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 Post subject: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 121
Location: San Jose, CA
According to this article:
http://www.atrrm.org/blog/2015/03/golde ... e-in-2016/

This article doesn't blame either the PLA or GGRM, just saying that both groups contributed equipment to the popular Train of Lights and GGRM was able to advance several projects and run 2472 "but shop space, already tight, became even tighter."

One wonders if there were political issues behind the scenes? I can't think of another circumstance where two preservation organizations attempt to coexist at a shared location. As an outsider (who misses PLA's annual spring photo train) the situation seemed kind of awkward.

Oh well, I hope GGRM finds a suitable home.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2531
Sorry to hear that, hopefully they'll find a permanent home.

As for co-existing, you've probably heard of the SP 4449 Daylight, she's had her photos in print a few times in various magazines. She shares "squarehouse" space with SP&S 700, which is operated and maintained by a totally different organization. There's also a third locomotive, and an NRHS chapter involved. Not sure, but the new museum appears to be a separate entity from the 4449.

I'm not a member of either group, so I don't know any specifics, but it's my understanding there are at least occasional issues, as you'd expect in pretty much any roommate situation.


http://www.orhf.org/ Oregon Rail Heritage Center
http://www.4449.com/ Friends of the SP 4449
http://www.sps700.org/ SP&S 700
http://www.orn197.org/ Friends of OR&N 197


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:05 pm
Posts: 115
How many railway museum's can one area support?


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Normally not that many. But when the state is California, Illinois or Pennsylvania, all bets are off.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1309
Location: Henderson Nevada
The City of Fremont (home of Niles, of Niles Canyon) has 4 museums, not counting Golden Gate.... The Niles Canyon Railway (aka Pacific Locomotive Association), The Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources (SPCRR) at Ardenwood Farm with its narrow gauge horse drawn railroad, the Niles Depot museum (model railroad layouts and a WP caboose in a 1907 SP depot, and the Centerville Depot, a 1911 restored SP depot still used by Amtrak and ACE trains, with interpretive displays in the waiting room.

To the South we have California Trolley group in Kelly Park (San Jose) which has a short interpetive street car line, owns restored streetcars occasionally used on VTA, and owns a 4-6-2, and 0-6-0, both ex-SP, and a Santa Fe 0-4-0 "Little Buttercup"

40 miles to the west gets you to Felton with the Roaring Camp & Big Trees (narrow gauge steam) and Santa Cruz & Big Trees (standard gauge diesel) for profit tourist railroads...

North in San Francisco we have the Muni Cable cars, and the historic streetcars on the F line with support from the Market Street railway group... Just South of SF is the Bayshore roundhouse (in ruins but being cared for) and San Francisco Trains... with a State Belt 0-6-0 undergoing restoration...

60 miles north of Fremont in Petaluma the Northwestern Pacific Historical Society has several wooden cars including a 1890's caboose and an 1869 coach...

Within 100 miles to the east and north east we have Bay Area Electric at Rio Vista, the California State railroad Museum and the Sierra Railroad...

It is not clear where GGRM may land within this landscape...

Apparently we can support a lot of railroad preservation.

Randy

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Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1326
Location: Youngstown, OH
All of those operating steam locomotives in CA are causing the state to run out of water!

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J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 793
Randy, what about the group working on yet another SP 4-6-2, somewhere
in the San Jose area? Or are thy affiliated with one of the other outfits you listed?


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 121
Location: San Jose, CA
Lincoln Penn wrote:
Randy, what about the group working on yet another SP 4-6-2, somewhere
in the San Jose area? Or are thy affiliated with one of the other outfits you listed?


that would be these guys: http://www.ctrc.org/


Last edited by psa188 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1309
Location: Henderson Nevada
Answering the first part of this question...

Golden Gate Railroad museum was located in the former Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco for some years (it originally started in the San Mateo County Fairgrounds, where their SP Pacific, No 2472 was stuffed an mounted...) About 9 years ago, they lost their home in the shipyard as that facility was being cleaned up for a future housing development (the first of the new houses are about to be occupied)

GGRM found itself with lots of railroad equipment and no where to put it... The Pacific Locomotive Association offered space at their Niles Canyon Railway... they also helped prepare and move the collection. The move was not easy, and in the process the GGRM collection was rationalized. (lots of pieces found new homes)

GGRM had a SP mainline passenger train focus... With 2472 much of GGRM's public efforts were mainline excursions, particularly on the San Francisco-San Jose Caltrain commute line... it was publicly owned and willing to host the occasional trains. Much of what was disposed of did not closely match this focus, but some pieces of interest were lost...

