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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:40 pm 

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Here's the Jacobson Foundation 990. The software only lets me attach three (3) attachments.


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Jacobson Foundation.pdf [548.38 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
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Location: western Maryland
"Does AOS hold absolute title to the equipment . . . "

Locomotives are not like automobiles. There is no such thing as a Certificate of Title. I did not get a title for any of the locomotives (10) I have purchased. What I DID get was a Bill of Sale. Locomotives are not titled or registered because they do not use public highways or operate on anything other than private property. All railroads own their own property. A farmer doesn't have to register his tractors because they are used "off road". Same with a coal mine or quarry.

Apples and oranges 101.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:41 pm 
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Realistically, we have no idea what JJJ will do with any one piece of equipment he owns.

For all we know, he could restore a given engine and donate it back to another organization- stranger things have happened.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:42 pm 
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wm303 wrote:
A farmer doesn't have to register his tractors because they are used "off road".
Not for a license plate, but some states really want those tax dollars, so a farm (or other) permit is required for many motorized vehicles not using public roads. So, in some states, they are indeed registered by the state.
But you overall point is valid for the most part.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:55 pm 

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I'm sorry, who holds title to the locomotives is a valid question, since the most basic definition of TITLE is:

"In Property Law, a comprehensive term referring to the legal basis of the ownership of property, encompassing real and Personal Property and intangible and tangible interests therein."

The use of TITLE to mean the document is just a subset of the right of ownership broadly referred to as title.

Not that I am questioning in any way what JJJ is doing... he's paid his money, gets to play it any way he sees fit.

I have seen in the past where people will buy something personally and hold it until later when the donation gives them a better tax advantage. There may be other advantages of having a for-profit entity build the museum site. So long as AOS isn't soliciting donations from the public (and it does not appear they are doing so) it's really none of our business.

I'm just happy to see someone putting large sums into railway preservation.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:33 pm 

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Then in lieu of the term "title", which infers that a document exists that ascribes the rights of ownership to an individual entity, the term "owner" would eliminate any confusion.

"I'm just happy to see someone putting large sums into railway preservation".

And be careful when using the term "preservation". It is only preservation when the entity doing the preserving is a 501(c)3.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:57 am 

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Location: Youngstown, OH
I just read the latest update from the Alaska RR 557 effort. I wonder if that group in Alaska would get as much enjoyment from the 557 if it was stored inside a certain roundhouse in Ohio? After all, it is ALL ABOUT the locomotive isn't it? Does the fact that an entirely new group of people have been exposed to steam technology have any importance? How about the maintenance skills that are being learned up there? Does that have any importance? Certainly AOS has way more resources than the 557 group does, so to follow the line of reasoning of a few of the commenters in this thread, it would be far better for the loco to be at AOS, right? The Alaska group should be able to get as much fulfillment and enjoyment by just visiting the 557 on a guided tour once every couple of years!

I hope I am making my point, that it is not only the physical well being of steam locomotives that is important, it is what they can do. Not entirely by running (that is the end goal), but by being able to rally people around them into teams that do amazing things. And I think it is this point that many people gloss over. Every time that a group of people attempt to restore a locomotive, friendships form, skills are taught, and new people are introduced to the hobby. I consider small locomotives to be the seeds that new preservationists grow from. Some projects succeed, many fail. But that seed has sewn some new people who will go on to work in rail heritage the rest of their lives. But, if the seeds are stored in a warehouse, how many new preservationists will grow from them? Just something to ponder the next time we get to discussing where the next generation of preservationists are going to come from.

I see that the train of thought regarding ownership has derailed. Some I guess missed that point too, but that is a side issue. I do not subscribe to the idea that historic artifacts are held in some sort of public trust just because the IRS has extended a tax exemption to non profit organizations. There is nothing in the tax code that places such a restriction. What Congress meant to do when it gave non profits tax exempt status was to promote the types of activities that non profits do. They saw that charities do things that the private sector would not do, and in order to promote those activities used the most powerful tool that govt. has at its disposal to help them along. We as nonprofits are free to do what we wish with historic artifacts, as long as the end result is something that the general public can benefit from. We can and do buy, sell, alter, scrap, dismantle and abandon equipment all the time, and none of us have lost tax exempt status because of it. That is because the equipment are mere props in the museum business. They are there to help tell the stories. The govt. trusts that we are professional and proficient in what we do, and allows us to make those decisions as to what is important to the missions that we placed on our Form 1023s.

I also dispute the idea that preservation can only be done by a tax exempt organization. "Preserving" an artifact can be undertaken by anyone. That word is defined by a series of activities, not who carries out the activities. I would argue that some private collectors such as Jay Leno carries out preservation to a higher degree than most nonprofit car museums do. Of course with a private collector there is some definitive end date at which the collection's future is uncertain, but it is fallacy to think that a nonprofit organization also does not have such an uncertain future. Actually, all it takes is one regime change for a nonprofit to deaccession, scrap or sell off what the previous administration poured much money and attention into.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:30 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Though Brother Rowlands bring up some valid points in his latest contribution, I might respectfully add:

For every Alaska 557, we have a PRR 1361. Or, if you want to be less polarizing, a LIRR 35/39, a Western Maryland 202, an EBT #6, and/or a NdeM 3028.

