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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The Durango RR Historical Society who restored D&RGW C-18 315 (also an F&CC engine) did a big book on their engine; it is very illustrative.

If you're interested, see:

http://www.drhs315.org/blog/drhs-shop/315-book/

Remember book sale profits go to the engine.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:11 am
Posts: 12
Location: Denver,CO
oldguyriorancho wrote:
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


What do they say about 20? She was run hard for 34 years on the RGS. Breaking many parts such as rods, developing a crack/hole in her cylinder saddle and being replaced with new in 1935. Numerous derailments and rolling over at least twice.

And that is just what I have seen and read. I have not seen any F&CC records but I don't work in the library. Nobody has put it all into a book just on 20. Currently the museum is putting together a pair of books covering 20s history and the restoration. It will not be anywhere near a big as the 315 book, but will be a good read.

Maybe I will put a book together with a more in depth history and study of 20 when I'm done.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:30 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 679
Dear Mr. Taylor

In 1986 the Southwest Chapter of the R&LHS quickly worked up a short "history" of 3420 for the back of a belt buckle fundraiser This history was based on what we had heard or assumed to be "probable".

In the years since with the work of many on the Southern Pacific Collection at UTEP, searching other railroad Libraries including the California RR Museum, SMU DeGolyer Library and others we have come up with a 9500 word document not only covering mechanical changes but also incidents including a head on collision in 1906 and the death of a mechanical worker that shows the dangers of working in a rail yard. We have also found a lease to a railroad in Mexico in 1921.

The writings of Thomas Paxton of the El Paso & Southwestern (EP&SW) explains how he made decisions of the type of improvements to make. While there is still more to uncover we are begining to see the adventures of the locomotive SP 3420. This additional story shows that not only the EP& NE (El Paso & Northeastern) EP&SW, and SP impact on the Southwest US but also 3420's role in that impact.

This study of history explained the decision to convert the driving boxes from oil to grease lubrication due to the movement of a Rock Island developed business of Imperial Valley melons. I suggest you look at the history of an item before you start making preservation decisions. You may be surprised at what you find.

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:11 am
Posts: 12
Location: Denver,CO
Dear Mr. Peartree

Thank you for the advice on how to do my job. I will continue my 13 year study of the RGS and 20. I will continue to collect original RGS documents.
Maybe I'll be as smart as you someday.

As part of the younger generation taking care of steam in the 21st century it is encouraging to have support from folks like yourself. Unlike those who think we have no clue about the past, no trade skills to speak of or that we haven't earned our right to care for these artifacts left to us by those before.

Your words will fuel my drive to work harder and disprove the naysayers.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:16 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 679
Donald Cormack wrote:
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


DC

Lets take your argument that the "experts" are right that the only way to tell a story is by having live action. If this is true then we need to get rid of many naval displays because the ships do not set sail. Given this standard I suggest we scrap the USS Arizona Memorial because the ship remains do not even float. Perhaps at battle ground sites we need to use real bullets and kill reenactors so the visitor gets the "full experience". I will nominate you to be one of our representatives to congress to push laws that all historical displays have to have action.

The standard that everything should run is ridiculous. It is important to understand the history of each individual artifact before we make decisions about its preservation. In 1985 at the age of 13, I really wanted to see EP&SW #1 run, Now after many years of review of the locomotives history and its completeness from its unique builder I recognize that the best thing to do is build a replica and operate it. Today, I am glad we did not operate the locomotive.

I also appreciate the restoration work done on the locomotive by Mr. Conrad. Was wood and other items replaced with replicas on the locomotive? Yes. His work was extensive enough to look for replacement wood from the same era as the locomotive. He spliced pieces where it was practical to minimize "original fabric" loss. He looked to recreate the type of machining typically done in that era to recreate parts that were missing. His efforts were extensive. While it is a restoration that many do not even know about the quality is there and it is an incredible effort to preserve the oldest locomotive west of the Mississippi River. But the preservation does not end with the work on the locomotive. An environmental system was set up for the locomotive's benefit.

