Railway Preservation News

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Author:  J3a-614 [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Some other pix of Red Devil Coal Loaders:

John West photo from narrowgaugememories.com, at Alamosa, 1960s.

http://narrowgaugememories.com/index.ph ... eddevil950

The loader at Antonito, 1964, same source:

http://narrowgaugememories.com/index.ph ... eddevil950

The whole site is VERY worth looking at:

http://narrowgaugememories.com/index.ph ... in-the-60s

Two photos at Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum:


From NGDF again:



From Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad:

https://ngtrainpics.photoshelter.com/im ... J.HlOJ6f5w

It's a poor image, but this looks a lot like the Erie loader mentioned in an earlier post. The location is supposed to be Leadville on the C&S:

http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7. ... 4/coal.jpg


http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7. ... 69i20.html

Another photo on the same site links to this Denver Public Library image. Note that this loader moves up and down, but not radially, as the Erie device does:

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/si ... 951/rec/28

Author:  J3a-614 [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Is this still around? Could it be salvaged if it is?


Author:  dinwitty [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

It sounds like the AoS roundhouse is being treated more like an active functioning roundhouse. With working big tools safety is the big issue. They would have to set up some museum area where the public could freely visit. Saying something like IRM is. But if one of their folks is a media guy he/she can regularly update how things are going. It takes strong committments to do what they do and keep it rolling. You need the public, the endowments JJJ may have may not be endless, but having owned the Ohio Central and selling it, thats a big chunk of money for sure. Fine. Their focus for now it seems is to restore, preserve etc steam, if any get to full operation which I believe that is their plan, something down the road may happen in operations, but a public museum for now may not be on their ticket.
Just keep us updated, gang.


Author:  p51 [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

R.L.Kennedy wrote:
Lee Bishop:

It is about preservation.

It is about restoration.

It is about a permanent institution.

It is about the future; beyond our time.

Do you get it now?

And from what you posted, I sort of doubt you really get it, either.
These are all just buzz phrases, not any manner detailed explanation as to what the actual intent of the project is/was.

Among many people within the railfan/preservation community (one of which is highly placed at Colonial Williamsburg) I've discussed this with, I'm now convinced that most people outside of AOS fall under one of two categories:
1. People who will readily admit that they don't get what JJJ's intent was beyond a rich man's playground
2. People who won't admit that they don't get what JJJ's intent was beyond a rich man's playground

I mean, it just doesn't make any sense:
A) A very rich man builds a roundhouse in the middle of nowhere, Ohio
B) He buys every steam locomotive he can get his hands on
C) The facility is not connected to a mainline where anything can be run
D) All the steam locomotives are to be restored (I assume to running condition where possible) eventually, though they're won't be running anywhere
E) It's not open to the public
F) It's just going to keep going like this after the owner has sadly passed on
The part I still don't get is what the end game was supposed to be? Jerry had to have had a plan beyond, "Wouldn't it be cool if," and opening up his check book. I just don't see any plan that makes any sense. it's not a museum, it's a restoration facility for locomotives that'll go nowhere.
That's no model for a sustained anything, I don't care how much money the man had.
It reminds me of Howard Hughes' H-1 "Spruce Goose," that was maintained after it's only flight by Hughes. His goal was to be able to fly the plane anytime he decided to do so. The day never came and before his body was cold in 1976, his company looked for a way to divest itself of the burden.
Not the same concept, I'll grant you, but the end game makes about as much sense. With Hughes, I guess he knew the effort to maintain that plane would end when he did.
This is clearly preservation, but for what purpose? A roundhouse to nowhere that few will ever get to see, locomotives restored to operation but never going anywhere? A fortune left for a man's 1:1 scale model train layout but he's gone now?

I'm not bashing the dream; I give him a 10 for dreaming big. But much lower points for thinking ahead.
I see this as a Paulsen Spence situation, but with a much longer timeframe before the same result occurs.
And the fans can't explain it otherwise.

Author:  Richard Glueck [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I think it's steam locomotive heaven.

Author:  jayrod [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Whoa, Nelly, whoa. It is a private collection. Hence, they have no obligations to the public. However, they do understand the public's interest and thus offer group tours. It is far better that all the equipment is in a great place and that it receives proper care than if it was all left rusting away somewhere else. Do I know what the grand plan is? No. Would I like to know? Of course. In due time I'm sure they'll let us know. In the mean time, let's not bash them but appreciate them for what they've accomplished so far.

My respectful opinion....

Author:  co614 [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

JJJ built a facility that pleased him, with his own funds and endowed it so it can be properly cared for long term. He has made provisions so that the general public can visit under certain very reasonable terms and conditions.