And the corollary: For every Age of Steam, an East Broad Top.

Would we be better off without the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and instead have a dozen PRR steamers scattered hither and yon in parks, on excursion lines, or in local museums at places like Altoona, Harrisburg, Dennison, Northumberland, Reading, Renovo, Sewickley, and Huntingdon?

If the parties that feel "deprived" or whatever because of AoS's efforts have a better plan, let them bring it. Let THEM be proactive, set up a local foundation, training spot, etc., or a partnership with Strasburg, Cass, CSRM, East Ely, or wherever.

And to "wm303": Since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and, likewise, Nevada, Texas, North Carolina, West Va., and California) isn't a 501(c)3 group, does that mean that what THEY do for our avocation isn't actually "preservation"?


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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:15 am 

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I think 303 was being a bit sarcastic with his remark about 501C3s....... How many of our oldest and most venerable institutions were based on private collections, after all, from art museums to the Library of Congress. I do see a certain thread of thought that the only legitimate and secure form of preservation organization is a 501C3 that seems to underlie a lot of postings here, probably due to a lack of familiarity with other forms. In reality, a private preservationist with means and knowledge can do much more actual quality preservation than a lot of marginal poorly managed 501C3s. Lots of voting people with separate emotionally driven agendas don't generally come up with a cohesive plan and prioritize resources towards narrow defined goals, but tend towards partisan dithering and lots of competing priorities so little gets done efficiently. There's no magic structure that will guarantee success.

That said, I think we're at the early phases of AOS in terms of its eventual contribution to the industry and general public. he's in the collecting phase now, working on the building phase plans, and the eventual product..... well, that's going to evolve I'm sure, and part of the collecting phase is setting up for whichever eventualities might result.

I completely get Hot Metal's bit of displeasure about the loss of an opportunity to recreate a piece of history - I had been endeavoring to build a war chest to bring the Decapod to NC to stand in for an identical sister locomotive that ran on the Durham and Southern, but found it impossible to gain support for a long term narrow goal. What's impossible is impossible....... and is displaced by what is possible. AOS is possible and competent and has the resources to make a lot of good things happen. The fact that they aren't my things or Rick's things isn't really relevant to anybody but us. Meanwhile, I've got other irons in the fire and Rick has the Ingot on Wheels to get done so neither one of us is lacking for meaningful work.

I'd hope that AOS includes public outreach, education, and a wide dispersal of benefits to the public in a lot of places. No reason the Gramlings need to carry the entire load of steam road show productions.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:34 am 

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Dave wrote:
....... How many of our oldest and most venerable institutions were based on private collections, after all, from art museums to the Library of Congress. I do see a certain thread of thought that the only legitimate and secure form of preservation organization is a 501C3 that seems to underlie a lot of postings here, probably due to a lack of familiarity with other forms. In reality, a private preservationist with means and knowledge can do much more actual quality preservation than a lot of marginal poorly managed 501C3s. Lots of voting people with separate emotionally driven agendas don't generally come up with a cohesive plan and prioritize resources towards narrow defined goals, but tend towards partisan dithering and lots of competing priorities so little gets done efficiently. There's no magic structure that will guarantee success.


I have in the past felt that the ultimate answer for preservation was a 501c3 organization, but having watched preservation for almost fifty years now, I'm not so sure. There are many not-for-profits that are failing, or have failed, to fulfill their mission statement.

It seems to me, at this point, it is good that we have private collectors who are willing to sink more money into their own personal collection than if they had to answer to a board of foamers. It doesn't even bother me that some of these collections are temporarily not available to the public... even if the length of that temporary period exceeds my lifetime. Nothing is cast in stone; those sheltered collections will become opportunities for public museums at some point in the future.

Better than having artifacts decay to the point where their next stop is an appointment with the ladle.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:01 pm 
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Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
For every Alaska 557, we have a PRR 1361.
Probably three or four is more accurate, if not more.
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Would we be better off without the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and instead have a dozen PRR steamers scattered hither and yon in parks, on excursion lines, or in local museums at places like Altoona, Harrisburg, Dennison, Northumberland, Reading, Renovo, Sewickley, and Huntingdon?
I'm not sure, but your comparison isn't valid. Regardless of the condition of the locomotives within, The PRR museum at Strasburg can be visited by anyone with a few bucks to walk in the door. The park engines can be visited by anyone who can get to said parks.
AoS is a private collection that the public can't just walk up to see.
Certainly, inside a nice, new roundhouse would be best for the overall condition of the rolling stock, but not every loco is going in there, are they? Is sitting on a side track waiting for someone to get to it any better for a locomotive than sitting in a park? I could argue that point either way. I know of some locomotives that really were better off sitting in a park than where they eventually wound up (two examples: Fred Kepner's GN 1246 that was previously displayed at the Seattle zoo, or SP&S 539, now rusting in Williams after being bought by the Grand Canyon RR for a restoration that will probably never come).
For that matter, has any work been done on any of these locomotives to get them running again? I'm honestly asking the question as I don't know. I just keep hearing about what he's bought next and next to nothing about what he's doing to get them restored. When it comes to the Ohio Central days of his collection, all I ever see now are mentions of what he used to have running over there and how several of the locomotives haven't run in many years.
I agree that what he's doing is probably a very good thing, but my concerns have always been over the potential implosion of the effort someday. We've all seen or heard of big collections doing exactly that.
I wish the AoS nothing but the most amazing success they can have. Still, I do wonder about all this...

