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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:15 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:10 pm
Posts: 134
Becky Morgan wrote:
her small size makes her a good and portable candidate for cosmetic restoration.

Why stop at cosmetic ? Her small size makes her perfect for an operating restoration!!!

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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
The Boothbay Ry shops are in the process of restoring (to operation) one of their 2-ft gauge Baldwins -which appear quite similar. Built in 1895, SD Warren No's 1 & 2 had been on display at Boothbay for many, many years. Last year, No 2 was brought into the restoration shop.

http://www.railwayvillage.org/sdwarrenloco-boo.html


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:52 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Newton, NJ
Mikechoochoo wrote:
Becky Morgan wrote:
her small size makes her a good and portable candidate for cosmetic restoration.

Why stop at cosmetic ? Her small size makes her perfect for an operating restoration!!!


Because with a two-foot gauge locomotive the engine would only be the first step. Then you need track. Then you need rolling stock. Without a place to run and something to pull, a full restoration is not really practical.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 175
Location: St. Joseph Illinois
A full restoration would better preserve the locomotive for future generations & make it last much longer. Ten years down the road there might be a place to run the engine. Who knows, stranger things have happened.

DBH


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:52 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Newton, NJ
DBH wrote:
A full restoration would better preserve the locomotive for future generations & make it last much longer. Ten years down the road there might be a place to run the engine. Who knows, stranger things have happened.

DBH


While I am not involved with the museum and don't speak for them in any way, my personal observation is a full restoration would preserve the locomotive no more or no less than a quality cosmetic restoration. From a practical standpoint, would a full restoration running back and forth on 100 feet of track attract enough additional visitors to justify the expense? Given that the locomotive is a part of northern New Jersey history and it isn't going to leave to run someplace else, you have to evaluate what's practical.

And by doing a cosmetic restoration on the locomotive and getting the station ready as a museum, I think that's enough on the plate for now. Too many museums have been crushed by too grand plans.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:56 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Norwalk, Ohio
Regardless of how the loco is restored be it just cosmetic or a full restoration out of curiosity what does one of these little 2ft. gauge 0-4-0T's weigh? It certainly doesn't look very big! Even though being small it certainly does have some character! What would a full restoration even cost for one of these small loco's of this size?


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 665
Location: Northeast Ohio
If it is 23 1/2" gauge and not 24" gauge you wouldn't have to worry about FRA regs. I wonder if that is why 23 1/2" gauge originated.

Something that small can be restored in a garage by a couple of fans on weekends and not require significant amounts of cash.

I have noticed that small locos that are cosmetically restored seem to have a greater chance of becoming yard art than locomotives that are operational. I guess that stems from the fact that an operating engine attracts more attention and there is a greater desire to protect such a machine from the elements.

After the cosmetic restoration of this loco is completed and it is placed on display, it will be forgotten about once again. No reason to give it a second glance. How many of you actually look at the little 0-4-0 tank engines on display at numerous locations throughout the country?

In the end its all up to what the museum wants to do. Are they a museum that has a culture that welcomes operating artifacts, or is it one of those staid, dead places where the exhibits have not changed in 20 years and the staff hasn't changed in thirty.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:10 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Adrian, Oregon
robertjohndavis wrote:
A friend noted to me that her builders records show she was sold several times via dealers, apparently. It appears she wound up working Aphano Humus in NJ - just a few ridges over from the Westby Farm. I believe the frame of the "caboose" with her at Westby could be the remains of a humus wagon. After her humus days were done, she somehow wound up on the Westby farm.

As a ultra-rare survivor of the humus industry in NJ, I'd say she's far more valuable a piece of NJ history than the unlikely chance that she woked the Cut-Off project and then, as a 1 year old machine, was left in the woods by a contractor.
Rob Davis

As a farm operator myself, I'm intrigued by the term "humus farm", which I haven't run across before. Were these commercial composting operations, sewage disposal facilities, organic produce farms, or some combination of the above? Exactly what role did the railroad play? I'm aware of the use of light decauville-type tramways used in farm applications in Europe and Colonial areas, but always thought they were fairly rare in North America.

On the topic of restoration....I see that Westby Farm has recently become part of a conservancy. Any chance an operating light railway could play an interpretive role there? That sort of historical application would be distinctly different from the usual museum or tourist railroad and might have quite a bit of public appeal. Just a thought.

Stationary Steam said:
Quote:
If it is 23 1/2" gauge and not 24" gauge you wouldn't have to worry about FRA regs. I wonder if that is why 23 1/2" gauge originated.

No, 23 1/2 " gauge is much older than FRA regs. 23 1/2 " gauge (actually 23 5/8" in most cases is equal to the nice even metric measure of 600 mm. 2-foot gauge (which is equal to 610 mm) is a rough English-measure equivalent.
J


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5550
Location: southeastern USA
Rick, if you're thinking of the old Jones and Laughlin rolling ingots, I was told a long time ago that they were made to 23.5" to get around corners in the steel mills which were nominal 24" gage track. They were extremely modern with roller bearings, piston valves, Walschaert gear and everything on them was built extra heavy from Porter to provide tractive mass. I was also told they were good for verey heavy loads, but very short distances. Just hearsay, my family connections were Mesta Machine and Homestead Works. Maybe somebody from J&L can set it straight.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
Jeff A. wrote:
As a farm operator myself, I'm intrigued by the term "humus farm", which I haven't run across before. Were these commercial composting operations, sewage disposal facilities, organic produce farms, or some combination of the above? Exactly what role did the railroad play? I'm aware of the use of light decauville-type tramways used in farm applications in Europe and Colonial areas, but always thought they were fairly rare in North America.


