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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 541
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:

Let's throw out some nominees/possibilities:
  • Railroad Museum of Pa. Locos operated through Pa., and the bodies were built by Budd at Red Lion, Pa. But they have a glut of electrics already, though one would certainly fit the mission statement by far.
  • URHS New Jersey. Fits mission; but no good museum grounds/site yet, and don't they have NJT electrics they could go after?
  • B&O Railroad Museum. It would be nice to show that railroading continued after, say, 1975. But it isn't B&O.
  • Bowie, Md. RR Museum. A perfect fit in many ways, but no covered storage (that can be changed). Right beside the same tracks they ran on for decades.
  • Harrisburg, Pa.: either under the station shed along the GG1 and PRR caboose, or next to Harris Tower. Problematic but not out of the question, and they did run to Harrisburg routinely.
  • Danbury Railway Museum/Railway Museum of New England: an excellent fit, as they operated to New Haven and eventually to Boston. Similarly, the Connecticut Trolley Museum.
  • An "electric" museum in Pennsylvania--Electric City, Rockhill, or Pennsylvania Trolley Museum--or Maryland (National Capital)? Not likely to happen, just brainstorming for speculation's sake.
  • Baltimore Streetcar Museum: Not going to happen (wrong gauge and wire, for starts), but fun to speculate about, especially if they should ever manage to get that Ma & Pa roundhouse for display acreage. It would be a very short move if done--several hundred feet up a street.
  • Static display on a panel of track at Wilmington, Perryville, Trenton, or a half-dozen other possible station locations.
  • Museums with a national scope. For the most part, we're down to three or so that could justify such an acquisition for display: National Railway Museum in Green Bay; Illinois Railway Museum in Union, and National Museum of Transport in St. Louis/Kirkwood. Of these, the Illinois Railway Museum would have a sensible case, as the locos were assembled at La Grange. But either of the other two could easily make a case (and, at the same time, for a still-lingering Amtrak F40PH).
  • Something completely out of nowhere--an Amtrak Preservation Society, a private owner, a Kickstarter fundraiser, etc.


RRMP - seems such an obvious choice, for reasons mentioned by Tom above.
URHS - seems a great choice as well - a museum in the works, the more attractions
they can acquire, the better the draw. And I disagree that such equipment
(such as a GG1) can be "over-preserved".
B&O RR Museum - an odd fit as they have little else of NEC trains nor electrics outside of
two GG1's. However, a MARC unit could be seen as what could've
been next in succession for passenger power on the B&O.
Bowie - Bowie has a railroad museum?? Maybe all the reason to get one.
Danbury - If you agree there's no such thing as "over preserved", by all means. I've
visited Danbury (long ago) - if I recall correctly, it took me very little time
to see "everything" and I have not longed to return.
Static Display - bring it on! I'd love to see some static displays on the East Coast. It
seems there's a shortage of such displays on the East Coast. I've
dreamed of a GG1 at the 1,600 parking space lot along the Corridor at
Cornwells Heights. Add a Wawa, too.
National Museum - like the RRMP, seems an obvious choice. It is after all, the only
thing close to HSR that the country has for the time period. It
naturally would compliment the detailing what is still the very
beginning of HSR in the US along a nationally recognized corridor.

Now the question remains - what about the HHP-8?!?!

It DID exist, it has some appeal, I'd hope at least one is preserved.

/Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1220
Location: Chicago USA
Who should preserve an AEM7? Well, for the next decade or so, Amtrak. Someone remind me how a stainless steel box wears out and cannot be economically rebuilt with more modern guts. Some are already AC so the notion that the running gear cannot be fitted for AC traction motors isn't the case. What else is there? It's a box, right?

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:10 pm
Posts: 670
Location: Iron City
How about the fact that they don't come close to meeting current crashworthyness
standards ?

As for preservation, I suspect most of them will go to scrap per Amtrak's current equipment plan. One can envision the retired units to be culled for parts to support the remainder of the fleet.

