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 Post subject: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:22 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:30 am
Posts: 141
I know what's going in this country and the world with COVID and is going to be here until 2022. Mainline steam in the east is a bit a question mark to me. NS is going to be 40 years old and the FWRHS is turning 50 so I don't know if NS would do a repeat in 2012 probably not because Steam can't run under Amtrak insurance umbrella without PTC. I don't know if FWRHS could pay a portion of the deductible on NS insurance like they did with Conrail in the 80s?

KSHC with their 2716 could operate on CSX but not without being on their insurance if they can't be under Amtrak's insurance umbrella. Also since 2716 would be operating on CSX and/or RJ Corman since they have a partnership with KSHC wouldn't they be operating on their insurance? Also I don't know if 2716 crew have the experience to operate the 2716? I think that CSX could have the NKP 765 operate a few excursions on CSX rails and could teach or show 2716's crew on to handle a berk on tough pieces of CSX and/or RJ Corman. A good way to do it is handle the New River Train i Refuse to it the Autumn Colors Express or the Santa Train or whatever. FWRHS could handle one trip with 765's crew and then the next with 2716's crew. Food for thought

I don't know about the other steam locomotives.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:26 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 74
Most railroads big or small do not want steam excursions on their property due to the public's disregard for safety and liability issues. They cannot afford to bring folks trackside to see a steam engine even pass because of potential expensive law suits due to accidents.

Exprail


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:32 am
Posts: 117
Don't forget about 2102 and 425 on the Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern. They have good track and can operate at fairly high speeds. Mainline does not have to mean NS or CSX.

John


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
exprail wrote:
Most railroads big or small do not want steam excursions on their property due to the public's disregard for safety and liability issues. They cannot afford to bring folks trackside to see a steam engine even pass because of potential expensive law suits due to accidents.


Let me point out that this attitude is NOT universal. We had the recent examples of NS reviving their steam program, and it was their OWN accidents (the Dismal Swamp derailment with an employee special and a crushing collision switching error with empty stock) that "killed" the program in the 1990s, NOT public disregard for safety.

BNSF has made its judgements on mainline steam (4449, 3751, etc.) on a case-by-case basis, essentially saying "don't come to us until you're ready and have a competent proposal." ATSF 2926 wouldn't be under repair unless there was a real hope of it running out of Albuquerque, and the long-fantasized meet-up of 3751 and 2926 at the Grand Canyon Railway is a LOT more "grounded in reality" than most of the other hare-brained schemes out there.

And we can rattle off any number of "small railroads" that welcome or have welcomed steam, from the Everett and Arcade & Attica to the Reading & Northern.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 971
exprail wrote:
Most railroads big or small do not want steam excursions on their property due to the public's disregard for safety and liability issues. They cannot afford to bring folks trackside to see a steam engine even pass because of potential expensive law suits due to accidents.

Exprail


In the past 5 years I’ve ridden behind mainline steam excursions on the Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern and Metra.

Guess they don’t know what you know.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 369
Don’t forget that even CSX has been friendly on occasion to these groups. I would not be surprised when 2716 and 576 get going, they venture out on CSX rails at least once for whatever reason.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 74
Five years ago was a long time. Operations and liabilities have changed a lot since then and large railroads don't want the hassle of something like this on their property. Their focus on public relations is more political now than reaching out to the public who only sees dirty diesels, graffiti covered freight cars and 2+ mile long freight trains holding them up at crossings.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying steam excursions don't have a future. Look at good folks at Everette, Arcade and Attica, Reading and Northern, etc. along with great museum operations like TRVM, Union, Monticello and many others. The future of steam operations is not on the main lines. It's on smaller operations where folks are trained to handle "daisy pickers" and to happily keep them safe.

I spent fifty years as a railroader and handled several excursions both diesel and steam so I am not against them...I really do like trains just under controlled environments where they can be enjoyed safely.

Exprail


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 971
I said within 5 years. The UP trip was in 2019.

“Mainline” operations would be RBMRR and Grand Canyon. I love the 4501 but crawling through Georgia at 15 mph is not a Mainline experience.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1428
exprail wrote:
Most railroads big or small do not want steam excursions on their property due to the public's disregard for safety and liability issues. They cannot afford to bring folks trackside to see a steam engine even pass because of potential expensive law suits due to accidents.

Exprail

This video of 4014 on UP is always fun to watch (but probably not for their insurance carrier): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwO-IWorGv4


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Please don't think this is a completely new phenomenon.

During or shortly after the AFT tours of 1975-76, I believe it was Doyle McCormick that recounted various exploits of the travels in an article in the then-new Railfan. One of the stories involved people swarming over the tracks at some location along the ICG electrified commuter district, and an electrified ICG/Metra train creeping up behind one equally oblivious woman--to have the train stop and the conductor or motorman/engineer open the front vestibule door, lean out, and tap the woman on the shoulder............


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:30 am
Posts: 141
I'm sure insurance play's a role in operations too.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:03 pm
Posts: 8
steamfan765 wrote:
I'm sure insurance play's a role in operations too.


The insurance requirement is just a smoke screen and an easy way to say "NO".

Let's face it, unless you're operating on a commuter line or publicly owned railroad that's used to having throngs of people around, the Excursion days are going to be even more scarce on the Class 1's. Railroad managers are horrified about having the public around, and judging by how society continues to suffer more and more from a lack of common sense, I can't say I blame the railroads for saying no.

Until this country finds a way to put a restraint on frivolous lawsuits, things will continue to get worse.

Get out and ride when you can; don't take any of these future events for granted.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:54 pm
Posts: 22
Definitely don’t take anything for granted, but also don’t pretend like there’s nothing on the horizon. I know people are working hard behind the scenes to get steam running on the main line. Keep a close eye on places like Philadelphia.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:03 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Southeast PA
mcgrath618 wrote:
Keep a close eye on places like Philadelphia.


Do you have room to elaborate on this part of your post? Understandable if things are you can't due to things being under-wraps.


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 Post subject: Re: mainline steam in 2022
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
As for the chances for mainline steam on 3 of the 4 " big four" roads ( exception being the UP where a decades long steam program has become enough of a corporate tradition to seemingly survive CEO to CEO, so far at least ) it depends a LOT on the attitude of the CEO.

Witness how quickly the N&W steam program ended after steam lover CEO Bob Claytor left the office and again recently when NS CEO Wick Moorman retired.

Railroads are run like para military organizations.....if the CEO ( aka the 4 Star) likes something....then everyone likes that something,.....and vice versa !!

Until a new generation Bob Claytor or Wick Moorman becomes the CEO of one of the other " big four" ( CSX, NS, BNSF ) mainline steam operations are going to be precious few, if any.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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