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 Post subject: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2024 6:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:01 pm
Posts: 1
I was out talking to some friends today and they said that following the success of the 611 trips out of Goshen, That 614 is being moved there for display and possible future restoration. Maybe Ross can confirm this? If this is true it would be great to see what the future holds for Steam on the Buckingham Branch.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2024 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2577
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
All I can say at this moment in time is that the future of mainline steam excursions in Va. looks very promising.

The state of Va. has made a MAJOR long term financial commitment to vastly expanding passenger rail serving all regions of the state and the state also invests north of $ 50M a year on tourism development.

The 2023 excursions behind the 611 were made possible by the state taking ownership of the Buckingham Branch RR which under its prior CSX ownership prohibited excursions. The long standing management team running the BB RR led by President Steve Powell is now free to pursue those opportunities that make business sense such as the highly successful 611 trips.

One informal survey of the cars in the parking lot at Goshen showed vehicles from 14 states represented. Now that's what you call tourism development !!

There will be more to talk about soon.

Thanks, Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 12:26 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2301
Time to start the feasibility plan writing for restoring effective feedwater heating on 614, I think...

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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 12:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2023 1:55 pm
Posts: 40
It's super interesting seeing the ability to leverage state owned routes etc.
Virginia and NC both own and will own more pretty significant mainline track.
Wonder if this means there will be more opportunity of steam trips on state rail lines, and perhaps helping to establish a new precedent for states to work with orgs that own/operate steam.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:41 pm 

Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 4:27 pm
Posts: 15
co614 wrote:
There will be more to talk about soon.
I will say if 611 returns to Goshen this year it would be cool to see 611 and 614 reunite even if 614 was cold. Then maybe VMT could offer a photo sessions with both 614 and 611. Of course that would require 614 to return C&O paint


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 9:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11570
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
co614 wrote:
One informal survey of the cars in the parking lot at Goshen showed vehicles from 14 states represented. Now that's what you call tourism development !!


No, that's the drawing power of "rare mileage" combined with "big steam." You get the same syndrome with UP and the Big Boy, or many of the SR/NS steam excursions, and even to a modest extent the now-less-frequent Grand Canyon Railway steam runs and Reading & Northern steam runs.

You'll draw lots of people from all over for something that appears to be a "do it now or you'll miss it forever" phenomenon. Run it on a regular, predictable basis, like the NS steam runs became, and unless you have the sheer spectacle of the White Pass & Yukon, the Durango & Silverton, the Cumbres & Toltec, etc., the attraction fades.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:33 am
Posts: 17
Location: Baltimore, MD area
A C&O engine on C&O territory? That's a no brainer to me! And VMT has seemed to tap into an uncharted market in that part of Virginia very successfully. I look forward to what comes next.

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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2024 6:48 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3924
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
co614 wrote:
All I can say at this moment in time is that the future of mainline steam excursions in Va. looks very promising.

The state of Va. has made a MAJOR long term financial commitment to vastly expanding passenger rail serving all regions of the state and the state also invests north of $ 50M a year on tourism development.

The 2023 excursions behind the 611 were made possible by the state taking ownership of the Buckingham Branch RR which under its prior CSX ownership prohibited excursions. The long standing management team running the BB RR led by President Steve Powell is now free to pursue those opportunities that make business sense such as the highly successful 611 trips.


Thanks, Ross Rowland


BWills wrote:
It's super interesting seeing the ability to leverage state owned routes etc.
Virginia and NC both own and will own more pretty significant mainline track.
Wonder if this means there will be more opportunity of steam trips on state rail lines, and perhaps helping to establish a new precedent for states to work with orgs that own/operate steam.


Maybe the idea of at least some government ownership and involvement isn't the horrific thought some around here think it is.

And maybe the "dumbed down capitalism" we have today isn't how things used to be, and may not be the thing so many have trusted for so long because of that.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:53 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4659
Location: Maine
I never saw 614 run, so I'll make the trip from Maine to Virginia and stay a few days after I ride.

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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1540
MCH765 wrote:
A C&O engine on C&O territory? That's a no brainer to me! And VMT has seemed to tap into an uncharted market in that part of Virginia very successfully. I look forward to what comes next.


Is Cheyenne Wyoming an "uncharted market" cause people flock to it when the Big Boy runs?

I'm sure on any given week that the Strasburg Railroad has cars from a dozen or 2 states... and certainly, any weekend that the 611 ran! haha.