I know first hand that he was VERY pleased with how it turned out and it gave him immense pleasure the last 5 years of his time here on earth.

We all need to be deeply grateful for his generosity and for endowing the collection for its long term care.

I would suggest that Mr. Bishop make an effort to join a visiting tour as I'm confident that he will think it was time well spent.

IMHO-Ross Rowland

Author:  p51 [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

co614 wrote:
I would suggest that Mr. Bishop make an effort to join a visiting tour as I'm confident that he will think it was time well spent.

Ross, I never said it was a dumb idea. I think it's cool that he did it.
I'm just saying that I (and most of the other train fans I talk with in private) don't get the end goal of the dream for the long term.
And I fully believe now that hardly any else gets it, either, and many aren't bothering to ask.
I have seen nothing so far that would support that JJJ's dream looked beyond something really neat for the guy who built it.
If I could get to Ohio and find one of the groups blessed with seeing the place, I'd jump at the chance.
Doesn't mean I get the longterm intent, though.

Author:  Paul-NC [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

In a previous post it was stated:

"All the steam locomotives are to be restored (I assume to running condition where possible) eventually, though they're won't be running anywhere"

This seems to be a very major and possibly incorrect assumption. The fact that plans to run have not been shared does not mean they may not exist.

Some possible scenarios:

Fully restored locomotives are donated to appropriate museums and replaced by other needing restoration at AOS.

Restored locomotives are put on long term loan to museums that will run them.

The locomotives are made available for excursion use at locations not adjacent to AOS.

Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

p51 wrote:
Ross, I never said it was a dumb idea. I think it's cool that he did it.
I'm just saying that I (and most of the other train fans I talk with in private) don't get the end goal of the dream for the long term...
Doesn't mean I get the longterm intent, though.

It's the same intent the pharaohs had when they built the pyramids. Those weren't intended to be "open to the public", either. They were intended to make a statement about the rulers that built them that would last far into the future, long past legend, lore, and even the culture that built them.

Everyone is all bothered by the question, "but there's no place to run them." If you run them, you use them up, and pretty soon there will be nothing. If they just sit, with an occasional oiling, maybe in a thousand years someone will decide to pull them out, and build a demonstration track so they can strut their stuff.... for a couple days, then put them away again 'til the next millennium.

I'm just happy a representative collection will be saved, free from the pressure to rebuild them with modern materials because it's expedient.

Author:  R.L.Kennedy [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Lee Bishop:

It is NOT about you!

It is not about any railfan who likes/dislikes what someone has done.

It is about DOING something LASTING!

It is about doing something for others.

Jacobson has accomplished what others tried and failed at.

Nelson Blount came closest but somehow it failed in the end. His untimely death resulted the bulk of the collection winding up at Dieseltown. Somehow the organization he setup for the future of the collection did not work out. I knew Blount and helped him, and at one time he had spent $600,000 of his OWN money. In today's dollars FIVE MILLION!

Others tried (as in put their money where their mouth was) included; Jack Showalter whom I knew personally and helped. George Hart whom I also knew personally and helped.

Paulsen Spence whose great collection was quickly disposed of by heirs who couldn't wait to get their money. Little was saved.

Dr.Stanley Groman who started it all (by that I mean a tourist RR) with his own money.

To say nothing of the others including Tom Payne whom I also knew. Richard Jensen, on and on.

If you still don't "get it" well, I guess you never will.

Author:  wesp [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

If I recall correctly the museum now known as the Getty Villa started out as the private art collection of J. Paul Getty and was not originally opened to the public.

See also: Palace of Music mentioned earlier, and the Barnes Foundation, and Hurst Castle. All of these were built with private funds and the Palace of Music still offers only limited access to the public along the lines of AOS. After reading the earlier post about requirements of public access at AOS, I now understand why the Palace limits itself to private tours.

JJJ has done the same thing, but with steam locomotives. Nice legacy. Like lots of places on my bucket list I may get there for a visit, I may not. I am glad to know it exists.


Author:  wilkinsd [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I'm always amused that the foamer class is frustrated with the AOS Roundhouse and the plans of JJJ solely for the reason that what happened and what was done does not comport what the foamer class expectations of what JJJ should have done with his money. Because they can't visit whenever they want, trapise through the grounds, climb on equipment, steal builders' plates and other jewlry, and make demands on AOS to restore a particular piece of equipment of paint it a certain way, they are frustrated.

Comparing AOS to the Spence collection is equally ill-informed. Yes, it may all end in disaster, but who else can guarantee that your favorite museum will last forever. Those on this board who are serious about presentation do their best to ensure that their various preservation enterprises are sustainable. JJJ did the same thing, just with a budget and scale we all wish we had.

Author:  stanames [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE


I think some of your belief's on this topic are in error.

