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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am
Posts: 16
Dennis Storzek wrote:
NONE of the things I listed are driven by regs. Riveted boilers are still legal under ASME code, even for new construction. Threaded staybolts are still allowed.

Riveted lap seams for boilers are not allowed in new construction.

What about stays? By 1920 steel had replaced cast iron. Would the use of steel be acceptable?

Very few locomotives ever stayed in their "as-built" condition. All railroads rebuilt and changed things as needed on their motive power roster to meet business requirements. Valve gear, boilers, tenders, etc. The D&H was constantly experimenting and changing their motive power fleet.

PA Boiler Code

From 1994, but still a good high level summary for locomotives
Description of Construction and Inspection Procedure for Steam Locomotive and Fire Tube Boilers


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 Post subject: Re: ModeratorRe: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am
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Randy Hees wrote:
On the other hand, the discussions of consumption of an artifact by operation, how to care for a locomotive, the cumulative effects of changes on a operating locomotive are very appropriate here...

Thanks Randy!
The original topic of the thread is very appropriate.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Cast iron stays? Seriously? Wrought, certainly......

We all need to understand that we're not talking about works of art here, but mass produced large mechanical artifacts most of which were constructed identically or similarly in large numbers. All of them - with perhaps very few exceptions - were substantially altered during their course of active economic life.

The alterations certainly are valuable examples of technology no less than the original construction.

The modern adaptations to maintain obsolete equipment in today's active economic life in the tourist railway industry is also interesting and valuable. Many people find it even more interesting that how it was done a century ago.

It is very good to have operating equipment so people can experience something being used for its intended purpose. It provides a much better comprehension and experience in 2 minutes than hours of looking at a cold rusting (or worse, clean and painted beyond any normal operating appearance) machine in a sterile environment.

We don't have any economic or rational purpose to make everything operate, so we don't need to worry about the extinction of original fabric other than through natural attrition if left to the elements. We can stop pretending there's an approaching crisis on this account. We can stop beating ourselves up about it.

So, worry about preserving what's - I won't say "original" but "as retired" - in such a way that it doesn't continue to deteriorate through neglect and bad storage, and do what has to be done to keep the ones we do want to run in operation. Devote your efforts and energy to storage issues instead. We'll all be better off.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
MSLRR wrote:
Dennis Storzek wrote:
NONE of the things I listed are driven by regs. Riveted boilers are still legal under ASME code, even for new construction. Threaded staybolts are still allowed.

Riveted lap seams for boilers are not allowed in new construction.


It depends where you are and what you want to do with it. Lap seams are not illegal under some state codes. If you need to run it under FRA, replicating the whole engine would be preferable to modifying the historic artifact.
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What about stays? By 1920 steel had replaced cast iron. Would the use of steel be acceptable?

Very few locomotives ever stayed in their "as-built" condition. All railroads rebuilt and changed things as needed on their motive power roster to meet business requirements. Valve gear, boilers, tenders, etc. The D&H was constantly experimenting and changing their motive power fleet.


But this misses the point. Railroads aren't museums... they don't preserve things, they use them up. This includes tourist railroads.

The purpose of a museum to conserve and interpret the artifact. Once the artifact enters a museum collection, they are no longer supposed to change it. Otherwise the B&O Museum will eventually be full of Crown "steam outline" amusement park locos.

There was the comment made about keeping the old skills alive, and it's a point well taken. Sometimes a decision needs to be made whether restoring and maintaining the locomotive as an operational display as an aid to the interperetation of the industry and how it worked outweighs the need to conserve the original fabric of what may be a rather common piece. But the skills to be maintained are the historic skills, bucking rivets and upsetting staybolts, not burning rod on the fillet welded bar stock that passes for bolts these days. Engine crews are suppose to learn how to operate 6-ET brake equipment, rather than just change it over to 26 because it's easier to show the weekend warriors how to run it. Change enough stuff and you'll find the skills that are being passed down aren't the historic skills at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 46
Dennis Storzek wrote:
MSLRR wrote:

But this misses the point. Railroads aren't museums... they don't preserve things, they use them up. This includes tourist railroads.

The purpose of a museum to conserve and interpret the artifact. Once the artifact enters a museum collection, they are no longer supposed to change it. Otherwise the B&O Museum will eventually be full of Crown "steam outline" amusement park locos.


That's not a definitive statement... Many museums exist to have an operating collection.

The Henry Ford Museum has some great thoughts on this... I remember reading about their restoration of the Rosa Parks bus and they decided it would best to display the bus as it would have appeared when Rosa Parks rode it. Since the bus had been retired and left to rust well after that era, that meant changing it significantly to back date it.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
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So, I Have to chime in and say a few things here.

There was some argument earlier in the thread about K-37's. Mr Peartree I believe said they have Baldwin Boilers, frames, running gear, and tenders.

As someone who worked (although briefly, I have a job working on steam locomotives that occupied most of my time, and paying my bills was more imporant) on the 491 project, I have some first hand knowledge about the engine.

The Frames and Saddles are not Baldwin Parts, they were made at Sterns and Rogers in Denver, they literally say that on the front of the locomotive saddle. The casting date was either 1927 or 1928, I believe in September, but I can't recall the full date off hand. You can go look at the saddle and see the Sterns and Rogers Markings on her. Her frame and Saddle were built in Denver, so why would they order running gear from Baldwin? Why not make it locally instead. Some with more intimate knowlage in the reasearch side of this may be able to confirm.

The tender of 491 is not hers, its off the 496, and later 499. 491's tender is behind 494 in Antonito, in fairly poor shape. That tender still has the 3 way coupler that is on 491 in many of her pictures.


Yes she was last shopped by the Rio Grande, but if the Museum keeps up with their practice, follows their standard practice guides, is it not the same?

Something that always bother me is people assume history just ends when steam ended, that nothing after that matters in any way. I hate that. It drives me crazy. Take Georgetown Loops #40 for example. Built for the IRCA in 1920, modified with Piston valves and superheat in the 1930s. Brought to Colorado in 1973, and the Loop later in the 70's. Her hydrostatic was replaced with all mechanical lubrication in the 80's, and she received a Cross Compound compressor? Does that make her a bastard? Did the Loop Ruin her? No, they didn't, she is a better engine for these changes and modifications. Whats more is she was, and soon will be again, a working engine. She isnt retired, she earned a living, she made money. I have a picture of myself when I was about 4 standing in front of the 40 at Devils Gate, thats history to me in the same way seeing steam run on the mainline is history to some of our older posters.

So lets get away from the tourist argument for a minute, what about museums. Well what pays the bills, a bunch of static, untouched since the steam age locomotives? Or Running, operating trains that attract people who are not inserted in what they see as a bunch of old Rusty Junk. Because that is the public's view. And honestly, no amount of interpretation can change that, you need stuff well presented, painted, properly displayed, and what really attracts people is things that actually work, move, make noise and make smoke. That really draws attention. Now these museums do still have budget problems, they have to be careful, do we really care if a locomotive has a 90+ year old steam gauge, or some modern gauge that serves the same purpose and functions identically? I don't, I mean yes it looks weird, but it does the same thing as an old brass gauge, in the FRA terminology, as long as its safe and suitable for service.

You can't just leave everything, refuse to touch it because the railroad was the last one to do so. What about paint, well what are we not going to repaint something because we can't use the lead based paint of the old days, better to just let to rot away rather then alter any of the historic fabric. Yes this may seem like an extreme comparison, but this is literally the attitude I have seen in my personal experiences, even when stuff looks halfway decent outside, but in reality, behind the paint, is almost about ready to fall over. But people criticize anyone touching it, anyone changing it.

Guess we better just stop running all steam locomotives, and historic cars, and diesels, because were going to destroy them if we use them. That will sure generate public interest in railway preservation, a bunch of stationary objects.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:02 am
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Location: Northern California
I am being simplistic, but we have two types of artifacts. On the one hand there are teaching tools that we run to allow visitors to experience what it was like to ride behind a steam locomotive/to ride in a turn-of-the-last-century interurban car/to ride in a parlor car/etc. These are similar to the bones in a sand tray at a natural history museum with a "please touch" sign. On the other hand there are preserved artifacts that we do just that with - keep them inside, dry, vermin free... These are similar to the bones in storage room drawers that only researchers have access to. Both are necessary if a museum is to preserve and interpret. There is a major problem with this dichotomy. Many of our artifacts come to us in a barely recognizable form - the streetcar that had become a sewing room. What we do with these artifacts is use them as a shell to guide the building of a full-scale model that says, "This is what I would have looked, felt like, run like, had I been preserved when it should have been preserved." What we are "preserving" is a reconstruction that has the spirit, but often little of the material of its original form. It still is a good tool for interpreting history.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:28 am 

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To address the original question: What is preservation?