PLA used the hospital move and efforts to move some of its equipment, stored in Oakland and Fremont to the canyon as well.

Once at Niles Canyon, new track was laid in the very tight Brightside Yard... It was hoped that the two groups would complement each other... PLA had a short line focus... but was operating on a former SP secondary mainline... had a connection to the UP line (former Western Pacific) through the canyon so the Pacific could escape if main line excursions were possible...

Brightside yard was very crowded... and crowding brought conflict, and as noted by a PLA board member, if there are two groups any conflict will be blamed on the other group... (he noted that this works both ways) The strengths each group had, instead of being complimentary, in fact became contentious. GGRM had a paid operations manager... PLA was all volunteer. GGRM was good at technically following rules like FRA car inspections, while PLA was good at getting a train together to operate on their railroad... (safely and within the less stringent rules found on an mostly isolated line...) and each complained about the other's style... Both complained about missing tools... (at the time there were thiefts, later tied to a third party)

At the end of the first 5 year agreement the two groups were not cooperating well... (members of each groups were cooperating well within the turmoil) There was a real possibility of GGRM being evicted... if they didn't flee first... GGRM had not been able to run any mainline excursions (of course UP isn't friendly to steam by other operators, and Caltrain was booming now operating near 100 trains a day (plus freight), while rehabbing the system and didn't have capacity to host excursions. The GGRM/PLA agreement did offer some operating slots through the year on the Niles Canyon railway, but in my opinion, those didn't match the model GGRM envisioned, and were limited, under the supervision of another group (PLA, who control the railroad and properly need to supervise any operations on their property) and GGRM was not happy...

Rather than evict GGRM a new 5 year lease was signed, that included two joint committees... one to handle the day to day issues in the canyon, the second, called the "Futures Committee" to find a long term solution... Both committees met, and both made significant progress. Tensions eased... We (I was on the Futures Committee, the other members included 2 PLA and 2 GGRM board members, as well as other members of each, and one outside member... not aligned with either) though we had a ways to work out long term issues. In the end the GGRM executive board has announced that they intend to move.

I think the move is a mistake, and will take resources needed to build the organization and restore and maintain equipment. I think it is unlikely that they will find a better home, there isn't an identified site for them to move to which is not controlled by others... and control by others seems to be the 300lb gorilla in the room... I suspect that they will have to prune the collection again.

PLA and the Niles Canyon Railway will thrive with or without GGRM.

Randy

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Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:30 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 793
Seems to me the Portola guys were rather deeply involved in the relocation from Hunters Point, as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:11 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2531
I'm not familiar with that location or operation at all. Given that, here's a question.

Could the GGRM "relocate" someplace else on the Niles Canyon line? Build a new shop and yard at a different location while still sharing the mainline? Seems like having two groups share in the cost and responsibility of maintaining the trackage would help ease the burden on both of them. It could end up sort of being like Strasburg and the RR Museum of PA.

Maybe there's no room for something like that, or it's already been explored.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:33 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 121
Location: San Jose, CA
Randy Hees wrote:
I think the move is a mistake, and will take resources needed to build the organization and restore and maintain equipment. I think it is unlikely that they will find a better home, there isn't an identified site for them to move to which is not controlled by others... and control by others seems to be the 300lb gorilla in the room... I suspect that they will have to prune the collection again.

Randy


Thank you Randy for that detailed explanation. I don't have an insider's understanding of the situation but I agree with your comments that the move is probably a mistake. Where will they go? Moving will cost the group time and money; I agree that they'll probably have to thin their collection again. Maybe they should combine forces with the San Jose group that have not been able to find a place to build their proposed museum during the past two decades.

I don't have a dog in this fight but I miss NCRy's annual photographer's special that they cancelled this year.

From the outside, it always appeared that the two groups should have just combined forces so they could try and work on the same page. Of course, when NYC and PRR tried that, we had the "red team" and "green team" in perpetual conflict. So maybe the two organizations should just part ways...


