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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:55 am 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 591
Location: Bucks County, PA
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
superheater wrote:
I think it is going to be a long time before they raise the $250K that is necessary for transport and cosmetic restoration, and those ambitions should be met with an escrow account, long before it leaves the property.


I've half a mind to make a wager with you on that. But there's a good reason I can't.


Sounds like someone knows something we don't...

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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8301
Location: Baltimore, MD
Don't misinterpret my remark--donate anyway! They still need money to move it, to build a track, maybe a shelter, a new paint job, new metal work............. and we know how estimates usually fall WAY short of actual costs.....


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:17 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1031
Location: Youngstown, OH
All $250,000 does not have to be raised to move the locomotive. That figure includes shipment, restoration and construction of the display building. MR&NKP is having a very good response to the announcement. Many people in Ohio especially who have been silently hoping that Bellevue would acquire a steam locomotive have started coming forward with contributions. At the current pace of fundraising by the time 757 is mechanically and logistically ready to move, the money will be there to do it.

But that is only part of the battle. Restoration and construction of the display building will require additional funds, and those two items are just as important as moving it there.

We plan to begin in depth work on the locomotive this fall. Perhaps you will see us at some point on the grounds working on 757. If so, please come on over to chat. Always happy to talk with fellow RYPNers.

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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1709
*Duplicate REdacted*


Last edited by superheater on Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1709
"All $250,000 does not have to be raised to move the locomotive. That figure includes shipment, restoration and construction of the display building."

I didn't say that the $250,000 was necessary to move it.

The figure was part "pitch" that the locomotive would be not just moved, but that it's situation would be improved. That's what all the people singing The Pretenders "Back to Ohio" keep stating is their concern.

Now if I assume for a minute that cost to move is minimal, say 25K, how do we know that the rest of the funds will be raised. Let's be quite frank, this advocation is loaded with tales of woe because once we kids got our new toys, we have a tendency to not put them away.


Here's the last four years of operations for Mad River:

Year: Revenue: Expenses: Revenue-Expenses:
2012 58,302 (65,193) (6,891)
2013 77,528 (79,552) (2,024)
2014 86,047 (95,355) (9,308)
2015 97,178 (85,188) 11,990
Total: 319,055 (325,288) (6,233)

And here's the liquid assets as of the end of the 2015 Reporting period:

Cash 33,805
Savings/Temporary Inv 291,927
Total: 325,732

In all candor, I wonder how long before we read this project is "eating us out of hoouse and home" (ala WMSR and C&O 1309) in Trains Newswire?


Now that brings me to the next question, instead of constructing a $6.1 fantasy roundhouse, complete with the heating and air conditioning that roundhouses did not have, couldn't PHMC managed to erect a protective edifice to protect the stuff that it exists to protect?

I get it, you really, really want this-you think it belongs in Ohio. (A lot of people think DL&W 952 "belongs" in Scranton, a few less think the DLW 3001 belongs in Scranton, and there are those that think LNE 207 belongs somewhere between Tamaqua and Allentown). Will you care for it more than PHMC? Hell yeah.

Now, I know the MOT went to federal court to protect their artifact,so what's with the fire sale in Strasburg?


Post Script:

@Dave

"Gents, we're arguing over a report which doesn't mention the subject of this thread and attempting to rationalize what was never explained to us in the first place in the absence of evidence."

What the hell does this mean? If you don't want to read the thread, you're free to skip it.


@Lima Steam

That you make a declaration that you care more about objects than people is really an unfortunate one to make publicly. It does advance the notion that people with an interest in railroad things are "Spergs".


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 220
A little over 21 months ago, New England Steam Corp. gave a $25,000 check to Waterville city officials to mark its purchase of the locomotive, Maine Central Number 470. 470 is a mainline steam locomotive that was owned by a government entity which had stored it outside with minimal maintenance for about a half century. The Commonwealth of PA's budget is 81 Billion dollars. That's nine zeros. So that puts any economic analysis (this thread and several other threads) of the 757 transaction about six orders of magnitude (exponential base 10 or one millionth) down in the weeds relative to the economic impact to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Conversely, the OH group is estimating the move, restoration, and proper display at $250,000. Take out the cost of the move and the number is probably still over $200,000. If 757 were to remain in PA and put into a comparable state of preservation to what the OH folks plan, the cost of restoration and building a proper display facility to the citizens of the Commonwealth would likely be around $400,000+ (doubling to account for government involvement in the project). Still five orders of magnitude down relative to the total budget number but a bit more substantial.

From a preservation standpoint, to get the artifact to the same state of preservation, we are looking at either a loss to PA on the order of multiple tens of thousands if it goes to OH or as an expense to PA of almost a half a million dollars if it stays in PA. In the latter scenario PA would also have a restored artifact which arguably is worth more than one which is unrestored and a facility to house the artifact. Whether such an investment in this particular asset or set of assets would be good for PA relative to all the other needs the Commonwealth faces is more of a local political issue and not a rail preservation issue.

I am looking forward to future NKP 757 threads by Mr. Rowlands and Mr. Lynch detailing the successful move and I wish the group the best of luck with all of the preparations.


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5233
Location: southeastern USA
Supe, I'm hoping that somebody who was in the room, part of the discussion and actually knows what went on might pitch in and explain it. Probably in likely at best, but it could happen. Then we'd all know and wouldn't have to rationalize.

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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:46 pm
Posts: 20
superheater wrote:
@Lima Steam

That you make a declaration that you care more about objects than people is really an unfortunate one to make publicly. It does advance the notion that people with an interest in railroad things are "Spergs".


You misunderstand my point. PEOPLE get to make choices on what the will and will not do and support. In this case the people of Pennsylvania decided that they didn't care enough about NKP 757 to give it a better home, and they had about five decades to make something happen. The residents of the Commonwealth will be no better off WITH the locomotive, and no worse off WITHOUT it. I care for the OBJECT because it cannot speak for itself, it cannot save itself, and is reliant on people who care enough to save it. The residents of the Commonwealth don't need me being concerned about them. NKP 757 DOES need people to care about it. They get to choose, it doesn't. By the way, you never asked my question; Should we all be mad at the City of Fort Wayne for essentially giving away NKP 765 with nothing in return, even though it's quite obvious a far greater good was served?


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8301
Location: Baltimore, MD
Lima Superpower wrote:
You misunderstand my point. PEOPLE get to make choices on what the will and will not do and support. In this case the people of Pennsylvania decided that they didn't care enough about NKP 757 to give it a better home, and they had about five decades to make something happen. The residents of the Commonwealth will be no better off WITH the locomotive, and no worse off WITHOUT it. I care for the OBJECT because it cannot speak for itself, it cannot save itself, and is reliant on people who care enough to save it. The residents of the Commonwealth don't need me being concerned about them. NKP 757 DOES need people to care about it. They get to choose, it doesn't. By the way, you never asked my question; Should we all be mad at the City of Fort Wayne for essentially giving away NKP 765 with nothing in return, even though it's quite obvious a far greater good was served?


I have a huge problem with people ascribing to "the people" of any political entity responsibilities that are actually accorded or assigned to hired or elected representatives thereof. The reality is that 99.9% or so of the Commonwealth's population had no opinion on the matter, just like no one ever picked my brain about certain artifacts in the William Penn Museum when I lived in Pennsylvania. This "the people" blather is always used to inflate, often to grotesque degrees, the degree of support or lack thereof to a cause.

And I'm quite certain, though others may chime in and prove me wrong, that whatever arrangements were made to sell NKP 765 to the FWRHS also included a "right of first refusal" on the part of Fort Wayne to reclaim the loco if it so chose at the end of any service life, museum/society dissolution, etc. This is substantially different from something just "going away."


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:36 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:46 pm
Posts: 20
First off, let me just say that I am not the one who has tried to make this about the citizens of Pennsylvania. It never really occurred to me until Superheater steered the conversation that way. Now, I AGREE with you that 99.9% of the residents of Pennsylvania had no opinion on #757. I will also say that the other .01% of the population had FIFTY YEARS to provide suitable indoor storage for it, so now someone else has stepped up to the plate to ensure the long term survival of the locomotive. To steal a phrase, "Action talks and BS walks." Pennsylvania had their chance and sat on it, so let somebody else have a chance. I also think it's important to remember that Bellevue was the INTENDED home for this locomotive all along, and evidently nobody in Pennsylvania cared enough then to request a Berkshire from the NKP on their own, and just accepted this one when Bellevue's plans fell through. I am thankful that a safe if not protected home was provided for 757 for all these years, but now seems to be the time to put the original plan into place. Superheater is also the one who made a big fuss about the museum "giving away" an artifact without getting something of similar value in return, which is why I feel the Fort Wayne situation is relevant, and whether they have a first right of refusal to get it back doesn't seem all that relevant. The point is, it BELONGED to the City, and now it doesn't. Do we KNOW that there isn't a first right of refusal for 757 if the Bellevue plan fizzles out?


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:04 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 717
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Lima Superpower wrote:

And I'm quite certain, though others may chime in and prove me wrong, that whatever arrangements were made to sell NKP 765 to the FWRHS also included a "right of first refusal" on the part of Fort Wayne to reclaim the loco if it so chose at the end of any service life, museum/society dissolution, etc. This is substantially different from something just "going away."


The city realized a few years (after FWRHS paid the 35 year lease payments up front ($1 a year - $35.00) that they could be liable if something happened to the engine, so they then gave the engine to FWRHS lock-stock-and-boiler barrel.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Don't misinterpret my remark--donate anyway! They still need money to move it, to build a track, maybe a shelter, a new paint job, new metal work............. and we know how estimates usually fall WAY short of actual costs.....


Sandy, with all respect, this skepticism/lecture is tired. The insinuation that people don't know when they're doing comes off as condescending and judgmental versus proactive and "helpful." Have you ever been in one of those email chains where you volunteer an idea with all potential pitfalls and caveats and someone responds only to re-state every potential problem as if the original author didn't know? That's what this feels like. The same "helpful" approaches tried to convince FWRHS that they'd never get the 765 out of the park, never get it running and never get a railroad to host it.

The only difference is now those attitudes enjoy the platform of the internet. I'd feel differently if, in your critique or pessimism, you offered solutions or help or donated or emailed the people involved like Rick or others at Mad River to offer your insistence or advice, otherwise it just rings hollow. My personal rule is to never offer suggestions unless I can own the process or be responsible for the outcome, otherwise it's just static.

I worry that rather than an attempt to proactively protect rail preservation efforts, comments like these are just here to help embolden a a future "told-ya-so" versus offering helpful actual, insightful and non-repetitive critique. The importance of comments on railroad forums is vastly overflated (my reply included) especially as people claim they're trying to stop the next Gettysburg or ITM or XYZ. Internet posts will never do that. Just look at how the thrashing of UP Steam has resulted in hallow caterwauling versus meaningful results or reform based on the accusations, but I'd never pray that the parties I intend to help stumble over my missives on RYPN. People have come to RYPN to lambast and air grievances and post photos of shoddy work, sure, but that's far than the most effective way of tackling an issue.

We aren't curing cancer on RYPN. I think it would be a struggle to point out any critical preservation post or flame war that actually changed a museum or organization's attitude, approach or mindset. If it were so prevalent, the Challenger would still be running and Western Maryland would not be refunding money. RYPN and TO and other sites have descended into window dressing on an industry where the real conversations happen in person, in the backshop, in volunteer meetings, over dinner and over the phone. The real results are not tempered by men that cried wolf on the internet.

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Vice President
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc
http://www.fwrhs.org


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:16 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:20 pm
Posts: 125
Actions speak louder than words.


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:52 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8301
Location: Baltimore, MD
With appropriate respect, my remark specifically about costs usually exceeduing estimates revolves most typically around one of three scenarios:

*Someone gets the bright idea to, oh, I dunno, put GG1 4876 in Union Terminal. Figures on just getting the engine for free, rolling it down the track to DC, and applying a coat of new paint, disregarding everything from repairs to how and where to paint it to abatement costs to.....

*Someone proposes firing up a big articulated steam locomotive/building a factory/etc. The parties behind it are veterans of the scene, have financial and mechanical pros at their disposal, and come back with realistic cost estimates cobbled together with "worse-case scenario" prospects and some vague hopes that, say, the boiler is in better shape than expected, someone will donate the move at cost, etc. and costs will end up less than their estimates.

*Someone pressures politicians to take on a big multi-million-dollar project (build a light rail system or sports stadium). The estimates get lowballed publicly to garner support. Once built, it costs more than estimates and attracts lower patronage than expected. The distinguishing factor here is "other people's money."

There are exceptions to all of the above, of course. But any realist would see that those models are too common to be dismissed out of hand.

My remarks are not specifically targeted at the FWRHS, the RR Museum of Pa., the MR&NKP Museum, etc.--or even at certain "hot-button" topics here.

Lima Superpower wrote:
I also think it's important to remember that Bellevue was the INTENDED home for this locomotive all along, and evidently nobody in Pennsylvania cared enough then to request a Berkshire from the NKP on their own, and just accepted this one when Bellevue's plans fell through.


Others would have to confirm, but I think George Hart, one of the key instigators for the then-fledgling movement for a state RR Museum in Pa., actually DID ask for it. Not exactly "nobody." Whether that is specifically the case or not, the relevant parties did indeed step up when the N&W "wanted it gone".


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:46 pm
Posts: 20
My point was that the Nickel Plate was handing out locomotives quite freely in that era, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Hammond, Lima, Bellevue* Conneaut, Bloomington Il, etc. It doesn't appear that it was a priority for anyone in Pennsylvania to acquire a NKP locomotive at the time , or they likely would have gotten one truly of their own. I don't want to discount the fact the at the they DID step up and save the locomotive when it badly needed a home, as I said, I'm grateful for it, BUT, its quite clear that 757 was not and likely never WOULD be very high on the priority list there, and at some point the preservation of the artifact MUST be the overriding consideration.


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 Post subject: Re: Another (The Last?) Word on 757 and PHMC from PA Auditor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:00 am
Posts: 169
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
I don't mean to throw any fuel on the fire here but while we're having a quite in depth conversation about proper collections policies, I don't seem to remember all of this hub bub when they scrapped the two last two remaining PRR Pioneer cars. Not just one, but both. I don't even recall an announcement saying they were going to go under the knife unless a new home was found. Sure, they weren't the most successful things on the planet and they had been partially scrapped before they were donated but they weren't beyond salvage. As I recall, only the under floor components were gone which could have been acquired when the Silverliner II and III cars were retired just a few years ago (two of which are still in limbo at Septa). But now they're gone and there was nary a whimper about it and they had more significance to the collection than an NKP Berk having operated just four and a half miles away in their service lives. The point I'm making here is that sometimes we pick and choose our battles. Let the Berk go. It has about the same chance as those Pioneer cars coming back as getting a restoration where it sits. Let it go to a good home where even if it isn't cared for, it's out of RMoPA's hair. Freeing up that track space could potentially allow for another display of greater value to come to the museum, like a Silverliner II that's still sitting in Septaland five years after retirement.


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