It is currently Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:57 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:45 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 237
Mr. Davis makes some very interesting points about the broader topic of this thread which 6-18003 correctly characterizes as "asset management".

In discussing the Park Service's stewardship of the non-US artifacts he attributes many of their decisions to Xenophobia. I agree 100% with Mr. Davis that these were very bad rail preservation management decisions, but I respectfully disagree that this was solely, or even largely, due to Xenophobia.

Many of the challenges that the NPS faces in Scranton today are a result of the compounding impact of many bad preservation decisions, such as the ones Mr. Davis cites, made over the almost 30 years since the Park Service took responsibility for the site and the collection. The lack of clear vision as to how best to preserve the collection and the site in a way that each synergistically enhances the interpretive experience of the other was, and to me, remains the largest contributor to the rail preservation mismanagement in Scranton. Without recognizing, addressing, and mitigating the impact these errors to the greatest extent possible, and initiating policies moving forward to prevent them from reoccurring, current Park Service management will continue to be handicapped by them.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1733
"he attributes many of their decisions to Xenophobia. I agree 100% with Mr. Davis that these were very bad rail preservation management decisions, but I respectfully disagree that this was solely, or even largely, due to Xenophobia."

If your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail. Of course the people that so ready resort to such charges are often xenomaniacs.

I have interacted with tens of thousands of visitors in my time at Steamtown. Some questions are common and naive to the point of being charming.

"How do you start the thing", "where's the key"...

Less frequent is the question about Canadian locomotives-and it was less and less common after people saw big red diesels running on the mainline just West of the Steamtown Yard and year after year Canadian Pacific provided diesels for exhibit at Railfest.

Far from being some bigotry-the charge of "Canadian locomotives" was fomented by some elbow-patch single-malt scotch swilling museumologists who have geographic fixations-and parroted by ABC's ill-tempered Sam Donaldson-who wanted to flog Steamtown as "pork" (just not the kind he liked). He did one of his "reports" about 30-35 years ago and the skewered the employees with his caustic, specious drivel.

For the vast majority of visitors who naturally wondered why the two operating locomotives were both Canadian-the answers that Canada retained steam longer than the U.S., that they are similar in design, interchanged with U.S. roads and may actually have operated in the U.S. is sufficient as an answer-they may follow up with, "so when are we going to see an American locomotive" (usually the Berk, the T-Hog or the Big Boy), but none-and I repeat NONE-have ever walked away muttering insults or resentment about Canada or Canadians.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind picking one of the Chinese engines-and of course a crazy dream would be acquiring this engine and putting knuckle couplers, a new smoke box door and a nice boiler tube pilot on it.

http://www.ozarkmountainrailcar.com/det ... --Tool-Car


In the grand scheme of things-other than the fact that the DLW did operate a small fleet of Hudsons, the operational and interpretative value of a high-speed Hudson was limited and I think it was therefore considered "expendable".

As I've stated-the word at the time was that it was sent as a trade for something unspecified. If fair value was received, I'd have no problem sending it "home". It would be great if trades could be worked out all the time (instead of filing lawsuits or posting internet laments); but I realize cats don't know how act in a pack. I have no idea whether the purported quid pro quo was received.

The charge of "xenophobia" is unsupportable and irresponsible that can only be viewed through fun-house mirror views of the world.

As far as I can tell, its pointless to pursue it at this time, except to examine it for learning purposes. The people that made the decision are pensioners.


Last edited by superheater on Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 94
"......CP fulfilled their end of the agreement shortly after 2816 departed Steamtown." What the NPS got from CPR in exchange for 2816 and if/when consideration was delivered still seems to be a bit up in the air. "

Does anyone recall NPS operating one or more special trains over D&H shortly after 2816 left Steamtown?

RLK


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
Supposedly, CP moved equipment for the park. What had to be moved, and to where, I do not know.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
My impression of the supposed "xenophobia" against Canadian locomotives/rolling stock, from my reading of various documents and accounts over the decades, was that the most likely source of such a decision was not any actual animosity (cultural, mechanical, whatever) towards Canadian or other foreign material, but most likely some literal, reading of some arcane regulation buried deep in the CFR or Department of the Interior bureaucracy that somehow prohibited or discouraged acquisition, spending, etc. on foreign-produced assets, which was spun into an absolutist proscription by some other bureaucrat.

As simply a thought experiment along the same lines, imagine if the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, etc. were offered for purchase (not donation) some epic, landmark artwork that was foreign-produced? Michelangelo's "David" statue, or a Leonardo da Vinci painting? Would that be an appropriate use of TAX dollars?