I truly believe that RGS #20 would have been a good candidate for a replica to be built and operated. I believe the Colorado Railroad Museum did not understand the size and scope of the project they were starting. I believe they saw a large monetary total and did not look at the long picture. Further this is an easy mistake to make. Donors come in with money and it is very attractive. But it is important to make sure that an organizations stays true to its mission and goals.

Robby Peartree

P.S. I do not want to see the USS Arizona Memorial or other naval displays scrapped.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:29 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 262
You’re really jumping from branch to branch here.

No one is saying everything has to run. As much as we’d all like for everything to run, this just isn’t going to happen because of how many locomotives there are and all of their situations. While there are only about 2,000 steam locomotives left in the country, that’s still 2,000 steam locomotives, all of which are in varying states of condition. They need to be maintained, and they can’t be repainted with lead paint, they can’t have asbestos lagging, and they can’t have the same grade of wood when built in wherever they were built. You can’t have everyone perfect historically, and things change even if the locomotive isn’t going to operate

It does need to be said that an operational steam locomotive is much more interesting, more interactive, and more memorable than one that sits and does nothing. Not just for the general public but for rail fans as well. That’s what the piece was designed to do, and that’s what makes the experience of seeing a locomotive like the 611 operate different than just looking at the standard park engine. How many other people are going to be spending their time looking up the history of EP&SW #1 when it sits as a static display compared to if it was operating?

Replicas are just that: replicas. They’re just not the same as the real thing. Replicas aren’t the cure all for everything. Here’s your logic provided to a more modern locomotive: Southern 4501 was a very historic locomotive with a long operating lifespan. Because it is historic, should we have not operated it because that wouldn’t be preserving the historical fabric of the locomotive?


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:12 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1163
Location: Pacific, MO
This thread has turned into a good cure for insomnia. The horse has turned into a pile of goo. Opinions are like "you know what", everybody has one. Can this just die a quiet death?


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:58 pm
Posts: 14
To bring this back to the thread's subject line, it's been three weeks since we've had a "Rio Grande Southern 20 update," any new milestones? I for one enjoy seeing progress on restoration efforts and hope that the CRRM's, Strasburgs, J&L's etc. of the world will keep them coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:00 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1825
Location: Strasburg, PA
murph wrote:
To bring this back to the thread's subject line, it's been three weeks since we've had a "Rio Grande Southern 20 update," any new milestones?
Sure, but I wouldn't blame Jeff Taylor if he ceased posting on this board about what is new with #20 considering the incoming fire that he received from his previous post.

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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: Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:08 pm
Posts: 149
Location: Alberta, Canada
Robby Peartree wrote:
I truly believe that RGS #20 would have been a good candidate for a replica to be built and operated. I believe the Colorado Railroad Museum did not understand the size and scope of the project they were starting. I believe they saw a large monetary total and did not look at the long picture. Further this is an easy mistake to make. Donors come in with money and it is very attractive. But it is important to make sure that an organizations stays true to its mission and goals.


I don't know Robby's history or background, but he comes across as a bitter old curmudgeon, wanting to order others about.

Most museums and preservation groups do not have unlimited funds, and sometimes donors want their donation to be used for something specific. From the available information it would seem that the CRM took full advantage of a great opportunity to restore a steam locomotive to operation.

The best way to encourage the public to learn about the history of a machine is to operate it in front of them. Purely static exhibits just don't have the same magic. Paring the restored locomotive with exhibits, artifacts and old parts would seem to be the best of both worlds.

How much would it have cost to build a 100% new material replica of RGS 20, compared to the work that has been done? Was the donor prepared to fund that? What effect would rejecting the donation and project have had on the CRM and its reputation, both locally and in the wider preservation world?

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Greetings from Alberta
-an Articulate Malcontent


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:27 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2386
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
In the big picture, who has a guess over how many locomotives have been operated/modified in preservation and how many remain static displays? My quick guess is there are still quite a large proportion of locomotives that have not been modified or operated since retirement from historic service.

This would not be true in the UK, where my impression is that a very large proportion of preserved locomotives have in fact been operated and received significant repairs and replacements.

