Railway Preservation News

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Author:  train guy [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I don't have an urgent need to "get it" as Mr. Bishop says. I am just glad to know it exists and appreciate that they are willing to share what is going on with occasional Roundhouse Reports. Thank you, JJJ.

Author:  NS 3322 [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Just curious, what is up with the photography waiver you have to sign for tours?

Author:  bbunge [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Big LIKE button click for Mr Corns.

Author:  dinwitty [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I've always said the best restoration is one where the engine is brought to full operation. They've aquired an impressive fleet, they are busy as all knackers can be, we will have to wait and see how they unfold. Best Idea I know is to partner with FWRHS who are experienced with excursions.

Author:  Stationary Engineer [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Can you imagine how popular "At The Throttle" would be, given all the different engines AOSRH has as they are restored. Of course they would have to build some track on their own property. Just a thought or dream.


Author:  misterwandle [ Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

“Just curious, what is up with the photography waiver you have to sign for tours?”

That’s a good and fair question. Tour-takers at the Age of Steam Roundhouse are encouraged to make as many photos as they want for their own personal viewing. However, just like those railroad museums and institutions that allow photography on their premises and inside their buildings, we do not permit people to use their photos in a commercial manner after they go home. Since we do not sell tickets that would spell out that condition right on the ticket stub, I incorporated that condition into the language on the liability release that each person must read and sign before entering the AoSRH on a pre-scheduled group tour.

Later, with the growing use of social media, I expanded that language to include social media outlets in an attempt to prevent “everyday people” (i.e. non-railfans who were not familiar with our visitation policies) from seeing a railfan’s AoSRH tour photos posted onto the internet. My reasoning was based on the possibility that everyday people seeing those posted photos (that usually never mentioned anything about how AoSRH Saturday-only tours must be scheduled in advance) might show up unannounced at AoSRH on, say, a Tuesday, and want to enter the roundhouse. This happened a few times, the saddest occurrence being a mom, dad and three children under the age of eight—all five who were wearing flip-flops—who had driven several hours to Sugarcreek “to see the new train museum we saw in the photos posted on Facebook.” For reasons of safety we had to deny them entry. Also, we cannot drop what are doing to give a personal tour to each individual or family who shows up unannounced on our doorstep.

Obviously, a lot of past AoSRH tour-takers have ignored our wishes, and have posted a ton of their personal AoSRH photos onto social media. Therefore, I will probably delete that conditional language from our liability releases, and stop worrying about the plight of unfortunate, unannounced visitors.

John B. Corns
Age of Steam Roundhouse

Author:  co614 [ Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Thank you Mr. Corns for your comprehensive and easy to understand explanations.

Difficult in a way to comprehend but I guess it needs saying...............Jerry Jacobson didn't owe when he was living, nor does he owe since his passing any kind of explanation to Mr. Bishop or anyone else how he wished to spend his hard earned money.

Fortunately, for all us lovers of steam railroading, he chose to spend a substantial sum on creating (from a cornfield) a living recreation of a steam service complex straight out of 1935 and endow it so it will be there to show future generations how these magical machines were taken care of and kept running.

Let's wish those that Jerry has entrusted to manage his legacy the best of good luck as they do their best to fulfill his wishes.

IMHO-Ross Rowland

Author:  Dave Lewandoski [ Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

there are several museums all over that have airplanes that never fly, cars that are never driven,trains that never run. There is nothing like the sight, sound and smell of a coal fired steam locomotive....the sound of four radial engines propelling a B-17 thru the sky to get your blood pumping. But as much as I prefer to see these pieces of history on the rails or in the air, the sad fact is that there are only so many WWll planes left. And when they fly, some crash. Some can be rebuilt to fly again, some cannot. So it is good that some stay in their climate controlled museums for the future generations to see, and touch in person. And limited tours is better than the AOS having a padlock on the gate and never letting anyone visit.

