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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 613
David, I deleted them myself as one of my respected colleagues who has done a lot of good for the organization thought I was "airing dirty laundry" or what ever or would be taken as that. I know when I feel strongly about something I can get off on an emotional drivel tirade and do exactly that and not be aware of it. So I took his advice and deleted them. He thought it would do nobody any good to post them. He may be right I do not know? I do not feel I was wrong but I do trust his judgment and do know I can get carried away. So I chose to err in caution. Sorry, because if one took the time to read the very thorough report you would have a very good grasp on why I am upset and many others are as well. To me it is way more than me not liking a decision the BOD chose. It was down right underhanded and just plain wrong. It is spelled out in plain English and you do not need to be a lawyer to understand it. By going back to the first arbitration you can follow the chain of events to the here and now. There is a pattern of very bad choices. The current BOD is not the same BOD as many are relatively new to the board in last few years. But the continued poor choices in my opinion continues. I think your spot on about needing to keep an eye on your organization and make sure the checks and balances are kept in place.

Les. Off the top of my head, I am not going to research the exact years of operation and openly admit that you cannot count of super accuracy of operating years.

CN&W #1385 ran at NF in 1963 and then again in revenue service 1973 until about 1998 or so. We fired her up and might of ran break in type runs in 1970 {first steam up} and can't recall if we had a fire in her in 1972 or not? Think in 73 is when we kept her running. Owned by MC. She was not available at NF for a number of years when on the road doing PR work for CN&W. Along with our people who should of stayed home and worked on our other engines. Blasphemy I know.

D&R #9 was one of our main engines from 1963 through mid 1970s? She ran after that but not very often from what I know. Her wood tender frame was replaced with a steel frame conversion that had no brakes. I do not recall why she didn't run more often after that. Hers was the first boiler to get new tubes, which was big time to us at that time. MC owned.

WC&C #1 Boy I should look this up, but want to say from about 1970ish to maybe 1990. This locomotive ran a lot, despite being worn out to the max she just kept on running. Very few breakdowns very much a main duty engine for almost 20 years. Privately owned.

W&OV #1 This was one of the most charming 4-6-0s ever. Think she must of ran from late 1960s until early 1980s? She too was a main duty engine and was privately owned at least twice while at MC. She needed major overhaul and was sold, now off property in Black River Falls, Wi I think. Think she had some major running gear work done to her and she did run a few times in early 1980s? I left about that time. We usually had three locomotive in operable condition with one down for repairs and two available for service.

Polson or Saginaw #2 ran from about 1984 until 2000? Obviously privately owned. Main duty engine for those years.

Richard Hineboughs locomotive #9 ran a few times at NF but do not think she ever pulled a revenue train. She went to North Lake Wi and now at Sugar Grove, OH, privately owned of course.

CIPS #6 ran a couple of times most to see where she leaked and what was going to need immediate attention. She never pulled a venue train. MC owned

LCLC #2 Used to double head for photos, no air brakes and to light to pull much of a train. Ran in a couple of movies and switched cars once in a while. Guessing ran off and on from maybe 1965 -1969 Was out of service shortly after filming "The Immigrants". More tired out than the WC&C #1 and that is truly saying something, what I am not sure. Was MC owned and sold as a parts kit in 2014 at the MC auction along with the Decopod that went to Sugar Grove, OH. This engine is partially moved near Reedsburg, wi much of it still resides at MC.

The two MC owned locomotive that were up and running for extended periods were the D&R #9 and CN&W #1385. 1385 is indeed a wonderful locomotive but she is not small. The tight curves and light rail are not well suited for daily driver use. It will be good to see her steamed up someday. To bad she will probably never see the main line again. Who knows maybe the universe will open up and allow it to happen? Stranger things have happened I guess. Well gents this is the world according to me. There are other versions available of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
John -

Thanks for the info on the various locomotives that have run at Mid-Continent over the years.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:01 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:12 pm
Posts: 89
[quote="wilkinsd"] A lot of our organizations have been poorly managed for years by members or volunteers that thought of it as a train club than a real non-profit educational organization. What we are seeing in North Freedom and in Noblesville are examples of that. It appears that both organizations are now run by cliques who are not accountable for the membership, due to bylaw changes and other shenanigans. [/quote]

Mr. Wilkins' first quoted sentence could not be better stated, but those that follow it are non-sequiturs.

I'm hard-pressed to think of many "real non-profit educational organizations" that are "accountable [to] the membership." When I became a member of a well-known art museum, I did not do so in the expectation that its Trustees would be accountable to me and bound to consider my wishes, in exchange for my annual $75, and were I in a position to volunteer there as a docent or in some other capacity, I'd fully expect that if fellow volunteers banded together and demanded change ("we demand that our favorite painting be put back on display"), it would eventually be suggested that perhaps we'd be happier volunteering elsewhere. I don't think the "art world" is an outlying example; I live not far from prominent air and maritime museums and am generally familiar with their operations and volunteer programs, and neither institution is run as an exercise in democracy.

