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 Post subject: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 437
After all these years, I finally found a photo of Mr. Richard Jensen. The photo caption says he is the person on the right, fairly well covered in grease!

Image
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lsallee/1 ... vbV-qVTvkn

The more I look at photos of his GTW 5629, the more it grows on me. The loco has perfect proportions, like the Greek Parthenon.

Image
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lsallee/1 ... 1/sizes/c/

The circumstances of its scrapping is something I know nothing about. The stories I read online are almost unbelievable. Strange story. An old Rypn thread (GTW 5629, question) has these insights.
J.David wrote:
...
The 5629 was the first steam locomotive I ever worked on. I volunteered for Dick from August 1966 until about September 1969 when we finished cleaning out the C&WI roundhouse...

To the best of my knowledge the trailing truck bearings were removed for some reason (perhaps to disable the locomotive) and METRA wouldn't move the locomotive. Where would they move it to? They didn't want it on their property and it wasn't in interchangeable condition and Jensen had nowhere to go with it anyway.
The trailing truck bearings were not "standard". They were for a collarless axle. Nor did we have a pair "on the shelf" at IRM. But it never got that far. METRA was well aware of the legal tactics use by the C&WI and the aftermath and didn't want to repeat that. So they decided to evict. Since the property couldn't be moved whole, it got moved in bits and pieces.
...
J.David

RICH_YOUNG wrote:
The 5629 was Vandalized by persons who worked at Metra. Nine persons were ordered to resign and leave Metra after the Jensen incident. Jensen had been threatened by persons working for Metra that unless the title of the engine was turned over to them, that they would force him to move the engine or see it scrapped. The trailing truck bearings were removed by these persons, employees of Metra. Jensen was not allowed on the property to work on the engine at that time and he had issued notices to IAS for movement. IAS was not allowed to inspect the engine or access to it. An employee had already removed the bearings to prevent Jensen from shipping the engine so it wouldn't be out of reach. But before the court trial proceeded to the point of a judicial decision, another employee with an agenda took it upon himself to have a scrapper estimate the cost of cutting up the engine.

This scrapper test-cut the boiler under the throat sheet through the riveted course connection and cut the cast bed frame in front of and behind on alternate sides of the main driver. When the Judge ruled that the engine should be moved by any standard means from the property, ie. roll it to IAS, they were not given title to the engine. As soon as the decision was announced the had to cut the engine up to reduce the value and cover their vandalism.

The building which was never built was a scam created to acquire graft and other fund by local politicals and other Metra employees. They could not start their planned corruption until Jensen's space was vacated and empty.

The sickening part of this whole process was that Metra sued Jensen and scrapped his engine while the property on which his engine sat was not even under their ownership or legal control.

The judge assumed that since Metra was suing that they owned the land or had acquired control of it. Nine months later Jensen gets a renewal notice for his 1989 lease from the Bankruptcy Real Estate trust for the Rock Island Railroad. By the time Jensen notified them that he was not renewing. The planned building had move elsewhere and was 50% done.


Edited to revise wording and fix a mistake.


Last edited by rock island lines on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fiasco Friday: GTW 5629
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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Didn't I hear he was a bread vendor, running from store to store stocking up bread?


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 Post subject: Re: Fiasco Friday: GTW 5629
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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J. David Conrad and Rich Young have pretty much told it the way it was. Some comments on the photo of 5629, for those who might not know. The tender is off of a Soo Line 4-8-2 and Mr. Jensen substituted it for the original USRA tender to increase fuel capacities of the Pacific. The headlight is off of Illinois Central 2-8-4 #8049 (originally IC #7050) which was the original Lima 2-8-4 demonstrator numbered A-1, which the IC eventually acquired when it purchased their order for 50 Berkshires. I don't recall offhand where the overhanging bell came from. Perhaps someone can tell us.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 703
I wondered whether that was a Soo Line tender or an IC 2600 tender.

IC built their's to the Soo Line drawings but the IC's were longer, to carry
more water. I think at one time Jensen owned a couple of those IC tenders.


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:19 am 
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Posts: 1898
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
This is the engine the SRR wanted to make into a PS4 copy but couldn't get a lease, right?
What's the story there?

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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:24 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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Lincoln Penn wrote:
I wondered whether that was a Soo Line tender or an IC 2600 tender.

IC built their's to the Soo Line drawings but the IC's were longer, to carry
more water. I think at one time Jensen owned a couple of those IC tenders.


Lincoln -

I believe that those were the tenders that ended up being stored for many years in Rockford, Illinois. They were off of IC 4-8-2's number 2612 and 2614 as I recall. Unfortunately, both tenders ended up being scrapped.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:32 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
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p51 wrote:
This is the engine the SRR wanted to make into a PS4 copy but couldn't get a lease, right?
What's the story there?


I think the one you are thinking about was A&WP 290.


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:55 am 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Lincoln Penn wrote:
p51 wrote:
This is the engine the SRR wanted to make into a PS4 copy but couldn't get a lease, right?
What's the story there?


I think the one you are thinking about was A&WP 290.
No, A&WP threatened legal action.
I'd read that SRR tried to lease another pacific to make into a PS4 that was privately owned...

