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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:45 am 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Bucks County, PA
Overmod wrote:
Quote:
rem1028 wrote:

Also wonderful to read that the NH & I is interested in evaluating 1533 for restoration, at long last.

Where is that said? I don't remember seeing anything about that.


It's said in one of the 6 replies to the first comment listed for the video ... strangely enough, coming from someone claiming to be you:

Quote:
Once they're done working on #40 over the winter, and she's up and running next year with no issues, then they plan to check out said ten-wheeler to see if a restoration is worth it...


And I (not rem1028) got it from the Instagram account that I posted from above. I believe I saw it elsewhere as well, but can't find the source (probably the official Facebook page or thereabouts) at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:43 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
I would caution everyone to not get too excited about the NH&I restoring another steamer as they just finished the extensive ( and very expensive) rebuild of 2-8-0 # 40.

They have purposely set up this years Santa season so that the steam led trains are priced about 20% above the exact same ( except for locomotive) diesel led trains. This is being done to find out if the general public is willing to pay a premium for steam.

This railroad ( and many others ) have learned by doing that their general excursion trains can be run substantially cheaper using diesels and the open question is are the Santa/Christmas trains strongly enough associated with the steam engine that the public will pay a premium. This seasons sales will tell a lot.

I wouldn't say that the 1533 will never run again,.... but I think there's zero chance it will happen anytime soon.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:06 pm 

Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 8:56 pm
Posts: 85
Location: New York
Following the hype of 40's restoration both on this forum and through social media (it really pays for any organization to have a strong presence on Instagram, Facebook, etc), I decided to splurge on a cab ride in the 1925 Baldwin.

What a truly fantastic experience, I’ve ridden this line plenty of times before but never along with the crew. Much to my surprise, I had the privilege to ride with our very own Ross Rowland at the throttle! Meeting fellow RYPNer's made an already great outing even better. To mark the occasion, I grabbed some stills of my trip aboard the newly restored engine.

Here #40 simmers in the station. It's interesting how the NH&I features one of the few raised platforms on a tourist line. Makes for a great viewing perspective.
Attachment:
Number 40.JPG
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Here’s Ross at what I assume is his favorite place in the world, at the throttle of a steam engine. Glad to have met you, Ross! You handled the train fabulously.
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Casey's having a great time. He was firing for the whole day and yet still found time to share lots of information with the man who stole his seat.
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Casey.JPG
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Preparing to depart for Lahaska, I mean the North Pole.
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The fireman’s view.
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Fireman view.JPG [ 78.64 KiB | Viewed 1417 times ]



Thank you again to the crew for a great time, great conversation, and making me feel very welcome in the cab. Glad to see the folks at New Hope are keeping busy this holiday season (I was there in the middle of the week and it looked like solid ridership on the afternoon trips) and putting #40 to good use following her 1472 day inspection. Here’s to many years of steam railroading in Bucks County!


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3787
Location: Maine
Great pictures, especially of Ross at the throttle. How's #40 performing? Thanks for posting.

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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1922
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for sharing some really nice pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 396
Location: Bowie, MD
I received an early Christmas present in the form of a cab ride on #40 just yesterday. It was an excellent experience. During my trip, engineer Frank fired while Fireman Casey (above) got some throttle time. A few bugs here and there, but lots of fun and very educational. Ross chased us and briefly chatted with the crew during the run around.

Image

Frank in the cab while Casey does a blow down.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:18 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 396
Location: Bowie, MD
Brakeman/Fireman in training Nick and a shopman push coal forward after topping off the water.

Image

Tools of the trade, and Frank's lunch in a miner's lunch box on the tender:

Image

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
A very happy Christmas morning greeting to all.

I'm pleased ( and grateful) to report that newly rebuilt # 40 performed beautifully as the star attraction ( second only of course to Santa & Mrs. Claus ) and ran reliably pulling the premium fare Santa's Steam Spectacular trains.

We ran 2 versions of the same experience, identical except for the motive power, and charged about a 20% premium for steam to see if the general public would pay more for the steam version. Glad to report that the higher priced steam version was a "best seller" and those trains sold out first despite the very rich fares.

I also had the pleasure of having 11 fellow RyPn members take a cab ride with me and it's always fun meeting folks you've only known on the computer.

Best wishes to all for a healthy, steam filled 2018.

Thanks, Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:48 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:50 am
Posts: 73
Firing and running 40 gave me perfect time travel moments. I'll never forget getting to work her all out on autumn Sunday afternoons with 8 packed coaches and the chartered caboose to test 40's power and my strength to get enough coal and water into the boiler.


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Danbury, CT
bbunge wrote:
I received an early Christmas present in the form of a cab ride on #40 just yesterday. It was an excellent experience. During my trip, engineer Frank fired while Fireman Casey (above) got some throttle time. A few bugs here and there, but lots of fun and very educational. Ross chased us and briefly chatted with the crew during the run around.

Image

Frank in the cab while Casey does a blow down.

Bob



Nice hat!

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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 70
co614 wrote:
This railroad ( and many others ) have learned by doing that their general excursion trains can be run substantially cheaper using diesels


In any business there will always be a cheaper way of doing something. If the goal is to operate a tourist railroad as cheaply as possible... well lots of options exist. If the goal is to build ridership, creating the best possible experience and presenting it consistently should be the top priority. This includes many things other than steam (like clean restrooms! as was mentioned on another thread) but steam can certainly make a difference.