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Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2302
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Western Railway Museum's amazing Western Pacific 4-6-0 #94 is just about all original (as of 1950) and unmodified. I believe 94 has it's WP boiler tubes installed. It did operate at WRM in earlier years. I saw this engine in 2017 and was impressed by how original it is.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:41 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:30 pm
Posts: 167
So, there is controversy over the appropriate action to take in the management of artifacts. This isn’t a new argument. It has been around for a long time. I believe the problem is that individuals who don’t like the current trend are a little late in their criticism. They should have joined the organization in question with the intent of working from within, gotten over their emotional injuries if things don’t go their way, and accepted the outcome as the course of life. To complain is a waste of time and energy.

Even better perhaps these disgruntled individuals should start their own project and set a good example as to how things should go. They should also seek their own funding as it is one of the more difficult processes necessary for successful completion.

In the big picture we must take a larger view of the situation, not the myopic view from today. The history of a locomotive is one of change or scrapping, the future is one, hopefully, of maintenance and survival. In 100 years, what has happened today will be revered or reviled. Be that as it may, we do what we believe is good and faithful. That is all we can do. For a few to complain about something they didn’t work to influence is a waste of their time and an annoyance to the rest of us.

I try to make the point to interested visitors, here at NSRM, that a hammer in a glass box on display is only an objet d'art. It does not become or revert to a hammer until it is swung with the intent of hitting something. If you remove the function, then you remove the identity. Stuffing and mounting a locomotive render it impotent. Before you get all up in arms let me say I understand that some pieces cannot be operated or are so rare that they cannot be risked. I accept that as a necessary action, but I don’t believe that it should be the rule. Even the hammer should be taken out of its box and exercised occasionally.

I believe we get lost in the argument over the difference between continuity of fabric versus continuity of essence. As an example, when the painting the Mona Lisa is taken down for conservation it is not sanded clean and repainted, rather it is carefully cleaned of non-original dust and grime thereby preserving continuity of fabric. The USS Constitution, a wooden sailing ship, on the other hand has had much if not all the original material replaced in an effort to keep it whole. Although a specific board isn’t original to day one doesn’t mean that taken as a whole it isn’t the actual and original ship. The two philosophies are not in conflict but need to be applied generously to the individual situations as they arise.

So, having watched this argument play out over my career from the 1970’s to now it is wearisome and pointless. We will all be dead in a while and the artifact will live on if we are lucky. Enjoy the artifact and the world for that matter while you have the chance. Be productive and proactive rather than whinny and bitchy. Be valuable to the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Grande Southern 20 update.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1825
Location: Strasburg, PA
CCDW wrote:
... I believe the problem is that individuals who don’t like the current trend are a little late in their criticism. They should have joined the organization in question with the intent of working from within, gotten over their emotional injuries if things don’t go their way, and accepted the outcome as the course of life. To complain is a waste of time and energy.

Even better perhaps these disgruntled individuals should start their own project and set a good example as to how things should go. They should also seek their own funding as it is one of the more difficult processes necessary for successful completion.

… For a few to complain about something they didn’t work to influence is a waste of their time and an annoyance to the rest of us.

I try to make the point to interested visitors, here at NSRM, that a hammer in a glass box on display is only an objet d'art. It does not become or revert to a hammer until it is swung with the intent of hitting something. If you remove the function, then you remove the identity. Stuffing and mounting a locomotive render it impotent...

… So, having watched this argument play out over my career from the 1970’s to now it is wearisome and pointless. We will all be dead in a while and the artifact will live on if we are lucky. Enjoy the artifact and the world for that matter while you have the chance. Be productive and proactive rather than whinny and bitchy...
Hear, hear! Well said, sir.

_________________
"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 24, 2020 5:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1163
Location: Pacific, MO
I would think that a poll of people who are disturbed by the "original fabric" being altered on a locomotive should go back and whine to the people at the railroad's shop where the engine is serviced, overhauled or modified. The first time through the shop destroys the "Original fabric" on a locomotive. Lets see a show of hands of all who care.
I have photos of Frisco 4-8-2 no. 1501 on delivery at St. Louis in 1923 and also photos of her when she was retired from revenue service.
I'm tired of listening to this whining drivel and like the suggestion of the other poster who suggested the individual taking on a project and following strictly the guidelines that he has established.
In doing so, he should post updates with photos so we can critique and make suggestions and whine about it.
PLEASE lets end this damned thread.


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