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 Post subject: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
Here I go again, getting myself in trouble for suggesting something that other people can spend their money on.....

Image

This is the best/only online photo I can find of Erie gas-electric car 5012, ostensibly up for grabs at the Ohio Railway Museum (assuming the Board is let on to the offer, apparently). It is reported as being in "poor" condition, having last operated in the 1980s. Among other tidbits in its history, it was leased by the NYS&W for use between 1940 and 1944.

If this is going to go elsewhere, where?

RR Museum of Pennsylvania? Well, against: they already have the LO&S wooden car and a Budd RDC from the LV. But this would neatly dovetail between the two, and insert Erie representation in the Museum that is otherwise sorely lacking. And it would stave off the people who would lobby for one of the three PRR doodlebugs to show up instead.

Steamtown? It's probably a "native son", and would add more local color to the place. But it ain't steam.

New Jersey Museum of Transportation, or whatever Phillipsburg calls itself these days? Perfect fit, should the Jersey folks get enough acts together to make a good claim and give this a good home (the state already has enough unutilized "doodlebugs" in PRR 4666 and several P-RSL RDCs).

Other vague possibilities with Erie-like pedigree might include the Tioga Central, the Lackawaxen & Stourbridge, Sayre's station display, the Rochester group, the WNY&P, and even an Ohio or Indiana group (Whitewater Valley? Cuyahoga?)

Admittedly, the thing is as ugly as a rolling mud fence. But I have seen cars that were in worse condition polished to a wonderful sparkle (PRR 4662, once intended as a trolley museum power plant). And one self-contained car is a project diverse enough yet compact enough for a small group like an NRHS chapter or local museum to tackle long-term. Dare we hope?


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 Post subject: Re: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:17 pm
Posts: 514
Location: Scranton, PA
Hello All

This is fun, since we've all seemed to solve the 578 issue, we can move on now (said in jest).

Sandy has some great ideas in his post. I'd first argue for the NJ State Museum, but given the debacle in the Garden State with even settling on a location, this might be the railroad equivelent of "Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire".

The NYS&W connection is tantilizing. Perhaps the Susie-Q tech society could adopt it. Wouldn't be bad on the Bell-Dell.

The URHS has done well with restored euipment and this might make for a nice shuttle out of Whippany with a Stillwell car.

If we're talking about dispay, then I'd vote for the RR Museum of Pa for filling in an Erie slot in their collection.

Steamtown would make a great home and make for an excellent "This is what helped kill steam" example that I've long said the museum should have. I wouldn't hold my breath. Last I heard their aquisition policy forbid "diesels of any kind", unless used for "non-accessioned" road backup power or utility equiment.

My thoughts, knowing that I have no idea how much $$$ would take to get the thing running or even displayable.

Dave Crosby

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 Post subject: Re: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:01 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2329
Sandy,

Don't forget the NYS&WT&HS has grown into a very capable operating/restoration/preservation team with a 2-8-2, an operable RDC they restored, enclosed work space and a place to run the choo choos. Seems like they would be a very good care taker.

Rob


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 Post subject: Re: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:21 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
I was involved in an unsuccessful effort to acquire and restore the 5012 back in 1990. Based on what I saw then and what I have heard since this will be a touch project. The height of the 5012 limits where you can truck it. Moving it by rail will require new brakes, trucks and couplers. Also, the siding connecting to the NS mainline has been removed. Some of the controls in the cab have been removed and are "lost". The exhaust system has massive water damage and the roof in this area is in danger of caving in.

I think this is easily a $100,000 project to move it and restore it for static display. If you were to restore it for operation who knows what it might cost. And I don't know if I would want to ride in it with that Winton gas engine.


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 Post subject: Re: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:20 pm 

Arguably this car is more significant because it is an intact EMC motorcar, and as such has a particular significance to the history of dieselization. Kettering himself cited this engine design as being an important intermediate step in developing the 201A and the 567 prime movers. Moreover, railroads cited these cars as helping them to develop maintenance practices which facilitated later dieselization.

With this in mind, I would like to see the car preserved with as much of its original mechanical system intact as remains and displayed with an interpretation of its multiple significances. Because this car is so significant, it may be possible to attract grants for both its restoration and interpretation. This car would fit very well into the RMPA collection, as it would show an important first step toward dieselization as well as the evolution of local passenger service. Likewise, if the URHS made a successful grant application to restore and display the piece it could be the first step toward actually opening a museum site.

I think the only feasible way to move the car would be on a TTX flat. Moreover, how much of the fabric of the LO&S car is intact? Was it re-engined by Strasburg or the Grasse River? While it is a significant car, it is also a unique car and not really representative of other gas-mechanical or gas electric cars.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8292
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
Moreover, how much of the fabric of the LO&S car is intact? Was it re-engined by Strasburg or the Grasse River? While it is a significant car, it is also a unique car and not really representative of other gas-mechanical or gas electric cars.


1) It was originally three-foot gauge. Take it from there as you will.

2) The early history of self-propelled passenger cars is replete with one-offs such as the SR&RL railbuses, home-built motorized coaches, and road vehicles set on the rails. This car is a) local; b) representative of a many-altered car; c) representative of an early "primitive" answer to passenger decline and bus/trolley competition; and, for the RR Museum of Pa., d) it's something that ain't PRR in a PRR-dominated museum. Though, fair to point out, there is also "available" across the street a Mack railbus that was built for the Lewisburg, Milton & Watsontown in central Pa. before spending much of its service life in West Virginia.


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 Post subject: Who own the LO&S car
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:19 pm
Posts: 1121
Location: Washington, D.C.
I'm confused. I thought the LO&S self-propelled car belonged to the Strasburg Rail Road, not the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Could someone clarify?

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 Post subject: Who owns the Mack Railbus?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:02 pm 

Likewise, who owns the Mack Railbus? I heard that Strasburg donated it to the RMPA last year.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Who own the LO&S car
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:23 am
Posts: 436
Location: Strasburg, PA
We (Strasburg) own the LO&S car. A great deal of it is original, with the exception of operating bells & whistles. The drive, roller bearings, etc. are quite primitive - the kind of thing one would replace if one could. We re-engined it with the current Mopar product @ 1980. But the carbody, trucks, etc., are as was mentioned above: "unique".

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 Post subject: Re: Who own the LO&S car
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:19 pm
Posts: 1121
Location: Washington, D.C.
S. Weaver wrote:
We (Strasburg) own the LO&S car.


Thanks for the clarification, Steve.

In that case, I'd submit that the presence of the LO&S car (which, by the way, I loved riding last year) across the street shouldn't influence the RRM of Pa's collecting and accessioning decisions. Separate owner, separate operation--they are not the same collection and they serve different purposes.

That said, I have no opinion myself on where the Erie car should go!

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 Post subject: Who should get an Erie Doodlebug?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:27 pm
Posts: 303
Location: Texas
[quote="Alexander D. Mitchell IV"]If this is going to go elsewhere, where??[/quote]

What railroads fielded EMC railcars similar in configuration to the Erie unit?


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