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 Post subject: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:47 pm 

EBay auctions on all three lots were unceremoniously halted a couple hours ago by the seller with no bids having been made. Auctions continue on three other railroad lots.

The seller has been specifically identified by NRHS officials, down to the name, address, and phone number. The individual in question apparently has had a long and noted reputation in railroad circles as both a "celebrity" passenger conductor with the Reading and for "garnering anything that was or was not fastened down because he had access to the property". Representatives from all three organizations are discussing further courses of action, including possible legal action; at least one party has openly rejected the notion of "paying 'ransom'" for the plates absent any proof that the plates were officially removed.


lner4472@bcpl.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:38 pm 

>I hope if the cretin offered to send through mail, they turn him in to the postmaster-they take a dim view of that sort of thing.

Of course if they aren't authentic, that's fraud.

As for paying ransom, i think if the plates were stolen, the "seller" is not a "holder in due course" and can be forced to return them to owners-perhaps a lawyer versed in the UCC can comment?

Superheater@rrmail.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:49 pm 

> As for paying ransom, i think if the plates
> were stolen, the "seller" is not a
> "holder in due course" and can be
> forced to return them to owners-perhaps a
> lawyer versed in the UCC can comment?

Reminder: we've established the plaes were removed in the 1970s, well BEFORE preservation and possibly by a railroad employee.

lner4472@bcpl.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:50 am 

I will have to check on the specific details, but the builder's plates from our ex-U.S. Army FM H-12-44 ended up on ebay a couple of years ago. They were removed just at, or right before preservation, while the locomotive was still at Ft. Knox. Anyway, we were able to recover the plates with the help of ebay and a local police department.

david.wilkins@bardstown.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:11 am 

The concept of "holder in due course" applies mainly to securities and other negotiable instruments. What we might have here is a "bona fide purchaser of personal property" under the "sale of goods by a non-owner" provisions of the UCC, sometimes called an "innocent buyer". But a sale of goods by a thief is no sale at all, even if the buyer did not know the goods were stolen.

pnichol6@prodigy.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:37 am 

It has been stated that the units were photographed "in service" missing their plates. Doesn't that make the victim the railroad, and/or it's heirs?

It seems to me that by persuing this course of "outrage", you may scare-off folks who are thinking of coming forward with artifacts possibly inherited from family members and such. Why not just contact this individual and ask for a reduced price on the plates? For preservation sake. He may not have any idea the locos still exist.

And is there any statute of limitations of such theft...if they were in fact obtained that way?


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:23 pm 

>If a police report of the theft was filed, all you have to do to get the item back is call the local police department.

The local PD will contact police where the item is located who will go and pick it up. The person who has the item has no argument no matter how he obtained the item. A small discussion about receiving stolen property usually ends things.

MORAL: Be sure to file a police report when things are stolen. Be sure the police report contains positive identification, such as serial numbers.

fkrock@pacbell.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:50 pm 

Here's a question for you legel eagles out there.

If the item in question was purchased from the railroad as scrap material, as I have seen done from the current railroads, and the recipet say "scrap" not "air horn removed due to modification" how can one protect themselves? Those of us that have bought stuff legitimatly are screwed when it comes to a witch hunt.

And then there are those who bought stuff from scrap dealers. I'm not advocating for the theif but this is starting to sound like the homeland security act.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:21 pm 

> If the item in question was purchased from
> the railroad as scrap material, as I have
> seen done from the current railroads, and
> the recipet say "scrap" not
> "air horn removed due to
> modification" how can one protect
> themselves? Those of us that have bought
> stuff legitimatly are screwed when it comes
> to a witch hunt.

> And then there are those who bought stuff
> from scrap dealers. I'm not advocating for
> the theif but this is starting to sound like
> the homeland security act.

For the record, I am trying to prepare a "how-to" primer for RyPN addressing the issues when it comnes to horns and whistles--how to mark air horns, how to find and engrave serial numbers, etc. Some of the issues raised here by the gentleman above WILL be addressed.

All of this is easily remidied by one quick action: Make sure the item in question is indeed "scrap". The big brouhaha over the Reading plates had to do with the fact that all three locos in question were preserved. No one would have screamed much if the plates had been off of Reading FP7 901, T-1 2105, and G-1 202.......... My only problem is that many of the guys out there acquired the "jewels" for the cost of a case of beer, bottle of bourbon, or a box of cigars traded with the scrap yard foreman or torch monkey (which is a completely valid transaction in my book), and then expect it to sell for $1-10,000 now. (I also consider suburban DC and Silicon Valley real estate prices similarly obscene, but that's another story.)