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:15 pm
Posts: 47
Location: San Jose, CA
A couple of corrections to Randy's post:

The hospital train move from Oakland was a pure PLA operation with the cooperation of Union Pacific. It happened a full year before the GGRM move. This move moved almost all of the equipment stored at the Oakland Army base and at Shinn St. in Fremont. This move also notified the railroad preservation world that the NCRY was not an insular operation anymore - that we now had a mainline rail connection. This helped lead to the GGRM move.

The GGRM hospital move in February 2006 did move 4 pieces of PLA equipment but it was three pieces we got from the GGRM (Pullman Gothic Peak, SP Harriman baggage and SP RPO/Baggage) and the triple articulated "Cascade Club" we bought from a private party who had it stored at Hunters Point.

It was the Feather River Railroad Society (Portola guys) who did the GGRM hospital move using historic WP diesels. They did a great job and it was cool to see WP diesels back on the WP line through Niles Canyon.

The GGRM move to the canyon was supposed to be temporary. The navy had given them notice that they had to move out of Hunters Point and the clock was ticking down. They were in a bind to find someplace to store their equipment so the PLA lent them a hand by offering to let them move to the canyon while they looked for another home. While many of us wanted them to join us and combine our collections it soon became obvious that the GGRM management wanted to keep separate from the PLA. It’s too bad. There were some PLA members who had just finished restoring the WP F7 #918 who would have jumped on the restoration of the GGRM’s SP F units. But since we didn’t know where the F’s would be in the future and that they weren’t PLA property we stayed away from them.

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Joe Mann
PLA / Niles Canyon Railway


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 121
Location: San Jose, CA
JMann wrote:
While many of us wanted them to join us and combine our collections it soon became obvious that the GGRM management wanted to keep separate from the PLA. It’s too bad. There were some PLA members who had just finished restoring the WP F7 #918 who would have jumped on the restoration of the GGRM’s SP F units. But since we didn’t know where the F’s would be in the future and that they weren’t PLA property we stayed away from them.


From what I've read on this thread and heard through the grapevine, it seems to me that GGRM messed up when they insisted that they keep the groups separate. I also think this move is a mistake, but maybe there's something we don't know. I hope someone from GGRM chimes in to this discussion so we can get their side of the story.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Museum to move in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:45 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Holy SMOKE! From Google Earth overheads I see what I did not see from the ground. The NCRy is one gigantic Rubik's Cube. They can't even pull a train into Niles station without moving cuts of cars around.

OK so GGRM, I see five possibilities.

1. Work it out and stay.

2. Locate elsewhere along NCRy. That would take the short-term "heat" off since a solution would be in sight, and the move could be done at convenience rather than rush to assemble and certify a huge special hospital train for UPRR movement. It would allow the groups to continue to pool resources (borrowing coaches or power is trivial, do specialty work in each other's shops). But location pickings are slim - literally - basically amount to trackside land.

3. Become a tenant of another museum. Only one museum even has suitable property: WRM. There's about 14 miles of idle track between the UPRR interchange at Cannon and active rail at Rio Vista Jct. It would need rehab for GGRM's heavy equipment so GGRM wouldn't get far past Cannon (RVJ is certainly right out, and there's no room in RVJ anyway.) There are also no turnouts of any kind, and WRM would not permit any of its track to be altered from historic configuration, so the only way GGRM could shuffle a car is by hiring UP or buy and restore the Vacaville wye, a 1 mile section that goes quite close to a future Amtrak station (Perris anyone?) This is still desolate and unworkable.

4. Set up shop in a developable site.

Developing near the San Francisco roundhouse/yard is right out. That area will be overtaken by development.

- north of Felton?

- Something in the Santa Cruz wye or west out the Davenport branch?

- Something near the Permanente quarry in Cupertino? Not much space there, looks municipal, maybe.

- Mare Island, but you're right back at a decommissioned naval base others want to develop. Just it's going to be a lot longer coming to Mare Island. The Vallejo City Council won't want to admit that.

- The Mococo Branch, Antioch to Tracy. But UPRR seems to like having that in their back pocket, it gets regularly hy-railed and weed sprayed.

- Try to make something out of what's left of Point Richmond. Wouldn't THAT be ironic.

- Rent from the NWP or connecting railroads (Schellville, Petaluma, Cloverdale etc.)? I could see the NCRA being warm to a heritage railway tenant assuming it could survive the INTENSE politics up there.

Again these are pretty slim pickings. The Bay Area is not rife with viable locations.

5. Disband. NCRy gets "lucky" except this doesn't help the storage problem one whit.


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