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:30 pm 

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Please understand in regard to wm303, that his approach to the 501(c) issue is based of the fact that many people, on and off this site, have criticized his efforts as a non-preservationist activity due to him not holding a 501(c), and instead hauling freight in order to finance himself. His operation is still expanding as well, and I applaud his efforts to preserve a chunk of the WM as it would have appeared when in operation. 10 locomotives is certainly nothing to scoff at.

In regards to the AOS operation, they also have a great leader with JJJ, and I wish to see the collection last long into the future. The endowment and other monetary contributions to the project ensue this as long as it is handled properly, and with care to spend it to the best of their judgement and ability.


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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
p51 wrote:
I agree that what he's doing is probably a very good thing, but my concerns have always been over the potential implosion of the effort someday. We've all seen or heard of big collections doing exactly that.
I wish the AoS nothing but the most amazing success they can have. Still, I do wonder about all this...


I don't know... there have been some "implosions" of 501c3 organizations, too.

I look back... Dick Jensen's and Paulson Spence's collections were most definitely implosions, although it's never been clear to me if Spence intended his collection to be a preservation effort, an entertainment attraction, or an overgrown backyard railroad, and apparently his heirs didn't know, either.

On the other hand, most of Nelson Blount's collection still exists; the same with Zerbal's effort to preserve the LS&I Big Bay branch intact as a working railroad. When Mr. Zerbal died, his heirs couldn't shut it down fast enough, but of the dozen locomotives he collected, eleven still exist. His car fleet fared almost as well.

If the world would have waited for the nascent railroad museum organizations to do this collecting, all these engines would be gone.

Now we are faced with an overabundance of endangered derelict engines on display in parks and other places, where the owners are finally realizing that these things won't last forever out in the weather, and really, most of the public doesn't give a damn whether they are there or not.

I'm in support of anyone who will provide funds to give them cover. Public display is just the icing on the cake. Restoration to operation is out of the question, because the business model doesn't support it.

If you want operating steam in fifty years, with few exceptions you are going to be relying on rich guys getting their jollies.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:44 pm 

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For that matter, has any work been done on any of these locomotives to get them running again? I'm honestly asking the question as I don't know. I just keep hearing about what he's bought next and next to nothing about what he's doing to get them restored. When it comes to the Ohio Central days of his collection, all I ever see now are mentions of what he used to have running over there and how several of the locomotives haven't run in many years.


If you look back at a couple of the past updates to the website, you'll see the following:

http://www.ageofsteamroundhouse.com/Rep ... 15-02.html

"Firebox work to our huge, ex-Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 #33 continues this winter, including the manufacture and installation of a new crown sheet, door sheet, partial side sheets and thermic syphons.

Because it would be less expensive to do such extra work now while #33 is disassembled, it was decided to replace additional square feet of firebox at this time. This means that less work will be needed when #33’s FRA-mandated, 15-year time limit comes due.

All other repairs on the locomotive’s “to-do” list have been completed, and when this boiler work has been accomplished #33 will be ready for service once more."

- and then -

"Locomotive #12, ex-Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0, has had all of its 2-inch boiler tubing removed in preparation for a thorough descaling and ultra-sound testing of the boiler shell, firebox and other pressure components. Boiler stud replacement and repairs to staybolts and staybolt sleeves are underway.

The boiler recalculation information is being gathered to meet the Federal Railroad Administration requirements for the 15-year/1472-service day requirements under the FRA’s new rules for steamers. Just received from a local foundry are a new smoke stack, stack base ring and exhaust nozzle.

We still need to machine the fit of these new portions, drill the mounting holes and attach them to #12’s now-empty smokebox.

This 1905 product of Alco’s Pittsburg (no “h”) Works has been a fun, yet challenging, project on which to work."

And so forth and so on. And that's only from the most recent "Roundhouse Report". Looking through other recent reports, you'll see other work has been going on as well. I'll admit, the website updates can be sporadic, but work on the engines are progressing - at this point, who knows how far along some of these other engines are (besides #1293, which is already operational) towards running again.

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 Post subject: Re: Age of Steam gets another one
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:05 pm 

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Jiminy! Here we go again.

People only "rally around" a steam locomotive if there is funding to work on it. There are hundreds of neglected old locos out there that you guys are free to rally around and work on.

The AOS is the best thing to happen to railway preservation in my lifetime. The negative comments make me want to jump off the roof of the building.


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