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 Post subject: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:04 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:20 pm
Posts: 14
I thought i might be able to inspire an interesting discussion. There is so much talk of lost and extinct locomotives that never made it to preservation. But i was wondering, what are some examples of classes and types of locomotives that almost suffered that fate, or could easily have, but we are lucky to still have with us today? To start, i will say N&W j class is an example of one.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:32 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Oh my, where would you start? How do you know which machines turned out to be barely lucky?

I think we could say this of any steam engine, whether an N&W J, an A (the 1218 was a stationary boiler for a while), Southern 4501, anything from New England, anything Great Northern, and yes, everything Soo!! I recall someone said that the reason we have so much Soo steam around is that the railroad had a roundhouse full of engines held in reserve as dieselization was progressing, that they were on a line that didn't have the heaviest track (which is why none of Soo's 4-8-2s or 4-8-4s survived, they couldn't be used on this one line where the engines congregated), and by the time Soo decided it no longer needed this last batch of engines, the preservation movement was under way, and many of them found homes as park engines.

Really, you look at how so much was scrapped, not just individual classes, but entire rosters (try to find something from New Haven or RF&P), how some of those engines had just come out of overhauls and went into storage (Virginian steam comes to mind), and it turns out ALL those steamers were incredibly lucky, as are we to have them today.

Now if only we could raise the resources to preserve them all, if not return them to operation. . .


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:36 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1456
Location: Back in NE Ohio
We are deep in the Preservation "Era", yet look how incredibly hard it is to try and save anything from Amtrak, because they are quasi-governmental and can't outright donate anything to a museum, city, or preservation group without a lot of tricky maneuvering. As for what we have lost in railroad history, it could fill a good-sized coffee table book (which might be an idea for a book project; you can steal it from me, but I want a complementary copy. It could go over really big, you never know what will - see Amtrak by the Numbers). I keep mulling over ways to try and represent American railroad history as one or a series of model railroad displays. I think it would be the only reasonable method to try and tell the story in three dimensions.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:04 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1635
PaulWWoodring wrote:
I keep mulling over ways to try and represent American railroad history as one or a series of model railroad displays. I think it would be the only reasonable method to try and tell the story in three dimensions.

Great idea for a display! Perhaps a long cabinet with several trains on parallel tracks depicting change by intervals of about twenty years.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 369
Never heard about what happened to the larger Soo engines. I might guess that’s also what happened to roads like the Northern Pacific as well.

“New builds” as they call them could present opportunities to fix some of the mistakes of the past. Enthusiasm is growing in rail preservation; just observe many of the successful park projects that have happened in the last decade alone as proof, whether it’s cosmetic or even full operation, and I suspect the same could occur for “new build” projects as well, depending on the success of the T1.

Now I’m not going to propose new builds or anything that would get this topic completely off topic, but Tornado in the UK is proof that a new build, while not historic itself, does “fill the gap” quite well for a well known missing class.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1456
Location: Back in NE Ohio
PCook wrote:
PaulWWoodring wrote:
I keep mulling over ways to try and represent American railroad history as one or a series of model railroad displays. I think it would be the only reasonable method to try and tell the story in three dimensions.

Great idea for a display! Perhaps a long cabinet with several trains on parallel tracks depicting change by intervals of about twenty years.

PC


Thanks Preston. I consider that high praise for one of my ideas. I don't know how else you could begin to represent most of the 1800s railroad history in any kind of comprehensive way, as well as major parts of later eras, especially Amtrak's history. It wasn't the case when I was a kid, but there are some really fine, near-museum quality models out there anymore. I've been especially impressed recently by what the Canucks at Rapido Trains are putting out.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 136
If the NYC hadn't of sold a few steam locomotives to other railroads at the beginning of dieselazation, there wouldn't be any NYC steam preserved at all


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:13 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
PaulWWoodring wrote:
We are deep in the Preservation "Era", yet look how incredibly hard it is to try and save anything from Amtrak, because they are quasi-governmental and can't outright donate anything to a museum, city, or preservation group without a lot of tricky maneuvering.
Good point. Just the other day, two sets of Cascades trainsets left the Pacific NW for CA where they're to be scrapped. I strongly suspect nothing from them will be preserved anywhere.

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Lee Bishop


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
A lot of U.S. preservation fans turn their noses up at anything of foreign origin, but those sets are part of the Amtrak story in the Pacific Northwest. They were also the first Talgo equipment to operate in N. America.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:04 am
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Location: Lawrence, Mass.
There would only be one Norfolk & Western 4-8-0 preserved (and that would be the one in the park in Abingdon, not the one running at Strasburg) if Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal hadn't put off scrapping the ones they had for as long as they did. Likewise, no Grand Trunk Western 0-8-0s would have been saved if Northwestern Steel & Wire hadn't put a few of them to work in their mill instead of cutting them up.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 71
Not to ring our own bell, but Scranton Transit trolley #505 came about as close as I think one can get to extinction before being saved. Of course, it helped that we had a trailer full of parts that were removed from the car in 1965. We lost nearly a whole year due to Covid but will begin work on the car’s trucks this Spring. Car #505 is the last known surviving “Electromobile.”


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 669
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Also in Scranton, 1903 DE Brill 324 became part of a diner in 1941. It has been retrieved and is now at the Trolley Works Restoration Shop at Montage, also being restored.

http://pnaerc.blogspot.com/2017/10/scra ... gress.html

Anthracite Trolleys, Inc. has acquired Wilkes-Barre PA trolley 790 (ex-Pottsville) for restoration and display/operation at the Electric City Trolley Museum. It had been part of a buiding and is a 1924 Brill Type 5 clone, but with Brill trucks and curved ends.

https://luzernehistory.org/tag/trains/

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:39 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:40 pm
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I think that we are pretty lucky that the PRR Northumberland collection survived. Same can be said for N&W 611 and 1218.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:05 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1999
Location: Strasburg, PA
thebrantfordrailfan wrote:
But i was wondering, what are some examples of classes and types of locomotives that almost suffered that fate
I believe that #346 at the Colorado Railroad Museum fits that description. I understand that Bob Richardson was getting no cooperation from Al Perlman's Rio Grande when it came to getting it delivered to Richardson's museum in Alamosa, and it was only through some under the radar assistance from a friend that it was saved.

Likewise, I understand that we have no representative from the Rio Grande C-21 class 2-8-0's because Perlman personally ordered that they be scrapped rather than one be sold to Richardson. No friend of history there.

Perlman's distain for history is also why we only have one standard gauge Rio Grande steam locomotive in preservation, due to it's having been sold to a shortline for service, and from there went to the museum.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotives and classes that were "almost" lost
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
Regarding the N&W 1218, be sure you sing Nelson Blount's name loudly and clearly. Without him that advanced articulated would be razor blades today. Same for many preserved locomotive which once resided in Bellows Falls.

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