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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2423
Ross, for some reason, I think this deal is legitimate, though I fear it may end up not happening due to problems with funding on the town's end.

You may recall the town of Tarentum, as you spent a few days there in 1976. You also acquired a new crew member there, a young fellow who'd worked on the Reading 2102 and was happy to help out in any way he could with the 2101. That was quite the summer for me!

I suspect that possibly the owner wants this engine to stay in the Pittsburgh area, for whatever reason. Obviously he's at least a little eccentric, he owns a steam locomotive... (Umm, sorry, nothing personal, but you do have to admit it's a bit more unusual than buying a bass boat or an RV, right?) and maybe he feels it's important to honor the city's heritage of steam and steel and the like. Moving the engine to someplace <cough>Ohio<cough> doesn't really keep it in Pittsburgh. Tarentum does, for all practical purposes, it's just a few minutes from downtown and best of all, it's a town that has a very strong steel heritage. Both of my grandfathers worked in the steel mill there, and that's true of many of my generation from that area.

Let's see what happens. Who knows, maybe this will work out?


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:18 am
Posts: 155
I have to agree with Bob. An addendum to that would be that the Pittsburgh Area has no proper locomotive display anywhere close. There have been attempts of course, such as PRR 4483 in Wilmerding, and the Pittsburgh Transportation Society. The 4483 was sent to New York, and the Pittsburgh Transportation Museum lost its home at Grant Street Terminal to redevelopment, and disbanded?, scrapping a good portion of its collection, which included a WM GP7, and a few passenger cars.

It is therefore in my mind completely understandable that the owner of the Locomotive wishes for it to stay within the Pittsburgh Area. There are no locomotives I can think of on display around the area... not even an H.K. Porter, locomotives BUILT within the city. The 643 moved freight to the Pittsburgh Area, It should stay in the Pittsburgh Area. Tarentum would be a great place for it.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1031
Location: Youngstown, OH
The Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Swissvale, PA is the best hope for a rail museum in the Pittsburgh area. The facility has what most other rail museums do not, context. Instead of a line of cars sitting on a siding, we have the structures that were served by much of the rail equipment that operated in the region.

Carrie Furnaces has the only preserved car dumper in the US. It has two hot metal cars, a GE 80 tonner, blast furnace scale car and there is the opportunity to acquire more equipment that would complement the site. What is missing is people willing to make it happen. I think Glenn approached them years ago about moving 643 there, but was also looking for the money to make it happen.

As for the Tarentum site, it is only a couple of miles up the Allegheny River from the Bessemer's bridge. Its about as close to home rails as you can get and still be in the Pittsburgh area. It will be in an area in which it has some significance. And nothing against a certain roundhouse in central Ohio, but not having all of the steam locomotives in this region under one ownership and pretty much inaccessible is a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 205
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Well, I'll add my thoughts here and only for one reason. My late mom's side of the family lived in Tarentum on West 12th. and I remember one of my uncles holding my hand as a youngster just down the hill near the river as we watched a steam switch engine cross a city street. That's one of the oldest memories that I have.

So, I'd love to see this dream come to fruition. In the meanwhile, I plan to drive through town this May after a visit to Cass.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 94
o484 wrote:
Look at how UP 833 was moved.

Image



Yes, and you will need a rig almost that big to lift the satchel! You know, the one with the money in it to pay for that outfit to move it.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1597
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
I sure hope you're right Bob Harbison and again thank for all your efforts on steams behalf.

Here's what I know for sure;

1. It will take at LEAST $ 500,000.00 to get this engine moved out of its location in pieces by heavy haul trucks as CSX will never ever consider moving it on its own wheels.

2. Until/unless the owner comes to terms with reality it will never happen.

I'd be delighted to be proven wrong and sure hope I am but don't bet on it.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:01 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1031
Location: Youngstown, OH
Last summer I moved a 1,200 ton steam driven rolling mill in the Pittsburgh area for a total project cost of $150,000. I could get 643 moved for under 100K based upon my estimation of equipment and time needed to do the job.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/33523379@ ... 810203312/

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2423
Hot Metal wrote:
The Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Swissvale, PA is the best hope for a rail museum in the Pittsburgh area.


That would indeed be a great location, I wonder if it was considered during the more recent discussions?

