It is currently Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:11 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 88
Many of us have noted that the smaller engines would more than likely be the last ones in service on historic railroads just as they were in final days of steam on loggers and small common carriers... but I, for one, didn't realize just how small they would be.

Recently, I am aware of the sale of 2 small steam engines both 0-4-0s, one with a tank and one with a tender, located in Canada and Illinois respectively.

What is quite notable is the prices the little engines seem to be fetching these days. My understanding is the CLW 0-4-0 formerly listed on Ozark Mountain railcar sold near or
at $100k to an unknown buyer and the Indiana Northern Baldwin at Aledo, IL formerly at Minerville (kind of a basket case in its current state) sold for at or near $40k... also to an unknown buyer. For those familiar with either of these engines those are some serious prices for non-runners in various states of repair.

Are the days of acquiring an ugly once neglected little engine for a reasonable price (closer to scrap value) gone forever? Are we seeing some sort of "bubble" in the steam engine market? Are people like Barney Gramling, Scott Symans, and Stathi Pappas among others, actually under-appreciated visionaries who got while the getting was good, before the rush? The Gramling estate with its rusty relics, visible from the nearby interstate certainly appears to be worth more than many of us thought with these types of prices.

Considering the locomotive market place and the Covid economy, it really is encouraging to think that people are spending such sums of money on railroad preservation projects which require a commitment to spend even more. Who would have thought we would see a day when a non-running tank engine brought more money and sold quicker than a fully operational Geep ...especially in 2020?

If anyone does have any info on where either of these engines might be going or where/ if/ when we might see them being operated please share. Any insights as to the seemingly inflated prices would be greatly appreciated too.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 224
Both seem over priced, however I do not know the condition of either one. There certainly is no shortage of 0-4-0 tank locomotives around the country with most in pretty bad condition. The good thing about smaller locomotives is you can ship them on a truck and often with out the use of a crane. Rebuilding is also much cheaper as most machine shops can make missing parts which are pretty small.

I forgot the name of the origination but they made some pretty good money hauling a 0-6-0 to other tourist railroads on a flat bed truck. It would be unloaded and used on the railroad for a few days or weeks. Non steam tourist railroads had a steam engine for a while. It was a good idea.

I know many people have bought neglected or poor condition steam locomotives out of city parks for only a dollar (with the condition it will not be scrapped). There is many steam locomotives in city parks just rusting away with no hope in site. Often the city is happy to see them go as they are sometimes declared a environmental hazard due to the leaking asbestos. I know there is several 0-4-0, ex Western Sugar, steam locomotives in Colorado that nobody seems to care much about.

Working, ready to go, steam locomotives are going for a premium price. Seen many upwards of a million dollars. They cost much more than they used to but they also bring in much more revenue. Any museum will tell you that having a running steam locomotive is good for business.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:45 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:45 pm
Posts: 82
The gap is closing between the cost of acquiring/building a scale model, live steam locomotive and acquiring/rehabilitating/building a small full size steam locomotive. It is easy to spend $100K on a well detailed 1-1/2" scale locomotive. If you're able to swim in that pool, why not spend a little more and get something you can take to various railroads to operate as a guest? I'm not talking about a 100 ton behemoth, more like a 6-8 ton "critter" that can be towed on a heavy equipment fifth wheel trailer behind a pickup truck. Small engines can be FRA compliant which allows for even more possibilities. Here in California there are three or four privately built narrow gauge railroads so there is some interest in modern "estate" railroads.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:44 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:28 pm
Posts: 17
The engine in Ontario sold to a group in CT:

https://www.facebook.com/GGRR1903/

Facebook shows them loading the engine last week, or at least the saddle tanks on their way out of town. How close it was to operation depends on who you talk to.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:56 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
“Here in California there are three or four privately built narrow gauge railroads so there is some interest in modern "estate" railroads.”

John Lassiter and Michael Jackson would be 2 of those I’m assuming?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:32 pm
Posts: 43
Please allow me to expand on Paul B.'s comment above.