It is seemingly unique to "railroad museums" that volunteer participation, or even merely payment of dues and showing up for "meetings", should result in veto power over a Board of Trustees already accountable under the charitable-organization laws of the state. It seems to me that a "railroad museum" organized and operated in such manner is indeed "a train club rather than a real non-profit educational organization." An organization in which "members" have democratic control over the management has little inherently in common with a museum in any ordinary sense, and seems to describe something more like a volunteer fire department.

As for Mid-Continent Railway Museum, I have only a 1,000-mile view of the situation, but what I see is an organization making great strides to get much of the remainder of its significant collection under cover, attracting very large grants in recent years for some truly magnificent wooden coach contract restorations as well as steady support for others undertaken to high standards by volunteers, and poised to return a regionally-significant museum-owned steam locomotive (1385) to operation. Despite all this, we see tremendous criticism for its "failure" to affirm and honor the efforts of a private individual to restore a privately-owned (and regionally-insignificant) locomotive. I'm not familiar with the charitable-organization laws of Wisconsin, but if asked to guess whether the efforts and accomplishments of the Trustees are consistent with them, and that the demands of a cabal of "members" to support a private restoration project at a charitably-owned facility and to maintain its subsequent operation with charitable funds are not, it's probably a fairly easy call in favor of the Trustees.

Here's the bottom line: if your "railroad museum" exists for the benefit of "members" as opposed to the benefit of the public, it's probably not a "real non-profit educational organization," let alone a museum in the generally-accepted sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:07 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
Agreed - pandering to the membership rather than acting to increase the involvement and experience offered to the general public in support of your mission is much more likely to result in a long slow demise. Can't comment on this situation as I don't know enough about it, but generally speaking you need to serve your purpose and market first, and if you do it well, the rest will come together - little else succeeds like building on success.

If a BOD failed to live up to the terms of a contract made in good faith, that's either dishonesty or incompetence. If they fail to build a thriving organization because they are not as interested in public service as they are in self interest, they shouldn't be in a leadership role.

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2440
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
George Jackson Churchward wrote:

Mr. Wilkins' first quoted sentence could not be better stated, but those that follow it are non-sequiturs.

I'm hard-pressed to think of many "real non-profit educational organizations" that are "accountable [to] the membership." When I became a member of a well-known art museum, I did not do so in the expectation that its Trustees would be accountable to me and bound to consider my wishes, in exchange for my annual $75, and were I in a position to volunteer there as a docent or in some other capacity, I'd fully expect that if fellow volunteers banded together and demanded change ("we demand that our favorite painting be put back on display"), it would eventually be suggested that perhaps we'd be happier volunteering elsewhere. I don't think the "art world" is an outlying example; I live not far from prominent air and maritime museums and am generally familiar with their operations and volunteer programs, and neither institution is run as an exercise in democracy.

It is seemingly unique to "railroad museums" that volunteer participation, or even merely payment of dues and showing up for "meetings", should result in veto power over a Board of Trustees already accountable under the charitable-organization laws of the state. It seems to me that a "railroad museum" organized and operated in such manner is indeed "a train club rather than a real non-profit educational organization." An organization in which "members" have democratic control over the management has little inherently in common with a museum in any ordinary sense, and seems to describe something more like a volunteer fire department.

As for Mid-Continent Railway Museum, I have only a 1,000-mile view of the situation, but what I see is an organization making great strides to get much of the remainder of its significant collection under cover, attracting very large grants in recent years for some truly magnificent wooden coach contract restorations as well as steady support for others undertaken to high standards by volunteers, and poised to return a regionally-significant museum-owned steam locomotive (1385) to operation. Despite all this, we see tremendous criticism for its "failure" to affirm and honor the efforts of a private individual to restore a privately-owned (and regionally-insignificant) locomotive. I'm not familiar with the charitable-organization laws of Wisconsin, but if asked to guess whether the efforts and accomplishments of the Trustees are consistent with them, and that the demands of a cabal of "members" to support a private restoration project at a charitably-owned facility and to maintain its subsequent operation with charitable funds are not, it's probably a fairly easy call in favor of the Trustees.

Here's the bottom line: if your "railroad museum" exists for the benefit of "members" as opposed to the benefit of the public, it's probably not a "real non-profit educational organization," let alone a museum in the generally-accepted sense.