The first step in preservation is putting an engine in a park. For some reason a locomotive destined for a scrapper is diverted and saved in an outdoor setting for decades. A lot of arm chair preservationists lament the park engine. They rail against it “rusting away in the weeds”. Well, if you don’t have it you can’t preserve it. So say thanks to those persons who put stuff in the parks or behind a building or any other place that you don’t approve of. Park engines are stuff waiting in the queue for restoration.

I understand that the example given was a special case. Put away shortly after an overhaul, stored safely away, and given to an organization that can care for it. I am addressing the ordinary case.

So the locomotive eventually comes under the scrutiny of preservationists. Saving original fabric is good but not part of the life and identity of the locomotive. In the video there is a lot of discussion of how much has changed during the life of the locomotive. The preservationist can certainly decide to keep all the original stuff but if that is the goal then it will have to go into a glass box to become stuffed and mounted. In the video more than one individual hints that they will run the locomotive. The words used are “come to life” and “preserved so it can be used”. They have accepted change as part of the identity.They speak of the changes to the boiler. They speak of the brass that was pilfered and how they took care to replace it. The work looks great.

There are a lot of examples of why this locomotive is special. Siphons are one. If we visit almost any railroad museum and ask why some piece is important we will be deluged with the first, the last, the biggest, the only, and all the other superlatives used to make us believe that something is important or worth the effort put into it. This constant rant is annoying to say the least. So the fact that this locomotive has siphons and they are welded doesn’t make the locomotive any more worthy. If the locomotive had arrived without siphons or riveted siphons do you believe it would have been turned away? Would they say “No Siphons? We don’t want it”. No, the locomotive has great intrinsic value in spite of having welded siphons. The siphons and other details just give us talking points.


Back to the original question: preservation is what you or I or they do. It isn’t better or worse than any other effort. Preservation is different for every institution and article up for question. Preservation is saving something from destruction, it is throwing a coat of black latex paint on it every ten years, and it is meticulously cleaning and cataloging each and every individual part. It is many things. If you feel strongly about what should or shouldn’t happen to a locomotive then get involved. As spectators we can watch but we should not judge.

I am enjoying this thread. A lot of good points are being raised however asking for a definitive answer on what is restoration is like asking what the meaning of life is. It is different for every person.

So all you guys who are taking a stand and getting pissed off, it’s not about you. It’s about the stuff because we are all going to be dead soon and someone else will be in charge. We can’t dictate what future generations do so lighten up and enjoy the ride.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:53 pm 

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Quote:
Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?


I submit as an example the restoration of Capital Traction 522 (American Car Co. 1898). After 117 years of service the original fabric of the car body was in poor shape and no longer represented its original use as a passenger car or its last use as a rail grinder.

Following restoration (reconstruction?) as a passenger car, the car body is now a mix of old and new materials. The new Lord Baltimore truck frame is also a combination of old and new materials.

In its current state, CTCo 522 interprets the first generation of electric street railway equipment in Washington, DC. As someone who enjoyed operating the car in its "before state," I would say the destruction of the earlier representation of the car is well worth the final object now presented in a new state of preservation.

Before

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File comment: CTCo 522 before restoration.
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DCTS 522 Photo.jpg [ 42.88 KiB | Viewed 754 times ]

After

Attachment:
File comment: CTCo 522 after restoration
CTCo-522-Before-SM.jpg
CTCo-522-Before-SM.jpg [ 283.72 KiB | Viewed 754 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:29 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:39 am
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If something is one of a kind, 'say the Enola Gay B29', not flying it again makes a lot of sense, however regular B29s like Fifi and Doc (which were put back together with parts from many planes) are run of the mill aircraft that were made in the thousands. Fifi and Doc are great ambassadors to aircraft museums because they get attention from people who otherwise might never go to an aviation museum.

