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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
p51 wrote:
BM765 wrote:
I'm not all that familiar with Portland but I suspect that 4449 and 700 do not have the local following that many railfans seem to assume.

This is hilarious. "I admit I know nothing, but I'm not gonna let that stand in the way of a wild assumption...:

Not as "wild" as you may think. Railfans are notorious for vastly over-estimating the awareness and appeal of the objects of their affection among the general public. Ditto just about any other similar endeavor and their enthusiasts, from NASCAR to pro arena sports to public libraries and art museums.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:06 pm
Posts: 105
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
p51 wrote:
BM765 wrote:
I'm not all that familiar with Portland but I suspect that 4449 and 700 do not have the local following that many railfans seem to assume.

This is hilarious. "I admit I know nothing, but I'm not gonna let that stand in the way of a wild assumption...:

Not as "wild" as you may think. Railfans are notorious for vastly over-estimating the awareness and appeal of the objects of their affection among the general public. Ditto just about any other similar endeavor and their enthusiasts, from NASCAR to pro arena sports to public libraries and art museums.


Exactly right and that is my point. There seems to be an attitude by some that these two engines are such a major part of the City of Portland fabric that it is inconceivable that the city would ever let the engines go cold. The reality is, unless people have an interest in a particular topic, things in their own backyards often go virtually unnoticed. Unless Portland is the exception to the rule, ORHF must find new ways besides the big engines to sell themselves to the public. Their future and by extension the future of 4449 and 700 depend on it. It sounds like they are making wise decisions.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
The Germans (never a source for wackiness) have a word for this: Schadenfreude
Some people desperately want to declare a person or group (often, one for which they feel envy) ready to call it a day for any reason they can find. We all have seen it countless times here and in any other internet forum.
BM765 wrote:
There seems to be an attitude by some that these two engines are such a major part of the City of Portland fabric that it is inconceivable that the city would ever let the engines go cold.
The 'attitude' stems from seeing what they've done with the funds they have raised, the number of people actively involved and one of the finest new facilities devoted to steam locomotives in the US.
If you ever visited the place and talked with those handling all this, you'll see what the locals know; they have money for all this, or certainly the ways to raise it.
Any group getting ready to install a turntable which is really doesn't need which will sit outside an engine house that is cleaner than most railfan's houses is not in a position where the membership is lying awake at nights worrying that the fires will be dropped for good. Especially not over something as basic as trackwork someone online (who probably never saw it in person) declared has issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:06 pm
Posts: 105
p51 wrote:
The Germans (never a source for wackiness) have a word for this: Schadenfreude
Some people desperately want to declare a person or group (often, one for which they feel envy) ready to call it a day for any reason they can find. We all have seen it countless times here and in any other internet forum.
BM765 wrote:
There seems to be an attitude by some that these two engines are such a major part of the City of Portland fabric that it is inconceivable that the city would ever let the engines go cold.
The 'attitude' stems from seeing what they've done with the funds they have raised, the number of people actively involved and one of the finest new facilities devoted to steam locomotives in the US.
If you ever visited the place and talked with those handling all this, you'll see what the locals know; they have money for all this, or certainly the ways to raise it.
Any group getting ready to install a turntable which is really doesn't need which will sit outside an engine house that is cleaner than most railfan's houses is not in a position where the membership is lying awake at nights worrying that the fires will be dropped for good. Especially not over something as basic as trackwork someone online (who probably never saw it in person) declared has issues.


I'm not sure if you are agreeing with me or disagreeing with me. I stand by my comments. For the record, ORHF has stated that the trackwork on the Oregon Pacific is no longer suitable for 4449 and 700 at this time. For 2022 they are leasing Polson #2 for the Holiday Trains. Going forward, Shay #1 will be the primary steam power on the Oregon Pacific. The problem and solution don't seem to be all that basic.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:13 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:32 pm
Posts: 46
I wouldn’t worry too much about either locomotive. That organization has raised quite a lot of money for projects others have mentioned. The Shay running will be a good attraction for railfans so 4449 and 700 won’t be forgotten. Don’t they have a UP/OR&N 4-6-2 under restoration out there as well? That’ll be a reminder for them as well.

4-8-4 operational preservation is on the rise in general. Counting 700, we have 8 Northerns running, with two more (RDG 2100 and NCSTL 576) well on their way to being restored with promising outlooks. Based on my last two visits to Age of Steam and Steamtown, supposedly both organizations are talking to restoration groups about GTW 6325 and RDG 2124. If those talks are true, that’s two more you can add to the list. I’m also a believer that C&O 614 will eventually go to Kentucky Steam, but I’m getting off topic. Point is, Northerns are popular, the maintainers of 4449 and 700 are popular and have seen great success. They’ll figure it out, patience is key.

