So 3698 people paid an average of just over $6 to ride all weekend? if you multiply $6 even it nets you $22,188. Does anyone have the flyer with ticket prices on it? That seems low.
I don't have as much of an issue with the study if it's actually paying for trains to run, but $62,000 in expenses sounds rather high, especially considering there was no equipment rental involved. (they ran with the bilevel cars and the O&W NW2 if I remember right, plus probably another engine on the other end).
That's what, 16 trips back and forth for about ... for the sake of argument since I don't have a timetable handy, 25 miles, making a total of 400 miles for the weekend. How many gallons of fuel, not including overnight idling? Even if you used an entire 3000 gallon tank in the weekend, which is unlikely, that's in the $15,000 range. I'd bet more around half a tank. ( The only thing I can think of to compare to is the Erie Lackawanna's units with 5000-gallon tanks that could run Chicago-NYC on the tank if there were no big delays. If you figure that's 1000 miles, then figure half that for the weekend gets you 1250 gallons for about $6250 at $5 per gallon ). Most of the train staff were volunteers, you had a qualified engineer at two days pay, probably a qualified conductor at two days pay, and I'd suspect people to sell tickets on each end. That's another $1000 anyhow. Then you have some expenses for electricity and heat at Cortland and electricity at Marathon and other incedentals.
So far, though, by my fuzzy math my expenses are in the $7500-$8500 range. What am I missing? Liability insurance, I think, is it. I don't know what those costs are. There's other smaller things like fueling the generators in the passenger cars (or whatever the power source was for the lights and heat), too. Maybe someone paid to sell snacks on the train.
Edit: Or is my math wrong, if it's 16 round trips, that's twice the distance, so it would be twice the fuel, $12,500. A lot, but with the other expenses you get to maybe $15,000 or so. The comparison here is rough anyways, a small engine with 3 or 4 cars probably doesn't use the fuel a 20-cylinder SDP45 hauling 75 cars at speeds up to 65 mph does.
It's been too long since I was at a board meeting where the figures from a CNY NRHS excursion were discussed to remember what kind of expenses they had. But that $8500 number rings some bells in my head the more I think about it.
kemay59, you're involved with the LVRRHS over in Shortsville, right? You don't have to share it here if it's not public info, but maybe you could compare with the costs of one of their excursions. I'm sure they use more volunteers to keep costs down, but the costs for using the equipment and engineer should be similar.
As far as rescheduling or rerouting trains, NYS&W only runs one train a day to Syracuse. I'm not sure how they currently handle the local work in Cortland and elsewhere on the line. But that train normally comes up in the mid-late afternoon. Delaying it until 6 PM might be long enough to need to use a second crew on the train, but it would still make Syracuse and interchange to CSX before midnight.