Author:  Lincoln Penn [ Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I wonder how many of us have thought about how we'd feel
knowing that after we are gone, people we don't even know
would be arguing over our collections of railroad "stuff" from
photos to cars or locomotives and trying to tell people what
should be done with it?

AFAIK, the JJJ collection and roundhouse are his and his heirs
private property. They were not bought or built by and are not
supported by donations or public funds. IOW, it is his (their)
money and their property, not ours. We may not like what is
being or has been done or will be done with it, but that is just
too bad for us. It is not ours. We have no legitimate gripe about
what is or isn't running or that we cannot juts waltz into the
place whenever the mood strikes us.

It is theirs to do with as they please. If they want to board the
windows up and have armed guards keeping nosy foamers out, that
is their right. Because it IS theirs.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

misterwandle wrote:
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?

With all due respect, Mr. Corns, you have picked a horribly bad analogy.

Mr. Leno has a massive private car and motorcycle (and other mechanical things) collection that is, of course, closed to the general, wander-in/pay-admission public.

He also has a YouTube Channel, and has produced hundreds of videos, detailing all manner of things about individual vehicles, concepts, racing, riding, restoration techniques, etc., all of which garner hundreds of thousands of views, if not millions. His channel has just shy of two million subscribers. He has had three seasons of a TV show both online and on foreign cable networks.

In addition, he writes for Popular Mechnics on many of these topics. He discretely attends some auto events with his cars, often by surprise.

In short, though he does not have a "museum," he makes himself and his collection "available" to the public through other means of outreach which don't involve going to his place and invading his privacy or "endangering themselves." He has become one of the best public-relations spokesmen the vintage automotive hobby could have ever hoped for, at a time when it was starting to peter out.

Is this an unfair comparison? Yes and no. Leno has lots of money at his disposal, quite a bit more than JJJ made from the sale of the OC, and continues to make eight figures a year through being one of the hardest-working celebrities/entertainers out there (so there's still income). In addition, Leno is outgoing and gregarious to the point of brashness, especially when it comes to cars and motorcycles. That's not what I heard about JJJ, and it's a quality rare among railfans.

Ask anybody in the general public to name someone with a noted private car collection. They'll rattle off Jay Leno, and maybe some Arab sheiks they can't name who seek the publicity of buying outrageously overpriced cars. Or they may mention Barrett-Jackson (who also garner publicity through their televised auto auctions) or, if they're old enough, the Harrah's collection (now the National Auto Museum) in Reno. Now, ask them to name a railroad museum.

Does the AoS Roundhouse even have a true social media manager? Let alone someone to produce occasional content for it?

I am sympathetic to the unique circumstances of the situation this collection and roundhouse finds itself in, just as I am equally sympathetic to the plight of the East Broad Top and a certain rolling-stock "stash" in the Midwest. But they're all someone else's private property. Until there is a way that I, and others, are able to "invest" our support for such private projects, logistically or financially, I/we are kind of forced to "invest" our mental and physical support elsewhere to such projects that depend more upon such support.

I passed through the part of Ohio where AoS is earlier this year with my wife, on a weekend. We had time to swing on by and check it out. I never even considered it, simply because I know it's off-limits. I went to other rail places, and a couple covered bridges, instead.

Author:  junior [ Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

I cannot understand why there is so much debate over a private, PRIVATELY FUNDED, personal collection of equipment.

Not everything has to be available to everyone. That mindset is what has destroyed our conutry's ability to maintain privacy be in oh so many ways.

Not one of us on here have any right to demand or even suggest lightly what should or could or would or can or needs to be done at AOS.

I'm glad the equipment is preserved, that's ALL that matters. It's no longer rusting away in incapable hands with insufficient funds.

It's there, it's private, get over it and move on!

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Schroedinger's Choo-Choo:

If something is preserved yet off-limits to the public (a Great Masters painting in a private collection, for example), is it really "preserved"?