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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:16 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
Was anything salvaged, or otherwise preserved from 5629? The loss of the GTW Pacific and CB&Q 5632 (numbers totally unrelated) is quite probably the worst steam lost in the preservation age.
IIRC, the CB&Q Northern was eventually decided by a court, to have been illegal, and Jensen won the case against the scrapper, although the locomotive was long gone. The 5629 was decided to be in METRA's favor, which was in reality, a total joke. Again, the locomotive was lost for no good reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:39 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 454
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
In re-the photo at the top of this thread: yes, the guy on the right is RJ, in the center is Bud Young, GTW Road Foreman of Engines. I don't recognize the guy on the left using a wrench for a hammer, but it might be Joe Hola, C&WI round house foreman. The photo appears to be in front of the C&WI 49th St. round house.
It is true that the Southern Railway made a offer on 5629 while it was stored on a Penn Central siding near 16th St. Dick told me that the amount was no where near what he thought 5629 was worth.
Jim Bisline, a SRR attorney, friend of the Claytors and involved in many aspects of the steam program said that the day they all met to talk about the 5629 Jensen was late and all the Southern guys had a train to catch. After the brief meeting the major topic of discussion was how dirty Jensen was. He had washed his hands, but was black with grime above his wrists (pretty typical, see photo above).
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:05 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 598
J.David, you have been involved with so much for so long so I will ask you and maybe anybody else who might actually know first hand this question. Just how far was the Q #5632 from being back together near some form of completion at the time of its unfortunate demise? I heard and read that when he got her from CB&Q that she was in middle of major rebuild including the boiler or was it more "just the boiler"? I heard she was pretty much a puzzle with all the parts included and then some. Whole thing is mute I know, but I know a guy who helped him too and it was torn apart pretty far and sounds like Dick had his hands full on top of putting that big northern back together with a handful of volunteers. Just trying to picture how big a job it would of been to put #5632 back to running and the odds of it ever reaching completion? Times were different then and requirements were different too and of course much of what would of happened might not of flown by todays regs and requirements.

Sure wish I would of met him. He had to have been just someone you wouldn't of forgotten. Right or wrong I have to admire people like him who pulled off quite a show for a while. My friend told me of a harrowing "escape" late one night from working with Dick during the later 1960s. Rough area to be in during the day much less late at night back then. I know that area from 1980s and was very dangerous area at times even then.

Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Lincoln Penn wrote:
I wondered whether that was a Soo Line tender or an IC 2600 tender.


It was indeed a Soo Line tender, it still had its number plates, 4064 IIRC, somewhere I have photos.

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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 454
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Hi John:
Everything needed to put 5632 back together was on hand (including all the spare parts the Q had for set aside for it, and a huge quantity of new flexible staybolts, etc.), however as they say: "some assembly required".
The West Burlington shops were in the process of installing a new firebox on a time available basis. When Mr. Murphy retired and Louis Menk took over work was stopped. A bit later Richard purchased it with the parts and it was moved to the C&WI roundhouse.
As I recall, the new firebox sheets were welded in but no staybolts or rivets installed. But trust me there were more than enough new flexis, etc. to do the job.
Typically, those of us who volunteered did grunt work (think stripping and reinstalling piping, boiler jacket, insulation, superheater units and removing tubes) or helped qualified railroad guys who Jensen recruited and usually paid to do the critical work on the locomotives (think installing tubes, dropping wheels, etc).
One of Richard's talents was finding experienced boilermakers, etc. who would work for what he could afford.
So although we all talked about putting 5632 back together, it was understood that a lot of the work would be done by paid help. Remember, this was the '60s and there were still a lot of guys who had steam experience out there.
As far as ICC (pre-FRA) rules & regulations were concerned, Jensen followed them, I can't think of any corners being cut. But the rules weren't that different, if anything they are much easier now, especially with the creation of "Service Days". We didn't have that then: if you ran the locomotive one day you lost a whole month service time!
Folks who whine about the post 2000 FRA rules never had to deal with the old rules...
Be well,
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
In 1974 after we spent a day chasing RDG 2101 through Vermont and New Hampshire, I saw a slide show of pics taken at the C&WI 47th St roundhouse by one of Jensen's younger (at the time of the photos, now he's a retired railroad executive) volunteer helpers, of the new firebox sheets tacked and fitted up in 5632, and the crates and crates of new Flannery staybolts stacked in the cab. Apparently that's the way 5632 arrived from the CB&Q. I'm not sure if Jensen actually did any work on 5632; J. David, can you please shed some light on this?

Howard P.

Lost Causes, NY

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 Post subject: Re: Mr. Jensen and GTW 5629
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:23 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
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Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Hi Howard:
True, the round house was accessed off 47th St., but it was called 49th St. Remember how after going up the ramp you had to make a "U" turn and drive along the access road South for a few blocks until crossing over the C&EI (?) tracks and doubling back a block or so?
As I recall, 5632 came with 4 freight car loads of parts. New tubes & flues plus all the parts off the locomotive (super heater units, main rods, valve gear piping & cab fittings and such), spare rods & wheels.
Those flexis, by the way, were new from Flannery, probably the last big order they ever got. There were enough to do all the work on the loco, plus spares to support its operation for a long time.
Aside from unloading all the parts and stacking stuff on the floor of the (leaky, pigeon infested) round house, we never did any work on it. I always wanted to grease up the threads and ball seats of all the flexi sleeves but never did.
We started working on CB&Q 4963, but never got too far.
One vivid memory I have is Jensen "shot putting" the drawbar pin from down in the inspection pit up into the cab! I could barely lift the pin!
J.David


Last edited by J.David on Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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