I disagree. Your railroad museum isn't the Metropolitan Museum of Art or even the Museum of Science and Industry. As a result, you rarely attract the caliber of people that serve on those boards, along with their fundraising ability. Unlike the cited examples, you need volunteer buy-in at most railway museums in order to make the place function. After studying the issues for many years, I've concluded that our industry is a bit different. When your board wants to "professionalize" (strip the membership of voting power) I cannot think of a good example where it has worked out to the museum's benefit (KRM, ITM, MCRM). At best, it seems to entrench one clique in power before a finincisl cor other crisis occurs.

Should we be more like MSI and the Met, and not a club? Certainly. However, providing voting membership a check against abuse of power by the BOD is not "pandering" to the membership. Don't confuse the two.

As for MCRM, your 1000 mile view is jaded by the press releases. Their ridership, their primary source of income, is a fraction of what it used to be. Stunning contract coach restorations? They used to do those in-house without benefit of grants. At best, it's a mixed bag, but an overall indicator of a downward slide with some bright spots.

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David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:53 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
David, I was the guy who mentioned pandering - Mr Churchward is not guilty of that. If your organization is inner directed rather than outer directed, it will become persistently less relevant to the community that it needs to support it and die. This is my definition of pandering to the membership - existing primarily to give railfans a chance to play trains while hoping many people who aren't will open their wallets to subsidize it, rather than providing something of value to the public and earning the chance to do some playing with trains in the process. Certainly the membership needs to carefully decide who will manage their organizations in the public trust - but few members look at it from the outside in, and it devolves into a popularity thing rather than a competence thing.... and competent development is what a BOD should be doing above all.

And, as usual, we're getting off track. I'm sorry I missed the chance to see what was deleted - there may have been some valuable insight in the considered opinions of a disinterested third party whose purpose was to provide some clarity and arbitration.

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:59 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1048
Location: Youngstown, OH
Deleting the link to the arbitration report is an opportunity lost for education regarding a very important issue facing the rail preservation community. How can we improve ourselves if we cannot learn from mistakes?

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Rick Rowlands
Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 145
Dave wrote:
...And, as usual, we're getting off track. I'm sorry I missed the chance to see what was deleted - there may have been some valuable insight in the considered opinions of a disinterested third party whose purpose was to provide some clarity and arbitration.

Allow me to add some fact to a current perception. The arbitrator of this decision is a life member of MCRHS and actually helped draft the instrument in question well over a decade ago. I cannot and will not dispute the opinion because the arbitrator's decision is final but I do offer this as clarification. mld


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 613
I like these diverse opinions and point of views. The truth or partial truth is in all of them. Like a lot of things balance is key and very hard to establish and hold on to. In the case of MC I do not see good v/s evil. Some of this is long standing ego based vendetta being portrayed as a "business decision". Some of it IS business decision. In the case of MC I feel that maybe I have an advantage of the last 15 years of involvement to varying degrees which has formed my opinions, which of course are not shared by everybody. I am not the spokesman for anybody other than me. I invite other members to share their opinions that will counter or add light to mine?

I have stated why I erased the PDF links and gave my reasons. I can understand questioning this and how this limits my complaints or views in the eyes of others. I am still active at MC and have probably been more vocal than anybody else I can think of. If you think any of my ramblings are putting me in favor of the management, well obviously not. So I let the chips fall where they may and post the links. For every action there is a reaction. I feel the reports are accurate and factual. But I also feel it doesn't shed a very good light on the BOD in this case. So is this going to be taken as "a shot across the bow", am I "airing dirty laundry" to support a "popularity" contest or to simply make me look good and them bad? I put my name on my posts and stand by what I say until proven otherwise or view another perspective that tempers my not so humble opinion. So I still have mixed feelings about posting the links.

While I openly disagree quite often with the BOD decisions does not mean I am trying to sink MC to prove my points or even sink the BOD. Sorry if I gave anybody the idea that this or any other organization is there to answer to me and my personal whims. That is not the case. Having opposing view points does not mean I am wrong or they are wrong. But if you find your self as an individual or a BOD and you are running into a lot of resistance you owe it to yourself to take a look and see if the opposition doesn't have a point you should be looking at. This is the reason I suggested to Skip he and his engine leaving is probably the best for both of them. I do not think it a good outcome but things are what they are. Sometimes a divorce is the right move as things will never be fixed enough to work out?

I still want to repost the links to the final arbitration. Let me confer with the moderators who are no doubt watching this thread. So far it has been pretty civil, I don't know if it will stay that way but would hope it would? Have never attempted contact so will see how long this takes.

Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
wilkinsd wrote:
A lot of our organizations have been poorly managed for years by members or volunteers that thought of it as a train club than a real non-profit educational organization.


