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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 341
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Quote:
(ARR 557 groups' page comes to mind as a good one: http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html)

Thanks for noticing. Credit goes to Patrick Durand, our President and Project Manager from the beginning of the 557 restoration project seven years ago. When we tally up volunteer hours, we credit him with 40 hours a week, but that understates the number he actually contributes.

On the general subject of outreach and publicity, we are believers. In addition to the monthly status reports that Pat prepares, I try and post at least one Facebook post each week, and we have have a presence and/or make a presentation at some kind of event or meeting on an average of once per month. Our attention to outreach has paid of handsomely in community support, financial contributions, and in-kind contributions from area businesses.

Facebook isn't always bad - we are fortunate in having a particularly civilized group of Facebook followers. Although it's an open group, I can't think of any obnoxious or inappropriate comments in the five or six years that I have been managing the FB posts.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 910
http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... he-horizon

"The $2.7 million restoration has been beset by funding issues, parts theft by an employee, abrupt personnel changes, missed deadlines, and other missteps over the last five years since its acquisition in 2014." [Emphasis mine].

Who is this guy? Was he prosecuted? What would a person get for scrap bronze? The vileness of this act boggles the mind.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 522
The abrupt personnell change was a poor management issue that most likely resulted in the employee theft. If you’ve got a bunch of new people who don’t know where everything is it’s a lot easier to sneak out with stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:01 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 632
PMC wrote:
Who is this guy? Was he prosecuted? What would a person get for scrap bronze?

Answers to your questions are in the The strange saga of C&O 1309 restoration just got stranger thread.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:09 am
Posts: 169
To be honest with you, all of this is making my head spin! I'm hoping to go see her sometime next year, just to be safe! ;)

_________________
"What Responsible Driver would stop, as if he was at a roadside layby? It's Rule 55, you can't do it!"- the Rev. W. Awdry


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 522
I think next year is optimistic personally. When it starts running, I’ll start making plans. Ha.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 910
Chris Webster wrote:
Answers to your questions are in the The strange saga of C&O 1309 restoration just got stranger thread.

tweetsie12 wrote:
To be honest with you, all of this is making my head spin!

Now I remember that earlier thread, and why I didn't read most of it as I normally do, the sorts of drama contained in the story are a real buzzkill for me.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 883
Location: NJ
The sad thing is that WMSR let two other steam engines get away. True, the G5s were a little light in TE compared to the 734, but I understand that one of the GP-30s was frequently used as a helper with 734 anyway.

I would imagine that one or perhaps both of those engines could have been put back into service faster and cheaper than the 1309. Also they would have had less time without steam, and kept their ridership up. Of course, with the three or more 'first class' cars head out, and with no open windows, it really doesn't make that much difference now what is pulling the train.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1216
Location: Back in NE Ohio
WMSR started with Showalter and his G5's operating the railroad in the mid-1980's. Something happened to his relationship with the organization or the county and he left for Staunton, VA, but I believe the usual operation was both engines double-heading the train up to Frostburg.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:03 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 570
Location: B'more Maryland
I long wondered if there were any steamers around available for a short term loan that would've helped them out of their current spot.

I guess 611 is a bit big for the turntable... although she WOULD look right at home up there.

I'd have been surprised something couldn't be found if they had looked.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:31 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:31 pm
Posts: 292
"something could be found".... it's right in there in Ridgeley.... #734.

A lot on money and energy was spent in the running gear of #734 the winter before it's boiler time expired.

Yes, #734 needs lots of work.. The tender has large areas of rusted thru metal, the cistern has several leaks that were temporarily patched and need properly repaired and there is a host of other items that the engine needs but all of the work could have been done with a lot less funds and on a shorter time frame.

What some folks seem to forget is that #734 has been thru at least one or two other 1472 inspections without missing a season, she has been pulling trains for the WMSR since the very early 1990's...

#1309 was purchased for one reason and one reason only... a new marketing scheme. #734 as "Mountain Thunder" was played out, and the management at the time wanted something bigger and better to hang their marketing and advertising dollars on.

The curve and vertical transition onto the turntable at Frostburg has been a known problem since 1988, so it was nothing new. The whole hipe about not needing a helper was one of the smoke and mirror money saving tactics to gain the Boards and County approval to purchase the #1309. All of the operational crew knew the #1309 would have trouble reaching the turntable... and lets not forget that with a longer locomotive spotting the number of coaches at Frostburg would become an issue. The east switch needs to be moved further eastward to allow the same number of coaches at the platform and still give #1309 room to run around longer trains.

