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 Post subject: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 12:07 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:08 pm
Posts: 21
Well, as some of you may have heard by now, the track conditions over at the OPRF & the Oregon Pacific have become weakened to the point where the 4449 & the SP&S 700 will no longer be able to run on that trackage without serious risks. With that out of the question. It seems as if the future of both these engines is now uncertain. I’m hopeful this isn’t the end for the 4449 & 700. But I’m interested to hear some of the things you guys have to say about this and whether or not these two steamers may be nothing more than glorified ornaments at this point


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
There's over 200 years of experience in repairing railroad track to draw from so I don't think there's any reason apart from economic that would prevent that problem from being solved. I don't know anything about the relevant economic situation so somebody else will have to weigh in on that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 10:50 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1192
Maybe that is why they got the Shay.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:15 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:08 pm
Posts: 21
John T wrote:
Maybe that is why they got the Shay.



That is why they got the Shay. However, I’d hate to see the 4449 be retired and the 700’s rebuild be all for nothing


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 12:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 2251
Tacky3663 wrote:
However, I’d hate to see the 4449 be retired and the 700’s rebuild be all for nothing


No need to hand-ring here. SP 4449 and SP&S 700 can sit out the 1472 day clock until new opportunities arise.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 1:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:08 pm
Posts: 21
wesp wrote:
Tacky3663 wrote:
However, I’d hate to see the 4449 be retired and the 700’s rebuild be all for nothing


No need to hand-ring here. SP 4449 and SP&S 700 can sit out the 1472 day clock until new opportunities arise.

Wesley



Well they have til 2031 before the boiler expires on the 4449 so hopefully something will come up by then


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 8:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:37 pm
Posts: 2
Doomsayers aside, ORHF has a VERY good history of raising cubic $ for the facility, and now the turntable project. I expect a responsible and reasonably prompt plan for the reconstruction of the roadbed.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:38 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
When one considers the 4449 has been described by some as "the most beautiful" and it is housed on the west coast, it seems a long shot that she'd be forgotten and stuffed again.
Assign your worry meter to other projects.

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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Richard Glueck wrote:
Assign your worry meter to other projects.
Indeed.
Of all the places to pull the age-old 'sky is falling' shtick, this isn't one of them.
They'll get the track sorted out. It's not very long anyway.
That said, it's sad that you really only get to see 4449 or 700 running along the Springwood Trail at switching speeds. I'm hardly sure, but I don't think the GS4 has ventured out of that area since taking part in that IMAX filming along the north bank of the Columbia on the old SP&S in 2018 (I still don't know if that movie was actually completed).

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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 894
No disrespect meant to the OP, but I've only read speculation on forums, and nothing official in any capacity beyond them having a smaller engine come home to roost in Oregon. On a per-axle basis, these locomotives are not much heavier than what goes over your Class I and short-line railroads. Playing them up as a big risk, or suggesting that their future is uncertain, is disingenuous to the Foundation and Friends groups. Assuming they aren't planning, negotiating, or considering their own future is also not a great look.

There are also dozens of other reasons that make a smaller engine more attractive for regular out-and-back operations. Additionally, the most pressing reason for building the engine house and having a permanent site was to make these engines accessible to the general public even if and specifically if they weren't going to be as active as they'd been throughout the previous excursion era.

Track conditions or not, the engine house is their salvation. Any mainline steam operator would want the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2798
Well, that's certainly easy to fix. Not cheap, but easy enough.

However, let's say it doesn't get fixed any time soon. 4449 and 700 still have one of the best possible locations they could hope for. In an urban area, so lots of traffic to the museum. Mainline connection very close by with access to UP and BNSF. Best of all, they own the facility. While it would be sad to no longer see them run on the Oregon Pacific, they can still do the things they do best, get out on the mainline and run.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:12 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 309
You really think they are not gong to run these two steam locomotives this year because the track needs work? You are talking a few miles of track, on flat land, with speeds of 5-10 MPH. Hardly a big project. Every time I went there the track looked fine. Considering the #4449 is a major tourist attraction for down town Portland. The city not giving a grant for track repairs seems almost unbelievable. Even if that was the case a fundraiser would be successful many times over. I know many people are very anxious to see the 700 run this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:20 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:06 pm
Posts: 105
The successful operators of big steam are the ones that know how to operate like a business and leverage other opportunities to grow their revenue and fan base. Focusing on their large assets that can only be run infrequently is a recipe for failure. The shay is going to be more appropriate for these short runs, can be run at a much lower expense, and can be fired up more frequently. Ultimately, I expect the operating shay will draw more general public to ORHF than the static 4449 and 700. Hopefully, those successes with strengthen the ability to find opportunities for the 4-8-4's.

I'm not all that familiar with Portland but I suspect that 4449 and 700 do not have the local following that many railfans seem to assume. If I took a survey of Portland residents, how many know anything about these locomotives? ORHF has to be able to market themselves to the public. Believing people will simply fork over the needed funds because it's the home of 4449 and 700 isn't realistic.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1310
The ORHF and various organizations has raised enough funds to build a large shop / display building, Install a turntable, and continually maintain 2 of the largest operating steam locomotives in the country. They know how to raise funds, and they know how to operate an organization - they will figure it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
BM765 wrote:
I'm not all that familiar with Portland but I suspect that 4449 and 700 do not have the local following that many railfans seem to assume.

This is hilarious. "I admit I know nothing, but I'm not gonna let that stand in the way of a wild assumption...:

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