Hot running steam engine attract so many more people to our hobby than something that is stuffed and mounted in a museum. They are unique in the fact that they are operational and nothing done at a museum can replicate the sights, smells, and sounds of a real working engine because, they are. If there was enough money all remaining steam engines would be preserved, but the reality is there simply isn't enough money to do that. How many engines are running today that otherwise would be rusting away and forgotten if they weren't working? I submit that many engines have been restored cosmetically, or operational today because of the interest generated by their working brothers.

Out at Orange Empire I was once asked by a visitor during Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine, "what were you BEFORE Thomas? I had to chuckle as I tell her about us being a railroad museum for a HALF CENTURY before Thomas came here. Is there anything historical about Thomas? Hardly, but it brings visitors to our museum who would have NEVER come out otherwise and we are able to show off our museum to them and their families. Not only does the income from Thomas help fund car barns and historic preservation, but some people who come out become members and join us in our work.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:08 pm 

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wesp wrote:
I submit as an example the restoration of Capital Traction 522 (American Car Co. 1898). After 117 years of service the original fabric of the car body was in poor shape and no longer represented its original use as a passenger car or its last use as a rail grinder.

Following restoration (reconstruction?) as a passenger car, the car body is now a mix of old and new materials. The new Lord Baltimore truck frame is also a combination of old and new materials.


But the point is, you chose materials and processes in keeping with the original fabric of the car. I don't imagine you built a fiberglass body to replace the original, nor built the new Lord Baltimore truck with roller bearings.

I am actually in agreement with many of the comments that we have an obligation to operate the equipment; steam, diesel, or electric. That is part of our mission to display the technology, rather than just the artifacts. But I rarely see a discussion here about repair and renewal that is as close to original as possible. Instead, we have discussions about fitting new, improved blast nozzles, new roller bearings, new welded boilers, new 26 brake equipment, with never the counter argument made that this not only changes the artifact, it also changes the technology that we are supposedly trying to preserve. I am well aware that railroads routinely replaced consumables like flues, and if we intend to run them, we will have to do the same. But when the statement is made, "The railroads were always updating the technology," That runs counter to our purpose. How do we know what technology they would have chosen? Are we to predict the future, too? It seems we are much better to stick with what the railroads did choose, for as long as the material can be had.

Several have touched upon the fact that to return an artifact to it's original condition, we may have to undo work that the railroad added later, which is now also part of the historic fabric. That is an issue well understood in museum circles. No one ever said everything needs to be restored to as new condition. Normally things are restored to their period of greatest significance, such as the Rosa Parks bus mentioned earlier. The only reason that bus was saved, the only reason it was important, was the tie-in with events of that night. Otherwise, it's just a bus, one of tens of thousands. The significant event trumps any claim to the importance of keeping later modifications.

The biggest problem we always have is funding. We had some discussion recently about the restoration of the locomotive TEXAS to a period much later than the Civil War, which is indeed its period of greatest significance. Unfortunately, there is not much fabric left from that time. The options open, given that there was no funding to create a replica of the civil war loco, are restore it consistent with its present form, or create a fake; a ca. 1900 locomotive in Civil War colors. That would serve to educate no one, and save nothing.

However, all these changes I've been discussing are designed to take the artifact back closer to original, or at least maintain it in the form it was when retired. Making changes simply because they are cheaper, easier, or "better" have no place in historic preservation.

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:19 pm 

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Hot steam locomotives do not cause people to know about you and your event advertising does. A member of the 786 crew and I were talking in the late 1990s while they were visiting GCR. The gentleman stated that early on they ran into a budget crunch where revenues had not reached expenditures. They made a choice to do some preventive maintenance instead of advertise. The result was lower revenue because the word the train was running was not getting out but the cost were still there.
Flash forward several years and C&TS commissioner predicted a great return of riders because a third locomotive was going to be returned to operations. Yet even today the C&TS has not returned to its pre 2002 ridership numbers in spite of the increase in the number of locomotives operating.
Grand Canyon Railway success with the Polar Express has nothing to do with the ditch. It had everything to do with a little luck with the timing of the movie opening and a comprehensive marketing plan. It took years to develop. Operations or static displays do nothing if no one knows anything about them.

