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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:57 pm 

Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 52
RCD,

These are the great debates of history and rail preservation. In other words, it is all relative to we you are in "time and space." Take a look at E.H. Carr's What is History? if you are interested in the relativity of historical significance. AEM-7s have been an important part of the American passenger scene for quite some time now. More important than the RS-3? Prove it.


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:27 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
Bob Davis wrote:
AEM-7 units (and for that matter GG-1s) were and are restricted to the Northeast Corridor, so having one as an operating exhibit west of Pennsylvania and south of Washington DC is very unlikely. At least the GG-1 spread around the country in the Lionel O-gauge version, so it's not quite so "foreign". Many historic railway groups emphasize the "nostalgia" aspect of their collections, even going so far as to stage "Wild West train robbery" events. Others play up the "ride the streetcars your grandparents rode" theme.

That stuff is just the whorin' we do to pay our bills. But when the bills are paid, I certainly hope we museums are acting like museums, and curating collections that are relevant, even if that is lost on the public.

So you're asking the wrong question. Not "does the public care?" but "is this relevant to a collection?" Well?

Quote:
Regarding RS-3s, as a product of the last old-time locomotive builder, Alco units have a special place in the hearts of many railfans.

"what do railfans want" is not a museum question either.

Bob Davis wrote:
I've been following this discussion because of my interest in electric railways. I noted with interest the comment from one person who didn't know of any museum with extra storage space.

That's just naysaying. Nobody ever got anything worthwhile done by listening to naysayers. In this case, go to each of those museums in turn, and offer them something awesome that they really want. Then ask them "Oh, but you can't take it, you don't have any extra storage space, right?" They'll suddenly, magically have space! LOL!

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That may be an overstatement, but most museums have already preserved more items than can be restored in the lifetime of most of their members.

Is that the goal of a museum? Restore everything?

Of course not, that's just another whiny rationalization from the naysayers, that will magically disappear when something comes available that they DO want.


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:53 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 653
A single Alco RS3, any one of them, has infinitely more character than the entire fleet of tinny little foreign design "toasters." I do hope one AEM7 gets preserved somewhere appropriate to its territory, but one of them, (compared to the 16 or so preserved GG1s), will be quite enough for me.

Now that Railways to Yesteryear has broken the ice for preserving a "modern" trolley there may be a few more saved. But it is my perception that the total body of interest at trolley museums in preserving such cars is very much akin to the lack of interest in the AEM7. The stuff is just "too new" to many of us, regardless of how old they really are. Did rail/trolley history really end in 1960? The point will be argued endlessly with no concensus reached.


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:07 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
If you look about our museums and collections, you could probably conclude that "rail history ended in 1970". We are barely seeing anything officially "preserved" from later than that. Some of that is simply rational economics--SEPTA is STILL using older Silverliners, most railroads are squeezing what life they can out of SD40-2's and the like through rebuilds, Amtrak can't spare any Amfleet or Superliners yet, etc.

But the generation who would barely remember GG1's on passenger trains, have vague memories of Penn Central/Rock Island/Milwaukee Road/Reading/etc., still thinks in terms of Reading/NYC/SP/C&NW/SCL/SR/CB&Q/etc. when looking at routes, may remember seeing a cut of only GP9's hauling a mainline freight at speed, etc., is pushing or at 50 years old. I myself ended up trackside at the Northeast Corridor when AEM7's were brand new and E60CP/CH's were being relegated exclusively the the long-distance NY-Florida trains and the Crescent.

It may not be stylish and sexy (a la GG1) or practical (F40PH, GP40-2), but at least one AEM7 deserves preservation, preferably an unrebuilt DC model.


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:50 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
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Location: B'more Maryland
David H. Hamley wrote:
A single Alco RS3, any one of them, has infinitely more character than the entire fleet of tinny little foreign design "toasters." I do hope one AEM7 gets preserved somewhere appropriate to its territory, but one of them, (compared to the 16 or so preserved GG1s), will be quite enough for me.


Are you kidding me?

David H. Hamley wrote:
Now that Railways to Yesteryear has broken the ice for preserving a "modern" trolley there may be a few more saved. But it is my perception that the total body of interest at trolley museums in preserving such cars is very much akin to the lack of interest in the AEM7. The stuff is just "too new" to many of us, regardless of how old they really are. Did rail/trolley history really end in 1960? The point will be argued endlessly with no concensus reached.


I can assure you that no, rail history most certainly did NOT end in 1960. It's provincial thinking like that that's the reason that there is only a single E7 preserved.

Sure, rail history for you might have ended in 1960, but there are plenty of us who weren't even born then. To consider the eras that we lived through and are trying to preserve the history of as nonexistent is flat out insulting to our efforts.

I can point you to at least 4200 people (the people who have at least "Liked" the Conrail Historical Society Facebook page) who would strongly disagree with your assertions.


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 653
OK, if you think I'm wrong, prove it by actions, not words.

I'll challenge the current generation of fans to preserve a lot of AEM7's and the like. Every museum must have an SD40-2, because they were so significant in rail history. And so on......

Get busy, time's a-wasting......


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
You don't need to save "a lot" of them. REPRESENTATIVE examples scattered here and there should suffice. So far, between non-profit and "private" preservation, we've done somewhat adequately on the stuff up to the SD45, SD40-2, etc.--three F40PH's, an E60CP/CH, another E60C from the BM&LP in Arizona, some "representative" GP38/GP35/GP30/SD45/U-Boat examples hither and yon, a couple C&NW galley cars, one Metroliner......