Do an internet search for "The Barnes Foundation" and read up on its history if you would like a cautionary tale. I watched that one unfold over the years as I read the Philly newspapers daily for decades. (Synopsis: an art collector sets up an "art school" with his collection and limits public access; he dies; the foundation gets torn between financial stability and abiding by the strict tenets/terms of the bequeathal/foundation, ends up in court........)

This isn't specific to Age of Steam, mind you, since they do offer at least some public access if you plan ahead. But there are other examples.

Author:  Dave [ Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

It seems to me - from a distance and without any specific knowledge or experience with the people involved - that perhaps the lack of involvement from outside parties is what allowed this to happen in the first place. If one vision is responsible, not a committee, you get what that vision is without dilution. JJ apparently was a man with a pretty specific and singular vision, combined with the resources to create what we envisioned, so..... what we need is more JJs and fewer people sniping to build more things as efficiently successful as what we have here. Unlike Spence et al, he had the foresight to leave resources for its perpetuation, so that eliminates that source of tension.

When something is doing good without a lot of waste of resources, and providing a positive outcome, stand back and learn, don't criticize.

Author:  Mtn3781 [ Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Actually Leno is a good analogy and maybe a model for AOS to follow. Jay is 67, married and no children. If his health holds out he could have another 10-20 yrs. Does anybody know if he has plans for his collection after he's gone? No kids to leave it to. Does he give "tours" at all except to friends? Did he design his shops and wherever he stores his collection to be compliant with the regulations to be a museum some day?

Maybe we should start a topic, what are the rules and regulations for constructing buildings to be museums and the costs associated with complying.

But what Jay has done is come up with a way to monetize his collection and share it with the public without as of yet becoming a museum. Maybe AOS could look at what Jay is doing and adopt it to their situation. Jay has a TV show, Jay Leno's Garage. They already have a perfect name for a TV show, Age of Steam.

Here's a description of his show from IMDb, After retiring from his perch atop the late-night TV ratings in 2014, comedian Jay Leno has more time to partake in one of his passions: collecting cars. That is the focus of "Jay Leno's Garage," which showcases the "Tonight Show" veteran's journey throughout America as he searches for unique rides and the stories behind them. Leno explores different aspects of automobiles, including the history of iconic brands, testing supercars, checking out the latest innovations, and even offering consumer advice. He also talks with fellow gearheads, including celebrities, to learn about their collections. Leno says cars, to him, are "kinetic artwork" -- rather than being stagnant, it is art that is "rolling down the highway."

AOS should be able to easily adopt that into a show. Instead of cars it's trains. Jay collects cars because it is kinetic artwork to him. So does Jay have any steam powered cars? His shows producers are probably always looking for more show ideas. I think a trip to AOS is in store. And then after getting a tour they could fire up a couple of engines and maybe arrange for Jay to take them for a test drive. There would be some kinetic art for him. He might get the steam bug and decide he needs to get some new "artwork". AOS might find themselves with a new best friend. Jay has all the connections and know how to make a TV show happen. If nothing else he could appreciate what JJJ did. Jay's doing it with cars. JJJ did it with steam engines.

Just throwing a few ideas out there if they some how got a TV show. Need a few million for a coaling tower. It's part of the show budget. $4 million for fire exits and whatever else is needed to be compliant for a museum. Done. Then they could 5 days a week be a real working roundhouse, and TV show. Sat/Sun a separate staff comes in and runs it as a museum. AOS should at least contact Jay's production company and see if Jay would be interested in coming out and doing a whole show on AOS and maybe running some of the engines. See what develops.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The AGE of STEAM ROUNDHOUSE

Leno has/had at least two Stanley Steamers, other steam cars (last I looked), and a large, stationary steam engine reconstructed on his property/in his "garage." There have been reports that Leno has tried to find a steam locomotive but found it too impractical to justify. He may have a steam tractor/thresher; I'm not checking just now.

Before getting carried away with the idea of Jay Leno's Garage as a model from which to both publicize and monetize a rail collection, be advised that Leno's show is a niche product, much like Kalmbach's programs/videos. It's well known in the car hobby, but basically unknown to the general public.

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