I just hope the #1309 can be completed, steam successfully, and have a long in service career.. Time will tell.

Tim W.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:39 pm
Posts: 7
YeOldeEnjine wrote:
"something could be found".... it's right in there in Ridgeley.... #734.

A lot on money and energy was spent in the running gear of #734 the winter before it's boiler time expired.

Yes, #734 needs lots of work.. The tender has large areas of rusted thru metal, the cistern has several leaks that were temporarily patched and need properly repaired and there is a host of other items that the engine needs but all of the work could have been done with a lot less funds and on a shorter time frame.

What some folks seem to forget is that #734 has been thru at least one or two other 1472 inspections without missing a season, she has been pulling trains for the WMSR since the very early 1990's...

#1309 was purchased for one reason and one reason only... a new marketing scheme. #734 as "Mountain Thunder" was played out, and the management at the time wanted something bigger and better to hang their marketing and advertising dollars on.

The curve and vertical transition onto the turntable at Frostburg has been a known problem since 1988, so it was nothing new. The whole hipe about not needing a helper was one of the smoke and mirror money saving tactics to gain the Boards and County approval to purchase the #1309. All of the operational crew knew the #1309 would have trouble reaching the turntable... and lets not forget that with a longer locomotive spotting the number of coaches at Frostburg would become an issue. The east switch needs to be moved further eastward to allow the same number of coaches at the platform and still give #1309 room to run around longer trains.

I just hope the #1309 can be completed, steam successfully, and have a long in service career.. Time will tell.

Tim W.


Yes, #734 was on property. Yes it was running, but that is NO guarantee that it was in substantially better condition. There was never a UT completed on 734's boiler. Substantial "errors" were found on 734's FRA Form 4. Boiler tubes were improperly installed for decades (butt welded) and were failing at an unprecedented rate near the end of the current rebuild cycle. Sheet work known to be needed on 734. Not to mention that there was not enough funding ($400K) to complete a 1472 on 734; a critical issue that the board of directors failed to anticipate. There was also the issue that 734 would not be able to have a proper 1472 done in the off season. The question ahead of the board of directors was if they wanted to continue with steam, and not have a break in the steam operations, another solution had to be found. State funding for something new and different was available, based upon it would bring people back to the region, as 734 just wasn't drawing enough people to pay for itself. Also, 734 has a longer wheelbase which was chewing up the flanges, leading to sharp flange conditions especially on the first and last driver axles. A condition which required the tires to be either rotated or replaced every two years. As for the curve and hump at Frostburg, 734 wouldn't go over it as the curve was too tight. But, it was made to work in reality because people WANTED it to work. The last driver axle would frequently lift off the rail as 734 would crest the fulcrum of the grade, often far enough for the flange to clear the head of the rail. For the money that was spent on boxcars, wooden passenger cars, reworking switch #9, traveling on private cars to "study how to provide first class service". etc, the Frostburg siding and issues with the track at Frostburg could have been corrected.

When John Garner became the GM, there was only $400K invested in 1309 and many major accomplishments were already being reached. If he and the board truly believed 734 was a better solution, they could have changed course, stopped work on 1309 and started on 734. They didn't. That should speak volumes.

" The whole hipe about not needing a helper was one of the smoke and mirror money saving tactics to gain the Boards and County approval to purchase the #1309."

Completely false. If you think that maintaining, inspecting, and operating locomotives comes without cost, you are wrong. In 2015, 502 had 4 new combos with upgraded traction motors installed due to worn out wheels. That was $70K when all was said and done. Not to mention, quarterly, semi-annual, annual inspections, operating costs, fuel, etc.

As for the county, they had no decision in 1309's acquisition, although their advice and input was solicited. The Board was the decision authority. The difference was ridership was increasing, not falling.

As for the siding, it needed to be extended regardless. Many operations had 734 returning down the mountain light, behind the train. Much to the complaints of passengers who had "paid to ride behind steam and then were cheated as it only ran half the trip" and similar complaints from those who paid to ride it. The length of 1309 versus twin diesels is not enough to make a significant difference in needing a siding or not.

One thing that was not mentioned was track condition. Despite what has been said in the press, 1309 is lighter per axle (52, 833 lbs average) than their GP-30 and F40 (65,000 lbs avg).

Much of the cost overrun and marketing gaffes have been the result of poor decisions. The decision to terminate long-term, knowledgeable employees who were capable of restoring and maintaining any steam locomotive was a serious blunder. Now, relying on contractors has taken a $1MM dollar project to approaching a $3MM project. Great that they are going to have temperature sensors on the bearings. On the other hand, 734 ran for decades without them; the difference between working in house, and letting a contractor who costs nearly $800 per day (with lodging and per diem) and their attending employees do the work. All of that lies strictly in the lap of the current management and board; the same one who want to blame others for everything. As proof, my fellow former board member Ray Morris (former treasurer for WMSR and now Mayor of Cumberland) even said publicly that had in house labor been used, the estimate of $1.0 to #1.2MM to rebuild 1309 was probably accurate.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:31 pm
Posts: 292
[quote="WPfan"][quote="YeOldeEnjine"]"something could be found".... it's right in there in Ridgeley.... #734.

Mr. Gresham, please don't think I'm making apologizes for the current management... I've been very vocal locally on the current state of affairs at the WMSR...

I figured correctly I could get you to comment...

I stand corrected.

Tim W.


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1855
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Failure is always a bastard child and success always has many fathers. There's no doubt that Mr. Garner has made more than his fair share of mistakes and these have badly damaged his standing and no doubt added much time & expense to this task.

It does appear that he has FINALLY learned his lesson about giving out completion dates and for that we need to be grateful.

Let's hope that sufficient funds are found to finish the job and that the 1309 proves to be a reliable performer.

Hope springs eternal.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: That Other Articulated - WMSR #1309 - Update photos 04/2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:08 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 134
WPfan wrote:

Yes, #734 was on property. Yes it was running, but that is NO guarantee that it was in substantially better condition. There was never a UT completed on 734's boiler. Substantial "errors" were found on 734's FRA Form 4. Boiler tubes were improperly installed for decades (butt welded) and were failing at an unprecedented rate near the end of the current rebuild cycle. Sheet work known to be needed on 734. Not to mention that there was not enough funding ($400K) to complete a 1472 on 734; a critical issue that the board of directors failed to anticipate. There was also the issue that 734 would not be able to have a proper 1472 done in the off season. The question ahead of the board of directors was if they wanted to continue with steam, and not have a break in the steam operations, another solution had to be found. State funding for something new and different was available, based upon it would bring people back to the region, as 734 just wasn't drawing enough people to pay for itself. Also, 734 has a longer wheelbase which was chewing up the flanges, leading to sharp flange conditions especially on the first and last driver axles. A condition which required the tires to be either rotated or replaced every two years. As for the curve and hump at Frostburg, 734 wouldn't go over it as the curve was too tight. But, it was made to work in reality because people WANTED it to work. The last driver axle would frequently lift off the rail as 734 would crest the fulcrum of the grade, often far enough for the flange to clear the head of the rail. For the money that was spent on boxcars, wooden passenger cars, reworking switch #9, traveling on private cars to "study how to provide first class service". etc, the Frostburg siding and issues with the track at Frostburg could have been corrected.

Much of the cost overrun and marketing gaffes have been the result of poor decisions. The decision to terminate long-term, knowledgeable employees who were capable of restoring and maintaining any steam locomotive was a serious blunder. Now, relying on contractors has taken a $1MM dollar project to approaching a $3MM project. Great that they are going to have temperature sensors on the bearings. On the other hand, 734 ran for decades without them; the difference between working in house, and letting a contractor who costs nearly $800 per day (with lodging and per diem) and their attending employees do the work. All of that lies strictly in the lap of the current management and board; the same one who want to blame others for everything. As proof, my fellow former board member Ray Morris (former treasurer for WMSR and now Mayor of Cumberland) even said publicly that had in house labor been used, the estimate of $1.0 to #1.2MM to rebuild 1309 was probably accurate.


WP (Mr. Gresham?),

I wholly appreciate your accurate depiction of the actual state of 734. It's a subject that often is glossed over when discussing the WMSR and the 1309 restoration.

I couldn't help but notice something after reading through your post. You state that the cost overruns were due to poor decisions made my management by terminating long-term employees with steam background and hiring contractors to fill in at an inflated labor rate. Yet, in the same post you point out some serious lack in maintenance practice (tubes butt-welded versus rolled), errors in 734's Form 4 and a lack of an ultra-sound thickness survey (circa 2001). It seems there is some contradiction in this statement. If such poor and unsafe practices were allowed during the tenure of "long-term employees with steam background" why would one hang their hat on cost-savings of using internal labor when they couldn't even install boiler tubes? Please be aware, there is no agenda associated with my comment, I'm just genuinely curious as there likely is more to the story than I'm aware of.

Best,
DC


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