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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Minneapolis, MN
759 in perfect shape sans tubes is EXACTLY the way to store her. In that condition she is ready for a "minimum cost" 1472 day inspection when and if a use is found for her. Restoration to operation for big $$$ and then NOT operating is certainly a great way to waste those big $$$. Especially when those same big $$$ will have to be spent AGAIN in 15 years even if the locomotive has operated only ONE day.


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 367
Location: Milford,Mass
Hi all
Just to add to this post NKP # 757 was also a donor of her cylinder head and piston in 1972 . When # 759 blew her left cylinder head off , because a key holding the left piston rod loosened. This information came from High Iron 72 pubished by Quadrant Press Inc.
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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:36 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2166
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Gee, those photos look familiar.....

While riding in the Conneaut crew car, with the doors closed (it was a cold morning!), three loud bangs were heard, followed instantly by the train going into emergency. Whoever was running shut off immediately and brought the train to a stop before anything else got loose.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2166
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Thanks! Gulf Summit on the Erie; a very tight shot with a 50mm lens and big crowd of photographers there in a small space.

The original slide was lost when the record company mailed the photos back to me--- poor packing and a ripped envelope!!! ARRRGGHHH!

Submitting digital images is much safer. Of course, 45 years ago, we didn't have that option, and I was too poor to have a motor drive Nikon!

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:58 pm
Posts: 874
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
How about this one Howard?

Growing up my Father had a framed version of this image above our HO scale layout.

He still has it and one day I'll bring it out west and hang it up in my house.

One of my favorite steam images.

Thanks Howard.



I'm looking at my framed copy of that picture as I type this.


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Haha. I also have a framed copy of that photograph hanging over my train layout (or what's left of my train layout). Don't remember where I got it but it's been there for at least 16 years.

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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
I've prattled on here before about how #759 was the beast that sealed my love for steam as a kid, and how I memorized HP's books featuring her.

Whenever I am out shooting #765 there are three excursion-era pics of #759 on my mind... One is the album cover shown above another is from one of Howard's books of her going past a barn with a cupola and the third is an image by Tony Organek from Horseshoe Curve. All three are iconic images to me.

Rob


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:17 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2166
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Interesting that RT Sharp rode the HICO HS Curve trip; he was a Western shooter. One of the RMNE/Naugy guys has recently been buying Sharp negs (Cajon Pass, mostly) off E-Bay.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 367
Well, this thread prompted me to trade some messages with another contributor to this thread today discussing the many pro's and few con's (in our opinion, at least!) behind why, in our opinion, 759 would make a much better candidate for restoration at ST than 3713 or either of the two previously servicable engines, 3254 and 2317. While in the short term, either of those two may be cheaper to return to service (I honestly have no idea how worn out either of those two engines are), you cannot argue that a NKP Berk would be worked far below its capacity, and be worn out at a considerably slower pace, on the ususal ST 5-10 car trains on a daily basis, than either 3254, 2317 or 3713 will or would in the future.

On a totally different topic, but somewhat related (Superpower) topic, the recent discussion of old 60's and 70's color steam footage made me think fondly of this next story. Mr. Woodring, did you happen to know a former B&O engineer in Cleveland; I believe his name was Morley Sadar, who worked out of W.3rd St in Cleveland? If you don't, I'm sure Russ Jaite did, and for the life of me, can't figure out why I never asked Russ about him years ago when I worked with him at CVSR. Anyhow, Morley happened to be my bus driver when I was in 1st grade in Chesterland, OH, in, oh, say 1978 or so. Somehow, between Morley, my father who was teaching 5th grade at the time and my first grade teacher, our class had a whole week devoted to "Trains" that year. As part of that week, I remember Morley setting up his color movie projector and showing our class color 16mm footage taken while he was running steam and diesel out of Cleveland down to Sterling and maybe some footage in the valley too. No runbys, but his shots were from the cab as I recall. He also said he was the engineer who shoved C&O 2707 onto its display plinth in Brook Park next to the zoo. Also that year, our class also had a field trip to the Cleveland Zoo, and 2707 was still on display there. Morley was our bus driver, of course, and we all got to go up in the stripped out, littered cab of the poor 2707. She sure was a poor site to behold. Sure wish she had stayed in Cleveland and become a stablemate of 4070 but, alas, that wasn't to be. Years later when she was sitting outside the W. 3rd St. roundhouse, my dad drove me and my brother and a childhood friend down to the flats to see 2707 before she left for IRM. Somewhere I have a couple of photos from that day.

In closing, how many former railroaders recorded views of their career on the railroad but may or may not have ever shared that footage with anyone else? How many reels of such gems like I got a glimpse of lay hidden in boxes in someone's attic or basement? So, if you're one of those individuals, folks like many of us would love to see those memories in living color!