My own air horn stockpile consists of equipment where I can verify the sources (via Amtrak letterheads or receipts) and all are no longer used by the railroads in question (look inside a Westinghouse E-2 and you'll see why Amtrak shop forces were eager to GIVE it to me!). Some of the parts are awaiting retrofitting to equipment in museums to "backdate" the units to original as-ordered appearance. And the only "dealers" that I would ever refer anyone to have long-standing salvage relationships with major scrap yards.

lner4472@bcpl.net


  
 
 Post subject: A twisted tale that proves... *PIC*
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:46 pm 

... you can't always guard againist all possible outcomes. Also, not everything is neccessarily cut-and-dry theft:

In about February of last year, I saw the Worthington duplex steam pump below sitting in front of the water blasting shed at the plant I was working at. I found out through discussions with this group and plant employees that these things were quite common, and yes are still very much in use. This discovery, and the discovery of dozens of these pumps in plants and museums within a short distance of my house led to my ongoing facination with "steam lizards".

Anyway, after the pump was water blasted, it was set by the side of the road. It then remained in the state you see below for four months.

I kept an eye on it as I went about my routine business about the plant. Around the end of May of last year, I noticed that it and much of the equipment along the side of the road had been marked with an "X".

A hurried inquiry determined that these items were marked for scrap. I went through official channels to purchase the pump for scrap value through my consulting company. The scrapman had already come once that morning, and picked up quite a bit of stuff. (The pump stayed either because there wasn't enough room, or it was too heavy.) I immediately tagged the pump, and asked a willing hand to carry it with a forklift and set it down in a storage area next to another steam lizard, which I had arranged to have donated to a museum. My intention was to have them both taken out of the plant together, and mine dropped off along the way. Unfortunately I did not have a pickup truck at that time; and was counting on the museum to pick them both up for me.

Two more months passed, during which I prepared it for transportation and display by capping off all of the openings, and removing the unwanted piping and the lubricator. When it looked like the museum was dragging it's feet in picking up the other pump, I made arrangements to pick up this pump in my Ford Taurus station wagon, and take it home.

With great effort, my wife and I unloaded it. (Dropped it into a plastic garden cart was probably a better way to describe it.) I then cleaned it, painted it, shined up all of the brass and stuffed and mounted it in my back yard. But that wasn't the end of the preservation story.

Roughly a month or two after I took it home, and nearly ten months since I first saw it, I overheard some plant engineers talk about a "missing steam pump". I described to them what pump I had, and sent them a picture of it all nice and pretty in my backyard. Turned out that was indeed the missing pump; they had NO idea what happened to it!

I was laid off for a few months shortly after that happened. I found out on my return that during that time, they had discussed and rejected several alternatives to using a steam pump as a backup in case of power outages. (The plant manager does not share my liking of steam pumps; they don't sit up well in the caustic environment they live in.) But finally, they determined that a steam pump was still the best tool for the job.

During that time, several individuals wanted to come to my house, and take the pump back. Fortunately, I had backup in the form of a manager, who told them quite bluntly that I acquired pump through proper channels, fixed it up, and there was no way they were going to take it back.

(Kinda sounds like a Titanic sequal, or an episode of Thomas the Tank engine: Steam engine marked for scrap, steam engine rescued, steam engine was found to be needed after all, steam engine makes triumpant return to work once again. "Steam Lizard, you really are a useful pump!")

They finally went to another plant owned by the same company that had recently been closed, retrived their steam pump, and installed it in the place of mine. When I was asked to come back to work, the replacement pump was in place, awaiting new holes to be drilled in the old foundation, and piping to be hooked up.

(I know this since one of the same individuals who wanted to come get mine, asked me as one of my first duties to look at it and tell him what kind and size of pump it was. I already had it's name, size and capacity in my pump database.)

This story (including the part about the picture I sent them being printed out and hanging on the maintenance lunch room bulletin board for a time), was related to me when I returned. A lot has since been changed for the better. But it just goes to show that blame for things disappearing is not always a sneaky employee or railfan. Had I not known what was going on, and related it all to them in great detail, they still wouldn't know or even believe what had happened to it. Another pump which I also photographed at the same time is still missing.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

"Steam Lizards"
Image
james1@pernet.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:39 pm 

Not to throw too many stones and return fire if you want but I havn't delt with too many scrap dealers that I would trust farther than I could throw. They are looking out for their best interest and theirs alone.

And speculation and risk are what gives all of us the ability make something out of nothing. Just look at cyclopedia's of any name. I know one old collecter that pulled some out of the trash can that are now worth a fortune. Is price fixing for the industry next? All it would do is make restorations cheaper on paper.


  
 
 Post subject: Reading FP7 Builders Plates
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:40 pm 

>To the respond to the various messages floating on the subject, I will respond.

