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 Post subject: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3719
Location: Maine
I see three major issues with the Museum of Transportation, in St. Louis. A) The collection is priceless, rare, eclectic; B) The collection is too large to properly protect in the climate of St. Louis; C) Major funding is needed to have a long term conservation plan. It appears that hands and funding are insufficient to slay the rust dragon.

The train shed is doing what it was meant to do, although along the sides, exposure is taking its effect on the collection. The other issue with the shed is the compactness of the lines of equipment. It is terribly difficult to appreciate the locomotives as they are displayed. The passenger cars are gorgeous, and one can easily see themselves standing on the platform at Penn Station while walking between them.

Of immediate importance is the state of the NYC Mohawk. Badly rusted, particularly in the smokebox, she is getting primed and painted after asbestos removal. She's promised to look like new when finished, but at least another years work coming. After the Mohawk, a C&NW Atlantic is in line for restoration.
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GG-1 4916 is in line, way back in the electric shed. One side is in good condition, the other is horrific. Behind the GG-1 is what might be the most sought after, yet unrecognized locomotive in the collection - the last Pennsy P5a, #4700. This locomotive would be a fairly easy cosmetic reconstruct, yet she sits neglected. It might be a worthwhile move to consider sending her to RMPA, if only to clear up track space and hasten her redemption.
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Frisco 1522 remains greased, oiled, and ready to roll - if only...
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And there's the 952, DL&W's last Camelback. Restored, but sandwiched so it can't be fully appreciated.
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What follows is only a tiny sample of the priceless collection in St. Louis.
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Some interested politician should find a way to underwrite this organization.

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:37 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Missoula MT
Well, it may not be perfect but it could be worse. However, by making mention of this, do you have a better place for these engines? Aside from IRM, who else would be able to take in these engines and provide BETTER care than they receive now (oh, and I suspect IRM is getting maxed out on barn space again)?

All in all, most of the engines don't look that terrible, certainly no worse than Steamtown before the latest NPS maintenance/paint/asbestos removal blitz.

Michael Seitz
Missoula MT


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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:08 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:38 pm
Posts: 113
Us Virginian's want our Y6a back................

Great pictures btw...

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:56 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Roanoke Va.
VMT does have 3 of the 5 existing Roanoke built locomotives. And it would be nice to have a sub-collection of Alco-Richmond stuff also......

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3719
Location: Maine
Get NS to run her at one end of a freight headed by 1218, and perhaps the Museum will let you use it!

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:30 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:05 am
Posts: 106
Location: Australia
The biggest issue with almost all rail museums the world over is protection from the elements. All museums should have constant fund raising to put roofs over there artifacts. Industrial type shedding/roofing is not that expensive- especially when compared to the cost of one or two good quality cosmetic restorations.

It can't be that hard to get a program kicked off within each group to begin fund raising. Save enough to buy the frame, get the tin later- then when your objectives are pointed out to Joe Public, well he might even dip into his own pocket to help finish what you have already started.

Oh, and thanks for sharing those photos- do you have more?

Wes

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:31 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:56 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Roanoke Va.
Richard Glueck wrote:
Get NS to run her at one end of a freight headed by 1218, and perhaps the Museum will let you use it!



I'll definitely mention that the next time I go bar-hopping with Wick Moorman, Tim Andrews, and Scott Lindsay..........:D

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:55 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
Wes: Been sending you regular images of steam locmotives, but they keep getting bounced back. Sure, I have tons more for steamlocomotive.com . Contact me.

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:16 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 173
I'm still irked that the museum cut up an ex-SP AS616 a year or two ago, and an RS-1, H-12-44 and another fairly recently. I thought they were supposed to preserve items?

CD


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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:50 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:05 am
Posts: 106
Location: Australia
Richard Glueck wrote:
Wes: Been sending you regular images of steam locmotives, but they keep getting bounced back. Sure, I have tons more for steamlocomotive.com . Contact me.

Might be a different Wes.

Wes Harris

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:58 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Winters, TX
Frankly the equipment looks to be in much better shape than when I was there several years ago. Glad to see all the painting that's going on. Also nice to see the railcar inside.

Ya know, I think Rustoleum would go out of business if it weren't for railroad museums...

Many thanks for posting all the pictures during the past few weeks. Kinda like taking a rail tour without having to leave your house.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Richard Glueck wrote:
I see three major issues with the Museum of Transportation, in St. Louis. A) The collection is priceless, rare, eclectic; B) The collection is too large to properly protect in the climate of St. Louis; C) Major funding is needed to have a long term conservation plan. It appears that hands and funding are insufficient to slay the rust dragon.


Some interested politician should find a way to underwrite this organization.


Richard, I wish I had known you were in the neighborhood, I could have given you a full, behind the scenes tour of the museum.

