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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:58 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 618
See attached. Reminds me of the Lackawanna poconos


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:44 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 618
From Railfan:

Quote:
Just to let you all know the French Creek Valley Railroad historical Society is attempting to save a Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Steam Locmotive # 643. It's a 2-10-4 Texas Type steam locomotive. It weighs 454 tons. The FCVRRHS is a Meadville based group working to preserve the history of the Railroads in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Mainly Crawford County. So far They've talked to the owner, They've also have visited the Locmotive, and are looking for grants and are still negoiating. The 643 is stored in McKees Rock Pennsylvania west of the former P&LE shops. DO NOT go looking for the 643 without permission it's private property and a very dangeous location. The FCVRRHs hopes to have the 643 opearate under COMPRESSED AIR not steam. If any one has any photos of the 643 while in Glenwood or McKees Rocks I'd like to see them posted if you can.


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Last I heard all of the above outcomes for the engine are still wishful thinking. The owner wants more out of it than any of the said organizations currently have the funds to offer. As it stands, she will continue to sit.


Quote:
Glenn still owns 643. With the assistance of a gentleman by the name of Howard Stern (not the loser on the radio), they hired Gary Bensman to restore the boiler and the running gear back in the mid to late 80's and by the early 90's the engine was basically fully restored. However, Glenn did a very poor job of keeping the paperwork that documented the work done to the boiler. So now, with the new FRA boiler regs, all of that work is for naught. They steamed the boiler once prior to completion of the running gear repairs. You would think the engine would have been operated under its own power but I do not believe that it has.

I worked with Glenn, Bill Goslin and a few others during the summer of 1995 preparing 643 to be steamed in McKees Rocks while she was stored inside the old P&LE car shops building. We were literally just a couple of work sessions away from lighting her off and this was PRIOR to the crown sheet failure on the Gettysburg RR and the new FRA boiler regs that came soon thereafter. That summer, Glenn was trying to assemble a team of interested Pittsburgh residents and movers and shakers to try and pry the P&W Subdivsion of CSXT north of Pittsburgh (along Rt. 8 through Valencia and Mars and ultimately Eidenau Jct. outside of New Castle, PA) from CSXT to form a shortline and have a place to run 643. It didn't develop enough steam, and now we know the ulitimate fate of the line was to become a part the Allegheny Valley Railroad of Russ Peterson. I would like to think that if the funds could be assembled to get the boiler in compliance with the current boiler regs, the AVR would most likely be willing to let her stretch her legs on either or both the P&W or W&P Subdivisions which both have pretty stout bridges, heavy jointed and welded rail and really good tie conditions.

643 is certainly appropriate to the Pittsburgh area and Western PA in general. While it is true that very few if any places exist where she could be operated with an regularity, I do believe it could be done. The ex-B&O lines north and south of P-burg were well-built in the first place and are in pretty good shape today and would be a fine home for 643 someday to operate.

Rob Gardner



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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:56 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 618
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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2675
The mention of McKees Rocks reminded me of another question.

Many years ago, there was a steam locomotive (I think) parked to the east of Station Square in Pittsburgh. It was under/near the Liberty Bridge if I recall correctly.

I never saw it up close. I noticed it when viewing some movies I took from the incline. I looked up river and saw something that looked an awful lot like a steam loco covered by a tarp. Since I hadn't noticed it during my visit, I didn't go check it out. I don't know if it was related to the Station Square development or not.

Anyone know what loco that was? Was it 643? It looked to be fairly large.


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