Reader#108 wrote:So Bill, now that we are uncertain about the future of Edaville.....can the same be said for your Railroad as well? There seem to be some rumblings about a move out of the Casco Bay spot? Would the museum try to acquire things from Edaville if it is closed, such as a fully operational steam locomotive?
I can't speak to the museum's intentions as I am neither a board member nor am I in any position of power within the organization other than my annual votes.
What I can personally say is that with all that has been going on the last few years, more equipment is probably the last thing on the minds of the board of directors. We need to take care of what we have before we can go and get more. With the loss of half of our yard area last summer, we don't really have room for any more equipment, either.
The official statement is that the MNG isn't going anywhere. That is very much the case with the railroad itself. We may be tennants with Phin with regards to the museum and the yard area, but the right of way is owned and leased to us by the state of Maine. Even if the museum portion were to be moved out, the railroad and the train ride would remain. In fact, we're in better shape now than any time in the last 5 years (steam power excluded). We've begun to take proactive steps instead of reactive steps with regards to both our equipment and our right of way. We have a small, but skilled track gang that is learning well on the job from some top notch people, we've kept our trains clean and running with minimal facilities and all volunteer labor, and have started work (and hope to finish this weekend) on replacing the burned down section of our "engine house".
As is known by some outside of the orgainization, several towns all across Maine were contacted with regards to the possibility of opening a satellite location in their town, a place where we can setup either our shop facilities and/or store/run some equipment. A request for proposals was sent out, and several communities have replied with their interest. I am not allowed to say who has replied and who hasn't, though. There are no negotiations going on with any particular town at this time as far as I am aware, we are merely in the proposal stages.
On the subject of the Anne Elizabeth: Since Edaville isn't under FRA jurisdiction, but MNG is, I'd be afraid of what kind of skeletons would come out of her closet during a full tear-down of the boiler. Even if the MNG were to pick her up, she'd probably need a full checkup by the FRA and a conversion to Coal (I think going through that trouble would be easier than training crew to fire oil and to store fuel oil for the locomotive).
Plus, if the MNG is going to spend that kind of money, we're going to put it into the historical locomotives (#8 still needs to have the same work done that #7 is currently going through) or into cars/track/facilities. I think that, unless a benefactor with ties to one of the 2-foot museums comes out of the wood work, that the AE will disappear back into some "collector's" garage.