• Edaville Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

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  by oldrr
 
As for turning it into an amusement park...

I suspect that the rent was significant and their only hope at just surviving was to try to attract as many people as possible. Unfortunately, Julian and Johnson didn't have or weren't willing to invest the money into making the place either a good amusement park or a what railfans would call a good railroad.

They were only open at the most profitable of times.

In order for it to survive one of two things are going to have to happen. A rich railfan buys the place or someone with enough money to turn it into a first rate amusement park comes along.

If there were no rent or debt and the place just needed to pay taxes, make payroll, expand slowly, it could probably make it as a primarily a railroad museum.

Those in the beginning of this thread who pointed out the debt problem are correct.

The other problem is that such an amusement park is going to have to make it's money during warm weather and Xmas time.
  by 3rdrail
 
There are creative ways to handle profit through management, profit loss, and a good CPA, so I don't think that Edaville needs much more than Nov - Feb to operate at a profit. That, and you get people in there the rest of the year for train shows, functions, etc. so as to make a few bucks and probably more importantly, advertise the place by having it visited and exposed to public view. Hire a small crew of hostlers the rest of the year to guard and give the old gals a stretch on the iron occasionally to keep them limber. There is no doubt in my mind that if faced with the prospect of running "the old Edaville and better", that there are people out there who could and would jump at the opportunity. (Without any evidence to support my suspicion, the name Mandy Patinkin comes to mind.) Get this opportunity out to where it will be seen and I am convinced that a savior will come along. "Edaville, what's that ?"
  by oldrr
 
I was viewing some pictures and video taken by a friend of mine that was down there over the weekend.

It's amazing how much senseless destruction has gone on since the present operators took over. The bypass or Eastman Flume track is gone except for a little piece at each end. The former yard tracks are gone. The bypass track to the right of the main line that was on it's own embankment and which joined the mainline beyond where the coal pocket was has been torn up.

I don't understand those senseless acts of vandalism. Atwood and Blount had put together a fine railroad complete with everything needed to run a railroad and it's all been either torn down or torn up.

I hope that they don't pay for security like they used to back in the Bartholomew days. The owners have done more damage than any vandals ever could have done.

If Edaville closes, the loss will be minimal because there is little left. If it finds another owner that owner will have his work cut out for him or her.
  by oldrr
 
After viewing the Edaville brochure more closely after someone was kind enough to send me a copy that he had pasted together so that the map was no longer divided into two parts, it became clear that the present owner did indeed have the foresight to provide for some railroad expansion. Unfortunately it did not include a full loop around the reservoir but it did allow for a significant expansion over the present mile loop. They say that the present loop is 2 miles but in reality it appears to be a little over a mile. Their rounding up seems a bit on the generous side.

What is sad is that looking at the map, it doesn't look like it would be too difficult to close the loop but it would require cooperation from another land owner.

The sales brochure states that the property is being sold so that Edaville will not remain status quo and can be taken to the next level. That statement appears difficult to believe in light of the fact that the present operators don't own the land. It has been stated that they have decided to not renew their lease. My suspicion is two-fold. One, the rent was probably raised beyond what was reasonable and/or the people involved simple want to retire. I know that Johnson is about 70, I am not sure about Julian.

I suspect also that the owner of the property needs the money to fund another project. My cynicism says that in order to be a "good guy" he is putting the property up for sale as a package and saying that he wants Edaville to continue. In reality I am sure he doesn't care one way or another, he just wants his money.

Is 10 million reasonable? I don't know. If I were making an offer I would offer just the value of the land. The buildings are only of value to someone who wants to run a railroad. If it's sold piecemeal most of the buildings would be in the way. Including the screenhouse. Thus, their value is limited. Anything that can be moved would also have to figure into the price.

Does anyone remember what happened to the owners idea of opening up a campground? If the town was against it, they need to take some of the blame for the present situation.

I have a theory that the owner may have used the proceeds of selling the land at Mt Urann and on the west side of the Atwood Reservoir to fund or help fund the Grafton and Upton project. Does that make any sense or does the timing or something else rule it out?
  by Steamer
 
Cute little choo choo.....

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.....not quite like it USED to be!

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.....but it's better than this!

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Steamer
  by Cosmo
 
Just curious, where was that last pic taken?
  by Steamer
 
Cosmo wrote:Just curious, where was that last pic taken?
I am not sue, I found the picture with a Google image search. I Just wanted to show an example of what Edaville is going to look like in the near future if it does not get sold as an intact park. Cross your fingers!

Steamer
  by oldrr
 
That engine looks like it's fired with charcoal briquettes, one at a time. How did that little teakettle get the train around the loop? Did everyone have to get out and push? Does the fireman use a spoon?

Of course the loop is so small now, if they tried to take the three or four trains that they used to run at Christmas and put them on the current loop, they'd find out pretty quickly that they wouldn't fit.

I think that it's in the current owners best interest to wait until someone buys the whole deal. If they split it up I think they'll get less. Those buildings are no good unless you want to run a railroad or some sort of commercial enterprise. Some of the land is wetlands or outright swamp. Building along the east side of the Atwood reservoir looks to be difficult at best and depending on how much water is in there may be impossible.

The rolling stock that they still have and the motive power is nothing to jump up and down about. There is no historical value and it's the wrong gauge, most narrow gauge railroads are 3 foot, with Maine being the exception.