(Trick question, by the way: The NGA does own a da Vinci painting, Ginevra de' Benci, acquired from the Princely House of Liechtenstein in 1967 for the sum of $5 million—a record price at the time. The money for the purchase came from the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, not taxpayers.)


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
I am actually very fond of the Canadian pieces in the collection. And at this point, there are as much a part of Steamtown as anything.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1733
"I am actually very fond of the Canadian pieces in the collection. And at this point, there are as much a part of Steamtown as anything."

CP 2317 in particular is a really nice running engine- steams easily, has good power, 75" drivers are well suited to the Pocono mainline's tough grades.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
Obviously I was using the word "xenophobia" a bit sarcastically (I don't think anyone was actually afraid of the Canadian locomotives), but the point remains that in the time period we are discussing (pre-NPS and early NPS days) the amount of Canadian equipment was a point of contention for those arguing against NHS status.

The 1986 Steamtown auction (which pared down the collection prior to NPS ownership) focused on lowering the number of Canadian locomotives in the collection. That was a deliberate move. Three of the four steam locomotives which left the collection after the auction were also Canadian. Since the move to PA at least 7 Canadian steam locomotives have been removed from the Blount collection (and one added), including a couple with rich ties to the northeastern US.


Looking back is fun, but I've got my eyes on the prize for the future. I do hear from many #3713 donors that her American pedigree is a factor in deciding to support the restoration. There are folks who are quite excited that she will be Steamtown's first mainline American locomotive to operate since #759 was last hot.

Me? I love them all.

Bring back "Repton"!

Rob

_________________
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


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 94
CP 2317 in particular is a really nice running engine- steams easily, has good power, 75" drivers are well suited to the Pocono mainline's tough grades.[/quote]

Now, if we could just get Steamtown to paint it CORRECTLY that would be nice.

RLK


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 237
superheater wrote:
"I am actually very fond of the Canadian pieces in the collection. And at this point, there are as much a part of Steamtown as anything."

CP 2317 in particular is a really nice running engine- steams easily, has good power, 75" drivers are well suited to the Pocono mainline's tough grades.


Yes, it is my recollection that it was a favorite of the crews, Seth in particular.

One of the approaches that has not worked well for the Park Service is in how they have approached utilizing the collection to tell the story of the site. Gordon Chappell was the NPS Western Region Regional Historian back in 1987 when he began the work of assessing the historical significance of the collection that the Park Service was to take responsibility for in 1988. The outcome of his work, The Steamtown Special History Study- The Locomotives of Steamtown, can be found at this link.

https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/steamtown/shst.htm

Reading the Acknowledgments and Introduction, it is evident that Chappell consulted with many of the prominent rail preservation experts of the time. In his report, he analyzed each artifact with a careful eye to how each piece, regardless of origin, could be best used to tell the interpretive story of the site. The important skilled distinction he made was to view the site not through the narrow lens of Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad history or City of Scranton history, but rather as an important remnant of early 20th century industrialism. The most important story is not the growth of the DL&W or the growth of Scranton. The most important story to be told by the yards in Scranton, and the one that the collection was best suited to tell, is the story of the thousands of early 20th century railroad yards, roundhouses, and shop complexes that were the backbone of the tremendous industrial growth of that time period.

The entry that epitomizes the disconnect in how Park Service management viewed the non-DL&W/NEPA/US artifacts relative to Chappell's holistic approach of using each piece to tell part of the site's story, is that of Canadian National 47, a 4-6-4T. Chappell emphasizes the similarity of this engine to those ordered by the Central Railroad of NJ and how this type was used to solve the challenges of the growing need for commuter service as people migrated to the suburbs - the need for relatively rapid acceleration/deceleration, ability to navigate tight curves, and easy turn around. Andre' Chapelon's book notes that the Boston and Albany used a similar 4-6-6T configuration for the same purpose. The Scranton site's original owner, the DL&W, turned to electrification during the same period to meet the growing demand of commuter service. The Park Service has in its collection a rare example of a steam locomotive type that affords an interesting opportunity to compare and contrast how local, US, North American, and even European railroads (4-6-4Ts were also used for this purpose by the Reichsbahn) met the growing demand as the suburbs expanded beginning in the 1920s.

Yet 47 has sat outside in the Scranton elements for almost 30 years under Park Service stewardship. It was not included in the last round of asbestos abatement even though it has very little run time since its last overhaul. To best utilize the collection to tell the story of the site, Steamtown management has to evolve from operating the site like a local DL&W or PA railroad museum to looking at the collection and site physical plant as the national historic site that it was meant to be.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: An interesting response re: CP 2816
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1733
Bring back "Repton"!


On the contrary,replicate "Spitfire".


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], wurlitzer153 and 46 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: