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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:29 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
Posts: 475
In all honesty, it seems to me that a new boiler and firebox would be needed to get project off the ground again, and would probably be significantly cheaper than trying to re-engineer the old one. There are companies in the US that have the knowledge to make such a thing (the company that built UP 119 and the Jupiter out at Golden Spike, and the man who built the Leviathan come to mind) and if nothing else, one could outsource it to Germany, much like the A1 Preservation group in the UK. I'm not saying it would be cheap by a long shot, but definitely cheaper than trying to rebuild the old one.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
stephenpiwowarski wrote:
Furthermore, the belpaire firebox is unique to the PRR in its application to a locomotove fleet.


*cough cough* Great Northern Railway...... *cough* Great Western U.K. ..... *snort*London, Midland & Scottish...... Belgian*COUGH*

With reference to a new boiler, as obvious an answer as that is from an engineering, mechanical, or logistical standpoint, there is an enormous "political" liability in such an approach: The fundraising for the initial restoration revolved greatly around local civic pride, in restoring "an example of Altoona's finest," honoring the shop forces of Altoona/Juniata, and even later as "the official state locomotive." (I was there, and others can back me up on this.)

To build a new boiler at this stage in the game promotes both the fact that millions were spent to restore a "clapped-out locomotive," as the British would say (though it's obvious that this thinking must already be prevalent among anyone that can look at the current situation), and the idea that "Altoona's finest" was "defective" and/or "badly built." This is not what a local museum, built on the premise of honoring PRR railroaders around Altoona and the PRR, would want to deal with publicly.

Personally, I've sarcastically opined that they're simply waiting for enough "proud PRR shop men" to die off before they can replace the boiler without offending them and their families.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
Oof. There's the heart of it.
It's not the "proud Pennsy workmen"'s fault that the engineers weren't psychic. As someone pointed out upthread, nobody was thinking "Gee, this thing had better hold up when they rebuild her in 1987." She was built, like most machinery, for a certain service life. She's way past that.

As I said, this is where the question comes in: display or run? If she's a display piece with occasional events where somebody pushes her onto the turntable and smoke comes out of the stack, that can be arranged with very little more expense beyond putting her together.
The "special permission to run with a dubious boiler at reduced pressure" option runs at the discretion of whatever government agency granted it. It's too easy to see a scenario where the big steam event is planned for April 1, but while they're getting steamed up the night before an inspector shuts the whole thing down. Ticket prices are the smallest problem on excursions now; a lot of railfans book hotels, train or plane transportation, vacation time and so forth to get to a major steam event. It wouldn't take many no-shows to ruin things. If they're going to get her to run at all, she has to be in reliable condition and anything less than perfect health would probably make insurance prohibitive.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 388
Location: Winters, TX
Maybe the best solution is to reassemble it, put it back on display at Horseshoe Curve and restore Pennsy 7048 that's there now.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:32 pm
Posts: 46
PR


Last edited by prosser on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:59 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
prosser wrote:
Glad nobody here worked for NASA in the early days!


Funny you should say that. I mean, if you don't do something about a known design flaw, you could have things blowing up on you, like, say, a K4s or "Challenger".....


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:32 pm
Posts: 46
PR


Last edited by prosser on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
Posts: 475
prosser wrote:
The point was to just fix the dam thing if you really want to see it run. Reems of advice or opinion on a web site don't move tools. It is good we didn't have this immediate response communication back in the day or we would be on page 200476 on why we can't get to the moon!


Probably also wouldn't have had the Apollo I disaster...

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:32 pm
Posts: 46
PR


Last edited by prosser on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
prosser wrote:
The point was to just fix the dam thing if you really want to see it run.


Again: How?

You CANNOT simply "fix the original fabric" and pass the new and improved codes.

If you replace the boiler or firebox with a new one, in a sense you're no longer a "museum" but the owner of a nice old toy you're playing with. And you get the "political" problems I described earlier.

And even the running gear was giving them problems back in 1987-88.

This is a very legitimate case where replication might have worked better than restoration. The joke would be "pick up the whistle and replace everything underneath it." Except, as I recall, it took them several PRR passenger whistles from around the Altoona area before they found one that still blew correctly, so even THAT joke falls flat.....


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:48 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3716
Location: Maine
Shop guys at Strasburg have told me (unofficially, of course) they would love to be given the chance to re-mediate the issues and get her running again. I am not included in that reasoning, but they've already built a new Belpaire roof sheet for the Long Island G5s, so it would seem there is a "cure" available.

