• Maine Central Steam Locomotive #470 Discussion

  • Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.
Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

Moderator: MEC407

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  by RGlueck
 
The wedge is out, and man, what a heavy sucker that piece is! We have spent four weeks loosening the drawbars and trying to get the tender pin out. The result is, the drawbars are intact and likely to remain so. The corrosion that kept the wedge in place is all around the tender pin. It was chiseled by hand, and all accessible corrosion removed. That being said, the pin has been canted slightly off-center, and there remains corrosion between it and the tender frame. A series of jacks and chains, atf/acetone, propane heaters, and dry ice, has not broken that remaining corrosion. Solution: The pin will be sliced above and beneath the drawbars, using a "stinger" type cutting tool. This will allow the tender to be backed away. Sections of the pin will be sliced and polished for collectors.
Paperwork and required documents to complete the purchase have slowed our plans, however nothing has changed regarding our goals for this year.

R. Glueck
President, NESCO
  by bml1149
 
We are in the final stages of completing the move plan. If the weather holds and the ground doesn't get soft, the tender will come late fall, provided it fits with the mover's schedule. The locomotive will likely be moved next summer.
Leverett Fernald
New England Steam
  by bml1149
 
The immediate plans for 470's operation is to be on the Downeast Scenic, however that is several years down the road. As far as mainline operations, we'll have to wait and see. Our main focus right now is just to move it out of Waterville.
Leverett Fernald
  by Noel Weaver
 
To those of you who think something will come of this and big time steam will be the result of this, I urge you to find a copy of Railfan and Railroad for May, 1999 which has an interesting article about Union Pacific and its steam crew, program and policies. I hate to put a damper on the enthusiasm here but I think this project will take much longer than expected, cost a lot more than expected and will find difficult to find suitable passenger cars to run and even after all that even harder will be finding a railroad rhat will be willing to allow its operation. Again read Railfan and Railroad for May, 1999.
Noel Weaver
  by Cosmo
 
Noel, with all due respect, I think you will find that the people involved in this project to be a LOT more experienced at such things than you give them credit for, otherwise you would not be making a statement like that based solely on an article that was published over 15 years ago.
  by Noel Weaver
 
I would love to be wrong on this one but I don't think I am
Noel Weaver
  by gokeefe
 
Noel,

I don't know if you are personally familiar with the team at NESCO or not. Bottom line they are the core members of the steam community in Maine. Their budget is in the seven figures and appears comparable to recent restoration efforts on far larger engines. #611 being a good example. Now, in all fairness #611 was not in such decrepit condition (on the exterior) but #470 has an excellent interior condition and is generally simpler and smaller. Overall, I see every sign of a successful non-profit and that kind of consulting is something that I do professionally up here.

They have raised around $100K so far and appear to be well on their way to raising more. There will likely be some large gifts made to this project at an appropriate time but for the moment there is plenty of reason to believe that this restoration will in fact happen. I would add that I have been doing some volunteer work for NESCO and Downeast Scenic on the side and have had recent contact with the combined leadership of both organizations.

This is a well run organization all around and there is a great deal to be proud of. They are building a tremendous asset for the preservation of Maine's industrial, transportation and social heritage.
  by MEC407
 
Noel Weaver wrote:...cost a lot more than expected and will find difficult to find suitable passenger cars to run and even after all that even harder will be finding a railroad rhat will be willing to allow its operation.
If I'm not mistaken, NESCO already has an agreement in place with the Downeast Scenic Railroad for operation of 470 when the time comes. Downeast Scenic has the cars and the crews.

It's fine to be skeptical, but I'd suggest you do some reading of your own — the previous pages of this thread, and NESCO's web site — before making comments that could discourage potential donors from supporting this project.
Noel Weaver wrote:I would love to be wrong on this one but I don't think I am
Many said the same thing about Downeast Scenic Railroad 12 years ago when it was just in the proposal stage. And yet they've been successful, more successful than anyone thought possible, and they continue to grow. Restoration of MEC 470 will, in fact, help fuel further growth of Downeast Scenic Railroad by providing them with a flagship locomotive that will draw many more visitors.
  by douellet
 
It's very disappointing to read negative comments concerning the future of the 470. I know several of the men involved with the 470 and no one should question their dedication or their ability. This project will take time, but what is the alternative? Whatever NESCO does will certainly be better than seeing the 470 rust away in Waterville!
  by Cosmo
 
douellet wrote:It's very disappointing to read negative comments concerning the future of the 470. I know several of the men involved with the 470 and no one should question their dedication or their ability. This project will take time, but what is the alternative? Whatever NESCO does will certainly be better than seeing the 470 rust away in Waterville!
I agree, and it seems like it's always the same ones who disparage something like this.
  by Noel Weaver
 
If this is so practical don't you think the Valley would have done it rather than bringing a new one all the way from China? We're talking about a very old locomotive here and trying to get it to meet all Federal regulations. Every time you remove something you will find many more problems. Maine is already having a lot of financial problems so don't expect help here either. Corporate help is probably not going to happen either. You would do much more for this historic veteran to do a good cosmetic restoration, find a receptive location and build a suitable building to properly house it. You will be doing a lot more to do this than to tear it apart and then all stops because of the lack of money or help to finish the job ALA 1361, 3713 and other worthy locomotives that are sitting somewhere in pieces. I am not trying to discourage people but only for you all to be practical and apply common sense in this case.
Noel Weaver
  by MEC407
 
Noel Weaver wrote:I am not trying to discourage people but only for you all to be practical and apply common sense in this case.
By saying that common sense must be applied, you are therefore suggesting that common sense is not currently being applied by the project principals, partners, volunteers, and donors. Respectfully, I think that's very unfair.

I'd also add that there are multiple railroad workers, current and retired, actively involved in this project.

I understand your skepticism. I really do. It's understandable, considering all the other failed projects that litter the roadside of American locomotive preservation. I just think you'd have a brighter outlook on this project if you knew the people involved, knew what they've done and what they're capable of, knew the support this project has gotten from two railroads already, knew the grants that have already been received, knew the private companies who have donated services and parts, etc. There's a long list of things that make this project different than all the others. It's truly remarkable.
  by Cosmo
 
Noel Weaver wrote:If this is so practical don't you think the Valley would have done it rather than bringing a new one all the way from China? We're talking about a very old locomotive here and trying to get it to meet all Federal regulations. Every time you remove something you will find many more problems. Maine is already having a lot of financial problems so don't expect help here either. Corporate help is probably not going to happen either. You would do much more for this historic veteran to do a good cosmetic restoration, find a receptive location and build a suitable building to properly house it. You will be doing a lot more to do this than to tear it apart and then all stops because of the lack of money or help to finish the job ALA 1361, 3713 and other worthy locomotives that are sitting somewhere in pieces. I am not trying to discourage people but only for you all to be practical and apply common sense in this case.
Noel Weaver
Funny thing there, NOEL....
I don't recall seeing you there at the meetings when the Valley announced their decision to buy the 3025 from K&K...
...but you are making an apples to oranges comparison between NESCO and the VRR. VRR is already a profitable operation and was not formed for the sole purpose of saving and restoring a single locomotive.
It's not a "black and white" thing and it's NOT as "doomed to fail" as you would seem to want to have us believe.
If you want to throw your own hopes against the wall and watch them run like molasses in January, go ahead, but PLEASE don't drag the rest of us into that muck.
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