The next thing in the North American rail evolutionary process that no one's saved would be an SD50/GP50, a GE "Super Seven," a Dash 8, Amfleet, etc.

And, of course, this doesn't count a RailBox boxcar, a hi-cube boxcar, or a stack flat.....

This is long-term planning. Shouldn't the RR Museum of Pa., for example, want a built-for-Conrail Dash 8-40B, built in Erie? Shouldn't Altoona's Railroaders Memorial Museum also want some EMD assembled from kit form at Juniata, and some freight cars built or refurbished at nearby Sam Rea Car Shops?

Too often we set about saving the exaggerated, the anomalies--the UP Big Boys and Centennials, the PRR GG1s, the plush private varnish, the doodlebugs. Preserving the ordinary, the mundane, the everyday--the GP9, the boxcar and tank car, Amfleet and commuter cars, the PCC--takes more foresight, more planning, and more dedication to a mission than "gee whiz bang".


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Tue May 14, 2013 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
If I'm going to preserve foreign electric power, I'd rather have a series 1 TGV, resplendent in orange and full of excitement and modern relevance for high speed rail.
(and yes, as a matter of fact, they do run on 600VDC.)

Or Shinkansen, but I think those are gone...


Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
And, of course, this doesn't count a RailBox boxcar, a hi-cube boxcar, or a stack flat.....

That's a serious issue. Hey you know those nifty shops that places like Noblesville and Pemberton have inside a boxcar? Imagine one of those in an 89' hi-cube... with 13' ceilings there's even room for a mezzanine/office!


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8891
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
robertmacdowell wrote:
If I'm going to preserve foreign electric power, I'd rather have a series 1 TGV, resplendent in orange and full of excitement and modern relevance for high speed rail.


The AEM7's were assembled at EMD at La Grange/McCook, inside bodies built by Budd in Pennsylvania, with some parts supplied from overseas (much like your "American-made" automobile most assuredly has). If you're going to be that xenophobic, I shall point out that the diesel engine itself is "foreign" technology. As is the steam locomotive.


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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 4:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:07 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Baltimore, MD
As for the preservation of Amtrak equipment, I remember the B&O Museum signed an agreement with Amtrak in the early 1990's about preserving Amtrak rolling stock. I have no idea if it's still in force, as the B&O has been under a new regime since the early 2000's.

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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
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Of course, railroad history did not stop in 1960, or on May 1, 1971--no, it's still being written. There's been lots of discussion of the new Siemens motors for the NEC, and their arrival will make the move to save an AEM-7 even more timely. But for many of us, the form of railroading that we "really love", and which inspires preservation efforts, did die a long time ago. Whether it was the last steam locomotive to go through our town, the last trolley car down our main street, or the last passenger train before Amtrak took over, there was a point where our interest took a considerable drop. From time to time the comment "It's all crap now" comes up in one of the railroad-interest websites. This is what inspires us to contribute time and money to preservation groups--rather like a zoo keeping endangered species alive. Indeed, when it comes to streetcars, the trolley museums have to create the proper environment: Energized wire above the track, which may be a non-standard gauge. Regarding "finding room" for another rail relic: The subject of "de-accessioning" (which was not part of most railway museum members' vocabularies 50 years ago) comes up. I know one museum which has sold a number of cars to new homes, which has A) cleared barn and track space, B) helped provide funding for a new barn, and C) allowed two of the cars (so far) to be restored to operating condition in their "native habitats".

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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Bob Davis wrote:
But for many of us, the form of railroading that we "really love", and which inspires preservation efforts, did die a long time ago. Whether it was the last steam locomotive to go through our town, the last trolley car down our main street, or the last passenger train before Amtrak took over, there was a point where our interest took a considerable drop.
I think it's the people interested in the subject that made the interest. People who remember steam or have a grip on it's relevance are getting older now. The newest generation of train fans know only diesels. 'classic' to them often means an early Geep or F unit now, not something steam powered.
It's not that the 'era we love' died out, it's the fan base overall shifted interests.
Bob Davis wrote:
From time to time the comment "It's all crap now" comes up in one of the railroad-interest websites.
I saw an odd sight at National Train Day in Portland, OR last weekend. There were brand new BNSF and UP diesels on display, along wth SP&S 700 under steam. I saw plenty of people show most of their interest in the diesels and the Amtrak trains going through the station than the steam locomotive!
I'm 43 and missed mainline steam, but my connection to it was I saw it running as a kid in the form of a Porter fireless engine at Elizabethton, TN still earning her keep, my folks telling me stories of steam everywhere, and tourist operations with steam. Mine is the LAST generation who'll have that. The next generation will have bene raised on Thomas the Tank engine and diesels in real life. If we continue to declare that "railroading died in the 50s", then within a generation of two there will be a total disconnect between RR museums and the public who just doesn't 'understand' steam anymore. Unless the rolling stock future generations recall get preserved, there simply won't be RR museums into the future, because hardly anyone's going to care!

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 Post subject: Re: AEM-7s
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3406
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Brent S. Bette wrote:
RCD,

These are the great debates of history and rail preservation. In other words, it is all relative to we you are in "time and space." Take a look at E.H. Carr's What is History? if you are interested in the relativity of historical significance. AEM-7s have been an important part of the American passenger scene for quite some time now.


Strongly agree.

Just a reminder that the clock is ticking. . .

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/pass ... otive.html

http://www.railwaygazette.com/typo3temp ... 1aefe9.jpg


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