Another place that comes to mind is the Carnegie Science Museum. While not a historical venue, they do have some advantages. They're located right downtown and they're well attended. They have a large campus, and unique exhibits are nothing new to them, they have a World War Two Submarine on display floating the river adjacent to the facility. Surely you recall the fierce sub battles on the Ohio river, right? Well, those didn't exist, but the sub does.

One more thing that is relevant. The Carnegie Science Center is home to a world class model railroad featuring life in Western PA in the late 1800's to early 1900's. It is very well known in the area. When I was a child, I recall waiting in line for hours to see it at Christmas Time, it was one of the prime attractions. These days it's on display year round, the lines are shorter, but it's still worth a visit.

It seems to me that a steam locomotive would fit in just fine. Then again, nobody asked me, I have no idea what the museum would say and where the funding would come from, so this is all conjecture and nothing more.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
Right now, I'd think getting her out of McKees Rocks is the priority.

If the owner really has decided to sell/donate, the window of opportunity is open no matter where she would end up. Heavy haul equipment is in the area, mostly idle during winter because a lot of their planned moves are onto way-back roads and fields. The oil and gas companies will need positive press in these next few weeks (see the current mess in West Virginia.) If this is ever going to happen, now is an excellent time.

Carnegie would indeed be a great place to show her off, as would the Heinz, and she might attract new visitors to Carrie Furnace, but any indoor, safe, well-guarded place is preferable to a tarp and a bad spot.

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:41 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Amherst, Oh
co614 wrote:
As I've previously posted I made a serious effort several years ago .......


In antique tractor and engine circles it's quite common to have something like this happen:

- Stop by 5 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 4 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 3 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 2 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 1 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by now and ask to buy tractor/engine and the owner goes "that thing? Nobody wanted it so I sold it cheap to some guy who stopped by".

Many things can change within a couple of years. Maybe now the owner wants to see it go someplace safe instead of get scrapped.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Emmo213 wrote:
co614 wrote:
As I've previously posted I made a serious effort several years ago .......


In antique tractor and engine circles it's quite common to have something like this happen:

- Stop by 5 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 4 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 3 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 2 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by 1 years ago and ask to buy tractor/engine but the owner wants too much or isn't willing to sell.
- Stop by now and ask to buy tractor/engine and the owner goes "that thing? Nobody wanted it so I sold it cheap to some guy who stopped by".

Happens a lot in military vehicle circles, as well. If I had a nickel for every old tank or Jeep that this happened to...

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
I wish that weren't so true, but I've had it happen with old stuff of all kinds, especially if the original, reluctant to part with it owner dies and the kids clean out the house. "Oh, that? Yeah, they had a bunch of (Civil War memorabilia, river ephemera, coal mine stuff, OR&W timetables...) but we threw it all out. Gee, if I'd known you wanted it..." It's important to find that microscopic line between nagging and having people think you're no longer interested. This is even more difficult because a lot of people who are hanging onto something old and cool have unusual personalities and may be keeping it until some certain date, or for someone who ultimately doesn't want it, or to spite someone else they don't want to have it. When Nasty Aunt Selma passes away, suddenly Great-Granny's treasured heirloom three-handled credenza is just in the way and up for grabs.

Which reminds me: if any of you are sorting through a load of "we thought the museum might want this" and come upon a set of left-handed hickory-shafted golf irons, let me know before you fling them at a dumpster. Son will not care if they are rust-encased. They won't be once he gets done with them. I've had two near-misses with full sets and both vendors almost gave them away because "they were old and lefty and who'd want that?" (sigh.)

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 17
Becky Morgan wrote:
I wish that weren't so true, but I've had it happen with old stuff of all kinds, especially if the original, reluctant to part with it owner dies and the kids clean out the house. "Oh, that? Yeah, they had a bunch of (Civil War memorabilia, river ephemera, coal mine stuff, OR&W timetables...) but we threw it all out. Gee, if I'd known you wanted it..." It's important to find that microscopic line between nagging and having people think you're no longer interested. This is even more difficult because a lot of people who are hanging onto something old and cool have unusual personalities and may be keeping it until some certain date, or for someone who ultimately doesn't want it, or to spite someone else they don't want to have it. When Nasty Aunt Selma passes away, suddenly Great-Granny's treasured heirloom three-handled credenza is just in the way and up for grabs.

