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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Springville, PA
Scranton Yard wrote:
6-18003 - Thank you for your response. I am aware of the splits moving forward. Unfortunately, this information does not answer my questions about total anticipated project cost, how much has been expended to date, and if/how previous Park Service expenditures were included in the number. Also, no answers as to what happened to the original bid packet from 2015 for the needed fire box work.

.

Hey Mr. Scranton Yard. Allow me to answer some of your questions. First, the #3713 is a steam locomotive. Nobody with human powers can tell how much a steam locomotive restoration project will cost until the project is done. If you've ever been part of a restoration project, you would know that once work begins, all kinds of unseen issues raise their ugly heads and the price for the project goes up. So, that being said, nobody knows what the final cost is going to be. There is an entire 40 PRR box car of unknowns just waiting for us to dig into.

I am unaware of the total amount of park $$$ and group $$$ spent on the project so far. There have been outside contractors hired and fired without knowing exactly how much was spent. There has been lots of sub-standard, un-supervised, un-monitored work done that is now worth only scrap value. We are moving forward and this will NOT happen again.

The original bid packet back in 2015 included firebox work. The request for bid was sent out for solicitation with a maximum amount of funds available. It was broken out into sections to see how far funds would go and where to best spend these funds. The revised bid and the work done, side patch and dome riveting, was all the funds available would allow us to do. The firebox will be part of a future project. This is in it's beginning stages as I type.

A little bit of current info. This year, there was a funding source available that allowed Steamtown to make a new cab and tender cistern, get the drive wheels sets up to snuff, and, have new lead truck wheels and axles made. These items have a long lead time (one year period of performance). This will allow the shop workers and volunteers to do other projects that will require the work to be done at Steamtown. This work includes checking the frame (tramming) to make sure it will be ready to accept the reconditioned drivers. Spring rigging and equalizing work. Reworking boxes to fit the frame/driver sets properly. While the cistern is being made, checking the tender frame for any deficiencies including brake system inspection/rehab and changing the wheelsets to roller bearings. Lead truck work like checking for tram and any needed work so that when wheel/bearing assemblies come back, the truck can be put back under the locomotive with the drivers when they return. Cab? Who else is tired of looking at that cab out in the parking lot rusting into oblivion. A new cab, made from original drawings to replace that rusted out hulk and will make a safe place for the engine crew to perform their duties. The need for the cab is a bit far off, but it's good PR and should help with keeping the project progress alive. It will be put on display in the museum until needed.

Smaller fund raising initiatives will be ongoing to focus on the many smaller projects that are required to do a full restoration of a mainline steam locomotive. Anybody want to tackle the rebuilding of the Standard Stoker system?? I am sure there are volunteers that have the skills and knowledge to do so. I can't hear you....

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Bruce Mowbray
Springville, PA


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:17 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
Bruce_Mowbray wrote:
I am unaware of the total amount of park $$$ and group $$$ spent on the project so far.

Somebody in Scranton has the spreadsheets with that information.

Quote:
There have been outside contractors hired and fired without knowing exactly how much was spent.

Somebody in Scranton has the spreadsheets with that information.

Quote:
There has been lots of sub-standard, un-supervised, un-monitored work done that is now worth only scrap value.

Who "hired and fired" the outside contractors that are responsible for this manufacture of high priced scrap metal?
It seems that, until now, the lessons that should have been learned from the 1361 debacle are still being repeated.

Quote:
We are moving forward and this will NOT happen again.

What management/procedural changes were implemented that guarantee this?


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 237
Mr. Mowbray - Thank you for taking the time to add substantive and knowledgeable technical information to one of these 3713 threads. It is a refreshing change from the typical public relations copy.

I appreciate your explanation of the end result of the previous bid packet and your description of how you are going about organizing the work streams. I am certain that, with your experienced guidance, the 3713 will ride the rails again before you retire.