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
Steamtown’s argument against 759 may have been mitigated a bit in light of 765’s recent visit, but who knows. The decision of which engine will be brought back from the ash pan next is, honestly, probably 5 years away. Maybe more. 3254 will not see the rails again unless you believe in Christmas miracles. 2317 is a fan favorite, well-sized for the demands of the line, and an original passenger engine so despite her penchant for random derailing she is the most likely candidate.

I have heard, but have not confirmed, that the park service likes to run the Canadian engines because they are not subjected to the same stringent preservation standards as the American engines, which are moving artifacts. If true, that means you are going to see 2317 or (don’t laugh) parts mike 3377.

Truth be told, if NS is going to be steam friendly, and the 765 can make a visit every few years to the Scranton roundhouse, why bother with 759? I am fine with variety. At this point I will be happy if I see 26 under steam before the season comes to a close.


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:31 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 240
Rob Gardner wrote:
Well, this thread prompted me to trade some messages with another contributor to this thread today discussing the many pro's and few con's (in our opinion, at least!) behind why, in our opinion, 759 would make a much better candidate for restoration at ST than 3713 or either of the two previously servicable engines, 3254 and 2317. While in the short term, either of those two may be cheaper to return to service (I honestly have no idea how worn out either of those two engines are), you cannot argue that a NKP Berk would be worked far below its capacity, and be worn out at a considerably slower pace, on the ususal ST 5-10 car trains on a daily basis, than either 3254, 2317 or 3713 will or would in the future.


Now that the aroma and sounds of coal-fired mainline steam are once again a fading memory in the Lackawanna Valley, this is a very interesting issue to consider. NKP 765’s visit to the area highlights the handicap the Park Service is playing with in trying to tell the story of steam era railroads and their contribution to the economic, social, and physical growth of the US without the ability to regularly provide the interpretive experience of an operating mainline steam locomotive. To further their mission, the Park Service might consider that NKP 759 could possibly represent the quickest and most economic (both in initial start up and maintenance costs) path to a return to operating mainline steam at the site.

In “B&M #3713 Restoration Thread Part 2”, on June 27, “GSpro” asked, “Is there any estimate as to how much more money is needed to finish 3713?” The only dollar amount that has been put forth by the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley RHS is their fundraising goal since the recent restart of the restoration program, which is $750,000. There is no indication as to whether or not this represents the total estimate of the remaining amount of money needed to complete 3713’s restoration to operation or if the tax payers, through Park Service funding, will also be putting more money into the locomotive. Since this hasn’t been made clear, maybe a fair conservative estimate is $750K to $1M for the remainder of the work.

This is on top of the approximately $1.4M that has already been spent by the L&WVRHS (again, most likely not including money from the Park Service) since the program started twenty years ago. Putting that amount aside, from a preservation project management standpoint, does it make sense for the Park Service, an organization lacking operating mainline steam, to seek an alternative in the short term while putting an existing project on the back burner? The approach would be similar to what the American Steam Railroad Preservation Association is doing with Reading 2100 while putting their efforts with Frisco 1352 on hold. The big difference in the two scenarios is the large amount of time and money that has already been put into 3713’s operational restoration.

Three questions of import are:
(1) Can 759 be restored to operation more quickly than 3713?
(2) Can 759 be restored to operation more economically than 3713?
(3) Can 759 be operated and maintained more economically than 3713?

As per this thread, there are several very well respected professionals that have knowledge of 759’s recent history and current condition, one of whom has experience working on 759 in the ‘70s, many years working with the Fort Wayne group with 765, and who has recently had a chance to give 759 a good look during the recent asbestos abatement program in Scranton. So there is a current knowledge base that could most likely provide the answers to questions (1) and (2), or at least very good estimates for the time and money required.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has been working on restoring, operating, and maintaining 765 since 1972. They have a great deal of experience successfully restoring and operating 765 as well as hosting and supervising passenger train excursions, private charters, and public exhibitions of 765. They have a proven track record in fundraising, financial management, public relations, and marketing. Most importantly, the FWRHS has an unequalled knowledge base and level of technical expertise with regards to the S2 class Berkshire.

If the Park Service could partner with the FWRHS in the restoration and maintenance of 759, access to this technical knowledge base and project management expertise could further speed 759’s return to operation as well as result in cost reductions when compared to other recent restoration to operation projects. Additionally, both operations may benefit in economies of scale by cooperating on sourcing replacement parts, and so the operating costs of 759 when compared to 3713 may be lower.

Given the importance of operational mainline steam motive power to the interpretive goals in Scranton, a thorough analysis of the start up and operating costs associated with the 3713 and 759 would be very interesting. Even if it resulted in no projected cost difference between the two locomotives, if 759 could be returned to service more quickly it may make sense to finally end the steam drought at Steamtown once and for all by restoring 759.


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:23 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
If all things were equal, then yes, you may be right. But we are essentially comparing a railroad to a post office. The park has many, many more regulations and miles of red tape stuck to everything that it does. Imagine the headaches of not only keeping 765 running, but also keeping it 100% historically accurate as well. The park is not allowed to advertise and any income generated goes right out the gate and into Uncle Sam's big pot for redistribution. They could never travel with the locomotive the way that the 765 crew does, nor could they get daily blocks of extended time on their shared, and increasingly more active mainline. Even if they could, they don't have the ridership to support the expense.