The members of the Joint FP7 Committee of Lancaster and Philadelphia Chapters, NRHS are taking steps to attempt to recover the plates.

I sent an E-mail to the seller questioning the legitimacy of the sale of these plates on Monday morning, April 21, and asked him to contact us to discuss the matter. His reaction was to quickly remove all three lots from sale on eBay. As of this posting, we have not heard from "rjl2446".
We have been provided with his name and address, and are attempting at this moment to receive verification of that from eBAY.

Our next step will be to contact him to attempt to arrange a potential agreement whereby the plates will be returned to Philadelphia and Lancaster Chapters, NRHS. Philadelphia originally bought the 900 and 903 from SEPTA, while the 902 was acquired by Lancaster Chapter from a private owner. We subsequently leased and later sold the 900 to the Reading Company T&HS.
Upon the hopefully successful return of the plates, we would turn over the ones from the 900 to RCT&HS.

If we cannot arrange a mutually agreeable way to return the plates, then we will undertake legal action to attempt to retrieve the plates.

Photographic evidence exists that the plates were apparently removed from the units during the latter days of the Reading, while the locomotives were still active. It can be pretty much assured that they were not gained legally, but probably under cloak of darkness as much other material was removed from the RDG in 1976. Our contention is that the plates, no matter when they were removed, belong with the locomotives, especially in the case of the 902 and 903, which are still active locomotives.

Unfortunately, the seller has blown his cover by advertising the items for sale on eBAY. We certainly know where they are and we will not rest until this reaches a hopefully successful conclusion. Now, if we could only find the beaded number boards which graced the locomotives above the front door, we'd be ever happier.

R. L. EASTWOOD, JR.,
Senior Vice President
National Railway Historical Society
(Member, joint Lancaster-Philadelphia FP7 Committee)

reastwood2@comcast.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:44 pm 

> The concept of "holder in due
> course" applies mainly to securities
> and other negotiable instruments. What we
> might have here is a "bona fide
> purchaser of personal property" under
> the "sale of goods by a non-owner"
> provisions of the UCC, sometimes called an
> "innocent buyer". But a sale of
> goods by a thief is no sale at all, even if
> the buyer did not know the goods were
> stolen.

So would it be correct that whatever the terminology, the net result is that one can recover their property from an "innocent buyer" who later decides to dispose of it?


superheater@rrmail.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:52 pm 

> So would it be correct that whatever the
> terminology, the net result is that one can
> recover their property from an
> "innocent buyer" who later decides
> to dispose of it?

Yes, essentially it doesn't matter how one comes into posession of something; if at one point it was stolen it is still stolen and only the original owner (or the owner from which it was stolen) has a claim to it under U.S. Law.

The complication in this case is that the "original owner" was likely the Reading Co., not a historical society.


Wowak.Railfan.Net
mrwowak@yahoo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Reading FP7 Builders Plates
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:20 pm 

Back in 1994 or 1995 I saw at a local train meet (where several society had tables) the other 903 plate and the pair of 903 truck plates. The plates were determined authentic by the serial numbers. These plates went from dealer to dealer until I lost track of them. For those of us who know what truely went on during the Reading's ending days must remember George Young. Mr. Young was handed the task of selling off many of the Reading's gems. But even Mr. Young was known to have "stolen" from the Reading. It is said that when the Railroad began selling its station clocks they were asking $25 a piece, however many of them were sold for $50-$75 with Mr. Young pocketing the difference. If fact an old station agent at Lebannon once told me that Mr. Young came to Lebannon and when he (the agent) was out at lunch he took the station sign because one of his friends wanted to purchase it. Rumers about the enourmous amount of RDG china and silverware George Young had at his house were plentiful. So before the historical world goes "bonkers" because someone placed the 900, 902 & 903 plates on Ebay take a deep breath and just think for a moment how much of the Reading was really SAVE by people like George Young, the person who is selling the builder plates, and all the employees who took souveniors home. These employees were not "stealing" but trying to remember and preserve a "way of live" we will never know! The employees knew the tracks were coming to an end and that the future was uncertain. For many of these employee the Railroad was their lives and the generation before them and so on. So if you want to go on a which hunt then go on the hunt for the true history of Reading Railroad -- its ledgers and correspondences. For it was the correspondences that relay the TRUE HISTOY OF THE RAILROAD. ALSO REMEMBER THE NEXT TIME YOU PURCHASE A PIECE OF RAILROAD CHINE, HARDWARE OR ANYTHING OFF OF EBAY -- YOU TOO MAY BE BUYING "STOLEN" ITEMS! ALSO TRY TO REMEMBER THAT AMERICA IS A CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY.


fanofdduck@aol.com


  
 
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