Bruce_Mowbray wrote:
Hey Mr. Scranton Yard. Allow me to answer some of your questions. First, the #3713 is a steam locomotive. Nobody with human powers can tell how much a steam locomotive restoration project will cost until the project is done. If you've ever been part of a restoration project, you would know that once work begins, all kinds of unseen issues raise their ugly heads and the price for the project goes up. So, that being said, nobody knows what the final cost is going to be. There is an entire 40 PRR box car of unknowns just waiting for us to dig into.

I am unaware of the total amount of park $$$ and group $$$ spent on the project so far. There have been outside contractors hired and fired without knowing exactly how much was spent. There has been lots of sub-standard, un-supervised, un-monitored work done that is now worth only scrap value. We are moving forward and this will NOT happen again.


As far as these project management issues, your post does raise some questions.

1. The project started in 1995. After 22 years and pretty much total disassembly of the locomotive the Park Service and the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley RHS still do not have a budgetary estimate of the total cost of the project?
2. So the parts that were taken off the locomotive and stored in the 40' PRR boxcar were not triaged and basic function assessed at the time when they were removed such that it is totally unknown as to what requires rework and to what extent?
3. Neither the LWVRHS or the Park Service knows how much money has been spent, either by each organization individually or on the project as a whole? How are funds obtained with no accountability?

The project management conditions you describe are troubling for three reasons.

1. It appears that the Park Service has violated its own preservation standards and project management procedures over a period of 20+ years.
2. While the LWVRHS is no longer responsible for the project management of the technical aspects of the restoration, they are still active in fundraising. If they can not account for the money they spent to date, how can donors have confidence that the LWVRHS can properly manage the funds they collect moving forward? As Mr. Austin asked, "What management/procedural changes were implemented that guarantee this?" Especially since both the Park Service and the LWVRHS were responsible for managing their respective cash streams.
3. The President of the new "Friends of" Iron Horse Society at Steamtown is the same person that has led and is leading the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Rail Historical Society's effort to restore Boston and Maine 3713. How can anyone have confidence in the operation of the new "Friends of" organization given what we see here with regards to 3713?

Mr. Austin - do you know these spreadsheets exist or are you being hopefully optimistic?


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
Oh please. Their website states they meet monthly, except for July. So eleven meetings a year over twenty two years means they would have to potentially sort through 242 copies of meeting minutes to compile an answer, just for you. I am sure that the LWV has also incurred expenses that were not related to 3713 over the past two decades - it is not their only purpose in life. I am also not taking into account the fact that technology has changed and some of that data could be on outdated and virtually unusable medium.

I have no reason to believe that any funds have been misappropriated by the LWVRHS. They have regular meetings with directors and officers who collectively decide the best way to solicit funds, and where those funds are spent. I am sure that many of the members who originally undertook this endeavor may have moved on, in one respect or another.

As a comparison exercise, please ask your local Lion's Club, VFW, soup kitchen or favorite religious organization to give you a full and accurate accounting of every dime, in and out, since 1995. Let us know when they get back to you.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
Scranton Yard wrote:
Mr. Mowbray - Thank you for taking the time...


Fear not, Counselor. There is a full accounting of funds raised and used by the Project3713 partnership. The books are periodically audited by a 3rd party. The latest audit was approved to proceed at our summer team meeting. I do not think Bruce was present for that discussion.

I know you desperately want to find fault with the L&WV (and maybe even specific people you perceive that have wronged you in the past), but the schtick is getting old. You are incredibly out of touch. The Prez of the IHS - who is a wonderful, dedicated preservationist (and one who has stuck with volunteering at Steamtown for decades) is NOT the "leader" of Project3713. If you are going to make accusations, at least know who you are talking about.

The restoration was practically moribund in 2014. Over the last three years, new leadership has taken on Project3713 (mostly folks entirely new to the effort), Bruce was named restoration lead (a position we all thought was required - in fact, it was the first observation I made when joining) and the new partnership agreement was enacted with the full support of the Superintendent. And I stress the word partnership.