I think what you neglect to mention, (to be fair, you may not have known) is that the Museum of Transportation [i[does[/i] have a long term plan for the conservation and protection of the equipment, including building more covered space. The museum is in the process of building a portion of the new visitor's center/library, which will move the main museum entrance down the hill. Long term plans call for building of another train shed like covered structure on what is now the lower level.

As far as the underwriting, the Museum of Transportation has been a gracious beneficiary of Saint Louis County for nearly thirty years now. It was the county that "saved" the museum from the dark ages of the 1970s and 1980s. The large covered building, the landscaping, paved pathways, etc. are all a result of the museum being part of the Saint Louis County park system.

The Museum of Transportation is currently run as a partnership between the Transportation Museum Association and Saint Louis County Parks. This has been blessing, as the County has been experiencing a budget shortfall this year, and one of the proposals is to close many County Parks. I think it'll be a long time before there is the money to "properly fund" the organization.

Of course, if you are interested, or really concerned about any particular piece of equipment at MOT, the Transportation Museum Association is a non-profit organization, and would be more than willing to accept both your money and your volunteer hours for a particular project.


CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I'm still irked that the museum cut up an ex-SP AS616 a year or two ago, and an RS-1, H-12-44 and another fairly recently. I thought they were supposed to preserve items?
CD


From what I understand the Baldwin was scrapped a number of years ago, and not on site. I do not know the full story. However, the RS-1 and FM switcher were made available for donation to any qualifying organization for well over a year before being cut up. As a last ditch effort, the museum even tried to sell them to any private party that was willing to pay for the equipment and remove it. There were no takers as far as I know that had serious bona-fide proposals.

Museums are often in a "no win" situation with arm chair preservationists. They will get lambasted for having too much equipment and not taking care of it. Or, if a museum tries to manage its collection through the deaccession process, they get lambasted for not "preserving" the equipment.

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:37 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2355
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
It's easy to complain and half the people out there think something from St. Louis should be sent somewhere else. Many years ago I was pretty harsh in my opinion of MoT. There are two important facts to consider:

1. MoT has come a long way
2. Any place you name as a better home for something already has equipment sitting around waiting for time and money.

Sure I would love to see a PRR P5 in Pennsylvania but look around in their backyard. They have more than enough to keep them busy for a long time. Go inside, a great museum but not exactly loaded with track space for future displays.

I think it can be said that nearly every museum in the country could double it's indoor track space without having massive amounts of empty track. If I ever had all the money in the world the P5 would be indoors on way or another.

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3719
Location: Maine
David: There is a huge amount of building construction and conversion going on at the MoT. I did get a "behind the scenes", or at least, "behind the wire" tour, so I feel I saw lots of what I was interested in seeing. Another shed is absolutely required, so it's great to know that is being addressed. More space between tracks is, likewise, required. I guess what has me more upset than anything, is the flaking and destruction of cast, structural, steel, locomotive decks, broken windows, and extreme paint flaking. From the remarks following up my original posting, I can see the amount of substantial positive change at MoT. Likewise, I can see that my observations are spot on, and are being addressed.
Regarding "Rustoleum", I think if this is the "standard" for locomotive exhibit paint, it is falling short. Something tougher than "Rustoleum" and urethane foam injections is required to stop deterioration.
Great collection. I'd love to see an "action team" from, say, RYPN, descend onto the site with scrapers, Bondo, sandpaper, and paint. So much to do, so little time.

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 Post subject: Re: St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:44 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Richard,

You are more than welcome, next time you are in St. Louis, to don your overalls, bring your paintbrush and bondo and help us. Of course, that's a lot harder to do than just post photos. Unfortunately, even basic restorations take time, planning, money and manpower. The MOPAC observation car that you saw took several years, with a dedicated crew working on it. Doing the work is certainly easier than typing.

As much as I wish I could click my heels and undo all of the sins of the past by past ownership and management at MOT, I cannot. The simple fact of the matter is that MOT was one of the first museums, and some, if not a majority of the equipment that other museums salivate over and covet (Illinois Terminal Class C, the Mohawk, the GS-6.....) would not exist anymore had it not been for MOT, as those museums were not around then. MOT has taken very responsible steps over the past several years to cover equipment, work on restoration, and pare down the collection. Unfortunately, just wishing for more covered space, and making observations on an internet forum won't stop the rust.

A few months ago, we spent 6-8 pages worth of posts to discuss a museum in Kentucky. Unlike that museum, MOT has covered storage space, a decent-sized volunteer force, and long term planning and fundraising goals.

Maybe MOT could trade RRMPA the P5 for the DD1 they have sitting outside rusting. Then they could both have their "redemption hastened."

David M. Wilkins
Lives in a Glass House, MO

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