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 Post subject: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:29 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1100
Maricopa Historical Society has formally taken possession of the California Zephyr "railcar" from Pinal County, which has had it since 2001.

http://www.inmaricopa.com/historical-society-takes-ownership-of-zephyr-railcar/

The historical society is wondering (and among other things conducting a poll about) how they should proceed with it.

https://www.inmaricopa.com/historical-society-weighs-the-fate-of-the-zephyr/

I suspect some input from members of this group would be highly valuable for them.

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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 338
Location: Oroville, CA
Seems odd for a CZ car to end up so far from where it was used. Since it's a WP one (of two), I would think it would be best interpreted with the front of the CZ, the WP805A (only surviving WP CZ locomotive) in Portola, CA a community it ran through.
Just IMHO.

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David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 775
I would second Portola. A backup would be Niles Canyon Ry., who operate an ex-WP F7 (not sure if it was ever used on the CZ) on a section of the original Western Pacific (later Southern Pacific), within sight and connecting to the modern Western Pacific, now Union Pacific (that is confusing, but the modern Feather River Canyon WP recycled the old WP name when started by George Gould).


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:16 am
Posts: 469
Location: Northern Illinois
"Silver Horizon" is the car in question and it was built for the CB&Q, not WP. The WP cars still exist, "Silver Planet" located somewhere in Mexico and "Silver Crescent" in Florida.

Don C.


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:21 pm
Posts: 26
Don C. wrote:
"Silver Horizon" is the car in question and it was built for the CB&Q, not WP. The WP cars still exist, "Silver Planet" located somewhere in Mexico and "Silver Crescent" in Florida.

Don C.


Sorry Don, but the WP Silver Planet was reportedly destroyed in a fire in 2015. The Forum post Passenger Cars South of the Border discusses the fate of the car.


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 841
Location: Tucson, Arizona
From a historic preservation perspective, the best choice would be to maintain the car as is as that is its historical connection to the community. It was the waiting room at the train station. The previous history of the car could easily be covered by installing photographs of the car in service as part of a history display. The car is eligible for state historic preservation grants, due to its history as the waiting room in Maricopa.

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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 338
Location: Oroville, CA
Hmm, I fail to see how use as a waiting room for a short period of time qualifies as "historical Significance" Although it's probably why the car still exists. In preservation we talk of an artifact's "Period of Greatest Significance." I certain all will agree that that was the car's use as part of the CZ Fleet. The car is way out of context in Arizona.

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David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 112
Location: Northern Illinois
Alan Walker wrote:
The car is eligible for state historic preservation grants, due to its history as the waiting room in Maricopa.


Often, and not just in historic preservation, instead of doing what we want to do or should do, we do the things that qualify for grants from the government. Other than that, I largely agree with your thesis that preserving the car as it was used locally makes the most sense for them.


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:57 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 859
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
What may happen depends on the directors of the local museum, and of course they would first consider the local history and context of the piece. They may also consider their mission statement, the general trend of their collections, how the car might fit it (or not), additional costs involved such as moving, displaying, and perhaps land acquisition.

After that they might conclude that they have enough mouths to feed with their existing projects and capital improvements; and in addition they might suddenly realize that this is a rare model of streamlined railcar that would command a pretty good price on the market. Instead of being out of some ten thousand dollars (for discussion purposes) from their budget, they could have a gain of that amount and credit the car to going to another museum where it's history is better interpreted.


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:03 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 656
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
The Maricopa Historical society gives tours of the car periodically and has moved some historical exhibits into it. Recently a local youth devoted his Eagle Scout project to "restoring" the car which entailed cleaning the interior thoroughly and pressure washing the outside. Unfortunately, the pressure washing appears to have revealed some shoddy workmanship from the previous "restoration" in which "bondo" was used to fill in dents and damage to the window band which was then painted silver. The pressure washing removed the silver paint revealing the filler underneath. The interior is devoid of anything original and has been framed and paneled in sort of a '70s RV style. Still, it appears Maricopa knows what they've got and is taking some steps to put it to use.

Dedication of the "California Zephyr room"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMmcqDKDYhw

Austin Long's eagle project (good interior footage)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHmIx68bqt0

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KSL TV, Salt Lake City, UT


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:51 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 841
Location: Tucson, Arizona
David Dewey wrote:
Hmm, I fail to see how use as a waiting room for a short period of time qualifies as "historical Significance" Although it's probably why the car still exists. In preservation we talk of an artifact's "Period of Greatest Significance." I certain all will agree that that was the car's use as part of the CZ Fleet. The car is way out of context in Arizona.


