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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 88
I don't care to jump into the rabbit-hole of comparing toys/ models to actual railroad equipment. That's really an apple and oranges discussion.

For those not familiar, neither of the engines that I spoke of were "too far gone" to save within reasonable efforts. My point was how much the price appears to have been inflated. I was just curious we are past the days of the more traditional method of evaluating a locomotive starting with scrap or parts value +/- various other factors. In my experience you have 2 spending options when it comes to restoring a steam engine. You can spend as much as you want to... or more. So, the real trick comes down to how much you pay for it in the first place.

Let's say you buy an 0-4-0 for $40k you spend $10k getting it home to your shop and are able to do most of the work yourself, then you spend about $60k in materials and the work you have to contract out: How much is that engine worth beyond the obvious answer?(Whatever someone will pay for it) If you get less than $110k for it, your time was worth nothing and you're at a loss. If you sell it for $200k that covers 2000 man hours (roughly one work year for 1 person) at $45/hr. That still doesn't cover overhead or leave any room for profit. I can't even find a good car mechanic for $45/hr let alone a welder-machinist-pipefitter. Also... show me the guy who can restore an engine basically by himself in a year. Is a working 45 ton 0-4-0 worth upwards of a quarter million? What is a bank going to loan you on it?

Is it a possibility that we are seeing locomotive restorations taking place on a more individual level because people are unhappy with the politics of dealing with the groups that have operational engines?


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 530
Location: Minneapolis, MN
wesp wrote:
There is a third term that more accurately describes the N6b project,
and most of what we do in railway preservation.

reconstruction: a thing that has been rebuilt after being damaged or destroyed.

Two examples: the Governors Palace and the Capitol at Colonial Williamsburg are reconstructions based on research.

Wesley

This whole "restoration" argument is circular. An artifact is an artifact until it is changed to something other than its current state. A railroad artifact has a continuum of existence. It is only new or "as built"until the railroad changed it. If it has been changed 30 times during its life, it can be "restored" to potentially 31 different states. If it is non-operable, it can be restored to operation in any one of those 31 states, including its last before it went out of service. Restorers thus have a variety of choices, all of which are legitimate "restorations". And one is as good as the next if it fits the restorer's purpose. The "original fabric" is that which constitutes the artifact at the time of its retirement or restoration. That caboose might only have a small portion left of its original construction by the time it becomes an "artifact". In this way, "original Fabric" becomes a moving target and an impossible goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 775
I agree hamster.

There's even another level... for example, Southern #4501 which was modified by adding a stoker and a feedwater heater which the #4501 never had but other Southern Mikados did receive so it was a restoration to what it might have gotten if it had stayed with the Southern.

While it may be a stretch, it's still more historically accurate than a locomotive like the #4960 which looks nothing like a CB&Q (I personally love the look of the Grand Canyon Locomotives... it's not a knock on them, just a fact.)


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 530
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
I agree hamster.

There's even another level... for example, Southern #4501 which was modified by adding a stoker and a feedwater heater which the #4501 never had but other Southern Mikados did receive so it was a restoration to what it might have gotten if it had stayed with the Southern.

While it may be a stretch, it's still more historically accurate than a locomotive like the #4960 which looks nothing like a CB&Q (I personally love the look of the Grand Canyon Locomotives... it's not a knock on them, just a fact.)

But it must be acknowledged that the 4967 is NOT a restoration in the sense of a museum. It is a restoration to a modern railroad situation. Its owner must modify it for his own use as surely as the CB&Q would have.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5857
Location: southeastern USA
A locomotive is worth its ability to earn its keep and even more to contribute to the income of it's operator. Unless, of course, it is a hobby, or its costs are otherwise covered to allow for its use as an educational experience provider, etc........

It's cash value is limited only by those whose vision and resources allow.

_________________
Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 775
I'm still curious what a brand new 0-6-0T would cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:42 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1346
Location: Back in NE Ohio
CA1 wrote:
You can pick up a nice used 7.5 gauge live steam engine for 15-30K easily. 100K plus is for something highly detailed, custom or built new.

For example this 4-6-2:
https://www.discoverlivesteam.com/disco ... /index.htm

As much as full size is neat, there are a lot more opportunities to run something 7.5 gauge than full size. Also the amount of work and expense required to transport/ maintain something full size is immense vs the smaller locomotives. No FRA inspections for 7.5 gauge either.


I think I rode behind that PM Pacific when it was 7.5" ga. in Ohio probably about 30 or more years ago. I remember it being a really well-running, fairly trouble-free loco, nicely detailed for a standard Little Engines Pacific.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Steamers, Big Deals
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 292
Location: San Francisco, CA
The British preservationist are way ahead of the Americans when it comes to replica steam locomotives. Most everybody has heard of their Tornado; but there are several others.

The Ditcot Centre has at least three projects under way to re-create long gone Great Western steam classes.

And their Rail Motor project has restored the steam powered truck to power a body and trailer. Imagine a steam boiler with copper tubes!

The people with the two-foot rails (more or less) in Wales have built new locomotives and re-built others.

Here in the United States, the WW&F Railway Museum is building a replica of the WW&F #7 scrapped in the 1930s. They have a proven record in preservation.

Ted Miles, WW&F Member


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