Live Steam, especially when it is presented at a place like New Hope with a historic period train set and lovely depot, can make a huge impact on a guests experience.


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5286
Location: southeastern USA
Think of how much money you could save by not operating trains, maintaining track and equipment, or insuring the business. Just not opening the doors at all would save most of your operating expenses.

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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Danbury, CT
co614 wrote:
They have purposely set up this years Santa season so that the steam led trains are priced about 20% above the exact same ( except for locomotive) diesel led trains. This is being done to find out if the general public is willing to pay a premium for steam.

This railroad ( and many others ) have learned by doing that their general excursion trains can be run substantially cheaper using diesels and the open question is are the Santa/Christmas trains strongly enough associated with the steam engine that the public will pay a premium. This seasons sales will tell a lot.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


I’ll be totally honest and say that there are places that I’d be more interested in visiting if they ran steam. There are exceptions, of course. I may rot in hell now that I’ve said that, especially coming from an operation that doesn’t run steam of our own.

Now, as far as Christmas trains go.... I think there are quite a few customers would like see a steam engine powering their trains. Like it or not, the movie Polar Express has set a very popular standard for what a Christmas train should be in the eyes of many. I’ve encountered many customers that expect the Polar Express even when it’s clearly advertised as something else. Has the lack of steam power or other similarities to the PE negatively impacted our operation? I don’t think so. The proof is in the numbers, which have been pretty good, as well as our reviews. We see many return visitors. Would an operation’s popularity and numbers improve with the addition of steam power? Possibly. I’m interested to hear how the experiment worked out, Ross.

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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:28 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:28 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Florida
Richard Glueck wrote:
How's #40 performing? Thanks for posting.


40 was an absolute joy to fire and run last week, it was well worth the cost of flying back up to Pennsylvania and taking vacation days from work. 40's small problems that cropped up were quickly handled by the shop crew, the coal was fantastic, running gear quiet and 40 didn't lift a drop of water the entire week. This last rebuild was mostly running gear work. The last 1472 inspection was completed back in December of 2011 and certainly doesn't have 1472 service days since then.

In regards to the way things were ran this year I give very much credit and to the current leadership team at the NHRR for what they have accomplished so far. The emphasis on the customer experience is better than I have ever witnessed there and knowing the current general manager it will only improve.

This was my 12th Christmas season working at the NHRR and the 9th firing/running 40 and it was by far the least stressful and most enjoyable. The passengers also seemed to me to be the happiest I can remember overall these years. I always figured if the employees are having a good time and not stressed it will be far easier to pass that vibe on to the passengers whom I hope will be repeat customers in the future.

I did notice that the diesel powered trips appeared to have slightly more passengers, however the steam trips were fairly full as well with many sellouts in first class as Ross noted. I do not know if any surveys were conducted as to why some passengers chose one or the other. I did meet 3 different families who informed me they chose the diesel trip but stuck around to watch 40.

I'm glad Mr. DeStefano and bbunge enjoyed their rides with me this month and I look forward to being involved with the NHRR as much as I can in 2018. The future there looks brighter than ever and it has been years since I have been this optimistic about the place.

Casey Q.


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 Post subject: Re: New Hope & Ivyland 40
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 476
Location: Wall, NJ
In looking at the costs of steam versus diesel, or operating at all, we tend to forget the little things which have a large impact. I rode the New Hope Santa Steam Special last week with my son and grand son so have a first hand view here. I also ran steam for a lot of years at another operation so perhaps have a unique perspective as both a paying customer and Christmas time steam engineer.

My son was impressed with the quietness of a simmering steam locomotive as it sat in the New Hope station. Again, it provides an atmosphere which a diesel lacks. The wisps of steam, a little smoke, the simmering sounds only a hot locomotive makes. The sounds of the engine as it shifts from one end of the train to the other is again quite different between steam and diesel, again, a point my son noticed as did others on the platform. You can’t beat the raised platform at New Hope for an inviting atmosphere. People stood and watched as the 40 shifted from one end of the train to the other. We went on a Thursday of all days and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people on the train being that it was a weekday. Not a huge crowd, but comfortable. There was a diesel Santa train operating as well, with trains alternating so whether one bought tickets for diesel or steam, you probably had a chance to enjoy the atmosphere of the steam locomotive in the station as you waited for your diesel train.

I listened for comments by others. All seemed to enjoy the trip. The banjo player who was fantastic. One young mother, obviously dragged there by here youngster’s grand father and grand mother loudly exclaimed “That was better than I thought it would be!” as she was leaving the platform. Our comments mean little, its the comments from the mom’s like this that give you the best feed back.

I have to say the bathrooms were by far the nicest bathrooms I have ever seen at a tourist RR and probably better than a lot of hotels. First class by far and heavily used, but remained cleaned.

It was a $300 day for us to ride Steam and see Santa including tickets, parking, lunch, and photos. We would not have gone if it had been only diesel. If I had any negative comment at all it was being charged for parking after having spent over $200 on tickets.

Really have to thank Ross Rowland for getting down to my 4-1/2 year old grandson’s level and talking to him one on one about the steam locomotive (see attached). In our business, this is key and a lesson for all of us train crew types to take note of. This is how you generate the young volunteers of the future with an interest in steam. The lump of coal my grand son came away with was like gold to him.

Again, a great day. Many thanks to Ross and really the entire New Hope team. Again, that steam atmosphere was key. Just fantastic. And without it, we would not have been there.

J.R. May


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