Each artifact is different and unique and its individual history needs to be considered. What surprised me with the Colorado Railroad Museum is they are discussing what makes the 491 so unique and yet they single thing that protected the Rio Grande Craftmanship is the fact that it did not operate all of those years. Furthermore by there own web site they talk about other locomotives that operate or are being restored (346 and 20). The difference is the 491 will pull more cars and get more people in and out. I ask if preservation requires consuming the artifact for revenue then we see why some do not see us doing preservation because of our operation.

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:56 pm 

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Proper advertising will bring people to your museum 'once', but unless something new is going on, it is doubtful that they will return. Just like art galleries have visiting displays, it is much harder to lug a steam engine around than it is a painting. Only hard core foamers will come out again and again to look at the same steam engine looking just like it did the last 3 times they visited. The rest of the public, (most of the people who's money pays the bills to stay open) want to see something new each time they come out.

When OERM's steam engine was down for several years because of boiler issues, our railfest gate dropped dramatically, when the steam engine came back into operation, our attendance spiked because we had an operational steam engine. Operational steam engines are becoming more and more rare of an occurrence and even non railfans will look up and notice it over an everyday train.

One thing that the CRRM has found out is that Day out with Thomas, and the Polar Express has pushed their attendance high enough to qualify for more funding from History Colorado, so they get more money for the state.

You can disagree with my statements, but I doubt you can prove me wrong that operating trains bring out more visitors than a static museum. Equals more income for historic preservation.


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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:51 pm 
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crij wrote:
Reminds me about the discussion about `George Washington's Axe'. Handle was replaced twice, bit (cutting edge) replaced 3 times, and head replaced once, and there was never a cherry tree..., but it is still `Washington's Axe'...

I'll never forget when the Collings Foundation finally got their B-24J flying. It'd been used as a training ground example for the Indian AF before being passed through a few owners after RAF service and used with in India. The Collings folks did a 'ground-up' restoration on the Liberator. I'll never forget what one of their team told me, "We replaced everything but the shadow!"

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 Post subject: Re: Preservation or destruction of an artifact?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
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Hi All

For me the definition of the term Rio Grande craftsmanship is at the center of my start of this discussion. To me the term means the work the actual craftsmen in Alamosa did. If this work is unique is operating really a good way to preserve it? Considering cinder cutting of tubes, corrosion of boiler surfaces and wear and tear of the running gear. This will take place over a long period of time but I assume we want to preserve the locomotive for many more generations.

Another position for preservation is preservation of the techniques that were used in the days of steam. This is equally important but in the effort to operate something we have a tendency to bring modern techniques to the table such as pipe bending. I will never forget Bill Morris an ex SP pipe fitter looking for the sand used to fill the pipe. Bill had been retired a few years and was not used to the new ways of bending pipes. With his passing there was one less person on earth who knew the old way of bending pipes. Most people will not know the difference between techniques but that can be an educational moment if we choose to take advantage of it.

Railroading was a business that had a real impact on our country and communities. Railroading’s impact is more than just running locomotives and trains. The impact of any individual railroad property on the communities they served were determined by the railroads leadership. Railroads such as the Southern Pacific or Santa Fe railroads had a diverse demands of service by its customers and therefore diverse and competing investment needs and revenue returns for each of its customers. On the other hand, the formation of what became the El Paso & Southwestern was in part based upon the inability the area railroads to recognize the traffic the copper business was going to create in what we know now as Southeastern Arizona and Southern New Mexico. The movement of the materials for copper production and moving copper to market drove the decisions of the growth of what became the El Paso & Southwestern. These differences in priorities created differences in how things were approached.

There are multiple things and therefore ways to preserve in railroading. The questions for me in this case is if the uniqueness of 491 is its craftsmanship the right description of what they want to preserve or is it a poor description of what they want to accomplish? The video is meant to educate people but one thing any student should do is look at the subject with a critical eye.

When a preservation group talks about why something is historic should it not then be apparent what drove the decision making. Just how trustworthy do we appear and therefore able to gain a sympathetic party to our needs and claims to our potential supporters if they see what they believe is an inconsistency? An if they see one and communicate that in some way how do you respond?

Robby Peartree


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