There was a company called the Hyper Humus Company that was located near Warbasse Jct., NJ on the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad (this is where the DL&W's Sussex Branch crossed the NYS&W at grade). My understanding was they produced highly fertilized soil - what my father used to call "top soil". They had a small network of 2 ft. gauge railroads to bring the stuff from the field to the loading facility located on the NYS&W. A noted NYS&W employee, John Treen, told me that he remembers them having a diesel pulling around the gondola like cars. This was in the late 1950s. I think the 2 ft. trains were gone by the time the NYS&W was abandoned in 1962.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
[quote="]And by doing a cosmetic restoration on the locomotive and getting the station ready as a museum, I think that's enough on the plate for now. Too many museums have been crushed by too grand plans.[/quote]

Exactly.
The priority with any artifact is to make sure it's protected from weather, accident and vandalism.
Right after that comes stabili8zing it in whatever way is necessary to keep it from deteriorating in storage.
With anything as dramatic as a steam engine, the next choices determine how to attract people to see her. Doubtless, seeing her in steam is the ultimate goal, but where's the money? More to the point, where's the money for five years from now?
Many years ago, I was the secretary of an organization that accepted a big old stone barn as a donation. they had an offer of prison labor to help with the initial restoration. that was all well and good, BUT...they hadn't thought about operating expenses, or what activities might bring people in to defray those. The arguments over who was going to be in the building and what would be a suitable fund-raiser took up every single meeting. At last count, they're still having the same argument every week.
A little engine like this really is a good candidate to get running again. However, if she's going to haul the public, that means suitable track, rolling stock, and insurance. None of those is insurmountable. All of them take planning. As for a couple of railfans fixing her up in the garage...if she's never going to carry anyone but the fans' own families, it might work. If she's going to be offering rides to the public, the boiler work will need to be up to snuff or insurance won't cover her. Steam thresher fans restore and operate equipment of this size all the time, but the Medina accident a few years ago brought up the need for safe operating practices no matter what's running.
I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade, mind you. Would I settle for riding a hundred feet back and forth? Heck, Dave Adair brought his repro OR&W handcar and a couple of three-foot track panels to one of the old reunions and we all took turns going FIFTY feet back and forth and were happy--but we're flaming railfans. If you want the public to help you support something like this, you need to be ready to show them several things in a visit. Maybe it'll be the history of Jersey truck farms, maybe it'll be some "green" explanation of humus farming, maybe it'll be something else entirely, but there has to be a good story and a good plan.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2417
I have the same notion of a humus railroad as Tim. I am nowhere near an expert on these operations, and know little more than that there were multiple 2' gauge humus operations in nw NJ. Hyper-Humus and Alphano were apparently two of the larger operations.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:15 pm
Posts: 44
dinwitty wrote:
nifty, almost looks like the AHM HO 2 1/2 steamer they sold.

I have heard rumors of a buried steamer in a swamp out west of Ft Wayne, IN off maybe the wabash or nickel plate from a derailment, and never pulled out.


Supposedly, this locomotive is on the Pennsy panhandle route at roughly mile post 218 on the C&O of Indiana (the C&O and Pennsy are about 100 foot apart here). Years ago the steam dome was visible, but I have not seen anything to prove this. We run by this spot every Saturday and it makes for a good story, but that is all it is at this point with no documentation. This area is not accessible by road and is roughly half way between LaCrosse and North Judson, IN. It's a swamp and underwater a good part of the year.

Jason Annen
HVRM


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:08 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:00 pm
Posts: 802
Location: NJ
100 feet is a start. You charge a little bit to cover expenses. Then you add another panel of track an before you know it, you've got a couple of hundred feet of a ride. One step at a time.

Later!
Mr. Ed


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 Post subject: Re: "Lost" "Lackawanna" Steamer Found & Recovered in NJ!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
Posts: 728
At least this little locomotive and car are small and light enough to be easily kept indoors- if only in an inexpensive garage structure.

Starting a new museum is daunting enough, without trying to restore and operate a rusty old kettle that has been abandoned in the woods for decades. She most likely didn't have as much as a stack cover for protection, and a full mechanical restoration would be a huge job.

Clean the old girl up, make her shine like the little gem she is, and let her sleep. Once the new museum is on its feet, there will be plenty of time for them to wake her up.

A question for Steve Barry or anyone else who was involved. I noticed the main rods and other parts were missing from the locomotive. Have these parts surfaced? If not, possibly a good survey of her grave site with metal detectors would yeild some parts.

We all dream of stumbling into a forgotten locomotive in a barn (MY barn, darn it!), in the woods, in a scrapyard, or in a flooded quarry... it is so nice to see this dream come true.

:-)

Steve Hunter


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