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 Post subject: VLR and Steamtown
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 1999 5:46 pm 

I was reading all the messages about mainline steam and I would like to offer my opinions. VLR is going to be helping Steamtown with the upkeep of the operational locomotives that they have. One of the problems is that the shop is understaffed right now. The guys that do work there reaaly know thier stuff, but, they are spread too thin. We are hoping to fill the gaps so the operation can be more efficient in delegating it's full time employees where they are needed. Steamtown is, and, hopefully always will be the best place to see and experience mainline railroading. As for 759, VLR and Steamtown crews will be doing the restoration. VLR is doing alot of the legwork when it comes to gathering info like prints and technical info on the engine. <br> VLR is being funded by Lafarge Corporation. We can see the benefit that Steamtown has with it's facilities. For VLR to try and go out on our own would be thoughtless. There is nowhere to run a steam engine in the Lehigh Valley. Steamtown is unique, and, it's money well spent by the government.<br> The possibilities of running excursions beyond Steamtown's borders is real, but, it must be well planned, carefully thought out, and, in my opinion, be beneficial to the public. Just to say " Hey, we ran to Ohio and back", isn't enough. There has to be a reason, like, education, or, something along those lines. <br> VLR is not only a restoration company, we are a company that wants to get young people interested in keeping steam alive. I want my grandkids to know what a steam engine is. We all need to teach about the history. I would love to see the steam community get together and share info and teach our young so that steam lives forever. <br> Here is an example. Rich Melvin and Wayne York of the 765 crew and our company are working together and sharing information about our engines. Gary Bensman of Diversified Rail Services has also helped us out with supplying prints. What I would like to see happen is already starting to happen. People coming together to share a common goal. The reward will be seeing to Berk's steaming up a mainline together. The other reward will be the educational opportunities for the public when these engines are both running.

Valley Locomotive Restorations

 Post subject: Re: VLR and Steamtown
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 1999 7:54 pm 

Dave,<p>Agreed, people and organizations are begining to share similar goals. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the three SP Pacific groups have long shared (15 plus years!) the necessary technical information to restore our respective locomotives. Only within the last month, the groups have begun a grass roots discussion about formalizing the relationship to address the long term strategic issues that will be facing our organizations. It will be a difficult process yet may be critical to our future successes. <p>Your message states "VLR is being funded by Lafarge Corporation." How are these funds allocated? Salaries? Materials? Organizational expenses, etc? Certainly, funding is a source for our non-profit woes and I am interested to hear VLR's approach.<p>Regards,<br>Ken Middlebrook<br>California Trolley and Railroad Corporation<br><br>

 Post subject: Re: VLR and Steamtown
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 1999 11:05 pm 

Hi Ken. I am employed at Lafarge Cement in Whitehall, Pa. I went to them and asked if they would be willing to donate funds for the restoration of 759. The also sponsor us by giving us free use of the plant conference room for our meetings. Also, they supply us with hard hats, gloves, face shields, welding supplies, and, any P.P.E. we need to do our job safely.Lafarge plants are alocated money for donations each year. We are also going to be negotiating with other major companies in the area. This is mostly because we want to have our own shop some day. The unique situation at Steamtown is that with the agreement we will have in place, all money donated to VLR will be specifically for 759 at first. The money is donated to VLR, then, we apply it to Steamtown projects. This helps out Steamtown so they can concentrate on using government money where they need to alocate it.<br> I don't know what else to tell you, but, I just type up nice proposals and submit them, plus, maybe take the PR guy out for lunch. I wish you guys all the luck in getting your three engines together and having a place to run them. That is usually the tricky part. Another reason why we are working along with Steamtown. NS has the Lehigh Valley tied up!!!!!!

VLR Website

 Post subject: Re: VLR and Steamtown... and LaFarge Cement
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 1999 7:46 pm 

It's good to hear that LaFarge Cement is taking such a positive attitude towards philanthropy and preservation. Maybe one of these days we'll see them preserve one or more of their vintage steam-powered cement boats on the Great Lakes.<br>


 Post subject: Re: VLR and Steamtown... and LaFarge Cement
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 1999 1:59 am 

Oh, very neat shot! What, where and when, please?<br>

 Post subject: Re: VLR and Steamtown... and LaFarge Cement
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 1999 3:05 am 

That was a shot of the LaFarge cement carrier S.T. Crapo upbound in the St. Clair River. I actually found that photo on the Great Lakes Vessel Passage web site. The Crapo was built in 1927, and still has her original triple-expansion engine. She was coal fired until 1995 and then converted to burn oil, keeping her three original firetube boilers. She is now laid up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. One of her fleetmates, the E.M. Ford, was built in 1898 and is now laid up in Saginaw, Michigan. The Ford was heavily modernized in the 1950's, though she still has a quadruple-expansion steam engine. The Crapo is pretty much all original from 1927. Although one or other of them may run again (possibly as soon as next year), I would guess their days of active service are numbered, if not finished altogether. Neither boat has run since 1996. It certainly would be nice to see at least one of these old boats preserved when the time comes.

Great Lakes Vessel Passage

 Post subject: Re: ST Crapo fluke!
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 1999 6:55 am 

Funny that you should mention the "ST Crapo". I just bought a video called "Railroading In The Golden Horseshoe: NYC Volume 2 - The Canada Southern" and it has a whole sequence showing the ST Crapo passing through the Welland Canal with a swing bridge and NYC train waiting, then passing over. I remember laughing at the name of the ship. The video is by some company in Canada called Just Imagine Productions.<br>

 Post subject: Re: ST Crapo fluke!
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 1999 8:23 am 

It's pretty easy to figure out what the boat's popular nick name is, but it's actually pronounced Cray-poe!<br>

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