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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1240
Location: Strasburg, PA
hullmat991 wrote:
Wouldnt Strausburg have noticed this pitting when the wheel were up there for work?

We were hired to replace the tires only. No work was called out or done on either the journals or the crankpins.

Attachment:
ZIMG_1633wheels.JPG
ZIMG_1633wheels.JPG [ 179.52 KiB | Viewed 2163 times ]

This photo is from the 1st page of this thread, showing how the re-tired wheelsets were stored after being delivered to Cumberland in February 2016.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:06 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1885
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Quotes I found interesting in the Trains news item

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/08/02-1309-work

Quote:
“No,” Garner said. No. “1309 is a magnificent locomotive, however I think it is 'way too much of a locomotive for us. I think I would have restored 734. It's much more appropriate for us.”


Quote:
The days of 14-car trains, 1,000 passengers a train, those days are over for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:08 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1885
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Ummm, to Kelly's post, 2 steps back. Is there an implication that the pitting occurred during recent outdoor storage?

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1604
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Truth be told Stan Garner is probably correct. The cost/revenue mile of running the 1309 vs. 734 will certainly be MUCH higher in both direct costs ( coal,water,lubricants,labor) and indirect ( track maintenance) and for an organization that needs to operate profitably that's a major consideration.

And let's be honest. The number of potential riders willing to pay a substantial premium to enjoy seeing this articulated giant at work in order to compensate for her higher expense is VERY tiny.

All that being said....there's no going back now so let's hope they can generate enough cash fares to stay in the black??

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:30 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 965
Location: Leicester, MA.
co614 wrote:

All that being said....there's no going back now so let's hope they can generate enough cash fares to stay in the black??

IMHO-Ross Rowland


On that point Ross my gut instinct is that yes, they'll be able to stay in the black with 1309... But I wouldn't be surprised if the profit margin was smaller.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:44 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Strasburg runs much more locomotive than they need - easy service - and finds it more sustainable than running just enough locomotive in hard service. Articulated power is easier on curves and switches than rigid long wheelbases. Power that is fresh from overhaul with modern advancements made in such things as combustion engineering, thermal insulation and feedwater provision cost much less per ton mile than older technology in less than optimal condition.

If they fail to make her efficient and economical, they will reap what they sow in terms of making her less economically sustainable. Cutting corners to get her out without such improvements is the most costly option in the long run.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:51 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:31 pm
Posts: 236
Quote:
The days of 14-car trains, 1,000 passengers a train, those days are over for now.
[/quote]


The main reason "The days of 14-car.... " trains are over is because the WMSR can't field 14 serviceable cars. Some are pending For Sale, Traded (Man of War), or Removed from service due to extensive corrosion damage and are in need of heavy repair.

Many of the customer complaints posted on-line recently has been about the condition of the passenger cars. Worn seats, odd smelling upholstery, inoperative bathrooms, and balky Air Conditioning... The years of hard running have caught up with the fleet right at the same time the WMSR is trying to rebuilt a steam locomotive.

Tim Wilson


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:20 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 95
Such a relief to know there is an abundance of unconditional positive support for this project among those who paint themselves "preservationists"...

Stay classy, RYPN.


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:29 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1885
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
The news is what the news is. We didn't make it.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8354
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
The days of 14-car trains, 1,000 passengers a train, those days are over for now.


I can understand not running them for the time being as cars are refurbished........

..... but I thought long "everything that can roll" trains in the fall "leaf-peeper" season was part of the supposed rationale for acquiring the bigger, more powerful 1309........


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:58 am
Posts: 371
Location: Reston, VA
The cost of designing your operation for the busiest day (or 5 days) of the year seem to coming back to haunt WMSR. After all, highways are not designed to handle Sunday after Thanksgiving day volume.


