• Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

  • 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 Jack Powell
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:Okay, wait, I thought some more and I am upset about one thing. As museums, as preservationists, we have got to get off this rant that "railfans don't pay the bills." It may be that the railroad enthusiast audience is indeed a small portion of the receipts, but does that mean we have do ignore them altogether? *** And they encourage their friends and families to visit and patronize your museums.
I'm sorry thinking affects you that way ... And I'm still perplexed as to your belief that issues of authenticity and honesty to the public should be of secondary concern to a museum and that to preservationists, standards are optional. As an exercise, you may wish to try applying to have a structure or railroad car placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a basis for grant funding eligibility, and explaining why the Secretary of the Interior's Standards were not, or will not be, adhered to in its preservation. This is the language and the value structure of the "real" museum and preservation world, upon which decisions are made that may result in protection versus destruction, or funding versus languishing for want of it. "We railfans have a different approach?" Go for it. Seriously. Let us know how that works out in the long term, which is the timeframe in which museums having custody of artifacts must plan. Museums hold their collections in trust for the public, in perpetuity.

Since you see no merit to the question of what it means to be a museum, but are absolute in your conviction that "railfans" must not be ignored, pray tell us what exactly is a railfan. Is a railfan allowed to distinguish between historical accuracy and wishful fantasy? Some of the commenters in this thread certainly appear to be capable of doing so. Does a railfan with no interest in misrepresentations of history who "encourages friends and family" to avoid them count? Are such folks overqualified to be railfans? I don't think such "railfans" are being ignored by museums and preservationists, but rather are catered to. Which railfans are you talking about?
  by CannaScrews
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:Okay, wait, I thought some more and I am upset about one thing. As museums, as preservationists, we have got to get off this rant that "railfans don't pay the bills." It may be that the railroad enthusiast audience is indeed a small portion of the receipts, but does that mean we have do ignore them altogether? Piss them off? Spit in their face? I've been on both sides of the rope that says "NO PUBLIC ACCESS." I'm quite aware that there are a large number of railfans that only grouse and complain. There are a quite many more who are also your biggest supporters. And they encourage their friends and families to visit and patronize your museums.

Why don't we focus on the very good things going on here? An Alco has been saved for preservation, it has been moved to friendly confines, and it will wear a coat of paint so that it is representative of a typical New Haven unit of the same class. You know what's funny about paint? It doesn't last forever.

Sheesh.

-otto-
Maybe I should have quantified "railfan". Everyone in railway preservation is a railfan. That is not the point. The point is the non-preservation minded "people" who only want to watch, take photos, count cars, measure equipment, count rivets and model who don't support any preservation movement in any capacity, but feel empowered to add their "suggestions" to the debate as if their opinions are the only ones.

I have seen people wander in, look around, and then ask questions about why you didn't restore such and such to this and that. Or when old smokey will be pulling cars on the Shoreline. Yes, we've tried "edu-ma-cation" and tried to be nice & explain how the real preservation world works. But after 38 years in the biz, it is not worth the time or mass equivalents to respond in a other than completely civil and standoffish manner.

The only time I would think to kick someone off the property would be as AMTK, MNCR and the Department of Homeland Insecurity does - taking photos from a non-public area - i.e. the right of way or does something foolish in the public spaces of the railroad.

That is my definition of a railfan.

As for preservation issues of the Alco - there is nothing wrong with painting it New Haven as long as the original fabric of the locomotive is not destroyed or is reversible with no damage done. Paint? Unless it was original ALCO factory paint - no problems. To my mind it will be how to explain to the general public up front that this is a replica - not an original.

Let's, for argument sake say some artist took an Elvis-on-velvet painting and did a masterful job turning it into the Mona Lisa, where, the general public would not be able to tell the difference. Would someone want to see that Mona Lisa in the Clark Museum in North Adams, perhaps, but unless the painting says REPLICA, they will laugh the museum out of existence once the actual pedigree is known. There is no difference between the New Haven/Alco and the Elvis/Mona, they both leave room for misinterpretation.

Now, if the plans are to paint the Alco New Haven is because the BSRM wants to appease their own desires, then we have a problem, Houston. Hopefully, this is just part of the learning curve of how far railway museums have to go before adopting proper museum standards.

Yes, the preservation movement in this country is a unique subset of "museum" culture. The reputations of most are not much more than that of a backyard collection of stuff subject to the whimseys of the who has the loudest voice, biggest checkbook or grandiose scheme. There are fine examples of just the opposite starting with Steamtown. Notice that the operating steam locomotives have NOT been painted DL&W and other that #26 are not indigenous to the US for that matter.

Then you can start looking at the UK, Germany, Poland, India, Japan and how they approach the subject of disguises or replication. Outside of the A-1 pacific being constructed in the UK - they are what they are, lettered for what they were (and the A-1 will be properly lettered for its railway).

I think the general public will have no problems accepting a cogent explanation of what/where/why this locomotive is being presented as original. I think the problem lies with the "railfan" community who wants to see a paint scheme on an artifact which never had it just because they like that railroad.

