• STEAMTOWN Discussion

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: rob216, Miketherailfan

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  by woodsie
 
The same could be said for many of the steam locomotives sitting outside on display across the country: rusting away, in need of paint, a little TLC. The problem is usually money. Other departments or programs have more political clout and they get the money. Or, the economy is in the tank, and everyone's budget is frozen or required to resubmit a budget with 10% less in the request. The last time I was at Steamtown [2-3 yrs ago] one of the steamers outside on the parking circle had a 6 inch plant of some kind growing out of the jacketing. The RR Mus of PA has had to scrap old cars because they just rust away and become unsafe to display.
So maybe instead of blogging we should be brushing: wire brushing, paint brushing, dust brushing,....
We sure can't change the bureaucracy in the government.
  by Mr rt
 
But then take The Valley (steam) RxR for example.
A little group is now responsible for the acquation of two steam engines for their fleet.
A 2-8-0 from K&K, when repaired, will see regular service.
A 0-6-0 will either be stuffed & mounted or brought back to operation condition.
It was about to go to the scrapper, so a good thing is happing there.
  by tree68
 
woodsie wrote: So maybe instead of blogging we should be brushing: wire brushing, paint brushing, dust brushing,....
Unfortunately there are plenty of suitable subjects for such attention, but you're right. Maybe we need to put our money and muscle where our mouths are. Organize and partner with organizations that have preserved RR equipment and help them out.
  by mxdata
 
There are still plenty of younger railroad enthusiasts trackside and in the industry, but very relatively few of them get involved in "organized" railfanning (NRHS, etc.) or preservation. Seems to me that there is an enormous gulf between the "old" crowd and the "new" crowd in this hobby. That is going to be very costly to all the museums as time goes on, but in most organizations I am seeing relatively little effort to reach out beyond the existing population of members.
  by woodsie
 
Yeah, if we could get our grandsons off the Wii, "thumb exercise" computer games, motorcycles and whatever else. It takes time to develop a close relationship from which to encourage kids to become interested in what the old grampa is interested in - and when they're in another state, it's work! But we must!
  by Otto Vondrak
 
All of my under-30 friends from RIT Model Railroad Club are now officers and trustees of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. There's still some hope yet!

-otto-
  by mxdata
 
Almost a year has passed on this bloated and flatulent old discussion favorite now, time to bring it back up to the top of the list. Anybody seen anything that all the gas and hot air accomplished other than contributing to global warming? :wink:

MX
  by mikeexplorer
 
There is far more to Steamtown that most people don't know about. A few weeks ago our local chapter was able to get a special tour of Steamtown and we saw things that aren't open to the public. (some is, some is not) I posted a few pictures of it here.

http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?bo ... 1240871519

They had a huge collection of historical documents that they are preserving and cataloging. Right in front of our eyes they opened up a roll of blueprints from 1865. Other organizations have donated collections of documents because Steamtown can preserve them the best. There information does far beyond the DL&W. They do have a research library. It is not open to the public but arrangements can be made to visit it. I can understand this as you wouldn't want people flowing in and out of there all the time. The probability of theft must be thought about. They have a collection of artifacts that go far beyond what is on display in the main museum. The racks and racks of documents that have been cataloged stretches an entire room! Ill tell you, this really opened my eyes about Steamtown! They are doing their best with the money that is available.

Mike
  by mxdata
 
I also understand that they have groups of volunteers busy transcribing documents that are perceived to have historical value but are in danger of being lost due to aging and deterioration. That may prove to be a valuable resource in the future. There is a tendency in preservation to focus on the equipment and hardware, the preservation of information and knowledge often tends to get overlooked. Nice to see this organization doing something about it.

MX
  by Mr rt
 
I can't speak for the Steam side, but on the trolley side, at least three museums that I'm familiar with ...
they have extensive librarys & I've seek them seeking out information to identify photos as well as seek better ways to protect other documentation that they have.
  by Montclaire
 
It looks like all the buzz in the press didn't amount to much.

Workers could be seen power washing the static locomotives in the week following the Times article.
This has only washed away the protective oil film, and now only a couple months later, the engines
are showing much more rust and corrosion than they had before.

They are getting 3.3m in stimulus money, yet they won't be restoring any new engines with it...
http://scrantontimes.com/news/1.5089
Steamtown gets $3.3M in stimulus
BY BORYS KRAWCZENIUK (STAFF WRITER)
Published: April 25, 2009

Criticized for the condition of its vintage locomotives and railroad cars, the Steamtown National Historic Site is about to get a cash infusion to slow their deterioration. The federal economic stimulus bill contains $3.34 million that will allow the National Park Service to revamp its eight excursion passenger cars and three locomotives, among other things. “We’re very excited about this,” said Harold H. “Kip” Hagen Jr., Steamtown’s superintendent. “It’s going to help us, and it will put money back into the community.” One dollar of federal spending on parks produces $4 to $5 worth of spending in a community, which includes what visitors spend, Mr. Hagen said.
  by Montclaire
 
Steamtown to take CP 2317 out of service

http://scrantontimes.com/news/1.34635
Steamtown taking locomotive out of service
By david singleton (staff writer)
Published: May 25, 2009

Steamtown National Historic Site will take one of its two mainline steam locomotives out of service later this year for a federally mandated inspection and overhaul, leaving the park with a single operating steam engine until at least midway through the 2010 season. With the sidelining of Canadian Pacific 2317, the site will make a hard push to complete the lengthy restoration of the Boston & Maine 3713 locomotive and to get its Baldwin 26 locomotive back into service, said Harold H. "Kip" Hagen Jr., Steamtown superintendent.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Montclaire wrote:They are getting 3.3m in stimulus money, yet they won't be restoring any new engines with it...
http://scrantontimes.com/news/1.5089
You might be able to restore one large locomotive with that money... but then you wouldn't have much left over for its continued operation...
  by mxdata
 
An excellent point Otto brought up.

Looking at all of this, and considering the one operating steam locomotive, I am reminded of the report a Steamtown NRHS Railcamp attendee made to his NRHS chapter, that has been mentioned before:

They talked and talked about steam locomotives, but whenever they had to do anything they started up the diesel.

MX
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