the Big South Fork Scenic Railroad. We are disappointed in this development, but we're not giving up. As a result of this development we are postponing the previously scheduled live feed. Stay tuned for more information.
-Diana"

Also check out http://www.bsfsry.com


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