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 Post subject: Re: Possibilities in North Korea
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 8:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:13 pm
Posts: 59
"National Treasure" just means its going to cost you a lot more than you thought it was.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibilities in North Korea
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:47 pm 

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 171
Location: New Haven Ct area
A quick search of YouTube for "steam locomotive North Korea" turns up lots of hits. I wonder what the steam scene is like over there? There is one of a cab ride over there that is pretty neat, looks like the locomotive is pretty tired but still alive.

I have to think with steam only finally gone in the last few years in China it likely still is going quite strong in a land where coal is plentiful, oil imports are heavily embargoed, and human labor is virtually worthless. Why would you waste good diesel fuel in locomotives when coal is plentiful and cheap?

I wonder if there are any British tour groups running fan trips over there? The Brits are so darn enthusiastic about chasing their steamers that it wouldn't surprise me if there is a group of them crazy enough to risk life and limb to chase steam over there! I wish we had such dedication over here as they do in the UK


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 Post subject: Re: Possibilities in North Korea
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 501
Location: Byers, Colorado
Steve Singer sent me a foto taken maybe 20 years ago of a Russian decapod working right next to the Chinese border. The engine was spotless, and had an emblem on her cylinder jacket that looked just like the Texaco star.

I recently saw a (recently made) PBS documentary videoed in North Korea which showed a Chinese JS crossing a long bridge near the border. Of course, there is the last JS ever made working in Iowa, JS8419. If you want a group tour, you might try Bernd Seiller (not sure of the spelling).

As far as getting an engine out of Cuba is concerned, I can say that when I was working in Guatemala, it would have been possible by going from Cuba to Guatemala, making up new customs declarations, and processing the shipment as if it originated in Guatemala. This has been a few years --- I can also say that "the people" who approached me on this matter were not serious (or not worth taking seriously) because they wanted to use MY money, when I didn't have much and was not figuring that such an undertaking would be undertaken for profit (as in, MY profit).

As far as "national treasure" goes, that means you need to originate the shipment without using the words "steam locomotive", and if possible disassemble the engine and jumble the parts up in a container or two.

However, lest I give the wrong impression, in MY experience the governments of both Mexico and Guatemala have NOT dealt in corruption regarding the "national Patrimony" laws. It helps if you can speak the native language, and you have worked for a "real railroad" for long enough to know your way around the company. You will have to review the contracts and customs declarations, and most likely insist on certain revisions.

That is not to say that it would be all that difficult to find instances of corruption. I recall a recent post (on which I did not comment) regarding a narrow gauge 2-6-0 for sale in Colombia for 1.5 million USD. The seller also mentioned that it was legal to sell the engine to an American. The part that got left out is that you can't take it home with you.
All it takes is one guy on the dock with a badge...

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 Post subject: Re: Possibilities in North Korea
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 1:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 501
Location: Byers, Colorado
OK, the gentleman's name is: Bernd Seiler. Check the German/English website of: www.farrail.com if you want to see what was seen on past steam tours to North Korea, or if you might be interested in booking a future one.

While I have not met Herr Seiler in person, I can say that while traveling with a friend and a guide in China during the JiTong Tielu hysteria of 2005, that there were several times when our paths crossed with one of his organized tours. In each case we got to the spot first, and did not realize that there was a whole busload of photographers who silently set up their photo line without bothering us, until after we got our fotos and turned around to leave.

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Sammy KIng


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 Post subject: Re: Possibilities in North Korea
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 4:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 230
Regarding Erie 2524, during one of my trips to South Korea I asked Mr. Son Gil-shin, then director of the Korean Railroad Museum in Uiwang, south of Seoul, if this locomotive still existed anywhere. He said no, it had never been preserved, and in fact no US-built steam locomotives remain anywhere in South Korea.

Since the 2524 didn't arrive until after the truce, there's no way it would have ended up on North Korean hands due to a sudden shifting of the front line.

As for what remains in the North, don't hold your breath waiting for a thaw in relations resulting in easy access to the North for railfanning and hunts for steam locomotives.


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