If you want to worry about a 4-8-4 project, throw some encouragement or funds towards the Cotton Belt 819 group. They’re landlocked and switched to a cosmetic restoration until something can be arranged. And from what I’ve seen, the chances are slim.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:34 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1894
Location: Youngstown, OH
Yeah what the world needs is another Reading T-1 in operation. Never did really care for the "lets restore multiple examples of the same identical design while we let unique designs sit and rot" philosophy. And how would that work exactly with one Steamtown loco already unable to be reassembled and a hostile site superintendent?

I've had the same negative response to foamers who think the NKP 759 or 763 should be restored to operation. Really? Just take the number boards, some decals and a check out to Indiana sometime and for .0001% of what it would cost to restore any of those you can get to see that number run up and down the track.

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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:39 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:23 am
Posts: 20
BM765 wrote:
I'm not all that familiar with Portland but I suspect that 4449 and 700 do not have the local following that many railfans seem to assume. If I took a survey of Portland residents, how many know anything about these locomotives?


I am thinking, perhaps they need to do an episode of the "Portlandia" TV show featuring the 4449?

Give me some time, I can write the plot.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2798
City support can be very fickle. One need only look a bit to the north at the form Royal Hudson operation. That locomotive was sponsored by British Columbia (I don't know the exact arrangement) and was heavily promoted in tourist marketing. It was quite common to see a coffee mug in some random gift shop feature various city icons including the Royal Hudson. It was essentially a city landmark.

Then one day the political winds changed, they no longer wanted to operate BC Rail and suddenly it was all over. It can happen just that quickly.

Now, ORHS has done everything they can to control their own destiny. They own the land and buildings etc. So they're not at anyone's whim for a place to store the equipment. But even so, things can and do happen. Hopefully they'll last a long time and not have any problems. They're certainly giving it a try.

I would like to see them acquire the track at some point too. I have no idea if that's in the plans or not. Obviously they've at least thought about it, but whether it could ever happen I don't know. Could be economically impossible.

Either way, they're doing a great job so far.


p51 wrote:
The Germans (never a source for wackiness) have a word for this: Schadenfreude
Some people desperately want to declare a person or group (often, one for which they feel envy) ready to call it a day for any reason they can find. We all have seen it countless times here and in any other internet forum.
BM765 wrote:
There seems to be an attitude by some that these two engines are such a major part of the City of Portland fabric that it is inconceivable that the city would ever let the engines go cold.
The 'attitude' stems from seeing what they've done with the funds they have raised, the number of people actively involved and one of the finest new facilities devoted to steam locomotives in the US.
If you ever visited the place and talked with those handling all this, you'll see what the locals know; they have money for all this, or certainly the ways to raise it.
Any group getting ready to install a turntable which is really doesn't need which will sit outside an engine house that is cleaner than most railfan's houses is not in a position where the membership is lying awake at nights worrying that the fires will be dropped for good. Especially not over something as basic as trackwork someone online (who probably never saw it in person) declared has issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:21 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:10 pm
Posts: 4
In response to a bunch of things on this thread, in no particular order:

You're about five years too late for Portlandia. It would have been a great idea, though. Even if it was just a shot of one of the engines in the opening credits.

As for local following, people that end up seeing it are generally impressed. But you're just as likely to find people that have lived here for years that have no idea ORHC is there. Using Facebook follower numbers as an example, the Portland Pickles baseball team and adult dodgeball league both have more following. The really bad, horror themed local indy punk-metal band Toxic Zombies has almost as many followers as ORHC, which is known nationally among foamers. However, I'm in a Portland area Facebook resource group for single parents,and when people ask for recommendations on fun things to do with kids and family, ORHC is a very common recommendation. So, while I'm a supporter through and through of ORHC and anything under that umbrella, the foamer ideal mentioned earlier that rail interest related stuff is bigger in our own minds than in reality is mostly true.

As for the track condition, I know no specifics, but SP&S 700 is just wrapping up its 15 year inspection after being down since 2015. They're probably chomping at the bit to stretch their legs. Its return to Holiday Express duty would make for good marketing. So I'm inclined to believe that issue is real.


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 Post subject: Re: Future of the SP 4449 & SP&S 700
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 8:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:08 pm
Posts: 21
Alright, looking back on this thread. Maybe I jumped the gun a bit on this. Probably just me worrying about things like I do sometimes. Anyways, it’s nice to see some well known steam operators chime in on this to put some of these rumors I’ve been hearing to rest. I would love to someday travel out to Oregon and see the 4449 steamed up, Who knows what’ll happen in the future


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