The government owns lots of railroad lines, that doesn't mean they can force steam train excursions, it's way more complicated than that.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 8:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2577
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
Steam lovers marketing question.

Where can you purchase a ticket to ride a mainline steam excursion that offers the "Full Monty" , ( no diesel(s) in the consist, track speed ( minimum 60 mph), open window coach availability, a/c coach availability, 1st. class availability, multiple speed runbys, cab ride raffle tickets, reasonable prices, dependable schedule???

And the answer is..........................

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11570
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
co614 wrote:
Where can you purchase a ticket to ride a mainline steam excursion that offers the "Full Monty" , ( no diesel(s) in the consist, track speed ( minimum 60 mph), open window coach availability, a/c coach availability, 1st. class availability, multiple speed runbys, cab ride raffle tickets, reasonable prices, dependable schedule???


Nowhere. And I most strongly doubt anyone will ever manage to offer up the possibility.

May I point out that even Norfolk Southern kept its steam runs officially restricted to 40 mph as per the official rulebook and ETTs; that the Chessie Steam Special and Chessie Safety Express were officially constrained to 55 mph; and UP keeps 4014 somewhat restrained.........

Grand Canyon Railway has the open window, AC, Parlor Car, First Class, and Dome experience, and can get to 50 mph on occasion, but the diesel is there on idle and HEP.

The British main line excursions offer everything but the cab rides and the multiple speed runbys, but are frequent enough that the willing can get to good locations ahead of them, weekend after weekend. Ignore the ETHEL on the back...............

Multiple speed runbys? Cab ride raffle tickets? Let's go back to the last set of excursions run that way in the USA, and see if the host railroad will go along with that proposal again.......

Look, the "holy trinity" of ultimate steam technological advancement that I want to see again (as I've seen and ridden behind all three in the past) are N&W 611 and 1218 and C&O 614, as I'm sure SAR Class 26 3450 won't survive long enough for me to see her given their political instability............. but I have to be realistic, not delusional.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1540
co614 wrote:
Steam lovers marketing question.

Where can you purchase a ticket to ride a mainline steam excursion that offers the "Full Monty" , ( no diesel(s) in the consist, track speed ( minimum 60 mph), open window coach availability, a/c coach availability, 1st. class availability, multiple speed runbys, cab ride raffle tickets, reasonable prices, dependable schedule???

And the answer is..........................

Ross Rowland


Nowhere does and nowhere will. What’s your point?

Reading & Blue Mountain or a Grand Canyon charter are your best bets.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:14 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 32
I’d say R&N gets pretty close on most of the criteria. I don’t know what speeds they operate but they aren’t poking along, they get it moving.


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 Post subject: Re: C&O 614 To Goshen, VA?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:35 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 169
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
co614 wrote:
Steam lovers marketing question.

Where can you purchase a ticket to ride a mainline steam excursion that offers the "Full Monty" , ( no diesel(s) in the consist, track speed ( minimum 60 mph), open window coach availability, a/c coach availability, 1st. class availability, multiple speed runbys, cab ride raffle tickets, reasonable prices, dependable schedule???

And the answer is..........................

Ross Rowland


Nowhere does and nowhere will. What’s your point?

Reading & Blue Mountain or a Grand Canyon charter are your best bets.


Ok, I'm going to jump in here, maybe just to toot my own horn....

I rode the R&N excursion last July. It was fabulous, and we had a marvelous time. Top notch operation.

But as I rode, I had to do some comparisons in my mind:

R&N -

30 mph track speed
Large 4-8-4 w/ 68,000 lbs TE (minus booster, which they did not use during the trip)
14 car train
Plenty of open window coaches, open vestibules, plus 1st class and parlor service
No diesel assist
Long sustained grades (1.5%?)

GCR-

40 mph track speed
2-8-2 w/ 58,000 lbs TE
14 car train (average, it got up to 16 on a few occasions in 2023)
3% ruling grades in both directions
diesel assist (needed for the heavy grades, both uphill and downhill)
No open vestibules
Plenty of A/C cars, with deluxe 1st class and Parlor accommodations
One open window coach nominally (last year on 4960's birthday, ticketing offered multiple open window coaches for sale. Only one open window car was filled, as compared to 3 A/C coaches)

Although both shows are slightly different, I think these are the closest thing to scheduled mainline steam excursions in the US.

Eric Hadder
CMO
Grand Canyon Railway


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