Of course, going the political route to obtain one is always an option.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:36 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 475
Quote:
Who should preserve an AEM7? Well, for the next decade or so, Amtrak. Someone remind me how a stainless steel box wears out and cannot be economically rebuilt with more modern guts. Some are already AC so the notion that the running gear cannot be fitted for AC traction motors isn't the case. What else is there? It's a box, right?

Steve


It's called metal fatigue, everything eventually wears out. See GG1.

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8787
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
filmteknik wrote:
Who should preserve an AEM7? Well, for the next decade or so, Amtrak. Someone remind me how a stainless steel box wears out and cannot be economically rebuilt with more modern guts. Some are already AC so the notion that the running gear cannot be fitted for AC traction motors isn't the case. What else is there? It's a box, right?


When I "crashed" an Amtrak employees' family picnic "open house" at Wilmington Shops at the invitation of one of the employees many years ago, they showed off an AEM7 under overhaul/upgrade, with the old guts and new guts sitting side by side. The "old guts" was about the size of a living room in an apartment; the "new guts" were about one-fourth the size, along with some weight-compensating ballast, as I recall. The off-the-record profession of the shop employee on hand was that the "new guts", in his words, "basically cost more than your house." He implied that the stuff that took up the space of about two refrigerators and a washing machine boiled down to about a quarter-million dollars; this probably included traction motors not on display.

Similarly, explain to us how a "junk" PCC that a transit agency is willing to sell for a couple hundred dollars get to be about a million dollars once it's turned into a PCC-II by Brookville or whoever......


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:58 pm
Posts: 10
Actually, about the only stainless steel on an AEM7 body is the corrugated side sheets on the machine room and the air filter boxes on the roof hatches of the remans. Most of the rest of the body, including the frame and cabs is high strength low-alloy steel.


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:37 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:24 am
Posts: 57
I Don't see the board at the RMNE to Pursue one of these , the m2-m4s are being removed from service by MN and CDOT and there are no plans to acquire any of them , the RMNE is an operational museum and with that said no Overhead Catenary and no 3rd Rail

"these are my observations" ---- there you go Brent before you open your trap!

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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:12 pm
Posts: 94
[quote="uboat2525"]I Don't see the board at the RMNE to Pursue one of these , the m2-m4s are being removed from service by MN and CDOT and there are no plans to acquire any of them , the RMNE is an operational museum and with that said no Overhead Catenary and no 3rd Rail "these are my observations" ---- there you go Brent before you open your trap![/quote]

Hmm. Observations by someone unhappy that the said organization has no such plans?

In my experience, it's always better to start with basic information before expressing such "observations" in a public setting. In an instance like this, reference to an existing collections policy would be a worthwhile starting point before criticizing persons or decisions you may disagree with, particularly along the lines of "why don't you guys get one of those." I'm sure you'll find that an organization like the one you mention will have such a policy, in writing, that outlines the scope of its collecting in terms of history, technology, and/or era. Likely, there will be a curatorial committee or staff who can explain the policies that a given museum has adopted in such regard. In this particular instance, denigrating an individual who appears, based on his own postings on this forum, to be an authorized spokesman for the organization is probably not the best way forward toward obtaining the basic information you seem to be missing.


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Location: MA
Again considering all the problems I have run into trying to preserve a very historicaely relevant F40PH that dose't need over head wires or third rail, I see little hope for the AEM7.


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8787
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
RCD wrote:
Again considering all the problems I have run into trying to preserve a very historicaely relevant F40PH that dose't need over head wires or third rail, I see little hope for the AEM7.

Your problem was not "preserving a very historically relevant F40PH". Your problem, as I recall, was an ill-formed proposal specifying a specific locomotive of debatable significance to go to one specific museum, one that apparently did not necessarily agree with the worthiness of your proposals, and which seems to have been chosen largely upon the premise of being convenient to you. (This is constructive criticism, not intended as personal criticism.)

I raised the prospect of Amtrak F40PH preservation in an essay that appeared in the March 2000 issue of Trains Magazine. I have been told it directly instigated the successful preservation of Amtrak F40PH's at Sacramento and Spencer. Another one was saved privately in Portland, Oregon. Even though what actually happened wasn't quite what I proposed (a society owning and operating a pair), I'm satisfied with the status quo, and further preservation can't be ruled out.