Back In the early 1990's, at a TRAIN convention, it was proudly announced that the tourist railroad industry generated about $180M that year. My first thought was "that is United Airlines fuel bill for a single day."

At the TRAIN/(What ever it is now) convention at IRM in 2015, Al Harper gave a presentation about the "Polar Express" program stating annual revenues in the $30M range. "Thomas" revenues are probably more. Note that these are theatrical events that just happened to be staged on railroad trains.

So the tourist train "industry" can really be separated into 4 categories:

1. Theatrical events that just happened to be staged on railroad trains.
(Polar Express, Thomas)
2. Tourist experiences that just happen to use railroad track and equipment.
(Grand Canyon, Royal Gorge, Durango & Silverton, Mt. Washington Cog, etc)
3. Government sponsored railroad themed museums with $$ budgets.
(California State, Steamtown, RR Museum of PA, etc)
4. Train Clubs.

Decisions made in Categories 1 and 2 are driven by profit and loss statements.
Decisions in Category 3 are driven by bureaucracy.
Decisions in Category 4 are driven by emotion.
"This is loco needs to be fixed because it is the":
A) train I played on as a kid
B) first train I rode behind
C) first train I saw run under steam
D) first cab ride I had
E) first loco I fired
F) first loco I ran
G) etc., etc., etc.,

Just an observation.


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 Post subject: Moderators note... Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: Henderson Nevada
John Risley has reached out and asked for permission to post the Arbitration documents.

As your moderator, I am going to say yes to his request. In this case what is being posted is a legal document, which while it may be damning, is a legal document.

I also note that while this discussion is somewhat heated, it so far has been a good discussion of real museum issues... so post away... but please, we need to be careful not to make unsubstantiated claims or inflammatory comments.

Thanks, Randy

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Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
M Austin wrote:
wilkinsd wrote:
A lot of our organizations have been poorly managed for years by members or volunteers that thought of it as a train club than a real non-profit educational organization.


Back In the early 1990's, at a TRAIN convention, it was proudly announced that the tourist railroad industry generated about $180M that year. My first thought was "that is United Airlines fuel bill for a single day."

At the TRAIN/(What ever it is now) convention at IRM in 2015, Al Harper gave a presentation about the "Polar Express" program stating annual revenues in the $30M range. "Thomas" revenues are probably more. Note that these are theatrical events that just happened to be staged on railroad trains.

So the tourist train "industry" can really be separated into 4 categories:

1. Theatrical events that just happened to be staged on railroad trains.
(Polar Express, Thomas)
2. Tourist experiences that just happen to use railroad track and equipment.
(Grand Canyon, Royal Gorge, Durango & Silverton, Mt. Washington Cog, etc)
3. Government sponsored railroad themed museums with $$ budgets.
(California State, Steamtown, RR Museum of PA, etc)
4. Train Clubs.

Decisions made in Categories 1 and 2 are driven by profit and loss statements.
Decisions in Category 3 are driven by bureaucracy.
Decisions in Category 4 are driven by emotion.
"This is loco needs to be fixed because it is the":
A) train I played on as a kid
B) first train I rode behind
C) first train I saw run under steam
D) first cab ride I had
E) first loco I fired
F) first loco I ran
G) etc., etc., etc.,

Just an observation.


This "observation" by M. Austin really frosts me and I wish it was on a separate thread because I don't want to "steal" this important thread on Saginaw Timber Co. # 2 and its current situation. But I will say this, there is another category besides the 4 mentioned by Austin; Non-Government sponsored railroad themed museums who are trying to make it on a budget that is probably too small for their efforts; but who are TRYING! As I said, I won't do any more to distract from this particular thread, but I think there are those of us who would like to answer Austin.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
Les Beckman wrote:
...I wish it was on a separate thread because I don't want to "steal" this important thread on Saginaw Timber Co. # 2 and its current situation.
Les


Agreed. Perhaps the Mods can relocate it?


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
M Austin wrote:
3. Government sponsored railroad themed museums with $$ budgets.
(California State, Steamtown, RR Museum of PA, etc)


$$ budgets? I don't know about the first, but the latter two are hardly swimming in money.

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The long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we're going, but where we want to go. B. Phillips


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 Post subject: Re: Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2 Boiler Lift and Installation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 613
"Hands up everybody this threads going to Cuba". Don't worry to much I am sure there are many who would like to see this one hijacked. I do appreciate your concerns, very polite of you Les.

I have not figured out how to transfer PDF link to this web site and another member said he would do it for me. So in the mean time enjoy your flight!

mldeets {Pete}. Early tonight you offered some to the thread about Mr Parker being a life member. I had not heard that, though I am not sure what exactly is meant. So I ask for clarification here. Your thoughts?

Regards, John.


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