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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:00 am
Posts: 171
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
6-18003 wrote:
ns2110 wrote:
I rode the trip. It was great. I couldn't understand why nobody wanted to ride it.




I can't recall the exact number, but I know that it was over $100 per person to ride behind 765. Contrast this with the $24/pp I am used to paying at Steamtown (including behind 3254 when she was operable), or the $14/pp I paid to the R&N last year to ride behind #425. Yes, the trips were shorter, but with children the clock starts the minute you board. Longer is not always better, especially with fixed windows.

If 765 took one of the shorter Steamtown trips after the viaduct run was cancelled, at a more reasonable price, you can bet I would have been a buyer. And for multiple tickets.



I have to admit, the 765 pounding up the hill with open window coaches would have been wonderful. Especially inside the Nay Aug tunnel where it temporarily lost its footing and had to give it a second shot.

The thing with the ticket price is that they had to pay for their way from Indiana. That all gets wrapped up in to the ticket price where as when one of the local engines pulls the train, they pull it right out of the roundhouse and onto the front of the train. The coach tickets were reasonable in my opinion when you take into consideration all the costs that must be met.

I agree, longer is not always better, especially when you have multiple slow orders that seemed to drag on for quite a few miles. There could have been things that made these trips better but they were out of the realm of possibility. Maybe if these trips ever happen again, some open window coaches could make their way into the train and a more spirited pace attained.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:32 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Bucks County, PA
ns2110 wrote:
6-18003 wrote:
ns2110 wrote:
I rode the trip. It was great. I couldn't understand why nobody wanted to ride it.




I can't recall the exact number, but I know that it was over $100 per person to ride behind 765. Contrast this with the $24/pp I am used to paying at Steamtown (including behind 3254 when she was operable), or the $14/pp I paid to the R&N last year to ride behind #425. Yes, the trips were shorter, but with children the clock starts the minute you board. Longer is not always better, especially with fixed windows.

If 765 took one of the shorter Steamtown trips after the viaduct run was cancelled, at a more reasonable price, you can bet I would have been a buyer. And for multiple tickets.



I have to admit, the 765 pounding up the hill with open window coaches would have been wonderful. Especially inside the Nay Aug tunnel where it temporarily lost its footing and had to give it a second shot.

The thing with the ticket price is that they had to pay for their way from Indiana. That all gets wrapped up in to the ticket price where as when one of the local engines pulls the train, they pull it right out of the roundhouse and onto the front of the train. The coach tickets were reasonable in my opinion when you take into consideration all the costs that must be met.

I agree, longer is not always better, especially when you have multiple slow orders that seemed to drag on for quite a few miles. There could have been things that made these trips better but they were out of the realm of possibility. Maybe if these trips ever happen again, some open window coaches could make their way into the train and a more spirited pace attained.


You can bet your bottom dollar that if 765 came back, and three or so of the normal CNJ/Lackawanna coaches were used, those puppies would sell out FAST.

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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 643
I bumped this thread just to make everyone aware...CSX is in the process of evaluating lines for either sale or lease. There may be an opportunity here to do some things that have been talked about, and provide a service.

Before you bombard CSX with requests for information, get your finances in order. This will not be a quick process nor will it be cheap. This may involve several groups getting together and putting together a plan which will provide a path for profitability, service, and pooling of equipment. If you wanna railroad, this might be your chance to put those words into action...


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 89
Txhighballer wrote:
I bumped this thread just to make everyone aware...CSX is in the process of evaluating lines for either sale or lease. There may be an opportunity here to do some things that have been talked about, and provide a service.


If CSX leases the lines, they will probably not be able to host passenger trains. Most of the NS leases I have seen specifically forbid passenger train operations on lines to be leased - I would expect any CSX leases to include similar language.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 643
I will just leave this here....

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/ ... ?2,4456180


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:29 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Bucks County, PA
Txhighballer wrote:


Hey, who has the loose cash to buy 60+ miles of rail line from CSX? I don’t...

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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:35 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2186
Quote:
not be allowed to dispose of anything other than track and signals for a period of 180 days


somebody better jump in or this is another gone.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2186
http://www.railroadfan.com/phpbb/viewto ... 27&t=35579


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:05 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
Posts: 52
Quite an interesting topic to have read, especially using the GCR as an example. I'll apologise for the length of my reply in advance...

