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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:43 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 119
I guess no steam locomotives should operate anywhere least they become replicas....


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 679
nedsn3 wrote:
Enough! Robbie you are pole vaulting over rat turds. Leave it alone, you've made whatever your point was.


If you can not remember the arguement you obviously do not understand the position. The RGS history survives in many forms. The RGS was dirt poor. The poor condition of the 20 which is now gone was a testimate to that. I am fortunate to have seen this condition before it was removed. The next generation will not be able to because of this "preservation effort". Try to wrap your head around that and try to understand the results of decisions made in the "preservation effort".

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 119
The Dented Boiler shell was preserved, its sitting over by the roundhouse right now. The Cracked and poorly welded frame rails are preserved, and sitting next to the piece of boiler shell. Many pictures have been taken through out the process, that document the poor state of the locomotive, many things that you would never have seen nor known about unless the engines was torn down. I'm sure someone could write a nice book about the 20, just like the 315 group, and document all the piss poor repairs done over the year, and the modifications done to correct them.

I will never understand the logic of letting something literally return to the earth, in order to preserve its last operated state. People want to save the craftsmanship of the last people to touch it, what story does a pile of kindling and rust tell? I'd love to know. I've seen this argument so many times on locomotives and rolling stock literally collapsing into themselves, but because they were the last untouched, unrestored examples from a railroad, people would argue they don't need to be restored, not everything needs to operate, blah blah blah.

Without restoration, some of this stuff WILL vanish forever. Lost into a pile of rust and wood remains.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 262
I mean, I won’t go any further with arguing this, but what’s the reasonable alternative instead of what’s currently being done in restorations? Not everything has to be operationally restored, but from what it sounds like to me, you’re just arguing that because RGS 20 had some parts replaced it’s somehow a “replica” because it isn’t in the exact same condition it was when it was retired: with wood from 19 whatever, steel 19 such and such, and so on.

There’s no pleasing you here Robby. While the argument of preservation vs reproduction of newer replacement parts is one that should be had, you’ve given no alternatives to how museums and societies are supposed to keep their locomotives and rolling stock in good condition. Even though many things on a steam locomotive may be historically correct, you can’t safely preserve a locomotive in today’s day and age with lead paint, rotten wood, and asbestos lagging. What’s the point in preserving anything if you can’t keep it maintained? Is everything supposed to just rot and rust away into nothing?

Don’t bother complaining if you’ve got no solution for your issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:18 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1115
I have been thinking about the issue of whether a locomotive could tell the story of a railroad's demise and for me I don't think so. I wasn't around for the RGS, but I saw the end of the Rock Island up close and personal, and I don't think that, if it were possible to do so, maintaining an engine in that condition would tell any story. What I remember about the last summer of the Rock Island (1979) is that if you were within say ten feet of the tracks when a Rock Island freight passed by your clothes were spotted with lube oil from out of the stacks. By that point the trustee had limited locomotive repair costs to I believe $3000, but the RI needed power and so ran units with obvious problems until they dropped. For example, the entire fleet of U30C's, only six years old and bought for the Russian grain sale, were run with bad power assemblies and main bearings needing retightening until they dropped, mostly because GE won't license aftermarket suppliers and parts are more expensive than EMD, and so almost any repair was more than the limit placed by the trustee. Would it really tell the story of the financial problems of the Rock Island if one of them were saved (they were all scrapped after going unslold) and maintained with bad power assemblies? I don't think so. Perhaps an oil line could be run up through the stack to spritz any museum visitor who came within ten feet of it, but that would have practical issues of poor footing (I know from walking around the Peoria yard on ballast coated with lube oil).


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I understand Robby's point.

However, I remember 20 on display at Golden. It was not operating, looked complete and was on a prominent display track. You couldn't tell the frame was busted; it was behind the drivers and under the boiler/firebox. You couldn't tell the boiler was dented; the jacketing covered it. I'm sure Bob Richardson remembered what condition it was in, but when Bob retired, who was there?

Now 20's been repaired and the busted frame and dented boiler are available for interpretation to show just what Robby wants people to see. Sounds like a win to me, IF somebody wants to do a display on how beat up the RGS was in its last days.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:54 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 136
Robby Peartree wrote:
nedsn3 wrote:
Enough! Robbie you are pole vaulting over rat turds. Leave it alone, you've made whatever your point was.


If you can not remember the arguement you obviously do not understand the position. The RGS history survives in many forms. The RGS was dirt poor. The poor condition of the 20 which is now gone was a testimate to that. I am fortunate to have seen this condition before it was removed. The next generation will not be able to because of this "preservation effort". Try to wrap your head around that and try to understand the results of decisions made in the "preservation effort".

Robby Peartree


First off, it's "argument". Secondly, there have been valid counter-arguments offered by those with distinguished credentials that you're not hearing. Debate is healthy and can be constructive if both parties listen. Your grandiloquent stance on stringent, historic representation is indeed unique but, you seem to lack the open-mindedness to consider there are others who might disagree. You would find yourself under less scrutiny if you were more considerate of alternative thought.

DC


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:45 am 

Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 9:22 am
Posts: 9
Jeff Taylor wrote:
....we still have the dented boiler section, and the bad frame sections. I had those shipped back. That wasn't cheap by the way. Just so we can display them to help tell the story. I had several other small parts shipped back. Including a rod brass with a tin shim outside and inside the brass....



