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 Post subject: Facadism
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 1998 3:57 am 

To all,<p>A very nice and very civil discussion on trading equipment between museums. Many good points were raised. We touched a little on facadism during the discussion and I was wondering what the current prevailing thoughts were on the subject.<p>Yours truly used to be 100% against it in any shape or form. I felt that a piece of RR equipment portraying something that it wasn't was dead wrong in the field of RR preservation. I felt that for RR preservation to be taken seriously among other forms of preservation, there couldn't be room for facadism. I've mellowed somewhat in recent years to include the preservation of the IMAGE of past railroads that would be lost forever if not for such examples as the "Erie" E8's or the "Lehigh Valley" F7's.<p>I guess what kind of operation the equipment is at is a factor as well. A "scenic railway" operating over ex-PRR trackage with an ex-UP diesel painted and lettered for the PRR seems to be less of a sin than say for example the RR Museum of PA doing the same thing.<p>What are your thoughts??<p>Best Regards, <br>Jim Robinson <br>

 Post subject: Re: Facadism
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 1998 8:53 am 

Jim;<p>I think it is time that the preservation movment start trating Diesels on an even keel with steam locomotives. it is generally considered sacralige to paint a steam loco anything other than its previous operator. locomotives operating as part of a tourist railroad (steam or diesel)the choice is not always so clear. often the corporate entity for which the locomotive operated still exists and requires that its immage must not be used. for this i have designed some clever look alike logos and the loco operates looking like the original with same #. false history is very dangerous to future historians reserching our preserved treasures. there have have been more than a couple of steamers that fell into this trap Renumbered and redetailed by the railraods to represent there lost treasures. the paint it for my favorite railroad mentality has to stop. <p>Al P.<br>

 Post subject: Re: Facadism
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 1998 9:47 am 

<br>I've been mulling over this issue lately, since spending a day photographing "Western Maryland 734" earlier this summer. For those of you who don't know the story, the locomotive in question is really LS&I 34, an ore-hauling 2-8-0 out of Michigan. The Western Maryland Scenic in Cumberland, MD modified her with a new cab, new pilot, and relocated air compressor and running boards. The net result is a very passable impression of one of the vanished H-class WM consolidations.<p>The purist in me is uneasy with the facadism, yet I cannot deny the thrill of the result. The engine is now very suggestive of Western Maryland practices, and it looks simply spectacular rounding Helmstetter's Curve.<p>Is this so wrong? It's a tough call. There are several other preserved LS&I 2-8-0s in original condition. The railroad is quite conscientious about explaining the locomotive's history to anyone who asks, and even sells back issues of the very issue of L&RP which covered the rebuilding and raised the facadism charge in the process.<p>And then there's the old "original fabric" bugaboo for preserved engines: with new tubes, a new firebox, a new tender, etc, to what extent would the operating engine still be LS&I 34 even if painted as such?<p>All in all,I'd say that in this instance the gain (more accurate recreation of the overall WM milieu) outweighs the loss. But saying so opens the door to other, perhaps more egregeous violations. <p>So what's malicious facadism, as opposed to commendable or tolerable interpretive preservation? I'd hate to try to write a rule defining the difference. Perhaps its like the supreme court justice wrote in the famous opinon: "I can't definine it, but I know it when I see it." <p><br>

 Post subject: Re: Facadism
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 1998 1:29 pm 

One vital difference between steam and diesel locomotives was that diesels were mass produced in the same model for many different railroads. There may have been some very minor subtle differences in grabiron placement, etc but most PRR E8s are virtually B&O E8s or C of G E8s in different colors.<p>I owned a 1952 Dodge pickup that was rusty blue factory paint some years ago. I took advantage of some leftover paint from repainting the SR F7 at Spencer to paint it green before the epoxy hardened into an unusuable mass. <p>It didn't become a SR truck but it sure passed for one. Why not a Chevy diesel locomotive as well? <p>It is much harder to do this with steam since most steam locomotives were designed by the roads that ordered them as custom built. It isn't a matter of less respect for Diesel history. <p>Again, so long as the cosmetic changes are reversable, non destructive, and documented and explained, what harm is there?<p>Dave <br>

 Post subject: Re: Facadism
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 1998 3:56 pm 

When you look under the skin, diesel locomotives<br>are less alike under the skin that one might<br>think...<br>

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