Last week, while you were raising the important issue of whether or not #3713 donation boxes at Steamtown were in compliance with your "expert" understanding of NPS policy, Bruce and 8 volunteers were busy dropping the drivers.

Hear me loud and clear, Counselor. While you are making a run st the title of most irrelevant keyboard warrior on RYPN, the Project3713 team (each one of us) is working to finish the restoration.

I am sorry you had a bad experience at Steamtown, but enough!

You are doing nothing but looking for ways to impede the goal, and all without the courage to sign your name to your accusations.

Rob

PS: These opinions do not reflect any position of Project3713, they are solely the thoughts of someone who is sick of "preservationists" that constantly tear down others in the community... especially those who do it through the guise of some holy veil.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
robertjohndavis wrote:
I am sorry you had a bad experience at Steamtown, but enough!


Rob




Quote of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 237
6-18003 - I never said any funds were misappropriated. We are discussing project management and not any sort of purposefully nefarious activity.

Mr. Davis - Again trying to discredit my posts to the casual reader. Instead of providing the answers to questions about the project management of a very large and significant operational restoration.

I can only recall two interactions with anyone from the LWVRHS. From my end I'd characterize them as positive. I can not say what the gentlemen I spoke with thought. I had some questions about the 3713 project and the first gentleman referred me to the current president of the "Friends of" group. So, at the time, the current head of the Iron Horse Society could have been characterized as the leader or one of the top people in the 3713 program. I view at least 99% of my interactions with STEA staff as positive from my end. A conspiracy theory that puts the remaining 1% or less as a motivation for questioning the troubling things I saw with the 3713 project should be placed in the "Magic Loogie Theory" category.

If one takes the time to read my posts re: STEA over the years, one will find a pretty balanced and reasoned approach. I have been particularly clear in my respect for Mr. Mowbray and his colleagues in the shop. Do I have some concerns about how STEA was set up and how it is operated? Sure. I do not believe I am alone in that regard.

Yes, I misspoke about the donation boxes. Big deal. I copped to it in my response to Superheater and left it all posted for everyone to see.

As for the Anonymous Poster canard - Do you accept anonymous donations? Superheater posts anonymously - do you discredit him as well? Mr. Austin posted pretty similar questions with his name attached yet he did not get any answers either.

This thread is not about you, me, Superheater, Mr. Mowbray, or Mr. Austin. It is about 3713 and the project management of an important mainline steam locomotive operational restoration. Let's keep it that way. So, if you have the numbers as you imply in your post, let's see them. Thank you and have a pleasant evening.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 399
Scranton Yard wrote:
This thread is not about you, me, Superheater, Mr. Mowbray, or Mr. Austin. It is about 3713 and the project management of an important mainline steam locomotive operational restoration.


From the Laurellines.org website. Please let us know the results of your inquiry.

Quote:
Chapter Meetings

Meetings take place on the Second Thursday of the month, except in July, at the Iron Skillet Resturant at the Petro Stopping Center in Dupont, PA. Walk though the dining room. The private room is in the rear.

Petro Stopping Center PA, Scranton
I-81, Exit 178 B
98 Grove St.
Du Pont, PA 18641



Ala Cart Dinner begins around 6:30 - you may order from the menu or get the extensive buffet. Meetings begin at 7:30 P.M. and are open to the public.

Meetings end with some sort of slide show, movie or video presention by both members and guest presenters.

On certain occasion or events, the Chapter meets at other locations, such as Moscow Station.

In case of inclement weather, please use good judgment (i.e. If a major snow is being forecast and schools cancel class and plants cancel shifts, it likely there will not be a meeting.)

(We do not want anyone risking thier life to make it to a meeting.)


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 237
6-18003 - Interesting suggestion. Sort of obviates the utility of modern internet communication and the purpose of this board though. Maybe 35 years ago it would have made sense.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1732
@RobertJohnDavis:

You have consistently referred to Scranton Yard as "Counselor".

That would be a salutation for an attorney or Deanna Troi, of STNG.

I'm assuming that Scranton Yard isn't Marina Sirtis.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:48 pm
Posts: 3
Scranton Yard wrote:
6-18003 - Interesting suggestion. Sort of obviates the utility of modern internet communication and the purpose of this board though. Maybe 35 years ago it would have made sense.


You seem very determined to get this information and are not getting it through the internet. Next logical step would be to go to the meeting in person. I doubt you'll get the information you seek doing that either, mainly because I don't believe the current heads of the project know or care about the information you seek, which is what I suspect is what you really want to see posted on here. You don't want the information, you want someone prominent in the project to say "We are honestly not sure how much has been spent."


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Springville, PA
M Austin wrote:
Bruce_Mowbray wrote:
I am unaware of the total amount of park $$$ and group $$$ spent on the project so far.

Somebody in Scranton has the spreadsheets with that information.

Yes Public information. If you have the time (I don't) feel free to look for them.

Quote:
There have been outside contractors hired and fired without knowing exactly how much was spent.

Somebody in Scranton has the spreadsheets with that information.

Yes Public information. If you have the time (I don't) feel free to look for them.



Quote:
There has been lots of sub-standard, un-supervised, un-monitored work done that is now worth only scrap value.
Who "hired and fired" the outside contractors that are responsible for this manufacture of high priced scrap metal?



Unfortunately, until somebody with knowledge as to what was going on was put in place, these contractors were paid until the funding sources were expended. Then the light was turned on and these contractors will not be coming back due to their record of past performance.

Quote:
It seems that, until now, the lessons that should have been learned from the 1361 debacle are still being repeated.


The lessons were not learned, just repeated. Until recently, the people who were in place during the 1361 mess were also leading and controlling the #3713 project. These people are gone from the park service and there is a new management team in place that listens. Along with a knowledge source that is not afraid of speaking up when necessary. There is also a new agreement between the park and the LWVRRHS. An agreement that states that there will be competent NPS mechanical oversight of the project.

Quote:
We are moving forward and this will NOT happen again.

What management/procedural changes were implemented that guarantee this?


See above

_________________
Bruce Mowbray
Springville, PA


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Springville, PA
Quote:

As far as these project management issues, your post does raise some questions.

1. The project started in 1995. After 22 years and pretty much total disassembly of the locomotive the Park Service and the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley RHS still do not have a budgetary estimate of the total cost of the project?

Correct. At the time of inception, project leaders/managers did not have a full grasp of locomotive restoration. Workers were told what to do and these workers did not ask why. Eventually, the workers started questioning the management's decision/requests, project funding ran out and the project was put on the back burner and the focus was shifted to the BLW 26

2. So the parts that were taken off the locomotive and stored in the 40' PRR boxcar were not triaged and basic function assessed at the time when they were removed such that it is totally unknown as to what requires rework and to what extent?

The work done by a contractor previous to hiring 3 Steamtown employees was found to be less that satisfactory and an evaluation of the frame, running gear, wheels, trucks etc. could not be performed with half of the locomotive still being assembled . The locomotive needed to be stripped entirely and everything (easily transportable) put in one place to keep parts from dissapearing. What better place for the storable parts that a box car with a lock that only certain people have a key for. There was some examination of key components as these parts were removed, tagged or labeled, and stored. To examine, evaluate, and obtain costs for all of the parts from a locomotive that had many bells and whistles (hmmm, locomotive term?) would have taken more time than was available. A basic cost for the major components was tabulated, however, there are many parts that were removed and scrapped before the locomotive even arrived in Scranton. Time has elapsed and the costs of these re-engineered parts has increased to an unknown amount. Do you have a crystal ball that tells the cost of a re-engineered Hanlon Automatic Drifting Valve system? I don't. I think you catch my drift (pun intended)

3. Neither the LWVRHS or the Park Service knows how much money has been spent, either by each organization individually or on the project as a whole? How are funds obtained with no accountability?

There is a record of what was spent. It is public information. Feel free to look it up. I have more productive tasks to fill my time

The project management conditions you describe are troubling for three reasons.

1. It appears that the Park Service has violated its own preservation standards and project management procedures over a period of 20+ years.

There is a new management team in place and they are striving to do the remainder of this restoration properly and according to regulations set forth by the NPS while maintaining current safety and regulatory standards.

2. While the LWVRHS is no longer responsible for the project management of the technical aspects of the restoration, they are still active in fundraising. If they can not account for the money they spent to date, how can donors have confidence that the LWVRHS can properly manage the funds they collect moving forward? As Mr. Austin asked, "What management/procedural changes were implemented that guarantee this?" Especially since both the Park Service and the LWVRHS were responsible for managing their respective cash streams.

Again, that was a result of the past management's decision and practice. There is now a more open and transparent communication exchange between the NPS and the LWVRHS. There is a mechanical SME attending the fund raising board meetings setting forth realistic goals and accurate information is being exchanged.

3. The President of the new "Friends of" Iron Horse Society at Steamtown is the same person that has led and is leading the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Rail Historical Society's effort to restore Boston and Maine 3713. How can anyone have confidence in the operation of the new "Friends of" organization given what we see here with regards to 3713?

The president of the IHS is doing a great job and is a board member for both organizations. He is only part of the overall picture and part of a GROUP effort. His position on the #3713 board is very positive and he has a lot to offer the #3713 project. Some confidence will need to be regained. Please, look toward the future. New NPS management, new project oversight, and a new fund raising directions, and most of all, a new attitude toward getting the B&M #3713 project completed.

It's getting late and I have a locomotive to restore tomorrow. I hope this sheds some light on things.

?


Mr. Austin - do you know these spreadsheets exist or are you being hopefully optimistic

Matt?

_________________
Bruce Mowbray
Springville, PA


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:34 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
Bruce_Mowbray wrote:
Quote:


Mr. Austin - do you know these spreadsheets exist or are you being hopefully optimistic

Matt?


Having worked for and contracted to Federal and State governments (including guided missile cruisers and submarines)...
The files are required to exist. No person or company gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars without signed authorizations documented in triplicate. I can expect and have seen where the total amount is assigned to 12 different accounts separated in 12 different files (or file cabinets) to obfuscate(hide) concise reality.
If the files do not exist, they have been deleted, the result of gross incompetence or malfeasance. Either answer should result in termination or jail time or both. Call the Federal Waste, Fraud and Abuse hotline or the NPS Inspector General's Office to force a reconciliation.

For publicly donated money dispersed in conjunction with a Federally supported project generating hundreds of thousands of dollars of high priced scrap metal, the files are required to exist.
If the files do not exist, they have been deleted, the result of gross incompetence or malfeasance. Either answer should result in termination or jail time or both. The IRS would be the entity to request a forced reconciliation.


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 Post subject: Re: B&M #3713 Summer 2017 Newsletter Released
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:00 am
Posts: 170
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Quote:
Call the Federal Waste, Fraud and Abuse hotline or the NPS Inspector General's Office to force a reconciliation.


Quote:
Either answer should result in termination or jail time or both. The IRS would be the entity to request a forced reconciliation.


What good does that bring? At that point you have now terminated the people performing the restoration for what? So now you have a disassembled locomotive that is now NOT going to be restored and another black eye for Steamtown, or as I like to call it, one more reason for people to complain.

Not that I am any kind of authority on the matter but I spoke with Bruce about the project and what's to come. I assure you, it's in good hands. He's a more than capable person of seeing it through. There are a lot of talented people in that shop.


I don't understand this. The restoration which has been on again, off again for 20 years now has picked up and at a more rapid pace it seems and still, people are unhappy. They still find some reason to nit pick.


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