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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
robertjohndavis wrote:
The forces that successfully work against us (especially the trail folks) tend to have a national group or lobby that lends credence and support to local activities.

Railroad preservation will continue to lose until we can muster some similar form of lobby.

I used to think that Internet communities like RYPN and AOTT could form a cornerstone of that movement, but I am not sure of that any more. The Internet has - unfortunately - become a smorgasbord for our age-old problem of “eating our own.”

The web is still a great way to meet folks, but the real work needs to happen offline among those who care - without flame wars and knee-jerk rejection of ideas.


While there are a lot of other things that are worthwhile here (J. D. Parkes has some good suggestions, by the way), we must also face the fact that our country has essentially turned hostile to railroads, and not just heritage lines, but seemingly everything.

As Mr. Parkes noted, thankfully not all is lost, but it's a reality we have to deal with and plan for and act accordingly.

I've had some of these up before, but at least consider the pattern before dismissing that we are in a sort of "culture war." Facebook sources against the railroad in Santa Cruz, or against the Catskill Mountain or the Adirondack Scenic, while pretty plain in their vitriol, are not included due to some issues people here have with Facebook.

Warning--Most of these sources can be considered "liberal" in political outlook. However, take note that I happen to know a bit about the author of "Why America Just Doesn't Get Trains Anymore," and have been in communication with him--and he's a strong backer for the Catskill Mountain, and is involved in that fight on our side.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1 ... ns-Anymore

http://www.newsweek.com/will-why-libera ... ains-68597

http://www.phillymag.com/city/2015/05/1 ... -ayn-rand/

https://www.alternet.org/story/151748/w ... n_projects

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Lo0ie ... e=youtu.be

Don't think this doesn't affect us?

Richard Glueck wrote:
On the lighter side of things, I visited a truck dealer in Bangor, requesting a donation to restore the 470. He told me he didn't want to support a restoration because, and here I quote, "Railroads are the sworn enemies of the trucking industry!"

Really. A historical steam locomotive restoration. Ya can't fix stupid.


That quote from Mr. Glueck isn't from too far back. It was from this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41381

We have a pile of work to do.


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Following up on the observation earlier in this discussion about the actual size of the railroad history / preservation movement and how limited it really is, I suspect that the combined total membership of the NRHS plus the R&LHS is smaller than the number of current and former employees and the retirees of EMD / Progress Rail. And that is a comparison with just one railroad industry supplier.

AAR currently says there are about 1.5 million people employed in the railroad industry. That would seem like a ready pool of possibly interested individuals and talent to support the railroad history and preservation movement.

But are modern railroad employees welcome in the history/preservation hobby/industry?

PC

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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
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PCook wrote:
Following up on the observation earlier in this discussion about the actual size of the railroad history / preservation movement and how limited it really is, I suspect that the combined total membership of the NRHS plus the R&LHS is smaller than the number of current and former employees and the retirees of EMD / Progress Rail. And that is a comparison with just one railroad industry supplier.

AAR currently says there are about 1.5 million people employed in the railroad industry. That would seem like a ready pool of possibly interested individuals and talent to support the railroad history and preservation movement.

But are modern railroad employees welcome in the history/preservation hobby/industry?

PC


I'd be shocked if they weren't. Most folks get their arms pulled off if they go "I already work on the big railway" over here. It's so much simpler to train and 'build up' someone if they already know the systems on a basic level before walking into it.

The key is not to pigeon hole someone into the same job they do... well, as their day job. I once met a singnalman who drove trains for (then) CrossCountry. He fancied a change of pace, so into the signal box with a pot of tea and a comfy chair he went!


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:24 pm
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Cameron Wolk wrote:
.......
Someone who gets it, thanks JD. I apologize to members if I sound emotional but this is a very emotional topic to be discussing. I expect higher standards from the community in future situations is what I'm saying. If we need to create a nationwide lobbying group for this line of work then so be it.



Cameron, Yes a nationwide lobbying group is definitely needed. Meanwhile a small group is starting to talk about a New York State wide group, but resources and motivation to get started as a legal lobbying organization are in short supply.


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1811
The naivete in this thread is appalling.

Letter writing campaigns?

"That's not how this works, that's not how any of this works".


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
Posts: 60
superheater wrote:
The naivete in this thread is appalling.

Letter writing campaigns?

"That's not how this works, that's not how any of this works".


Considering the letter war we're seeing playing out in the Adrionack's local newspaper, methinks you'd be surprised how the old tricks work.

Many people are still working on the adage of small number of letter writers = more people are actually angry/in support of something, but can't be bothered.