This to me is far more interesting than looking at a dead/decaying locomotive with a sign that mentions all the shoe-string repairs made by the RGS. It will soon be possible to see a live #20 operating around the museum AND also see the very parts with cobbled-up repairs on display and then stand in disbelief that those parts came from that locomotive as it trundles around the museum loop.... just think about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:57 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5784
Location: southeastern USA
Donald Cormack wrote:
Secondly, there have been valid counter-arguments offered by those with distinguished credentials that you're not hearing. Debate is healthy and can be constructive if both parties listen. Your grandiloquent stance on stringent, historic representation is indeed unique but, you seem to lack the open-mindedness to consider there are others who might disagree. You would find yourself under less scrutiny if you were more considerate of alternative thought. DC


As somebody who has made a lot of the mistakes that were made during the formative decades of our industry, I also get closed minded when faced with a new guy coming who insists on making them over again without the breadth and depth of experience to understand why it shouldn't be done that way..... this isn't that kind of situation. RGS wasn't the only Colorado mountain narrow gauge line that ran them until they wouldn't go. You can see an intact example from the C&S just up the creek in Idaho Springs. The more interesting bits of old fabric have been retained, and the restoration process which in this case includes some modern replication of fabric for comparison - opens up another entire line of interpretation with a fascinating story that includes the last days operating practices on the RGS. It's a compromise between purity and replication, but I think the potential audiences are going to be larger and more easily captivated by the larger story than the immediate which (given it isn't the last work out Colorado NG rustbucket nearby) is a win overall. I think it is also reversable by running the new fabric into the ground followed by replacing the new fabric with the preserved old fabric also, if we want to become purists a couple generations down the line.

_________________
Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1825
Location: Strasburg, PA
Dave wrote:
RGS wasn't the only Colorado mountain narrow gauge line that ran them until they wouldn't go. You can see an intact example from the C&S just up the creek in Idaho Springs.
Not to mention RGS #42 inside the D&S Roundhouse Museum in Durango, residing indoors in all of its completely worn out glory. #42 no doubt spent time operating out of the Durango roundhouse back in the day, so it doesn't get any better than that.

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am
Posts: 94
I'm just going to plop this video here since its a more intelligent look at the debate than I ever could write down. Its just the "Ship of Theseus" problem all over again. Personally I am in the camp that an engine in operational condition oftentimes tells more of a historic story than a stuffed and mounted engine with "original metals" ever could, and the only engines worth preserving in original metal form stuffed and mounted forever is stuff like The General, John Bull or Stephenson's Rocket. But to each their own on this opinion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KwdwhuyZWE


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Interesting. The W&A "General" currently displayed in Kennesaw GA (formerly Big Shanty) is much different from the engine James J. Andrews had stolen in 1862.

After the Andrews Raid, the engine continued in service for the W&A, but in 1864 Union Gen'l Sherman's Army was on the outskirts of Atlanta; CSA Gen'l John Bell Hood took command of the Confederate Army, promptly attacked Sherman's superior force and was thoroughly defeated. In their withdrawal from Atlanta the Confederates destroyed everything that could be useful to Sherman, including The General.

Well after the War, The General was rebuilt to the appearance it has today.

The W&A was 5 foot gauge, standard for that region (including the US Military RR coming in from Nashville) and was regauged in 1886 to 4' 8 1/2" gauge. You can see this on the engine: if you look under the tender, you can see the wheels have been pressed inward on the axles. Also, the drivers have extra-wide tires indicating they're the 5' gauge drivers with the wide tires bringing the gauge in to 4' 8 1/2". (you don't need to replace the cylinder saddle that way)

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5784
Location: southeastern USA
And she was rebuilt again for the 1960's operation including addition of an injector, air brakes and oil firing powered by a gasoline generator and compressor in the tender.

I think the name plate might be original...... I'm told TEXAS is much more original, and the parts I had the opportunity to check out at Spencer a few years back would support that.

_________________
Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 153
Location: Massachusetts
Dave wrote:
I think the name plate might be original...... I'm told TEXAS is much more original, and the parts I had the opportunity to check out at Spencer a few years back would support that.


I remember seeing TEXAS in the old Cyclorama building, as it appeared after the "Kurtz restoration" and I'm told that was at least "similar" to the way it looked in 1862. The current restoration is to a later era.

Isn't it interesting that both the GENERAL and the TEXAS survived primarily due to their history with the Andrews Raid.....yet neither looks at all like it did then. All we have are drawings and paintings, which depict big spark arrestors, strap-iron pilots, belt rails at mid-driver, and flat smokebox fronts. I'm not sure there is a single, preserved steamer that has been restored to that look. I will give it this....the GENERAL, as currently configured is a very pretty piece. It's just not at all authentic to the event for which is most closely associated.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/643832/

/Kevin Madore


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:51 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:15 pm
Posts: 1
Something is missing from this discussion, and that is a history of the locomotive based on reports and records. There must be a trail of records for RGS 20, starting with the builder. Are there surviving F&CC records in Colorado? There are many D&RG/W records and reports at History Colorado and the Colorado RR Museum. We know Bob Richardson gathered tons of RGS records when it closed. Bob also reported RGS events in his Narrow Gauge News and his several books. There were at least thirteen books on the RGS published. What do they say about No. 20?

Has anyone put all the RGS 20 material together in the form of a history? I wonder why not? Is it a project at the CRRM? Who knows?

Vern Glover


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