It is currently Mon Jul 22, 2024 12:37 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to date
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 2:29 am 

Joined: Fri May 17, 2024 6:27 am
Posts: 2
Hi all,

long time lurker to this forum. A burning question I’ve always had is what has been the most expensive steam restoration/rebuild to date? I can imagine the Big Boy is high up there, as is CP 2816 and ATSF 2926.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 9:10 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:12 pm
Posts: 210
I think it would depend on how you define the expenses.
For instance a few of the volunteers for 2926 have quoted $6mil but they are also including the infrastructure improvements that the group has carried out on site such as the building of the shed, replacement of track, the inspection pit, fencing. Also various companies have donated their own time and funds to either restore or replace worn parts on the locomotive at no charge.
Supposedly WMSR 1309, and UP 4014 were restored in $3.5mil to $4mil ranges; but is that including the wages of the shop staff that were contracted to do the work, or is it for materials and progress only?
Flying Scotsman was restored for $5.7mil according to the UK News outlets.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:12 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4668
Location: Maine
Could it be the K4s?

_________________
"It's only impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 3:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 482
Not a winner, but honorable mention:

Stearns: K&T #14 / Union RR #77

Over $2 million, incomplete, stalled, multiple issues.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 4:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Byers, Colorado
If by restoration, you mean "jack up the whistle and build a new engine underneath", than I guess the T1 project will be the eventual winner of the "deepest money pit" award. I think they have an original T1 whistle, so there you go.

I believe that both the guesses, for #1309 and #4014, were a bit light, but it's hard to split the hairs the same way for these very different projects.

Nobody mentioned "the most expensive SADDLETANKER rebuild to date", but I bet my personal project may very well qualify once we're done. That is, until somebody else takes on a similar project after we're finished. There's no telling what the final numbers will be, but 20 years ago you could rebuild a big road engine for that kind of money. About the only thing I know for sure is that this kind of work ain't getting any cheaper, and most likely never will.

By the way, welcome to Interchange Mr SCREAMINGCRYING.

_________________
I am just an old man...
who wants to fix up an old locomotive.

Sammy King


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 617
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
It's pretty much impossible to do an apples to apples comparison from one project to the next. Most restorations involve a combination of "real dollars," in-kind contributions of goods and services, and volunteer labor. For ARR 557, we have tracked all three and even for a relatively small locomotive (145,000 pounds) which was complete but worn out, the amount is mind boggling.

We estimate the number of volunteer hours expended so far to be in the neighborhood of 200,000. (One person has put in about 25,000 hours.) Pick whatever hourly rate you think is reasonable (don't forget that for a paid worker, vacations/holidays, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance have to be added to wages to get that number) and do the math.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 10:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 345
What's the most expensive restoration to date? The next one................mld


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 758
If you paid just $100 an hour for the labor, which is an absurdly low rate nowadays, your 200,000 hours turns into 20 million. No offense, but a lot of those hours hopefully is learning, rework, shootin' the shit, and other things that didn't progress the rebuild in a commercially meaningful way...

It has to be 4014. A 100% frame off rebuild of a large complex engine that hasn't run in decades, and done in what nowadays was a pretty short amount of time. I doubt there was a single bolt not removed and reinstalled on that engine. Plus add in oil conversion, PTC.... the cost would have to be crazy if you properly included all the little tidbits, shop use, transportation, etc.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 2595
Location: Strasburg, PA
Pegasuspinto wrote:
If you paid just $100 an hour for the labor, which is an absurdly low rate nowadays, your 200,000 hours turns into 20 million. No offense, but a lot of those hours hopefully is learning, rework, shootin' the shit, and other things that didn't progress the rebuild in a commercially meaningful way...
Agreed. IIRC, our highest man hour overhaul was around 24,000 man hours. Even #475, which was a random collection of braze coated clapped out parts rattling along in the same general direction only took around 16,000 man hours.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 7:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 617
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Quote:
but a lot of those hours hopefully is learning, rework, shootin' the shit, and other things that didn't progress the rebuild in a commercially meaningful way...


Probably. It also includes project management, fund raising, bill paying, parts finding, technical research, public outreach, etc., all done by volunteers. These are all resources used solely to return *this* locomotive to operation. The only reason it was necessary for them to be expended was for the overhaul the locomotive. Our number is also an estimate based on about a year of detailed tracking of hours and knowing how many volunteers show up each day/week. We stopped doing detailed tracking as it was labor intensive and there was no benefit to having auditable numbers.

I'm guessing Kelly's hours are for direct labor only and don't include a substantial allowance when costing out a project for project management, supervision, parts chasing, floor sweeping, etc.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
Dick_Morris wrote:
Quote:
but a lot of those hours hopefully is learning, rework, shootin' the shit, and other things that didn't progress the rebuild in a commercially meaningful way...


Probably. It also includes project management, fund raising, bill paying, parts finding, technical research, public outreach, etc., all done by volunteers. These are all resources used solely to return *this* locomotive to operation. The only reason it was necessary for them to be expended was for the overhaul the locomotive. Our number is also an estimate based on about a year of detailed tracking of hours and knowing how many volunteers show up each day/week. We stopped doing detailed tracking as it was labor intensive and there was no benefit to having auditable numbers.

I'm guessing Kelly's hours are for direct labor only and don't include a substantial allowance when costing out a project for project management, supervision, parts chasing, floor sweeping, etc.


You are combining locomotive restoration with the costs of creating and running a business.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:19 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2335
Quote:
"It has to be 4014. A 100% frame off rebuild of a large complex engine that hasn't run in decades, and done in what nowadays was a pretty short amount of time. I doubt there was a single bolt not removed and reinstalled on that engine."

And that was likely not the greatest money expense in that project: every part that was 'put back' needed a complete quality audit trail, with confirmation of the material and of the specific fabrication actions taken on it. That is as expensive for a locomotive as it is for an aircraft.

I'm thinking that a more interesting metric would be 'bang for the buck' -- how much 'engine' you get per dollar actually invested. Poster child here might be the Duke of Gloucester 7100, which was not only a basket case but actually sectioned as a display, and partly sabotaged during construction to boot; its very successful restoration was a triumph of 'outsourcing' various parts and costs to different companies and organizations that did the work prefessionally, often on a fully-donated basis.

Sammy, don't forget the T1 tender, reckoned at about 40% of the total anticipated expense in the feasibility plan.

_________________
R.M.Ellsworth


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Byers, Colorado
Overmod wrote:
Sammy, don't forget the T1 tender, reckoned at about 40% of the total anticipated expense in the feasibility plan.


Really ?? Building the locomotive from scratch is only one and a half times as expensive as building the tender from scratch would be ?? I'm inclined to doubt that one, but I'm not privy to much of anything with the T1 project, and my feeble brain can't really deal with such gigantic numbers, anyway. So I guess I'll go with:

If you say so.

_________________
I am just an old man...
who wants to fix up an old locomotive.

Sammy King


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:24 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2335
I meant they got a freight sixteen-wheel tender that is being cosmetically streamlined. That would have been a huge chunk of development money if the tender had to be replicated from scratch, eight-wheel truck castings and all.

_________________
R.M.Ellsworth


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What has been the most expensive rebuild/restoration to
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Byers, Colorado
No matter how you slice it, the T1 project is a huge chunk of money. I think we agree on THAT, so far as I can tell Brother Ellsworth.

_________________
I am just an old man...
who wants to fix up an old locomotive.

Sammy King


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 55 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: