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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:58 am
Posts: 53
Seems to me that in a locomotive, or other object made of metal, its operation results in the wear of parts made to wear and be replaced: bearings, etc. I doubt the tubes presently in the locomotive date from original construction. Yes, in time the firebox and eventually even the boiler will require replacement. Whether to use or preserve (static, climate controlled, etc) is a question that may be object specific.

But, what about a wooden car? I don't know how to restore wood. Wood is always changing in quality, and the quality starts to get worse when it leaves the stump. So, when we come to restoring a wooden car, we replace the wood. If we're lucky, we can still find the same species in the same quality, but most likely not. (Anyone have southern longleaf pine?) Seems to me the restoration of a wooden car results in the completion of a destruction process that began years before, when the car was still in use. In some cases it may be called for, in some cases not.

Has any museum put a non-restored artifact front and center for the public? (That's a serious question.) But the model we seem to want to follow is to create a nice-look car and pretend it's the real thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:46 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 213
Location: Whitefield, ME
DJSullivan wrote:
Has any museum put a non-restored artifact front and center for the public? (That's a serious question.) But the model we seem to want to follow is to create a nice-look car and pretend it's the real thing.


Yes- the National Rail Museum in York, England has 2 unrestored cars in their main exhibit hall which show off the information that can be gleaned from an artifact before it is restored.

My personal feeling is that the use of an artifact will better ensure the long term preservation of the artifact. We are all stewards of artifacts across time. All objects, not just those in operation, require regular maintenance and care to keep them in fine condition. Just consider the number of displayed cars and locomotives that are not in operation but exist in a very poor state of conservation. Clearly, operation is not the chief enemy here- it is entropy of the entire artifact in any situation.
The use of artifacts as a static display only is a very conservative approach to industrial preservation. That approach should be balanced with preserving the skills, techniques, and experience of the given artifact's operation.
There may be certain cases when an object displays some exceptional qualities that will degrade over time. Efforts should be made to arrest that decay, but again, the skills and techniques to do so must be maintained, and that is best accomplished through thorough training on maintaining operational equipment.
I will add that, as John White pointed out in his L&RP article on facadism, original construction techniques should be studied and employed in restoration. e.g. riveting where riveting was employed, castings with castings rather than replaced with fabricated work.

Steve Piwowarski


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1806
Quote:
Has any museum put a non-restored artifact front and center for the public? (That's a serious question.) But the model we seem to want to follow is to create a nice-look car and pretend it's the real thing.


National Capital Trolley Museum displays two non-restored cars in Streetcar Hall.

Washington Railway & Electric Company 650 (Brill, 1912)
Attachment:
WRECo_650.jpg
WRECo_650.jpg [ 158.98 KiB | Viewed 732 times ]


Capital Transit 1430 (St. Louis Car Co. 1944)
Attachment:
CT_1430.jpg
CT_1430.jpg [ 148.08 KiB | Viewed 732 times ]


There are plans to restore both cars to service, but not "soon."

Prior to the fire, we had planned to permanently display DC Transit 0509 in as-is condition with no plans to alter its condition. The car had been heavily modified in its 104-year life. After 25 years of regular use as our work car, DCTS 0509 was ready for retirement as a display artifact.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 571
Dougvv

I would not consider the Narrow Gauge discussion forum a credible source. Just look at the post by "by El Goaway" of a potentially deadly situation that people on that board chose to ignore instead looking at objectively. Supporters of the discussion forum continue to protect this type of behavior. When the Discussion forum deals with reality I will believe the "history" posted there.

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1043
Location: Youngstown, OH
We occasionally have this " destruction of historic fabric through operation" discussion but we never have the "leave it sit outside and dissolve away for decades" discussion. Even the most well worn out but operable locomotive still is a better artifact than a locomotive that was "preserved" in the 1950s, never touched and then all those wonderful marks of craftsmanship allowed to corrode away years ago.

When a steam locomotive is not operated, it usually does not remain in a state that is in any way reminiscent of what a steam locomotive should look like. It is allowed to rust, components such as whistles, bells, headlights, gauges etc. may be removed and over time it becomes more of an abstract locomotive shaped object than an actual locomotive.

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Rick Rowlands
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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:03 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 895
This might be time, since the articles section is being revived, to ask whether RyPN, as a successor-in-interest to L&RP, could put up either a copy or synopsis of the John White article on 'facadism' (it was in #15, Jul-Aug 1988) so that we have a guide on this topic. It is potentially of interest to me with application to detail design in connection with the T1 Trust.

Yes, Railweb still has print copies, and yes, the mailing charge is still excessive for what amounts to one article worth of interest. When I have enough set aside for some of the books, I may spring for a copy and then do a 'review' that covers the salient points -- I encourage anyone else with a copy to do the same, as they'll know more than I do about the application to 'museum' preservation contexts.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:20 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 397
DJSullivan wrote:

Has any museum put a non-restored artifact front and center for the public? (That's a serious question.) But the model we seem to want to follow is to create a nice-look car and pretend it's the real thing.


Reading Transit and Light 102 at the ECTM would certainly qualify as non-restored. I have to wonder if she will be moved to the restoration building once Scranton Railway #324 is completed, though.

Image

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Reading Transit & Light Co. #102

Car #102 (J.G. Brill Co., 1918) represents a fleet of 21 similar "semi-convertible" trolleys ordered by the Reading, Pa. system in 1916 and 1918. These suburban cars were the final evolution of the classic side-of-the-road trolleys that served a connected network of trolley companies that once stretched from Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington westward past Carlisle. Car #102 operated on all three RT&L divisions; Lebanon, Norristown and Reading, traveling the rails from the Wissahickon section of Philadelphia all the way to Palmyra, Pa. Car #102 was retired in 1947, but its carbody was soon bought and conserved by Paul Rhoads and family. Honored as the first car to be rolled into the Electric City museum building, car #102 now sits on trolley trucks retrieved from Georgia and awaits its turn for full restoration.


Last edited by 6-18003 on Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:22 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2091
Location: Northern Illinois
Rick Rowlands wrote:
We occasionally have this " destruction of historic fabric through operation" discussion but we never have the "leave it sit outside and dissolve away for decades" discussion. Even the most well worn out but operable locomotive still is a better artifact than a locomotive that was "preserved" in the 1950s, never touched and then all those wonderful marks of craftsmanship allowed to corrode away years ago.

When a steam locomotive is not operated, it usually does not remain in a state that is in any way reminiscent of what a steam locomotive should look like. It is allowed to rust, components such as whistles, bells, headlights, gauges etc. may be removed and over time it becomes more of an abstract locomotive shaped object than an actual locomotive.


I beg to differ. All of the well established (and well financed) railway museums: California State Railway Museum, Nevada State Railway Museum, Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, The Henry Ford, and the B&O Museum, among others, have late nineteenth century steam locomotives in their collections that are well preserved and not deteriorating.

The problem with park engines is they are not preserved - they are ignored. They are simply pausing for a few decades on their way to the steel mill to be made into razor blades. The people who advocated for their display thought that acquisition was enough, and made no attempt at either conservation or interpretation. I dare say that in the next thirty years, when there is no longer anyone alive who saw them in service, one by one they will quietly resume their journey to meet their fate.

On the other hand, the engines in tourist railway service aren't really preserved either. As the decades roll by, they will be re-boilered with welded boilers, with welded in stays, receive roller bearings and strange new exhaust nozzles, and carry welded tenders with fake applique rivet heads, all in the interest of making them "better." They may still look like steam locomotives, but will have as much connection to their history as the Crown in the amusement park.

Of all the different organizations under the broad category of railway preservation, very few are sensitive to keeping things original, and fewer still are willing to spend the funds to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:32 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
"As the decades roll by, they will be re-boilered with welded boilers, with welded in stays, receive roller bearings and strange new exhaust nozzles, and carry welded tenders with fake applique rivet heads, all in the interest of making them "better." They may still look like steam locomotives, but will have as much connection to their history as the Crown in the amusement park."


With respect, I strongly differ -- provided the original fabric is fully documented and, where possible, preserved, and the 'upgrade' changes are reversible (as they almost always would be, albeit in some cases with cubic dollars more effectively spent elsewhere).

Where I have issues is when modifications are made expediently, or uncaringly, and then you're building Crown-like structure to achieve Crown-like purpose: running tourist trains rather than operating heritage equipment. To me, though, there is a middle ground, where you get the 'teaching moments' that a thoroughly original locomotive can give without wearing out or risking catastrophic damage to the historic fabric itself. I thought immediately of a non-steam example: Preston Cook's arguments about fixing the historic fabric of 201As or very early 567s to operability in 'everyday' tourist or excursion service. Does it cheapen the value of an EMD SC to swap in a later block if we preserve the original 567U or whatever, and modify the minimum piping and linkage in the least intrusive and most reversible way to run?

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R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
Dennis Storzek wrote:

I beg to differ. All of the well established (and well financed) railway museums: California State Railway Museum, Nevada State Railway Museum, Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, The Henry Ford, and the B&O Museum, among others, have late nineteenth century steam locomotives in their collections that are well preserved and not deteriorating.



"Usually" locomotives are not afforded indoor protection and are left outside. Those are the ones that are better preserved as operating examples if possible.

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Rick Rowlands
Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:39 am
Posts: 15
Robby Peartree wrote:
Dougvv

I would not consider the Narrow Gauge discussion forum a credible source. Just look at the post by "by El Goaway" of a potentially deadly situation that people on that board chose to ignore instead looking at objectively. Supporters of the discussion forum continue to protect this type of behavior. When the Discussion forum deals with reality I will believe the "history" posted there.

Robby Peartree



Robby, as a long time poster over at the Narrow Gauge discussion forum, (5,000+ posts) I take exception to you saying there is a poster called "El Goaway" , and what he said. There isn't a poster listed with that handle, and a search of the NGDF did not reveal such a post as you referenced. While I would agree that there are many more foamers there than people involved with historic preservation, you need to go back to the boards name, "Discussion Forum". If you want to make fun of the people who post there you should come up with some factual evidence, not someone and something you made up.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:36 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:07 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Utah
Also regarding the NGDF, participants on that forum include professionals from the Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton and Colorado Railroad Museum (about which this thread began). Are they not valid sources? The discussion of this particular locomotive that Doug was started by one of the CRM's employees who was responsible for the restoration, and contributed to by past and present employees and volunteers of the museum who have extensive knowledge about the subject. Are they not valid sources? Most of them provided a reference or citation for what they wrote about, does that not validate the sources?

This board is full of non-professionals as well, so I am hesitant to use RYPN as a definitive source for anything unless the person posting has the credentials to back up their information.

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Director, Golden Spike Chapter R&LHS
The official D&RGW 223 website


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:33 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am
Posts: 16
Quote:
Also regarding the NGDF (NGRDF), participants on that forum include professionals from the Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton and Colorado Railroad Museum (about which this thread began). Are they not valid sources?

BTW, Let's not forget the grandfather of all Narrow Gauge preservation - the last of its kind - Portland Company 622 a.k.a SRRR #5 / SR&RL #6 / KC #4 / WW&F #9. We have Frank Ramsdell saving it for preservation in 1937, his daughter Alice standing guard over it for the rest of the decades of the 20th Century in that little barn in Connecticut, and her heir, Dale King, completing his grandfather's and aunt's dream by allowing for #9 to steam again in its WW&F colors on the rail that it originally ran on.

The dedicated 2' Gauge teams from Wiscasset, Watervile and Farmington (WW&F) Railway Museum are regular participants both here and on NGRDF.

The 2' Jones & Laughlin RR in Ohio is also doing heroic work with the #58 bringing her accurately back to life. They are here and on NGRDF too.

Let's also not forget the 3' gauge operations at South Park (Klondike Kate) and Carson & Colorado (Slim Princess 18).... they are just as dedicated to their equipment and to outreach & interpretation.

All of these are valid sources too ... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:45 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am
Posts: 16
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Quote:
On the other hand, the engines in tourist railway service aren't really preserved either.

You shouldn't make such broad statements ....

WW&F #9 continues to educate and entertain in prototypical mode of the 1910-1930 time period. The restoration is well documented, the plans from the Portland Co. Archives were consulted frequently. The Eames vacuum engine brakes were reconstructed directly from the patent drawings. The original Portland Co. steam engine boiler- the only remaining one - is preserved and will be properly interpreted.

I am not even mentioning the WW&F 21 Campaign which will provide a new prototypical riveted and flanged boiler (within constraints of state and federal law) for Vulcan Ironworks WW&F #10 (aka "High Pockets") and the erection of WW&F #11 - the first brand-new 2' gauge steam engine in North America since the Monson twins were built by Vulcan in Wilkes-Barre during the early 20th century.

#11 will join the ranks of newly built steam engines, the most recent being the Baldwin Locomotive Works "LYN" for the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:51 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
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Re: C&TS Loco. Maint. Site and scale pictures
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El Goaway
January 25, 2004 07:27AM


So, let's review:
You know better than the Commission.
You know better than RGRPC.
You know better than Starfire.
And now, apparently, the FRA inspector's approval isn't good enough for you?
Robby, why don't you accept that just maybe you're not the smartest steam guy on the planet, and that just MAYBE someone else knows something you don't. If you're so scared, just don't visit the C&TS.
Take your egomaniacal blusterings back to the Goat, and take Blanchard with you. We're sick of you whining Goat refugees trying to stir things up here.
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Further your attacks on me there and now here do not meet the policies that you want of me.

Robby Peartree


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