The "GAP" is closing and may be closed and and even compressing on itself. Here is why:

Even if you go that steamer for scrap value or close to it and let's say, just for the sake of this conversation that you picked it up for $35,000.00 (seller was asking $100,000.00). And now we add in shipping, boiler inspections, boiler repairs, running gear work, a new cab, a new water tank, oil bunker and parts and so on...a new jacket and paint. When you add all of the raw costs up and if you add in a labor rate (even for your own time and effort which may be free, but you have to quantify it) you very easily get to a cost of close to, if not more than $100,000.00. If that is true, when you look at the kits or the locomotives that you can build today (we supply some) you find out that you can have a brand new item, doing all of the work on your own, just paying for parts in the same ball park as the old steamer you got for scrap. I am just sayin' If you could pick from a restoration that is going to cost you $100,000.00 + or pick a new build with a code boiler, fully compliant turn key for the same $100,000.00, my own personal feeling is that we are seeing more and more people taking the new build/kit over the restoration. A trend I think we will keep seeing for a long, long time.

Now, to add to this; I truly believe that the future of standard gauge steam and or tourist gauge steam will be New Build over Restoration. I understand the "historic" fabric piece of the equation, I also see the dollars and sense (cents) side of the equation. We have built (and so has Paul) boilers for "historic" locomotives that were more economical to build than they would have been to fix. That is the "gap" we are talking about and like I say, that gap, in my view, has closed and maybe compressing in on itself....

I suggest that if you are looking at a "scrapper" verses a new build....you should really weigh all sides before thinking that your "scrapper" was the better deal.

Kindly,

JohnE.

_________________
Wasatch Railroad Contractors
Cheyenne, Wyoming


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
John,
How much would it cost for a new build 2-8-0? What about a new build 0-6-0T?

Does anyone know how much the Kloke 4-4-0 Locomotives cost?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:17 pm
Posts: 98
You can pick up a nice used 7.5 gauge live steam engine for 15-30K easily. 100K plus is for something highly detailed, custom or built new.

For example this 4-6-2:
https://www.discoverlivesteam.com/disco ... /index.htm

As much as full size is neat, there are a lot more opportunities to run something 7.5 gauge than full size. Also the amount of work and expense required to transport/ maintain something full size is immense vs the smaller locomotives. No FRA inspections for 7.5 gauge either.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:48 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 601
Location: Wall, NJ
The idea of a new build is intriguing, especially if some newer manufacturing methods were used in the process.

I tend to think there could be a middle ground. With our N6b caboose restoration, we elected to remove the entire wooden body and start new, using only the metal components that we harvested from the dismantling and the steal main frame.

Steam locomotives that are too far gone, could be a source of key components for a new build, driver centers and cylinder block come to mind, but also throttle valves and branch T’s would save some effort on a new build. The Coos Bay #10, who’s demise was tracked here on RyPN, might serve as a good example of an engine that was scrapped but could have been harvested for some key components to a new build.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1067
By definition your N6b caboose project is a reproduction not a restoration.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5861
Location: southeastern USA
I've been saying for a couple decades now that it's never been easier to build a new steam locomotive with modern production technology, but it's also difficult to find the set of circumstances that would make it economically justifiable to do so.

_________________
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."


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 601
Location: Wall, NJ
> By definition your N6b caboose project is a reproduction not a restoration.

To some degree, I would tend to agree, except that we have reused the frame, trucks, all steel elements from the body, an original wooden elements of the body walls. By our direct observation, I am not sure how much of the original body was replaced by the PRR over the working life span of the caboose.

So, is it a reproduction? A restoration? Or a rebuild? I would tend to suggest it’s a rebuild.

It is certainly not a reproduction when perhaps 75% of the original weight (one way to measure original fabric) of the cab is being reused.

J.R.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
There’s a handy dandy invention called the dictionary-

Reproduction - the action or process of making a copy of something.

Restoration - the process of repairing or renovating a building, work of art, vehicle, etc., so as to restore it to its original condition.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1945
There is a third term that more accurately describes the N6b project,
and most of what we do in railway preservation.

reconstruction: a thing that has been rebuilt after being damaged or destroyed.

Two examples: the Governors Palace and the Capitol at Colonial Williamsburg are reconstructions based on research.

Wesley


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
wesp wrote:
There is a third term that more accurately describes the N6b project,
and most of what we do in railway preservation.

reconstruction: a thing that has been rebuilt after being damaged or destroyed.

Two examples: the Governors Palace and the Capitol at Colonial Williamsburg are reconstructions based on research.

Wesley


Yes, excellent point. To further expand on this idea here is the National Park Services definitions -

"Preservation focuses on the maintenance and repair of existing historic materials and retention of a property's form as it has evolved over time.

Rehabilitation acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property's historic character.

Restoration depicts a property at a particular period of time in its history, while removing evidence of other periods.

Reconstruction re-creates vanished or non-surviving portions of a property for interpretive purposes."

source - https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/four-treatments.htm


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 65 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: