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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
Richard Glueck wrote:
I have no dog in this fight, but allow me these opinions:

Why 3028 has been chosen for that line is beyond me. I'll be glad to see another steam locomotive in operation, but why a Mexican light 4-8-4 on a an old Reading branch line, I can't quite fathom.
CNR 1533 is a sweetheart locomotive, and fixing her boiler, patching, bringing her up to operation again, would be one to see. Even rebuilding her for lease to another party would be something to consider. Those Canadian National 4-6-0's are just beautiful locomotives.


There's more than one CNR 4-6-0 in need of better days. I agree about their aesthetic beauty. As a kid #1533 was a favorite of mine.


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:55 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1603
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
All the critics such as Junior and TGB4th. ( has there every been a subject posted that he doesn't insert his unlimited knowledge into??) are of course entititled to have them, however, the plain facts are that the NH&I runs a good operation with nice equipment and well trained staff, has an excellent safety record, pays all the bills and continue making improvements year in-year out.

As my role is limited to being a seasonal engineer during the hyper busy Christmas season I am only exposed to loadings during that season when on weekends especially most trains are at or near capacity. I'm sure they would welcome anyones constructive ideas on how to increase ridership during the slow periods and I would encourage Jumior or others to reach out to them with those suggestions.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:55 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 205
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Richard Glueck wrote:
I have no dog in this fight, but allow me these opinions:

Why 3028 has been chosen for that line is beyond me. I'll be glad to see another steam locomotive in operation, but why a Mexican light 4-8-4 on a an old Reading branch line, I can't quite fathom.
CNR 1533 is a sweetheart locomotive, and fixing her boiler, patching, bringing her up to operation again, would be one to see. Even rebuilding her for lease to another party would be something to consider. Those Canadian National 4-6-0's are just beautiful locomotives.



Historically speaking, you are quite right. But there are many steam locomotives operating today in locales that were not their norm in prior years.

FWIW, the QR-1 types served out their final years (until early summer of 1968) frequently
at the head end of heavy rock trains and did well with this assignment. I have several cassette tapes from the late Virgil Staff of some of these trips and they really spent a lot of time down on their knees with tonnage over their ratings.


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
co614 wrote:
however, the plain facts are that the NH&I runs a good operation with nice equipment and well trained staff, has an excellent safety record, pays all the bills and continue making improvements year in-year out.


Your words are carefully chosen, and completely accurate. And they have nothing to do with the topic of this thread. It's a classic politician's move to answer the question he wants to answer, instead of the question being asked. I can say exactly the same things about the Strasburg Rail Road and, just to pick an example with which I also have first-hand experience of late, the Verde Canyon Railroad.

The difference is, from a preservation standpoint (which is what we are discussing here, not the esthetics or entertainment of the ride), I would entrust the Strasburg with just about any piece of historic rail equipment in the nation, if they wanted it and saw fit to ask.

The Verde Canyon RR uses rail equipment as a means to an end--tools, just like the "real" railroads and Amtrak do. I have no reason to think they're wantonly destroying rolling stock, but as far as *I* an personally concerned, nothing they own or use should be considered "preserved." They have pieces of rolling stock that deserve placement in a proper rail museum, but instead have been "tubed" and filled with lounge sofas and buffet stations, or are rotting on sidings as sources of spares. It's a nice ride, and I encourage you all to see and experience it...... but it ain't preservation. What McHugh Brothers is doing to the Wilmington & Western's 8408, however--a down-to-the-frame rebuild and restoration--IS.

It's been too long since I was in New Hope, and the last time I couldn't find any place to park, so I will defer judgement on the NH&I and its operation--and 1533, 3028, et al--to those who have been there more recently.


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:20 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
co614 wrote:
All the critics such as Junior and TGB4th. ( has there every been a subject posted that he doesn't insert his unlimited knowledge into??) are of course entititled to have them, however, the plain facts are that the NH&I runs a good operation with nice equipment and well trained staff, has an excellent safety record, pays all the bills and continue making improvements year in-year out.

As my role is limited to being a seasonal engineer during the hyper busy Christmas season I am only exposed to loadings during that season when on weekends especially most trains are at or near capacity. I'm sure they would welcome anyones constructive ideas on how to increase ridership during the slow periods and I would encourage Jumior or others to reach out to them with those suggestions.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


Yup, everything I post is purely based on my "opinion"...nothing I am posting is based on facts, right? ....Yes, they do have a great base operation and equipment, and well trained staff...but Pretty Paint and Smiling Employees will not put butts in the seats. Common sense would tell them how to increase their ridership...

....And I don't know any railroad that doesn't bring in the numbers at Christmas!

You should try exploring the Railroad at other times of the year, Ross.

Public Information available from the FRA:

SELECTION: RAILROAD - New Hope & Ivyland Rail Road [NHRR] / January TO June, 2013

Passengers carried: 7,138 Passenger miles: 64,242

6 months, 91 scheduled days of operations, average 5 trips per day or 455 trips = 15 people per trip.

And for the Annual Numbers;

New Hope & Ivyland Rail Road [NHRR] / January TO December, 2012
Passengers carried: 44,391 Passenger miles: 399,519

Fares for a regular 45 minute run, for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) COACH = $86 plus $15 for parking. Total $101.00


--------------------------------------------------------------
For Comparison: a few nearby railroads....

Belvedere & Delaware River Rwy [BDRV] / January TO June, 2013
Passengers carried: 7,633 Passenger miles: 80,978

Sorry, not sure of the exact schedule for them, and if this is JUST the Delaware River Railroad, or includes the Black River & Western Ringoes Excursions as well...either way, both operations are weekends only.

Belvedere & Delaware River Rwy [BDRV] / January TO December, 2012
Passengers carried: 60,803 Passenger miles: 643,968

Fares for a Regular Run, Same Family Criteria/Coach Class = Total $48.00
--------------------------------------------------------------

Reading Blue Mountain & Northern RR Commision [RBM / January TO June, 2013
Passengers carried: 6,785 Passenger miles: 105,256

6 months, 13 schedule days, 39 trips = 173 people per trip.

Reading Blue Mountain & Northern RR Commision [RBM / January TO December, 2012 - Passengers carried: 56,843 Passenger miles: 1,082,771

Fare for regular run, same Family Criteria/Coach Class = Total $42.00

-------------------------------------------------------------
Wilmington & Western RR Co. [WWRC] / January TO June, 2013
Passengers carried: 6,314 Passenger miles: 134,546

6 months, 32 scheduled days, 61 trips = 103 per trip.

Wilmington & Western RR Co. [WWRC] / January TO December, 2012
Passengers carried: 29,342 Passenger miles: 609,959

Fare for regular run, same Family Criteria/Coach Class = Total $50 and free parking.

--------------------------------------------------------------

...but again, it's all just my opinion, right?

It's a pity such a wonderful operation like the NH&I and worthy equipment is being put to waste! 3028, 1533, the Long Island Diner, and additional coaches could all be restored by now with the potential income from passenger revenue if they put some effort into it, along with that increasing freight revenue.


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:33 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 964
Location: Leicester, MA.
Looking at the numbers Junior left, I couldn't help but do some thinking... Maybe it's the result of starting college for business, but I'm already seeing some issues that would come up with the consumer. Firstly, is the cost. For a family of 4 to spend $101 on parking, and a 45 minute train ride, what else is offered to make that money well-spent? Assuming it to be practical, has it been though of to offer a family/group rate for four or more people? Assuming that rate applies to coach passengers, would it be plausible to charge a rate more akin to $10 to $15 per person? It all depends on how much overhead that would need to be covered from the runs. Second, the parking. Most people will look for free parking. Assuming the parking lot has to remain a paid lot due to income requirements, what does that money go towards to make the railroad more attractive to visitors? Does that money go towards maintenance of facilities, advertising, or does it go towards other things, such as the physical plant (locomotives, rolling stock, trackage) so the railroad can remain operating at the standard that they have set? Just some food for thought...

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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:10 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
daylight4449 wrote:
Second, the parking. Most people will look for free parking. Assuming the parking lot has to remain a paid lot due to income requirements


"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded...."

New Hope, to put it bluntly, is a ZOO. Or at least was. This is a case of "market rate" in that "tourist trap." I'm not sure whether this rate allows one to park there all day or just during the train ride.

Not many tourist railroads or museums are in the awkward position of having to charge for parking. Even the B&O Museum and Baltimore Streetcar Museum, in the heart of downtown areas in major cities, offer (limited) free parking. I'm struggling to think of another one that charges for parking--Durango & Silverton? Jim Thorpe on a crowded weekend?

Now, the dilemma is that if New Hope remains such a tourist attraction that they have to charge that kind of money for parking, they should have a healthy potential audience. Yet the ridership numbers cited by "junior" are awful. This leads me to speculate one of two possibilities:
1) The present economy has been quite bad for New Hope's tourism, but the parking lot rates, railroad marketing, etc. are still stuck in the "dot-com boom" years of Clinton and the 1990s, and are perhaps alienating potential riders; or
2) New Hope remains crowded and vibrant, but people are choosing not to ride the railroad--a failure of marketing, image, street reconstruction, whatever.

I'll leave it to those who have been there more recently and/or are closer to weigh in with more informed opinions.

I can also suggest that one of the biggest turn-offs I have ever seen, experienced, and heard about in my years in festivals, concerts, special events, and whatnot is being dinged for parking fees above and beyond admission prices. Those parking fees are typically not publicized in advance, and when the family or tourists or music fans drive up and get hit for a surprise $10-20 above and beyond everything else right at the start, it leaves the most foul taste in the mouth that almost no amount of terrific experience, music, beauty, or other good times is capable of removing. (Remember the hubbub when they jacked the admission fee from $6 to $20 to be trackside at the Horse Shoe Curve for NKP 765? Same mentality. Same bad will generated.)


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:05 pm
Posts: 329
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Free parking in New Hope? Good luck! When my band plays at J&P's on Main Street, the major perk is two free parking spots in their lot behind the bar.


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Most places caught in that kind of difficult-parking situation offer "free/discounted/one-hour parking to customers with receipt/ticket/validation; $X non-customers."

Does/can NH&I do that? If not, they need a brain transplant stat.


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5250
Location: southeastern USA
The marketing strategy of "skim the cream" is based on serving fewer customers and charging them a lot more than using a penetration strategy of lower prices and a larger audience. The interesting thing here is whether the entire town chose to skim the cream and the railroad has no practical option based on its environment or if the railroad found itself opting to do the same......for reasons not obvious but sensible from their perspective. Perhaps the railroad is a loss leader for the parking concession?

If it is working for them and only railfans and people who can't afford to visit New Hope are priced out, no problem. Otherwise.....it would be interesting to know what's going on here.

Come to the New Hope Valley and get free parking and a low cost train ride. Affordable BBQ lunches available at reasonable extra cost.

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Most places caught in that kind of difficult-parking situation offer "free/discounted/one-hour parking to customers with receipt/ticket/validation; $X non-customers."

Does/can NH&I do that? If not, they need a brain transplant stat.


No, they do not and have not for many, many years.... and yes, they do need a transplant.

There is no reason to not charge to park in that town, for all the reasons stated, and it is ALL DAY parking - That's WONDERFUL! - for the non passengers, but what about those people riding your train, or potentials who, as ADM said, get turned off at the gate with the high fees, on top of high fares?....

New Hope, the town, is not busy during the Summer months on weekdays, no reason to gouge your customers because your business sucks, treat customers good and word spreads....maybe you can start the town on a track to busy weekdays!

They never push the fact that you can board in Lahaska for free, because obviously, they want that parking money!..don't blame them, but be reasonable to your customers who are there to ride your train.... if New Hope, your base town, is a destination for the family, treat it as such. It's not Disney, and after that 45 minute trip, some summer days up there are pathetically dead in town - weekday and weekend - Yet, you've still just shelled out $101.00.

Not all of your passengers can park in the Union Square lots north of the station/engine house for $5 and walk all the way down to the railroad station (that far north lot is nearly a quarter mile walk, yet it often gets filled before the Railroad lot does) in time to make the trains, handicapped, or the Elderly, especially.

TO BE FAIR - They did lose a good deal of their available parking with the Union Square development, I believe they are down to around 80-100 parking spots, so the days of making $5,000 as someone posted are probably not as easily available, but still, if your turn over rate for train passengers can exceed that lot's capacity 3 times in one day, you're making money on top of money. Passengers take up an hour or so of your lot time - running 7 trips on a summer weekend day? That's a minimum of a 5 lot turn over, and you can make your $5,000 if you're charging a nominal fee to your Passengers all around. The All day parker's are not as plentiful and can still be charged a higher rate. Alas, they want to be greedy. Good for them, great way to keep people coming back. Still comes down to Butts in the Seats - which is what the Railroad exists for.


But it is still not just the parking that is the issue at hand....Fares play a major part too. Only the super wealthy can handle those fares as "somewhat high".... and the bulk of their ridership is not Super Wealthy.

For your reading pleasure; (yes, there are some rather dumb posts, but overall...)

http://www.yelp.com/biz/new-hope-and-iv ... d-new-hope


Last edited by junior on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 95
I don't claim to be an expert as the majority of the members of this wonderful message board, but I thought this was supposed to be a discussion regarding the 3028 and it's status (per the title of this thread)? Instead, it's become a s**t slinging fest amongst some who have an enormous chip on their shoulder when the subject on anything (directly or indirectly) NH&I arises.

I have to ask, why such harsh sentiments against a railroad just trying to earn their small keep of the tourist and freight railroad industry? What have they done to earn such a reputation that deserves constant critique and ridicule?

I'm anticipating a wave of "Actually, you are wrong..." from the slew of replies from the keyboard warriors present here to my post and quite frankly, I could care less. Put bluntly, leave to poor bastards alone and let them do their thing. If they fold up, well then you know what? You were right...gold stars and cookies for all! Find another operation to degrade and move on. But, until they do, I see no reason for anyone to be criticizing an operation when we all collectively should be supportive of other railroads, especially steam railroads in the industry.


Last edited by Donald Cormack on Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4993
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:


As for the 3028 and WMSR, if I'm to believe SteamLocomotive.com, at 86.31 foot wheelbase 3028 or a sister would fit the turntable at Frostburg as easily as C&O 1309, if not a bit more so--but I've now found a few conflicts of info between various published sources and the data at that website for a couple steam locos, so.....

On the other hand, it's really too small to pass off as a WM Potomac.......


So, if WMSR is really looking for a new locomotive for their operation, and the choice comes down to C&O #1309 or NdeM #3028, here's my 2 cents.

The 3028's Tractive Effort is 55,000; not too much off from 2-8-0 734's 60,500. Yes, she is smaller that a WM J-1 Potomac, but cosmetically, she could be made to look like a WM 4-8-4, with high mounted headlight, rectangular number plate on the smoke box door, offset bell on the boiler front, WM snowplow pilot, etc. Maybe even a fake sand box at the rear of the boiler. Think J-2 and number her 1413, or somewhere up from the last J-1 (#1412). Finally, this engine has spent so much time here in the U.S. that any legitimate effort to get her back in steam, should really be considered. I have long been on record that a steam locomotive looks much better with her headlight centered on the smoke box door (as NdeM 4-8-4's have them), but to get this engine running again, I'd make an exception in this case! Plus, there are a number of other sister NdeM 4-8-4's still in existence, so a cosmetic change to the 3028 isn't a totally bad idea.

As to C&O 2-6-6-2 #1309, yes it would be great if she ran again, and her TE would be greater that the 3028. But there are certain other considerations. The WM did have 2-6-6-2's, but a cosmetic restoration of #1309 is harder to justify. She was not only Baldwin's last steamer, but she was the last steam locomotive delivered by a major builder to a U.S. railroad, coming after NKP 2-8-4 #779. The only other survivor from this last Baldwin order is sister 1308, so harder to justify a cosmetic change. Perhaps if the 1309 was kept as a Chesapeake & Ohio lettered engine with no cosmetic changes, it might be acceptable, but the WMSR seems to be trying to keep the WM alive as part of their mission, so not sure if that would be acceptable to them.

Anyway, as I said, my 2 cents.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Some points brought up to me by a couple folks back-channel:

1) The New Hope & Ivyland DID NOT OWN 3028. It is simply in storage for another well-meaning group--or was. One chap told me that of the original ownership group, some have passed away, and others have retired to warmer climates. The future of the loco thus depends on the change of ownership alleged by someone's tweety-bird, or any future ownership status, as well as any cordial relationship and/or formal storage agreement with the NH&I. Who knows, we could see another CP 972 (at Strasburg, WAY down the priority list), or another GTW 5629, or another GTW 6323. Time alone will tell. (Though I seriously doubt anyone, save New Hope's NIMBYs, are inclined to scrap it.)

2) Allegedly, 3028 had some questionable repairs and/or modifications made to its boiler during its working life. (Now, I've heard the same sort of rumor about NH&I's 1533, so....)

3) It was suggested to me that the current demographics of New Hope's tourism is exactly the opposite of the typical excursion-line target market: "Dinkies" (Double-income, no kids), art connoisseurs, high-culture mavens (or "wannabe"), fashionistas, gourmet dining, and the like. A look around New Hope on Google confirms this in spades. I mean, there's a brewpub right across the tracks from the station now! I get the distinct feeling that the NH&I should abandon coaches and start up the East Coast version of the Napa Valley Wine Train......


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 Post subject: Re: N de M 3028
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 950
"I get the distinct feeling that the NH&I should abandon coaches and start up the East Coast version of the Napa Valley Wine Train......"

That's the best idea I've heard so far!


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