As for the remaining track, what track, I"m sure there are live steam layouts with more track than what is left down there. They've got the domain and website included in the Edaville package. What good is it if you don't buy the land with it?

I can imagine potential buyers looking at the brochure, studying the map, and saying to themselves, geeze, these people must totally barren of gray matter, they did not include a right of way that goes all the way around the reservoir. Close but no cigar. All of a sudden the 10 million dollar asking price needs to be adjusted downward to compensate for this monumental lack of foresight and judgement that the present owners have shown. Let's start at say 5 million and go down from there. 6 million if they don't include that Hudswell Clark. Take that thing with you and we'll give you an extra mil.

When the book on Edaville is written down the road, the chapter on what not to do and how not to run a railroad will certainly be a big one. It will concentrate on the present owners and chronicle them stumbling around in the dark. It will show how they were in way over their heads and just couldn't seem to manage a relatively small tourist railroad. Their first instinct was to tear down everything associated with the "old edaville" and not bother replacing it with anything.

Tearing down the attractive Cranberry Junction station and not replacing it with a similar station was a real stroke of genius. After all, why force the customers through the gift shop not once, but twice, after all, if you do, they might actually buy something. I guess there was something out of place buying your train tickets inside of the train station. I guess something about that made no sense to the present owners.

Let's see, we have a locomotive, I know what we'll do, let's tear down the shop and the engine house. While we're at it, let's tear up some track. It's just in the way. Who needs it. Track, even for railroads, is over rated. Let's get rid of as much as we can.

Oh yeah, and then their was "Einstien" who said, "let's see, we're a railroad, people come to ride the train, I know what we'll do, let's get rid of the train ride." And so they tore up the tracks and went from a 5.42 mile loop down to somewhere around 10 or 20 feet.

This makes about as much sense as an insurance company figuring they can make big profits by eliminating the claims department.

Let's see, we're a railroad, track is expensive, maintaining track is expensive, if we only didn't have so much track, then we could save a lot of money. I know, let's get rid of all of our track, save on maintenance. Don't worry about the customers, they only pay our salaries, who needs them? We'd be better off without them. Less for us to worry about and we wouldn't need an expensive insurance policy either. We can fire everyone, go home, sleep late, and not worry about running a railroad.

It will be an interesting book. I imagine that someone must be working on such a book. Of course, it's hard to write when you're rolling on the ground, holding your sides laughing.

Blount definitely left the railroad in better shape than when he got it. Richardson may have as well. I think he at least kept it status quo.

Bartholomew lasted less than 20 years. He walked off with the profits of the hard work and money that Blount and Atwood put into the place but at least the track was in-tact and the next owners were given the full right of way.

I cannot describe the present owners. I picture a little kid taking an expensive toy or other item and smashing it to the ground needlessly.

Hopefully Edaville will get another chance at life.
  by Mikejf
 
Wow Oldrr, you seem bitter.

With a rant like that, seems to me you should have helped them out. With as much knowledge and foresight that you have, helping them may have saved them from thier impending closure. Again.

Pretty easy to sit there and say if they would have done this or they would have done that things would be different, after the fact. Truth is you don't know what was going on when these things were taking place. Were the buildings unsafe? Bet you can't answer that. Did they do it to save on taxes? Again you can't answer that.

And if you would do a little research, you would find Massachusetts was the birthplace of two foot gauge railroads in this country.

Mike
  by Cosmo
 
It JUST occurred to me (thank you Mike,) WHICH operation might stand to gain if Edaville auctions of any equipment at all,
the Friends Of The Bedford Depot group! I don't know how much of the B&B row is accessible to them, but it IS where 2' railroading began. :wink:
  by 3rdrail
 
miketrainnut wrote:Wow Oldrr, you seem bitter.

With a rant like that, seems to me you should have helped them out. With as much knowledge and foresight that you have, helping them may have saved them from thier impending closure. Again.

Pretty easy to sit there and say if they would have done this or they would have done that things would be different, after the fact. Truth is you don't know what was going on when these things were taking place. Were the buildings unsafe? Bet you can't answer that. Did they do it to save on taxes? Again you can't answer that.

And if you would do a little research, you would find Massachusetts was the birthplace of two foot gauge railroads in this country.

Mike
Amazing, Mike ! You have changed our understanding of both time and gravity !
Your post would give the impression that all this misfortune gradually krept in over time, when in fact railroad equipment was flying out of Edaville almost from day 1 of the latest managerial fiasco as if gravity ceased to exist in South Carver !
  by Mikejf
 
Undoubtedly the equipment and buildings were leaving faster than they were being replaced, but I'm saying it is pretty easy to play Monday morning quarterback after Sundays game is all over.

My only regret is to never been able to see it in it's heyday. Hopefully someone will step forward and purchase this and preserve this part of Two Foot heritage. Without Mr. Atwood and Edaville, a lot of the Maine Narrow Gauge history would have ben lost.

Mike
  by steamer69
 
Amen Mike!
Thanks to a fellow vet, a lot of increadable equipment was saved. I too hope someone buys it for preservation. Anyone heard anything on it yet?
  by Steamer
 
steveh wrote:Bill is 100% correct. I shot the attached photo in the vicinity of "Ballpark Station." Sad but true.
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Sorry to say steveh but even that track is gone now!

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December 2010 Photo.
  by Steamer
 
Looking in the oppisite direction down the ROW.

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December 2010 Photo.

Where does the track actually end now? Anyone know?

Steamer
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