Steamtown is many things, and frustrating is one of them. But after having looked closely at what sort of umbrella they operate under, I at least have realistic expectations for what may or may not come to pass. I am very grateful for the outside agencies that are able to partner with the park and provide wonderful experiences, such as the 765, the local RHS, and the ELDCPS. Steamtown would be in far worse shape without them. Hopefully, under NS, we will see more visiting steam in the next few years, as I already know that 26 won't be pulling any excursions on the main.

And speaking of the 26, the goal is to have interpretive steam on the premises, NOT on the main. The excursions are looked at as a necessary evil , so to speak, and the Feds would be all too happy to have the 759 or the 3713 restricted to yard shuttle duty for all eternity.

Now, some things that could be along the same vein of what you are suggesting; buying a locomotive with flue time on the clock, leasing a loco, leasing out the excursions, or farming out the heavy restoration work, all of those ideas could have some real traction...


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:10 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 240
6-18003 - Please note that my suggestion was for partnering in restoration and maintenance and not operation. In this scenario, 759 would operate just as 3713 is intended to operate, that is down to the Gap (much like 2317 and 3254 did) and up to Binghamton.

I am well aware of the Park Service regulations and have read many of the Director's Orders as well as the preservation standards. Nothing in there to prohibit what I propose. Partnering is a big priority in the Park Service, as indicated by Superintendent Conway's initial drive to redo all of the partnership agreements and her work with Superheater and others in establishing a "Friends of" organization, as it allows them to stretch their budget further.

As to not operating US locomotives because of the "preservation standards", this is incorrect. An operating locomotive will consume itself and so parts will have to be replaced over time. Referring to the parts consumed as "original fabric" as many do is a misnomer in that I am unaware of any steam locomotive that has all of the original fabric as of its date of manufacture or of many that have all the original parts from the target preservation era.

Preservation standards do not prohibit the consumption or replacement of original fabric or the upgrade of systems in a manner that will decrease wear on the artifact.

The amount of replacement of original fabric is up to the owner of the artifact and the intended interpretive purpose of the artifact. As long as all modifications are documented and the replacement is accurate to the target era or is a best possible replacement given what is available, it is permitted. A good example of this is the USS Constitution. A large amount of the original wood has been replaced because its owner, the US Navy, sees the best interpretive value of the artifact as a seaworthy vessel capable of use as a training ship and not as a display in dry dock.

Likewise, upgrades in systems are allowed if it will decrease wear or better protect the artifact. A good rail-specific example of this is the lube lines that were installed in Baldwin 26, which was originally built with oil cellars with waste packing. As part of 26’s ongoing operational overhaul/rebuild, the Park Service’s preservation specialists installed an Armstrong Oiler setup, with a center lube line feeding the journal and the outer lines feeding the shoe and wedge. More generally, maintenance upgrades such as this are common in historic structures where HVAC and fire suppression are upgraded from the original or added when none originally existed.

As for trying to clarify the overall interpretive goals of the Park Service in Scranton and discussing what mix of motive power would best meet those interpretive goals, that is best left to another thread.


Last edited by Scranton Yard on Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:18 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
Agree and agree.

I was told of the supposed restrictions on upgrading the US built engines by someone close to the park, but that was several years ago, and may have been more of a personal choice by management rather than an actual directive from the NPS. As we all know, there is a new sheriff (ranger?) in town, and things are certainly changing.

The suggestion of swapping to 759 is interesting but I also suppose there is value in completing the 3713, even if it takes longer and costs more to get her to turn a wheel. After the 1361 debacle, (and I know this was merely a project under work AT Steamtown, and not undertaken BY Steamtown), perception is what it is and I believe the park needs to be able to show that they can indeed handle the job. Not to mention the fact that since she is under repair, she is not suitable for static display either.

Switching to a different engine will no doubt hurt fundraising in some ways, as I am sure they get quite a few donations from New England. Granted they will also pick up some new supporters, but how much interest will the 759 draw if people can drive a ways and see the nearly identical 765? I would hold this argument against the Reading T1 as well, as one will soon be running in Ohio.

You could speculate that another group could come in and work on the 759 simultaneously, but then you are going after mostly the same dollars and there would be other complications. It would be nice to have five steamers up and running at one time but that is not realistic in terms of operation or budget.

Good food for thought though.


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 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 History (includes the "freeze") for Record
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1753
"her work with Superheater in establishing a "Friends of" organization, as it allows them to stretch their budget further."

I would be remiss if I did not point out that while I have been rather vocal about the organization, this is a TEAM Effort and somebody else (aka "Fearless Leader") took the lead in assembling that team. All of our meetings with the Superintendent have been attended by a minimum of six.

Right now, I just happen to have the most applicable technical skills for this phase of the journey.


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