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 Post subject: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 7:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3746
Location: Maine
Just looking for some authoritative word on the status of 844, 3985, and 4014 as of 2015. Did a Google search and came up with 2010 updates, which are as cold as a dead boiler.
I am specifically interested in the readiness of the Northern and Challenger.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Hear that rumbling sound? It's the sound of an oncoming rush of il-informed people with grudges against UP or simply making up stuff. Some will swear they're involved directly but even among those, the answers vary wildly. They follow and respond prolifically to any such thread. Just wait a few minutes, they'll be here soon enough.
I have heard every variant of an answer to your question that you could imagine. God alone knows which opinion is correct, so I won't be re-hashing any of them.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Dick,

Lee's correct on this one. It has gotten to the point where simply saying "UP" and "steam" in the same sentence will open the floodgates. I would like an official update from Cheyenne as much as the next person, but don't expect anything concrete while there's still such a hubbub. Oh, and I predict this will get moved over to the Railfanning section faster than you can say "Sherman Hill".

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:44 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 611
Location: Bucks County, PA
There has not been an authoritative word from UP with any specifics in a long time - except from the embattled shop leader, who seems to push his timelines back later and later with each update. Take that for what you will...but I don't foresee any steam coming from the UP steam engines in Cheyenne any time soon.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 9:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 723
In a couple of weeks, Cheyenne will be celebrating Depot Days. This includes a number of exhibits and seminars, and guided tours of the UP Steam Shop. I would suggest that anyone able to attend do so and take the shop tour so you can see for yourself what has
or has not been accomplished, and what is or isn't being worked on.

I would remind you that the tour last year resulted in the photos of the deteriorated and badly-scaled up tubes and flues from 844 being posted on numerous sites on the internet.
That exposed some of what has been going on there.

During the 2014 tour, not only were the encrusted flues visible outside the shop, but 3985, sitting in the roundhouse for 4+ years was also visible.

If that has or hasn't changed, then you can draw your own conclusions.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 9:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
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Thanks for mentioning Trainorders.com. I think the moderator of that site keeps a close eye on any postings that have "UP" and "steam" in the same sentence. In some ways, the subject has turned into the Pennsylvania RR 1361 for fans west of the Mississippi.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 10:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3746
Location: Maine
I sincerely thought I'd get a straight answer from informed individuals, but apparently I over-stepped the bounds of reality! I do appreciate the responses received thus far, indicating that I am not alone in the wilderness regarding this impressive fleet.

Now, what can you tell me about Pennsy 1361...?

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 10:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
Bob Davis wrote:
Thanks for mentioning Trainorders.com. I think the moderator of that site keeps a close eye on any postings that have "UP" and "steam" in the same sentence. In some ways, the subject has turned into the Pennsylvania RR 1361 for fans west of the Mississippi.


Trainorders has a moderator? I never knew that. It hasn't been evident the past few weeks; a period when the RYPN mods have been very (appropriately) active killing much of the same crap that lives on at TO. Cheers to the wag who summed it up best calling TO the "Mos Eisley Cantina" of rail fans. I don't remember if he posted that on TO or not, but it is brilliant.

I suggest that the problem goes back to something that has bothered me for 30+ years: the willingness of the community to eat our own... the people who are OK dining on the carcasses of their brethren, slow-roasted over the mouldering embers of hearsay. It's the same sort of thing in the boiler thread that's caused hot discussion right now.

The noise can become as annoying as two politicians arguing from partisan positions. Neither wants to hear the other, and no matter how smart they are nor how valid their points are, the more they argue the less anyone cares about what they say.

Ed Dickens, who has been smeared online, may or may not bear any resemblance to the portrait painted of him by agenda-surfing detractors. Knowing that some of his bigger detractors are also ready and willing to shout erroneous hearsay about other projects, it leaves me wondering if those voices actually have any valid info on the UPRR and if they are really worth any attention at all? Is it worth the effort to sort that wheat from the chaff with those sources when 90% is chaff?

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 10:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 723
A little Googling will inform you of the lawsuits against UP by present and former UP employees over Mr. Dickens actions. The suits are still active, and one is scheduled to open in Federal Court in July.

Now, a lawsuit in and of itself doesn't prove anything until the case is concluded, and these are civil suits, not criminal suits (AFAIK). But they do exist. That is not mud, that is fact and you can learn for yourself.

That said, there are indeed some very knowledgeable people both here and on TO and other forums. To accuse all of mud-slinging is a little unfair, IMO.

Again, not slinging mud; just showing things you can find if you look.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 10:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
Lincoln Penn wrote:
That said, there are indeed some very knowledgeable people both here and on TO and other forums. To accuse all of mud-slinging is a little unfair, IMO.


I don't think anyone accused all people of mudslinging. Unfortunately, folks who do partake in that tend to obfuscate rather than enlighten. That makes it hard for others with legit info to make it through that static. All of which goes back to Richard's initial question.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 12:15 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 67
Well, as was pointed out by Lincoln, the depot days event from last year was where the photos of the deplorable condition of the boiler on the 844 were taken, and this was after a fairly recent boiler overhaul aided by the very highly respected WRC group. John posts here on occasion. That overhaul included replacement of the firebox, and was intended to set the locomotive up for many years of reliable service. The cry of foul that has been leveled against the current leadership has been joined by folks who were very close to the operation. The fact that nothing is close to operational status is probably the most telling of the current situation. I have had the great privilege to have been on a few excursions on the Union Pacific in the past, and I am a frequent customer of Union Pacific. I am as concerned as the Richard Glueck is, and have been waiting for some time for some positive accurate information as to what we can expect, but the silence is deafening!

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 12:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1262
Location: Henderson Nevada
From your moderator...

For the group... this is actually not a warning... We seem to collectively be conversing about an hot button issue without violating guidelines... Realize if that UP doesn't owe us any explanations, and with a law suit pending is likely to say less...

So, continue as you were... but Hey, Let's be careful out there...

Randy

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 3:11 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 286
Location: Oroville, CA
I have no "inside info" on this, but the lack of information on any progress, and the heavy turnover of staff to me speaks volumes for the leadership, or lack thereof.
So draw your own conclusions. Meantime there are multiple groups with far less resources behind them doing some amazing steam restorations. Ying & Yang, I guess!

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:16 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:40 pm
Posts: 36
In reference to the lawsuit(s), please remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty. That goes not just for our criminal system, but the civil court system as well. Just because a person brings a lawsuit does not mean someone is guilty, particularly these days.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:31 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
rrpreservation wrote:
In reference to the lawsuit(s), please remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty. That goes not just for our criminal system, but the civil court system as well. Just because a person brings a lawsuit does not mean someone is guilty, particularly these days.



Such a good reminder. We see this in the media all the time where people conflate accusation and even indictment with guilt. When we hear "indictment" or "trial pending" that doesn't mean "the guy is guilty," It means our process is working and (hopefully) leading to the appropriate outcome.

How does that apply to online conversations about steam locomotives?

It's been pretty clear lately.

1) Someone of some renown makes an accusation or posts a rumor
2) Other people pick up on the accusation or rumor and demand "the truth"
3) Pressure turns towards the subject of the accusation of the rumor to dispel or confirm

And that's where the problem lies... that third step should be reflective to the initiator, maybe something like "Hey guy who first posted this, what first-hand knowledge do you have and what is your motivation for stirring the pot?"

Unfortunately, what usually happens is the Internet echo chamber compounds the reach of the original accusation and inevitably if someone doesn't get the information they want RIGHT AWAY, it escalates to the point of someone mentioning the UP, #1361 or Dick Jensen.

And all of a sudden, a group of (primarily) adult men that should be supporting each other's similar interests are attacking the very people, projects and programs that further our COLLECTIVE good.

We live in a world where steam restoration is undertaken by individuals, corporations, non-profits and government entities. Each group will have its own philosophy or hard-coded policy about what and how they communicate. That won't always meet the needs of the torch and pitchfork crowd, but it is that crowd that needs to adjust.

What has the Internet panties in a knot over Cheyenne is that the UPRR is a private corporation with a highly functional PR/corporate comms program that clearly owes no one an answer on any rumors related to the steam program or pending litigation.

Of course, the UPRR situation has another element that volunteer programs don't have: there are people relying upon it for their livelihood (and the unfortunate complication of ex-employees). As it should with any professional project, that should prompt even greater care with the rumor mongering as the mongerers aren't just messing with a guy's weekend hobby, they are messing with how the subject of the rumor supports his family.

Remember the old saying, "loose lips sink ships?" There's another saying that reminds me of, "a rising tide lifts all ships."

The Internet is full of loose lips intent on sinking ships. We have to tune them out or pressure them to change. We, especially on a site like RYPN, should be looking to the news that raises the tide for everyone. This week the B&M boxcar thread and the Youngstown steel thread are tide-raisers. The legitimate boiler conversations lift the tide. Personal agendas, individual vendettas and rumor mongering sinks ships. Why would anyone in the rail community want to sink a project rather than see it succeed?

When someone like Richard seeks real information, he's likely to be hit with rumor and innuendo because that's all the Internet has. At best, someone might mention that the UPRR steam crew actually did do a public presentation a couple of months ago and answered some questions (which they did).

People came to that armed with cameras and questions as it they were Mike Wallace hunting down a tax evader on 60 Minutes. No matter what the UPRR team said, there was a cadre of people ready to call it a lie.

And that goes back to my previous post about railfans sounding like partisan politicians... they just prattle on about their own beliefs/positions and look to confirm them any way they can... listening and thoughtful consideration are lost arts.

There's also a dearth of decency. That not only prompts Internet rumors, it leads to behaviors like Internet multiple personality disorder where the same person fakes numerous personas to make it seem like they are a movement rather than a one man band. I first dealt with that over a decade ago with a notorious gent from New England. Once I realized what was going on, I was aghast.

The dearth of decency also leads to name calling. In the UPRR case, the irresponsible rumor mongering has resulted in a private citizen being known far and wide by an unflattering nickname. Is that really the "best self" of the railroad community? To mock a man that most of the people doing so have never met? Mocking based on Internet rumors made by people who have personal grudges or bones to pick?

We may find out everything said online about the UPRR program is true. We may find it is all false. We may find the truth lurking in the middle. We don't know, yet.

What we do know, and what we as a community can control, is that rumor mongering is irresponsible and the community as a whole will benefit by us self-policing our brethren.

Just my opinion.

Rob

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