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 Post subject: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1488
Noticed recently this unusual combination of announcements (possibly posted at different times) on the Flying Yankee Restoration Group website home page under the heading "Donate":

"The NHDOT is preparing to move the Flying Yankee to its new home. As mentioned above, this would be a great time to get the Yankee back on its trucks, but the funding for that effort will have to come from donations through the Flying Yankee Restoration Group. NHDOT estimates that it will require $50,000 to procure the necessary material and set up a track panel at the new site, to prepare the Yankee to accept the trucks, move the trucks from their current storage facility, and place the train on them."

Followed by a single line entry:

"The FYRG is not currently accepting any donations".

Does anyone know for certain the current status of this group? The impression the seeming contradiction on the website gives is that it may not be active.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 12:03 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 839
There is a closed group on Facebook,

https://www.facebook.com/groups/195388914553494/

but they don't seem to know more than anyone else about the status of the restoration group. These photos were posted there, taken last August. Asked about the status of the train, the page admin. stated a few months back: "It's still sitting in Lincoln at the Hobo Railroad. It is no longer undercover and is exposed to the elements. Its tarp lasted about 15 years and they have no money to replace it." followed by some (edit) "concerns" about the restoration group.


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Last edited by PMC on Sun May 26, 2019 1:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 12:07 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 839
BTW, here is the Winton diesel engine, taken in 2004, from the same facebook page:


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:30 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4138
Location: Maine
This locomotive/train set is legendary in New England, I mean iconic. The idea to restore it was far thinking and, with a wye, probably a great tourist attraction for a region of the old Maine Central/B&M. Given a solid overview and plan for restoration and operation, I like to see a dedicated and qualified group undertake the completion. If I recall, I think the restoration of the original Winton engine was the stumbling point. There's a simple enough solution to that, but it will take fresh blood and a capital program outlining the program.

The update is much appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:59 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 257
I thought they gave up on the Winton years ago, after sinking tons of money into it? Something about it not being good?

CD


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 5:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 839
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I thought they gave up on the Winton years ago, after sinking tons of money into it? Something about it not being good?

CD

I suspect that the reasons are financial rather than mechanical, what we never heard is "WHY" the Winton was unrebuildable, this determination didn't include any description of any physical problems with the block, crankshaft, etc., but it did coincide with the group running out of money. I did hear that a lot of parts were missing from the engine, but virtually anything can be fabricated given the $.

This group is sort of in the same position as the PRR 1361 group: they have completed a lot of work, perhaps 80% of what it would take to finish it, but their closed books, lack of transparency, missed promises etc. means that virtually no one will contribute to the project anymore. I would bet they are trying to get money from the states it operated in behind the scenes. I know of an entity that I would help fund if it were to take over the 1361 rebuild, but I don't know if any such entity exists for the Flying Yankee rebuild.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 1:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 546
IIRC the decision to replace the engine with something modern was fuel efficiency and emisions, along with parts availability and tech support, as they planned to run it on commercial tracks thus needed reliability and quick repairs.

IIRC the Winton engine has been out of production since the 40's.

Regards,
Rich C.

Wish we had room or money to even entertain the though of bringing her down to Connecticut, where the winter weather is bit more gentle.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:21 pm
Posts: 103
I strongly suspect that the B&M6000, when operating as The Cheshire was the first train I ever rode. Its partial restoration in my old hometown (Claremont) further endeared it to me to the extent of my spending several thousand dollars to become a seat holder. Needless to say, I have been greatly disappointed.

As Dick Glueck points out, this equipment is legendary in New England. Perhaps its iconic status has been a disadvantage by producing overly grand ideas. The prospect of using the Winton engine likely delighted historians and terrified railroad operating departments. Even with a modern power plant and the other expensive efforts made toward "Amtrak compliance," no major railroad would feel confident in its reliable operation.

A modern power plant on a short distance trip over a friendly railroad would ease the on-line failure concerns. Making the trip in New England would appeal to the "legend" audience, and having fares appropriate to a family would attract the bread-and-butter support of the tourist industry. Backing at restricted speed or a one-way bused return (ala Cumbres & Totlec) could eliminate the need for wyes at both ends, being yet another benefit of a short run.

I welcome suggestions of host railroads. :-)
-John M


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3590
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
John E. McNamara wrote:
A modern power plant on a short distance trip over a friendly railroad would ease the on-line failure concerns. Making the trip in New England would appeal to the "legend" audience, and having fares appropriate to a family would attract the bread-and-butter support of the tourist industry. Backing at restricted speed or a one-way bused return (ala Cumbres & Toltec) could eliminate the need for wyes at both ends, being yet another benefit of a short run.

I welcome suggestions of host railroads. :-)
-John M


My first suggestion for a venue for the Flying Yankee might be the Downeast Scenic Railroad. As I understand things, that's where Maine Central 470 is under restoration, and that could be her operational venue.

It would be as good a place as any for the former rostermates to keep each other company.

https://www.newenglandsteam.org/

https://www.downeastscenicrail.org/


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 1:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 421
A 567 block with 645 components. The guts from a EMD switcher?

I never really believed that they would ever have any luck with Winton engine. Too old and no parts available for it.

Would be a cool train to see operational again. Maybe on the Conway Scenic or Down East RR.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 402
I am a firm believer in that one could get a 201A running today - for show, not powering a train.

I think a 567 would be a tight squeeze in here. I think the best solution would be a modern, packaged genset, with a small Cat or Cummins engine.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 5:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 127
J3a-614 wrote:

My first suggestion for a venue for the Flying Yankee might be the Downeast Scenic Railroad. As I understand things, that's where Maine Central 470 is under restoration, and that could be her operational venue.

It would be as good a place as any for the former rostermates to keep each other company.


I was under the impression that the state of New Hampshire had money invested into this - how would they feel if the car leaves the state?


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 7:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 514
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Honest and truly folks, the FY needs far more TLC than just an engine. The group working on it has done yeoman work restoring two of the compartments. The work is amazing. When I was there 5 or 6 years ago the major work was being done in the rear observation car. The idea was to restore the thing to the way it LOOKED. And they were getting there! There were too many issues regarding engines and trucks and the little money coming in could just barely support the cosmetic efforts. None of that has changed. Until someone or some entity comes up with a few MILLION dollars the Flying Yankee will never fly. The current folks who are essentially caretakers have done all they can with the resources they have.
I don't know who actually OWNS the Flying Yankee but the State of New Hampshire is in there somewhere. Given that, there will always be too much red tape and never enough money to see this unique vehicle back on the rails. Interest in the Flying Yankee is simply too diffuse for anything to happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 5:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4138
Location: Maine
The train requires a wye or a l-o-n-g turntable at either end. Don't look for her on a Maine tourist road. That being said, I think the Flying Yankee people need to reorganize, develop a restoration plan which replaces the Winton with another PM, easily supplied with parts, and give it another shot. Clearing the decks of past negatives, a clean beginning is what the trainset requires. There is nothing here to stop the project from going forward, other than railfans carrying around a grudge for what hasn't happened yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying Yankee Restoration Group
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:15 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:21 pm
Posts: 103
Richard Glueck wrote:
The train requires a wye or a l-o-n-g turntable at either end. Don't look for her on a Maine tourist road.

As you suggest, efforts to turn the train would be challenging. That's why I suggested a simple go-forward / back-up model to build enthusiasm by getting the train moving in public view. Lao Tzu said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step," and we can all agree that getting the 6000 truly restored in form and function would be a thousand mile journey.


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