Last I checked, the AOS Roundhouse IS connected to the mainline. Google earth confirms this.

When I visited the roundhouse a couple years back I asked about plans for running excursions. While they had no immediate plans they did state that they had trackage rights on the Ohio Central and strongly implied also on any track that the Ohio Central had trackage rights on.

Running excursions takes a lot of work and I was left with the impression that was downstream once more locomotives were restored and the major building projects at AOS were completed.

While not open all the time to the general public. It is open to pre-arranged groups.

I personally believe they are doing a very good job and wish them success going forward.


Author:  misterwandle [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I am always amazed at the paucity of facts and lack of insight that some posters rely upon before they post uninformed opinions and clearly erroneous data to this forum. Their collective m.o. seems to be OMIF, "Open mouth--insert foot."

Referring to the Age of Steam Roundhouse, to wit:

“The more pertinent question is whether or not the Roundhouse will soon, or ever, end up functioning as a proper museum open to the public rather than just a warehouse for what is essentially a rich man's ‘toy collection.’ "
What a remarkably cruel comment, even for you, Mr. Know-it-all IV. Are we to presume that YOU are the self-appointed one to decide what is “a proper museum”? Fact is, even though we are not “open to the public” like an amusement park, for the past five years the Age of Steam Roundhouse has been open for guided, narrated tours on summertime Saturdays. Physical limitations constructed into these facilities (explained elsewhere) have precluded our turning the roundhouse into Disneyland while Jerry was still with us. We have been exploring different ways to accommodate visitors without defacing what Jerry Jacobson has created, yet assure that everyone will be safe while on the property.

“-It's not connected to any active line where the locomotives can be run.”
Utter nonsense, Lee. We connect directly with Genesee & Wyoming (the company that purchased Jerry’s ten different railroads), and have operated both steam- and diesel-powered trains across G&W’s rails. We have not operated our trains on G&W as often as we would like because, as you might have heard, we’ve been sort of busy converting a 36-acre cornfield into a fully functional railroad facility. Let’s see…since 2009 we have constructed an 18-stall brick roundhouse with a timber-framed roof, installed a 115-foot turntable and pit, built and outfitted a 4-bay 110’x151’ back shop with 30-ton overhead crane and machine tool room, erected a 114,000-square foot storehouse, built a 50,000-gallon wood water tank with drop spout and two separate Poage water columns, dug an ash pit and erected an ash conveyor, constructed a coal loader, transferred a sand tower and built a sand house, transferred and installed an existing handcar shanty from Pennsylvania, designed and built a grand depot/office building, and erected various trackside signals that are all fully operational. Oh, yes, we also purchased and moved to our roundhouse facility nine steam locomotives, several diesels, cabooses and freight cars, some of which were completely repainted and accurately relettered, plus the usual maintenance of structures and rolling stock, and repainting and performing COTS to our passenger cars. When we have more time to play with our trains, we’ll run more steamers across the neighboring railroads.

“-It's not a museum open to the public.”
Hmmm. At most, 10-per cent true. We are not a museum as most would consider a museum to be. Is Jay Leno’s Garage a museum? Sure, it is, and I describe to our Saturday tour-takers that the Age of Steam Roundhouse is the railroad equivalent of Jay Leno’s Garage. Everyone chuckles, but nod their heads in agreement. We are not on television like Jay, but we give a lot more in-person group tours to thousands more folks than he does. AoSRH people bend over backward to accommodate the public with our escorted group tours, especially given the very narrow parameters within which we are forced to allow folks onto our property (outlined elsewhere). Lee, if the Louvre in Paris were open just one day a year, would you consider it to be a museum?

“-There will be no train rides on the property.”
So, Dionne Warwick, er, Lee, you are able to predict the future, eh? Your statement is not at all accurate. In fact, for several years we have been discussing the possibility of offering train rides on our property, including considering installing additional right-of-way and tracks. Because of liability issues, Jerry Jacobson got out of the tourist train business in 2003, and was not interested in running passenger-hauling trains at the roundhouse. We’re not sure what we’ll do regarding future train rides on the roundhouse property, but since you do not know what you’re talking about, please, stop talking.

:-The locomotives will be restored one at a time.”
Once again, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. We are rebuilding two steam locomotives in the back shop right now. Even if we restored just one locomotive at a time, “So what?” Please tell us, how many locomotives are you currently restoring?

That’s enough of my ranting and raving for today, but I hope that I have jokingly set straight all incorrect “facts” that were written on RYPN. I’ll announce on the AoSRH website any changes in our policies or activities as they pertain to our interaction with the public: http://www.ageofsteamroundhouse.com

Take care, be safe and have fun.

John B. Corns
Age of Steam Roundhouse

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