Which reminds me: if any of you are sorting through a load of "we thought the museum might want this" and come upon a set of left-handed hickory-shafted golf irons, let me know before you fling them at a dumpster. Son will not care if they are rust-encased. They won't be once he gets done with them. I've had two near-misses with full sets and both vendors almost gave them away because "they were old and lefty and who'd want that?" (sigh.)

Oh, if all of this weren't so right! Not to take a thread away from its intended discussion, but this one kind of hit a nerve. As chairman of our county museum, I am always amazed in this age of American Pickers, Antiques Roadshow and the like how much still gets tossed. The one that hit literally close to home was when I asked an heir about track maps/charts to the logging railroad that went through our family farm. I mentioned that understood that a nephew had gotten them when they cleaned out the old farmhouse, and that if he ever wanted rid of them or would be willing to make copies, I would work with him. The response was, "Those, they all went in the trash!" I was in shock. I guess even more so because the person is a local-history-oriented individual and family. So, all in all, yes, it does happen, and far more often than any of use would like. Relating to B&LE 643, while I'm not very familiar with the locomotive and the situation, there are times that the irritated landlord becomes agressive and it turns into a "I've told you for years, get it off of/outta here by October 31, or I will!" Who knows, perhaps this is the situation, of a "move it, or lose it!" We all seem to prefer moving it to losing it!


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:40 pm 
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I can't help but wonder if the owner of this locomotive ever reads stuff like this and marvels at all the people talking about what should happen with his personal property. I think I'd get a little ticked if I stumbled across a discussion online about something I own, as I once walked into a room where some military vehicle fans were talking about my Jeep. It's documented as a Navy Jeep used at a specific station during WW2, which is very rare for anyone to know where their WW2 Jeep got used. Anyway, some Navy fans were having a gripe fest about how my Jeep (on display at the same event) is painted as an Army Jeep (hey, I was an Army officer in real life. Sue me). I just stood there and marvelled at the nerve of anyone to even think they could even have an opinion on what I do with my own personal property.
I couldn't imagine what a steam locomotive owner must go through.
Becky Morgan wrote:
is even more difficult because a lot of people who are hanging onto something old and cool have unusual personalities and may be keeping it until some certain date, or for someone who ultimately doesn't want it, or to spite someone else they don't want to have it.

And then you have the truly 'crusty old man' type who knows full and well the rare item will be destroyed at his passing, and he's just fine with it because he feels nobody else should have it.
Happens all the time with old cars. Some old guy is sick to death of being pestered at all hours of the day and night by people who see that old car jutting out of his garage. He always intended to get around to it, but after all these years of being bugged about it, he's held fast for so long, he can't see letting anyone have it. So, out comes with sledge hammer, backhoe, or the junk man who doens't know what it is. And it gets made into razor blades.

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 in the news
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:03 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
Yeah, old cars. I use my ancient LeBaron as my yarn storage shed. I have had to fend off infinite numbers of junk buyers eyeing it up--with my yarn IN it!--and one guy I caught with his truck in our driveway, chaining it to the bumper, who said "What? I was just gonna get rid of this old car for ya." He's the one who said "Well, how about I get rid of them for ya, then?" and pointed at the pair of then ten-year-old Mercury Tracers/Ford Escorts we were driving. Sure, they had current plates, but hey, they were old, right?

If you own anything old or unusual, half the people who see it will want you to get rid of it and half will want it. The night of Mom's funeral, five people called wanting to rent this house, one wanted to tear it down for the lumber and two more wanted to "go through and get out all the antiques before you tear it down." You get used to it. I'm sure 643's owner has heard all the same things. Oh, and you're never doing the right thing with it, whatever you choose. Gossips are always ready to call us terrible people.

There are a ton of reasons why somebody wants to keep an item, or at least appears to. The decision to give or keep can depend on a whole, whole lot of factors an outsider might not even think of. The gizmo may be promised to a museum or other entity that doesn't want it known yet, or it may be willed to them. The piece of land that looks unused may be a daughter's wedding present, or the oil lease money may be keeping the family's other taxes paid. Sometimes the reason can be "I won't ever let Bob have it!" but if Jim buys it and sells it to Bob, that's all right, and sometimes Jim will never be allowed to have it lest he sell it to Bob.

As I said, there's that line between nagging and keeping interest alive, and good luck finding it!

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