Railway Preservation News

Progress on 1309?
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Author:  superheater [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

Sent to email subscribers 09/13:

September 13, 2017

Steam! Smoke! The sound of a locomotive hard at work in the mountains. It's close at hand -with your help!

We are nearing completion of what will become a landmark restoration, one of the most impressive restored steam locomotives in the United States. For the last four years, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has been rebuilding Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 for our 17-mile mountain railroad between Cumberland and Frostburg, Md. When it's finished and in operation, this last steam locomotive built by Baldwin in 1949 for domestic use will once again be in regular service, pulling excursions, hauling special photography trains, throttle time, and much more. It will be one of the biggest steam locomotives - almost a half million pounds! -
- ever restored. Best of all, it will be operating dozens of days each year for the enjoyment of people like you.

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the state of Maryland have invested $1.8 million in the locomotive that will take over from our No. 734, which is now out of service for a federally required overhaul. A final $530,000 is needed to complete additional repairs to No. 1309. The railroad is committed to completing this impressive locomotive, but to do it in a timely manner and in time to celebrate the railroad's 30th anniversary in 2018, we need your help now. This project literally cannot happen without you.

You can make a difference in the final push to restore No. 1309.
Your support is key!

Please consider a generous donation to push us over the top. A donation of size is greatly appreciated!!

Thank you in advance for your support! Your generous donation will be used to complete the final phases of the restoration process. You can donate online at www.wmsr.com, call us at 800.TRAIN50 or mail a check to:

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
13 Canal Street
Cumberland, MD 21502

Author:  LeoA [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

I thought that the restoration was finished, with just assembly now required?

Sounds like there's more left to do than just putting the pieces back together.

Author:  bigjim4life [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

Holy smokes...that price tag to finish it just keeps going up, and up, and up...

Author:  WVNorthern [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

Back before I retired from my IT job, there was a widely-distributed sarcastic document detailing the 7 stages of a project. They are:

Phase 1: Uncritical acceptance.

Phase 2: Wild enthusiasm.

Phase 3: Dejected disillusionment.

Phase 4: Total confusion.

Phase 5: Search for the guilty.

Phase 6: Punishment of the innocent.

Phase 7: Promotion of nonparticipants.

I would guess they're somewhere between Phase 3 & 5

Author:  Dave [ Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

I think they are just at the "coming to grips with the reality of the situation" phase.

Author:  John Risley [ Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

Often times rumors have a fair amount of truth to them. Obviously I am sure WM regrets saying the loco would be running by such and such a date. Yup somebody screwed up there. Who of us at one time or another hasn't been guilty of too much enthusiasm and said something dumb about "could be or hope to be" or worse yet "will be" on a locomotive restoration? Funding delays or problems. Now that has never happened before has it? Got no dog or money invested in this project, no skin and haven't talked to anybody involved, not that I wouldn't mind! I do know that if contractors were allowed and it wasn't bad business to tell stories about getting paid that it would be material for a new horror flick. Guess I just hope this ends well for all involved. I would really like to see WM back in the steam game soon and the #1309 making noise.

There was another locomotive that when the restoration first got started there was very little public knowledge given out first. The#28 up in Duluth MN is the one I think of when I read all this about #1309. Does anybody remember all the internet tripe that was spread when someone reported a fire in it and steam coming out from her before the restoration got started? Lions and Tigers and Bear oh my! Now she is running, not perfect but she is out hustling the almighty buck and earning her wages. Despite all the internet pundits dire predictions. I am kind of hoping this same story comes true again for the #1309 and the WM. By the way a buddy of mine just rode on the #28 last week and said the 25+ mile ride up in the north country was incredible and said it was totally well worth the cost and drive up there. I think there is more tweaking to do on the #28 but again despite a lot of negative hype she is running. Good luck to the crew on the #1309. Cheers, John.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

A thought that occurs to me as I type a column on a certain city's craft beer scene for a certain publication:

With one exception, EVERY project I am writing about is six to twelve months behind schedule, and every last one of them is a combination of financial and regulatory hurdles combined with contractor/construction/assembly delays (as in, the contractors are behind because the inspectors/certifiers are behind).

The one exception is 1) in a different geopolitical regulatory jurisdiction and 2) has the money of the equivalent of GM, GE, UP, Berkshire Hathaway, etc. behind it.........

The routine advice I hear from the "old guard" in this vocation when it comes to starting up a project like this is "Do the most pessimistic possible estimate of how much money you'll need to get off the ground. Now double that. Then don't start until you get 20% above and beyond that--with as few parties invested as possible."

I'm going to cut the WMSR a LOT of slack. (But not in coupling.)

Author:  WVNorthern [ Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress on 1309?

We are having a niece and her family visiting with us in October and I was considering taking everyone on the WMSR even though 1309 is still not operating and the trip is now hauled by a diesel. My wife and I went in the fall of 2014 and the tickets were somewhere around $25 apiece. I just checked their web site and the cheapest adult ticket is now $50.69. Ouch! $300 is a bit much for a retiree on a fixed income to shell out, especially with no steam. Similar thing happened to Cass after D&GVRR took over operation. I realize that the costs to maintain this equipment is high, but there's a tipping point for every budget. Looks like we'll be visiting a couple of non-railroad attractions.

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