As part of the consist of the original California Zephyr train, that part of it's history would be out of context in Arizona. However, Amtrak determined that the car was necessary to meet service requirements once the Southern Pacific embargoed the branch line west of Phoenix, making it operationally impossible to serve Phoenix Union Station. What matters for the car is the opinion of the current custodian and the community historians. I am talking about historical significance in regional history, not the service record of the car itself. In that aspect, its historical context is much different.

If (as someone who has been in the history museum business my entire lifetime) I were asked to consult on the project (which I have not), I would advise the society to restore the car to it's appearance as a waiting room/station. The car was purchased by the town to be a waiting room and ticket office and that is how it fits in to the history of Maricopa and Phoenix. They are not a transportation museum-that's not their mission. If they require additional funding to restore the car, they are much more likely to be successful at the local and state levels to obtain funding by restoring the car as a waiting room.

As for the pressure washing revealing the shoddy repairs, that's actually good news. Better to fix now than to discover problems once they've become more advanced.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 656
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Alan, are you suggesting it be restored as a waiting room to be used again as such? After being used by Amtrak for a few years as the Maricopa station/waiting room, Amtrak found it unsuitable and brought in a portable building. I believe the main issue was not having sufficient air conditioning in the summer. I believe restroom issues might have also contributed.

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KSL TV, Salt Lake City, UT


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 338
Location: Oroville, CA
"for a few years" -- That's my whole point--it really has NO Historical Significance in the community other than having been there for a decade or so. If one goes to the ARTIFACT's period of greatest significance, it is as what it was built for, to be the end car of the California Zephyr train. It would be better served in preservation somewhere where i can be kept in context. It's not a maintenance-free object, and that care takes money, probably not a high priority for the historical society.
Now is their chance to do the right thing and to save themselves from a future headache.

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David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9184
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
The typical way I make complainers shut up is by simply asking "Propose a VIABLE alternative."

I certainly agree that this CB&Q car is out of place in suburban Phoenix, and that it would be better served restored as a CZ car, preferably in operating condition.

Doing so is 1) a huge money drain, given the car is basically an empty shell and far from native turf now, and 2) not within the mission of the Maricopa Historical Society. This car doesn't even have relevance to the nearby Arizona Railway Museum, which has (wisely) restricted itself to rolling stock relevant to Ariziona (plus a few PVs), or the pending Arizona State RR Museum (also Arizona-only).

The onus is upon a potential saviour--the WP society, Portola, Niles Canyon, Illinois Railway Museum, Colorado RR Museum, some other museum/railroad, or even a PV operator--to approach the MHS with both a rational counter-argument against their proposal AND a firm, concrete proposal of their own for acquisition and preservation, preferably by someone with a track record for "getting it done.". And they need to be made by an experienced "diplomat" well versed in salesmanship, politics, and dealing--rabid, raving railfans must be locked in the closet until the deal is brokered lest their irrational words or actions sabotage the dealing. (The perfect deal is described as selling snow to the Eskimos and/or sand to the Saudis--and leaving them thinking it was all THEIR idea.)

The potential outcome for this deal, handled properly, would be for the car to be transferred to Portola or a similar museum for free or the token $1, with someone else throwing in the shipping. The worst-case scenario would be for this car to end up in pieces as a scrap-yard office--as happened to one historic Santa Fe car elsewhere in Arizona after years of half-hearted attempts at "preservation." All kinds of situations are in between, including listing on Ozark for a million bucks, the Grand Canyon Ry. adding it to their fleet, etc. And TO BE FAIR, it would be a useful pawn if someone could come up with a car to trade to the MHS that actually was relevant to the Phoenix area, such as a Santa Fe or SP car.

So: Who wants it badly enough to prepare that counter-proposal and plan?



Anyone???????


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 Post subject: Re: CZ obs transferred to Maricopa Historical Society
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 338
Location: Oroville, CA
Alexander,
I really appreciate your very clear, candid and humorous (yet serious) posting. For my part, I have quietly informed a few "key folks" of the situation. I suspect stuff is going on "behind the scenes"--at least I hope it is. I don't know if the car is able to be carried "in train" to a new home or if it has to be trucked. I do hope someone is able to broker a deal, otherwise I fear that the car will become so much scrap--it may take a decade or so, but that is the usual outcome of such an situation as this. One thing most groups to not realize is the dome itself is a solar heater and a source of water leaks so it both bakes the car and rusts it. Without proper care, or inside storage/display, it is a very expensive thing to have around.
Personally, at this point in time, I thinkk the museum in Portola would be the most interpretive location; besides having the only surviving CZ locomotive, they also have a few other CZ cars, and with this car would have a representative train set. Can they care for all this long-term? Only the Shadow knows, and he's not talking.

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David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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