Perhaps that is what model railroading is for.....
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Authenticity and honesty are NOT "second" as you imply, sir! Which is why the unit in question is being numbered beyond the NH series and full disclosure is being made to the visitors! That you imply otherwise is quite distasteful!

Enough.

-otto-
  by JRG
 
Polar Express tickets are now available and selling fast. Parlor Class is SOLD OUT on all trains. Coach Class is still available on most trains. Get your tickets now before they sell out completely!

This weekend's Murder Mystery Train is SOLD OUT.

The BSRM Open House on August 20th will feature the band "The Electric Trains." The RS-3 will be on display.

On September 17th, learn more about the industries that put business on the NH Berkshire Line by riding "The Paper Train by Train."

Spend sometime on the Berkshire Line during the beautiful fall season and ride "The Great Pumpkin Patch Express" being offered for the first time in the New England Region!

Thank you for your support!
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Reader#108 wrote:Judging by the home page.......no Berkshire Scenic this year.........

http://www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org/

It's a shame
From the web site:

2012 Train Ride & Museum Schedule Update

Due to the large number of inquires we are receiving, BSRM is making the following announcement regarding the 2012 train ride schedule:

BSRM does not own or control the tracks over which it operates train rides. Train rides are made possible through an agreement between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the owner of the tracks, the Housatonic Railroad Company of Canaan, Ct. That agreement has expired and has not been extended at this time.

Therefore, BSRM is unable to publish a schedule or offer any train rides for the 2012 season including special event trains, such as the Polar Express or charters at this time. We apologize for the disappointment, however BSRM has no control over this situation. BSRM is committed to offering educational and entertaining family train rides and will work towards that goal.

Historic Lenox Station & Museum Grounds Schedule
Historic Lenox Station, our museum grounds, exhibits and museum store will open for the 2012 season on Saturday, May 26th, Sunday, May 27th and Monday, May 28th from 9:00am-4:00pm. Please check this webpage, follow us on Facebook or contact us for any updates to our 2012 season. BSRM would like to thank you for the support you have given our all volunteer, non-profit organization over the last 28 years!
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Reader#108 wrote:Judging by the home page.......no Berkshire Scenic this year.........

http://www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org/

It's a shame
From the web site:

2012 Train Ride & Museum Schedule Update

Due to the large number of inquires we are receiving, BSRM is making the following announcement regarding the 2012 train ride schedule:

BSRM does not own or control the tracks over which it operates train rides. Train rides are made possible through an agreement between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the owner of the tracks, the Housatonic Railroad Company of Canaan, Ct. That agreement has expired and has not been extended at this time.

Therefore, BSRM is unable to publish a schedule or offer any train rides for the 2012 season including special event trains, such as the Polar Express or charters at this time. We apologize for the disappointment, however BSRM has no control over this situation. BSRM is committed to offering educational and entertaining family train rides and will work towards that goal.

Historic Lenox Station & Museum Grounds Schedule
Historic Lenox Station, our museum grounds, exhibits and museum store will open for the 2012 season on Saturday, May 26th, Sunday, May 27th and Monday, May 28th from 9:00am-4:00pm. Please check this webpage, follow us on Facebook or contact us for any updates to our 2012 season. BSRM would like to thank you for the support you have given our all volunteer, non-profit organization over the last 28 years!
  by DutchRailnut
 
Maybe their making room for HRRC's Pittsfield cannonball ??
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
DutchRailnut wrote:Maybe their making room for HRRC's Pittsfield cannonball ??
Or...as this is HRCC we're talking...they're having that much trouble maintaining their track to tolerable condition that the liability of running passengers on track that bad is too much until somebody bails them out.

Would fit the mold with what's been happening of late with that dysfunctional outfit.
  by steamer69
 
This is the issue with using other peoples track. Sometimes they decide they want their track back for a while. I wish the best for Berkshire, and hope that they are able to work something out.....
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Colin  Pease, spokesperson for HRRC, "The Housatonic Railroad has determined that the continued operation of the Berskshire Scenic Railway on Housatonic-owned tracks is no longer possible." Pease could not give a reason as to why the relationship suddenly changed.

This was from this week's Berkshire Record. no, I can't link, they dont post stories on their web site.

-otto-
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Colin  Pease, spokesperson for HRRC, "The Housatonic Railroad has determined that the continued operation of the Berskshire Scenic Railway on Housatonic-owned tracks is no longer possible." Pease could not give a reason as to why the relationship suddenly changed.

This was from this week's Berkshire Record. no, I can't link, they dont post stories on their web site.

-otto-
  by runningwithscalpels
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:Colin  Pease, spokesperson for HRRC, "The Housatonic Railroad has determined that the continued operation of the Berskshire Scenic Railway on Housatonic-owned tracks is no longer possible." Pease could not give a reason as to why the relationship suddenly changed.

This was from this week's Berkshire Record. no, I can't link, they dont post stories on their web site.

-otto-
Whatever the drama, it's unfortunate :(
  by Backshophoss
 
Did the FRA drop the class of track to "excepted"??
Or,is MassDOT unhappy with track conditions?
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