The UK's only mainline steam experience is a project of some 50 years where the tracks were torn up, some stations pulled down or otherwise wrecked by vandals etc.

Despite the 25mph "hard limit" due to Light Railway Orders, I can tell you they've sometimes 'accidentally' crept up above this, usually with guest locos and crews (I once went behind the V2 Green Arrow and all 3 cylinders were going as we crossed Swithland Reservoir)

There are plans afoot long term to raise the speed limit of some of the longer heritage lines such as the GCR and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, with a mooted thought of 45 mph being a good limit to aim for. The higher speeds are hoped to keep people in the area for longer and thus explore and spend more cash.

For the most part the US seems a bit snookered on that regard, you never went through the same level of railway purging the UK did which left convenient branchlines and one mainline available for preservationists to pilfer, along with eager local councils who soon realised the economic benefit even lightly populated areas can bring in.

The Welsh Highland & Ffestiniog Railways, for example, runs through an incredibly lightly populated area and brings in a staggering $35m a year in economic impact.

The US's decline was a lot slower, took place mostly during the 70s and 80s with probably the main "bloc" taking place during the late 80s early 90s with the rise of corporations like Iowa Pacific and G&W stepping into the gap almost instantly and (perhaps to everyone's surprise) making those lines profitable again.

You also have to bare in mind a lot of UK equipment running along most preservation lines are actually unprotoypical, with tender engines and other large mainline power effectively "caged" in the same way as the US's is.

For the most part I would say the US is still where the UK preservation movement was 20 else 30 years ago. Actual moving equipment remains the immediate priority for funding which rather lessens the ability to sell the rest of the 'experience' because until things are "just so" you're going to be stuck there.

Instead of selling the speed aspect, I would sell the time, era and immersive aspects of any such "mainline steam" experience.

The way the GCR does this is via each station along the line being set during a different period of time.

Loughborogh Central (the main station) is set during the 1920s when the line first opened.

Quorn & Woodhouse is set during the 1940s and dressed appropriately, and is the main focus of their WW2 events when they are run (a great money earner).

Rothley and Leicester North are both set during the BR era of the line, mainly the 1950s and 1960s.

This lets the railway tell the story of the railway (and the UK) through it's stations, and it works wonderfully.

With so many US towns having the railroad run right through the middle, discussing how to "heritage" any nearby shop fronts and cafes to the benefit (and extra revenue) of all should be a no brainer.

On top of all this, I noticed that someone early in the thread said they shouldn't do thomas days or polar express/santa trains. Why?

Any UK heritage line which doesn't do these obvious money earners is actually seen as quite the odd duck and definitely suffers for it. Even smaller railways make more money in a month of weekend Santa Trains then they do in probably the next 3 operating months put together.

It's not a greed thing, it just makes economic sense to offer events you know will make your operation a good chunk of money. There's plenty of volunteers who roll their eyes when these events come up, but they know that without them? Their chance to play trains becomes quite a bit less.

On the comment of "because steam is too expensive" this certainly rings true and it seems to be the case state-side, where smaller tank engines and prarie-style tank locomotives are few and far between.

Even in the UK there's now a general drive to get as many non-industrial tank engines up and running as possible and using them over their tender locomotive counterparts because on a day-to-day basis they're just too expensive. There's currently three new build projects either under way or prepping for future fund raising, all focused on tank engines and all for the heritage market. The US has quite the lack of such engines which would make the most sense on the various shortlines in america.

Anyway, the long and short of it all is it's not necessarily the speed you need to sell, but the overall general experience and not treating yourselves as an isolated experience (steam/railroad only, no other events) and more as a wider heritage market. (WW2 weekends, vintage car rallies, etc). That way you could possibly get a steam mecca.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:13 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:17 pm
Posts: 11
Do any tourist lines or shortline operated passenger trains run on former NS track that was sold to shortline? Do any of these operations use NS trackage rights for a small portion of the trip?


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 71
CA1 wrote:
Do any tourist lines or shortline operated passenger trains run on former NS track that was sold to shortline? Do any of these operations use NS trackage rights for a small portion of the trip?


TVRM in Chattanooga operates on "East Chattanooga Belt Railway" which was NS owned in 1999 / 2000? The last I heard it was still owned by Norfolk Southern, but leased to the East Chattanooga Belt Railway, which is owned by TVRM.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 77
I'd like to revisit the initial theme of this thread. With PTC coming around and increased traffic and cost saving measures on the Class I's, I can envision a value of having a safe location for large steam locomotives to run. Someplace with a good size shop facility, where a volunteer group with limited resources could lease at a reasonable rate to house their equipment temporarily while conducting major repairs that they may have difficulty conducting at their home base, such as Major driver repairs. Then an adjacent section of track where they can run decent excursions for purposes of testing, crew training, and possibly some revenue generation through ticket sales. The track would need to have at least a 49mph maximum speed with turning facilities at each end, and a decent run length, say 40 miles or so? The line could also see limited freight traffic, such as a regional short line.

In my opinion, Steamtown SHOULD be this. A precedent was set in the 1990's when 261 was housed there for a term. As a non-profit government entity, it should be able to provide this type of assistance and experience for the steam groups and casual visitors, giving them a rotating door of equipment to see with each visit.

Age of Steam COULD be this. Privately owned with their own collection, but definitely the shop space. And if there truly is an agreement with Ohio Central for Operating rights, then something grand could eventually happen (not that it's not pretty spectacular already).

Perhaps, the Arizona State RR Museum MIGHT become this. The Grand Canyon Railway would be amenable to offline equipment if it suits their business needs. They would not be willing to share shop space with a volunteer operation, however. But if another entity developed a fully equipped shop in Williams, GCR could give a place to run. The Museum is still much in the development stage, so we will have to see just what the finished product entails.


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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
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Location: Leicester, MA.
Now here's a thought, but if we're still bouncing ideas around, why not look at rehab of an out of service line? I would think that the portion of the Central Mass from Berlin south towards Wayland might be an idea... The line passes through the center of just about every town with decent-sized shopping and recreation areas. Go a little bit farther and rehab the route through the tunnel into Clinton and you could reestablish a mainline connection on the other end of the route relatively easily...

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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:17 pm 

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Location: southeastern USA
Cart and horse - define the market and build the business plan, then worry about the geography - the business plan will guide you, not a couple old underused streaks of rust that have already failed.

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 Post subject: Re: A Home For Main Line Steam
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:32 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Bucks County, PA
Hey kids - what steam-friendly railroads want a CSX line? Come and get it!

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... ntial-sale

"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — CSX Transportation is reviewing 8,000 miles of rail lines as potential candidates for sale or lease, Trains News Wire has learned.

People familiar with the situation do not expect all 8,000 miles to go on the block.

But they say the sheer amount of mileage under review — more than a third of CSX’s 21,000-mile network — is an indication of management’s intent to leave no rock unturned in a drive to cut costs and boost profitability.

Last year, CSX executives said everything’s for sale at the right price.

“Everything we’ve got out there is going to go through some scrutiny. If it creates shareholder value to sell it, we’re going to sell it,” then CEO E. Hunter Harrison told the Credit Suisse Industrials Conference on Nov. 29. “If it creates shareholder value to keep it, we’re going to keep it.”

The review effort is continuing under new CEO Jim Foote. The first four subdivisions were put out to bid last week, including a pair of routes in Illinois and Florida.

CSX is expected to put a handful of subdivisions on the block every few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

Routes under review include:

The former B&O from Greenwich, Ohio, to Baltimore.
The former Boston & Albany main and related branch lines in Massachusetts.
The former Louisville & Nashville between Cincinnati and Atlanta.
Most of the former Baltimore & Ohio main linking East St. Louis, Ill., and Cincinnati.
Former Pere Marquette trackage in Michigan.
CSX’s cross-border incursions into Canada and related U.S. trackage.
The railroad’s hard-hit Appalachian coal network, including portions of the former Clinchfield.
Large sections of the Florence Division in the Carolinas.
The Dothan sub in Alabama and Georgia.
The Auburndale sub in Florida.
Branches and redundant trackage scattered around the system, including some in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and New York."

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