Having 25 different groups/people petition Amtrak for an AEM7 because 25 people think "it'd be so cool to have one here on display" means we're not a preservation movement, but a bunch of narcissists. Having the advance discussion centered around the topic of this thread raises the odds of eventual success.


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 257
RCD wrote:
Again considering all the problems I have run into trying to preserve a very historicaely relevant F40PH that dose't need over head wires or third rail, I see little hope for the AEM7.


You don't need caternary or third rail to preserve an AEM-7. It is nice to be able to preserve something in running condition, but there is no steadfast rule saying a locomotive is not preserved unless it can be operated.

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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:08 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
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Having been involved to varying degrees in the railway preservation field for over 50 years now, I have seen my "home road" go from the "Quick! Let's save this really neat car/locomotive/other historic mechanical item before it's scrapped" era to a more mature organization with a "collections policy" and "mission statement". At least AEM-7s are far enough away both geographically and mentally so that I don't think we "have a dog in this fight". And I would guess that the museums east of the Mississippi are giving careful consideration to whether one of these belongs in their collection and whether they want to commit the resources to acquire and preserve one if it should become available.

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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Bob Davis wrote:
Having been involved to varying degrees in the railway preservation field for over 50 years now, I have seen my "home road" go from the "Quick! Let's save this really neat car/locomotive/other historic mechanical item before it's scrapped" era to a more mature organization with a "collections policy" and "mission statement".

I would suggest that part of that revolves around how "complicated" the major railroads have made attempting to preserve something, which has forced the hand of those would-be preservationists to be more thorough in their approach.

I can rattle off a couple major, significant pieces that were saved simply by a bunch of folks pooling some money and being able to approach the local railroad, or the local railroad representative, and saying "we want that car/loco when it's retired." Then it gets shoved into a rented siding or some property upon retirement, and eventually makes it way to the Strasburg, the museum, the trolley group, whatever. Among these just in my "back yard" were several B&O passenger cars, the Ma & Pa 20 and 35, several GG1's, several vintage freight cars, and several major steamers. Heck, some of them ran under their own power from place to place, and one railroad even let several big steam locomotives be "shaken down" after operational overhaul by pulling revenue freight from one place to another!

Just try that today. The corporate successor to the last mentioned railroad wouldn't even let a steam locomotive be hauled under steam ten miles over its line from one branch to another, or let a locomotive run or be pulled the length of a yard to be turned on a wye because of "plain bearings".

Luckily, an Amtrak AEM7 is of recent enough vintage to avoid most, if not all, of the "excuses" major railroads use to avoid handling them, and we're not (yet) asking Amtrak to let us run one in the future--we shouldn't dismiss that possibility forever, but that won't be an issue for one that goes to, say, Green Bay or Texas or Miami.....


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:28 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
When I "crashed" an Amtrak employees' family picnic "open house" at Wilmington Shops at the invitation of one of the employees many years ago, they showed off an AEM7 under overhaul/upgrade, with the old guts and new guts sitting side by side. The "old guts" was about the size of a living room in an apartment; the "new guts" were about one-fourth the size, along with some weight-compensating ballast, as I recall. The off-the-record profession of the shop employee on hand was that the "new guts", in his words, "basically cost more than your house."

He may have forgotten to mention that the "new guts" are significantly cheaper than the "old guts". That's why they're not being replaced as-is.

Anyway... IRM. Has a chance of running there.


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 Post subject: Re: So Who Should Preserve an Amtrak AEM-7?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:07 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 257
robertmacdowell wrote:
Anyway... IRM. Has a chance of running there.


Not without modification to the locomotive or physical plant. IRM's caternary isn't set up for pantographs, and as already mentioned, is a 600v D.C. system. An AEM-7 won't run on 600v D.C. as-is.

(Note: I'm not opposed to IRM getting a AEM-7 to park behind the GG1; just as long as it shows up with a flat car load of rails and ties to put it on.)

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