There remains a hostility directed at the Railroaders Museum and this project in particular, that defies logic or calm, intelligent, discussion of how to solve the problems. People seems to have the strength to throw more rocks, but not band together to simply fix the boiler and re-assemble 1361 as an intact representative of the class. This leads me to believe the problem is not the K4s, so much as the individuals who want to be noticed and recognized while they berate the custodians of 1361, over and over and over, ad nauseum.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:28 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:29 am
Posts: 316
Location: Schuylkill County, PA
I hate to say it, but I agree with Richard. (Not that I hate to agree with him, I hate the truth of the situation.)

It seems that, right now, there are more people in the "community" that would prefer to see the 1361 buried in concrete just so they can have a lasting "TOLD YOU SO" party.

I'm disappointed that this went wrong. At least when this thing started, I was a taxpaying resident of Pennsylvania, so some of my pennies were blown on it. I'm disappointed that when it was at Steamtown I was knocking on doors trying to volunteer my time and no one was interested. I'm disappointed that the engine has been in kit form for as long as I remember. But that disappointment PALES in comparison to the disappointment I feel when I see people who are purportedly railfans and/or part of the steam preservation community deeply personally invested in rooting against #1361 ever running again, or even being reassembled. Even if it weren't so insanely childish, there's no reason to harbor ill will against a STEAM LOCOMOTIVE because you have a problem with someone who failed to treat her properly.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. If you have advice, expertise, money, or time to donate to getting #1361 into some respectable position (either reassembled and displayed, or rebuilt and running, I don't care) then feel free to contribute. If all you have to add to the discussion is endless whining and complaining about what has been done wrong in the past, save it. What happened happened. Hashing, rehashing, mashing, or otherwise revisiting what was has already happened cannot be of any value. Concern yourself only with that which you can still affect. You can't change the past, regardless of how self-righteous it makes you feel to bemoan it.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
Posts: 475
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
prosser wrote:
The point was to just fix the dam thing if you really want to see it run.


Again: How?

You CANNOT simply "fix the original fabric" and pass the new and improved codes.

If you replace the boiler or firebox with a new one, in a sense you're no longer a "museum" but the owner of a nice old toy you're playing with. And you get the "political" problems I described earlier.

And even the running gear was giving them problems back in 1987-88.

This is a very legitimate case where replication might have worked better than restoration. The joke would be "pick up the whistle and replace everything underneath it." Except, as I recall, it took them several PRR passenger whistles from around the Altoona area before they found one that still blew correctly, so even THAT joke falls flat.....


If replacing a major portion of a locomotive makes a museum no longer a museum, how do you explain Steamtown, the champion of historical accuracy, allowing the Laural Line NRHS chapter to replace the firebox of BM #3713? If I recall correctly, the only original parts on that firebox are the exterior side sheets.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:46 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:29 am
Posts: 316
Location: Schuylkill County, PA
The "Historical Fabric" debate was resolved before she moved to Steamtown. Hacking off large chunks of the boiler vs. making a new one is irrelevant. Operating a steam locomotive isn't preservation of the item, it's preservation of the experience.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Wowak wrote:
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. If you have advice, expertise, money, or time to donate to getting #1361 into some respectable position (either reassembled and displayed, or rebuilt and running, I don't care) then feel free to contribute.


Fallacy.

Please demonstrate where and when the owners of the locomotive have been open and welcome to outside offers to repair or remediate the current situation. I haven't seen any fundraising or volunteer opportunities. Have you?

If a lottery winner, the Strasburg RR, Pullman Rail Journeys, the Greenbrier Presidential Express, Norfolk Southern, or whoever were to step up and make an offer to set this loco right, who would they approach? The board of directors of the Museum, I assume. If that offer is made, will they take it?

It's safe to assume that the only way such a private offer to repair the loco will be made if if there's some "return on investment"--Strasburg/PRJ/NS/whoever uses 1361 for ten or twenty years or whatever, away from Altoona. That, I have been led to believe from past actions of the Museum, is not likely to be approved, because they want it there. (An offer from NS might be an exception.)

The other option is for lots of people to give freely and generously to the Museum towards repair. And there we run into 1) the past track record with said Museum on 1361, 2) the cost of "starting from scratch," so to speak, and 3) where do you go once you fix it? I'm not certain they could even get running rights on the nearby Nittany & Bald Eagle like they did in 1987-88, now that the "railfans" that worked there are gone or retired. Given those three problems, would YOU give to such a proposal?

Put another way: If Ross Rowland or Bennett Levin or Jerry Jacobson or the PRRT&HS announced some operating agreement with 1361 contingent on volunteer labor and public donations to a new non-profit to repair the engine anew, would you get involved?


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