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Unless your capacity limitation is parking lot size, you can either run more trains more often or larger trains on the regular schedule to carry more customers in a given day. I'm ignorant about the specifics of this operation - but how to serve more customers is a very nice problem to have compared to the other. They'll figure something out.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1885
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Can they lease cars for a short period?

p.s. I hear NS has a few cars for sale

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:50 pm
Posts: 4
YeOldeEngine and hulmat991 – Thanks for posting the Garner interview and the Trains newswire item respectively. Mr. Garner reminds me a bit of David Gunn, especially when Mr. Gunn was campaigning to get Amtrak into a state of good repair. The following are my takeaways from these postings:

1. The WMSR is going through a rough patch (load factors of approximately 43% - 71%) even at reduced capacity levels (6 cars!), until the 1309 can enter service.
2. The WMSR appears tapped out for major renovation funds, so the 734 will never run again unless some form of independent fund raising can be generated.
3. The WMSR needs additional capacity when the 1309 does enter service, given the number of cars out of service.

Questions

1. Using the $1.2 million to restore the 734 to service as a strawman, are there any fundraising resources out there that can achieve this goal?
2. Would it be prudent for the WMSR to lease the three coaches from NS’ steam program that are currently for sale?
3. Lastly, and most importantly, if fundraising to restore the 734 to service is impossible, would a new direction stir up the fervor to have a 2nd steamer operating on the WMSR?

With the laying up of 734, perhaps this is the time to look at the 202. The political hurdle can be overcome if the 734 was “lent” to Hagerstown. Would the promise of a real WM locomotive running again in Cumberland stir up the rail fan community and open up the wallets? Should the ownership of the 202 be given to the WMSR, or should a separate foundation be created to own the 202 and lease it to WMSR?

If there is significant interest in giving this idea life, perhaps we can start a new thread and explore this possibility. As a relative newcomer to this forum, I believe there is a wealth of knowledge and creativity among the members. Perhaps we can harness this talent and do something extraordinary.


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on 1309?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:31 pm
Posts: 236
The Western Maryland Scenic has matured. “Mountain Thunder” has played out and the board felt that something “new” was needed to pull in the ridership. One man’s fantasy was the #1309. The articulated is great for the railfans but does “John Q Public” really care what steam engine is on the front of their train.

In my Opinion, there is several things that need addressed in the big picture overal.

1- THE RIDE: Other than the Highlands Trail and the work done below Frostburg from the slides, there has been very little to address “the view”. Scenic Overlooks have grown over and need cleared. The whole length of the ride from Cumberland to Frostburg would benefit from an aggressive brush removal and tree trimming.

A suggestion was to create a scenic overlook adding a stop at a point overlooking Mt. Savage. The train could pause at or even allow riders to detrain and spend a few moments taking in the scene. Add in a Docent presenting a brief overview of the history of Mt. Savage and the valley below.

Premium Class Cars have added value the ride BUT they are lacking in true upscale class. Sure they have tables & chairs and offer food service but the interior of the cars remind one of a small town diner then that of a Premium Railcar Service.

Open window cars…….

A Dome…………

2- THE DESTINATION: Once you watch the locomotive being turned, there is really nothing to do at Frostburg. Last time I was there, the museum was closed and earlier when I visited and it was opened the displays were the same as 10 years ago. Not really a WMSR problem but the railroad and the Allegany County Museum all fall under the Tourism Board.

There is no true Food Service at the Depot. Riders can chose to catch a shuttle bus to Main Street in Frostburg or hike up the steep hill to get there.

The lack of Bathrooms, Food Service, and Attractions at Frostburg also lead the list of rider’s complaints.

3- APPEARANCE- That is slowly being addressed. New paint along with cleaned and updated equipment will help greatly. The problem will be continued maintenance and upkeep, something the WMSR has not been aggressive with in the past.

The present day ride on the WMSR reminds one of what rail passenger service was like in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s……. “ragged out” equipment, tired and at the end of its serviceable life with just enough maintenance and repair to get it down the line one more trip.

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad needs an Image Overhaul. It needs to re-invent itself... It needs to create a more positive and enjoyable experience for its riders.

A running, under steam #1309 pulling Photo Freights will sell Charters but will it really put “butts in seats” of the regular excursions for the long haul? Only time will tell.

Tim Wilson


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