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3235
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
JDParkes wrote:
PCook wrote:
Following up on the observation earlier in this discussion about the actual size of the railroad history / preservation movement and how limited it really is, I suspect that the combined total membership of the NRHS plus the R&LHS is smaller than the number of current and former employees and the retirees of EMD / Progress Rail. And that is a comparison with just one railroad industry supplier.

AAR currently says there are about 1.5 million people employed in the railroad industry. That would seem like a ready pool of possibly interested individuals and talent to support the railroad history and preservation movement.

But are modern railroad employees welcome in the history/preservation hobby/industry?

PC


I'd be shocked if they weren't. Most folks get their arms pulled off if they go "I already work on the big railway" over here. It's so much simpler to train and 'build up' someone if they already know the systems on a basic level before walking into it.

The key is not to pigeon hole someone into the same job they do... well, as their day job. I once met a singnalman who drove trains for (then) CrossCountry. He fancied a change of pace, so into the signal box with a pot of tea and a comfy chair he went!


Interesting points! My concern would be whether the "real" railroaders would want to come over!! After all they work with trains and railroads (and railroad management!) all day. . .would they want to do more and more of that?

There are some who do--I once met a track man at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum who loved the maintenance of way work he did on the railroad, and was happy as could be doing the the same thing at PTM (but with older technology, like the motorized crane there)--but I suspect such people aren't all that common.

Mr. Parkes had that wonderful story of the change of pace for a driver who had a hankering to be a signalman, and that apparently worked very well! I would imagine some of our ancient technology, in particular steam engines, might be a draw for the modern railroaders, too.

Against this, though, we have the (uniquely?) American cultural phenomenon that railfans do not make good railroad employees. There are an awful lot of tales and stories about railroad personnel who keep their passion "in the closet," and some only "came out" of the closet when they attained the rank that let them do so without criticism.


Last edited by J3a-614 on Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
JDParkes wrote:
superheater wrote:
The naivete in this thread is appalling.

Letter writing campaigns?

"That's not how this works, that's not how any of this works".


Considering the letter war we're seeing playing out in the Adrionack's local newspaper, methinks you'd be surprised how the old tricks work.

Many people are still working on the adage of small number of letter writers = more people are actually angry/in support of something, but can't be bothered.


The late Omar Ahmad, who was mayor of San Carlos, Ca. at the time of his death, would agree with you.

https://www.ted.com/talks/omar_ahmad_po ... _and_paper

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Ahmad_(politician)


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
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J3a-614 wrote:
Interesting points! My concern would be whether the "real" railroaders would want to come over!! After all they work with trains and railroads (and railroad management!) all day. . .would they want to do more and more of that?

There are some who do--I once met a track man at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum who loved the maintenance of way work he did on the railroad, and was happy as could be doing the the same thing at PTM (but with older technology, like the motorized crane there)--but I suspect such people aren't all that common.

Mr. Parkes had that wonderful story of the change of pace for a driver who had a hankering to be a signalman, and that apparently worked very well! I would imagine some of our ancient technology, in particular steam engines, might be a draw for the modern railroaders, too.


The biggest issues most railroads face is recruitment, be it pros, non pros etc.

The key thing is the inevitable "getting past the Thomas phase" we all dread and talk about in hushed tones.

One project I always like to see still going strong is the FR's Young Volunteers work Week.

https://www.ffestiniograilway.org.uk/wa ... ining-week

This is because the FR is rather fortunate as a tourist trap in and of itself, and owns a small hostel which volunteers can stay at for a nominal fee (about $6/night) and deals with local accommodations.

I wonder if being able to talk about this sort of idea in local schools and emphasising the life-skills and team buildings aspects might yield some results...

EDIT: And no, it's not uniquely american. Some folks who're in public facing positions probably shouldn't be there. They can be unfriendly and see the public as an annoyance getting in the way of playing trains. That's something that UK side is getting less and less these days, mostly thanks to the curmudgeonly sods being driven off or pushing up daisies.

You can't play trains/trams or whatever if you've got nobody turning up to pay for things, and lots of railways have been realising this and finding things for those folks to do away from the public.

I saw on a British forum quite recently that the railway one chap was volunteering at (he didn't specify) have basically started to treat it as a live action roleplay (larping). That they 'work' for the railway and thus abide by high standards for customer service and this had become the general 'culture' encouraged on the railway itself. Something to note as a possible thing to "do."


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:51 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just something to read--yes, posted elsewhere, but always good to have for reference.

http://udrrcorp.com/wordpress/wp-conten ... 2.7.18.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 38
Please understand that most people who work for the railroad want nothing to do with it when they are off duty. Yes, you have the occasional employee who has a slight to moderate interest in railroad preservation or model railroading but the vast majority live with the doom of being on call most of their life with little time for social activities. Most work odd hours, a lot of them, and few have weekends off with rest days during the week.

I can recall working as an engineer, various shifts, many times, thirty one days straight without a rest day and do you know what I wanted to do most then...SLEEP!! No most railroaders spend their "free time" enjoying sports, working on cars/trucks, woodworking, etc.. anything other than recreation railroading. While they might get talked into taking a family member (s) to a railroad museum for a family outing most just want to sleep, eat or drink to forget they are railroaders.

No, I doubt you'll get a lot of support from actual railroaders other than "good luck" and goodbye.

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:14 am 

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exprail wrote:
No, I doubt you'll get a lot of support from actual railroaders other than "good luck" and goodbye.


You should visit IRM some time. Our volunteer workforce includes a large number of actual railroaders, some retired, many still working. They include some management types, track workers, and many operating crews. They provide the Museum with a great resource of training, skill, and experience, and it's been that way as long as I can remember. I don't know that we have any specific recruiting program, but I suppose word gets around. And I don't know why any active museum operation shouldn't be able to attract some actual railroaders also.

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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 am 

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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Overall, this is a bit of satire, of humor, but it has this interesting paragraph in it.

Quote:
Replacing diesel with popular steam would not suit every service. But some 70% of non-commuter rail travel is leisure and tourism. On existing private lines, some operators reckon they can charge twice as much for a steam train as for a diesel. Kings of the steam sector, such as the North York Moors, the West Somerset and the Ffestiniog are now serious transport undertakings. Derelict engines have gone from being valueless to costing thousands.


And there is more fun in the comments, where some people apparently take this fellow's opinions a bit too seriously.

Oh well, I guess we're not alone in the stupidity department.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... lectricity


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:12 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:08 am
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J3a-614 wrote:
Overall, this is a bit of satire, of humor, but it has this interesting paragraph in it.

Quote:
Replacing diesel with popular steam would not suit every service. But some 70% of non-commuter rail travel is leisure and tourism. On existing private lines, some operators reckon they can charge twice as much for a steam train as for a diesel. Kings of the steam sector, such as the North York Moors, the West Somerset and the Ffestiniog are now serious transport undertakings. Derelict engines have gone from being valueless to costing thousands.


And there is more fun in the comments, where some people apparently take this fellow's opinions a bit too seriously.

Oh well, I guess we're not alone in the stupidity department.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... lectricity



It's The Guardian. Nobody outside of the "right on" set takes the newspaper seriously. Most brits will refer to it as the "Granuiad" due to how atrocious their proof reading was back in the day.

It's also perfectly true. On average a kettle on the front tends to mean you can cheerfully charge double and people nod and agree because it's a steam train and they're very special things.

NYMR saw a staggering 40% drop in income back in 2015 during their motive power crisis as they had to put diesels on the front of trains due to various mechanical maladies. It's finally prompted them to ensure they've always got a properly working stable of engines up and running to the point they've begun hiring engines out when it's always been the opposite case.

Between them, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways contribute $35 million to the local economy, opening up the Snowden National Park in ways not seen since the 1920s.

Tornado's "Plandampf" on the Settle to Carlisle line proved that it could be done and could be done to a profit as well.

Tickets for those services were sold out and traffic on the line surged. Which considering that railway line in particular runs through the middle of nowhere and only exists out of sheer bloodymindedness and spite by the company who built it, isn't too bad!

Never mind that DLM proposal is still sitting there. They quite rightly said "who says commuters wouldn't enjoy a steam train ride as well?"


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 Post subject: Re: rail preservation vital to nation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
JDParkes wrote:

It's also perfectly true. On average a kettle on the front tends to mean you can cheerfully charge double and people nod and agree because it's a steam train and they're very special things.

NYMR saw a staggering 40% drop in income back in 2015 during their motive power crisis as they had to put diesels on the front of trains due to various mechanical maladies. It's finally prompted them to ensure they've always got a properly working stable of engines up and running to the point they've begun hiring engines out when it's always been the opposite case.

Between them, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways contribute $35 million to the local economy, opening up the Snowden National Park in ways not seen since the 1920s.

Tornado's "Plandampf" on the Settle to Carlisle line proved that it could be done and could be done to a profit as well.

Tickets for those services were sold out and traffic on the line surged. Which considering that railway line in particular runs through the middle of nowhere and only exists out of sheer bloodymindedness and spite by the company who built it, isn't too bad!

Never mind that DLM proposal is still sitting there. They quite rightly said "who says commuters wouldn't enjoy a steam train ride as well?"


Some other stories from the "Granuiad" on this.

https://www.theguardian.com/public-lead ... team-alive

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... in-tornado


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