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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Danbury, CT
co614 wrote:
Good point Superheater. There were many points during the 90 minute agony that I too wished I could participate.

I had a very interesting conversation with the senior reporter of the PA News today.

After WW 11 PA like so many American cities experienced a mass movement of whites to the suburbs leaving the core city with a majority minority population, shrinking property values, rising crime and many abandoned properties. As of 2018 its population is made up of approx. 29% whites, and 71% Hispanic and black. Approx. 1/3 of residential and 40% of commercial buildings are derelict and/or abandoned. The City's credit rating is below junk.

In the mid 80's began a pattern that exists to this day wherein only minorities run for public office. The current Council is comprised of 1 white and 8 minority persons. In the last several decades the city has suffered from a long list of natural and man made disasters. The current City Attorney and City Mgr. are cronies of the current Mayor. If you had witnessed the City attorneys performance last night I assure you that you would have asked yourself how she ever passed the Bar exam.

Anyone who sat through last nights display of abject incompetence has to have come away thinking " this is the Council that runs this place". No wonder its insolvent.

My strongest advice to Jason is accept the thanks of all steam lovers for saving this engine from being cut up as that's the major victory. Walk away ( no run as fast as you can) from this sad scene, refund the donations and don't look back.

In my 40 year commodity futures trading career the hardest and most important lesson to learn was when to take a loss and leave a bad trade behind.

Trying to deal with this sorry collection of incompetents can only lead to sorrow.

IMHO-Ross Rowland



Mr. Rowland’s post is spot-on. Both sides of my family were among those who moved out of old Port Arthur and into the neighboring city of Groves (or “The Groves”, for the old timer locals). What I call “Old Port Arthur”, has been a pretty sad place for as long as I can remember. I prefer to remember more positive things like going to work with my dad or grandfather on the yard lead job in KCS’s Port Arthur yard, tagging along on the local freights, listening to the BS stories and jokes down at the barber shop, and going to Fred Miller’s to buy parts for your lawn mower. Oh, and the food! If there’s one thing good about the area, it’s food. Some of our favorites were Farm Royal, Larry’s French Market (Judice’s), and the Schooner for seafood and Nick’s Grocery on 39th street for boudain (pronounced “boo-dan”).

And now, I’ll go rake the snow off my eves, shovel my walk, and run the snowblower down the driveway. My dad would say I became a dad-gum yankee.

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Last edited by Mount Royal on Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
The comments about cities and preserved steam engines remind me of the story about the dog in the manger.

Some poor mule was starving and longed to eat the hay in the manger, but couldn't because a dog was guarding the hay. The dog snapped and snarled at the mule, and wonders why? The hay was no good for the dog, he had no use for it and couldn't eat it, but he wouldn't let the mule get to it, either.

Those of us of the Christian persuasion may recall similar words from Matthew 23:13-- "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces; you do not enter yourselves, nor will you let others enter."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dog_i ... manger.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 447
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I posted this to Facebook this morning and I have not changed my mind.

"I think the city wanted the loco to simply go away. If it is here today and gone tomorrow the public is left saying, "Huh! That train is gone! Wonder what happened?" So the deal was made and the skids had been greased for that to happen in a very fast fashion. When the men on the white horses (that's Jason and Nick) showed up and slowed up a purposely fast tracked deal, everything fell apart. Including, eventually it seems, the locomotive."


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2529
Unless whoever signed off on that contract to dispose of the locomotive is fired or at least severely reprimanded, I would be doubt as the long term outlook.

If they "Oh, shit, that was a huge mistake!" and take dramatic steps to preserve it, then, OK fine. Otherwise, I suspect it's just a matter of time until they try to get rid of it again.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 260
Has anyone suggested a no cost (or low cost - say $1 a year) lease, for a term of at least 25-30 years? Engine can still go to Texas State, then to Florida, and PA can still say that they own it. It's worked so far with Northern Pacific 328.

Jeff Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:31 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Columbus, OH
New update on GoFundMe:

https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-the-la-503-friends-of?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-15204681145-81c8f8bd1ed745a9&utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=cta_button&utm_campaign=upd_n

Appears they have not given up yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1728
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Bless Jason's tenacity. As I previously posted after watching last nights 90 minutes of total incompetence my best guess is that Jason's response to the promised RFP will be a complete waste of time and energy.

I also realize that 100:1 horses do sometimes win races so let's hope that by some miracle the poor broken down City of Port Arthur wakes up and smells the coffee before its too late.

Hope springs eternal.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:05 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 563
ebtrr wrote:
New update on GoFundMe:

I really hate to criticize, but from my perspective, this letter writing campaign is ill-advised.

For the "Operate 503" campaign to be successful, it first needs to distance itself from Mr. Rowland and other 'supporters' who are poisoning the well with their comments to the media and in posts here, Trainodors and other forums.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Danbury, CT
Y’all are dealing with very stubborn people. They are full of local pride and very protective of their city, as are most locals in southeast Texas.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:39 am
Posts: 26
I sent what I believe to be a fair and honest email to the addresses listed by Jason on the GoFundMe page.

Copied/pasted:

Hello,

I am not a citizen of your city, but I am a member of the steam preservation community and have experience in the operations and maintenance of these wonderful machines. I am also one of over a thousand contributors to the campaign to save 503.

It is absolutely the right of the city of Port Arthur to keep the 503 if they wish, but I believe it would be a mistake.

Financially, these machines are a burden. Very few people understand them, and fewer still know the true costs associated with them. Jason Sobczynski is one of the only people in this country who can properly maintain such an engine.

You have an opportunity for 503 to be a representative of Port Arthur on a national scale as an operating, steaming, living machine. The effect of it sitting in a park is not the same.

There will be no whistle to blow. There will only be further deterioration until the engine is beyond help. The decision not to allow 503 to be restored to operation will be viewed as a mistake.

As the great steam preservationist Paul Merriman said, "to display a cold steam engine is like propping up a corpse".


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Columbus, OH
Video update on Youtube posted today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y0w5VgI3Mk

Gives some more info than the update on GoFundMe.

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Christopher D. Coleman

http://www.spikesys.com/EBT East Broad Top Homepage
http://www.febt.org Friends of the East Broad Top
http://www.ebtrr.com East Broad Top Railroad


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 492
Location: Winters, TX
Hope I'm not yammering on too much about this subject, but after watching the update video a few things popped into my mind.

First, if the council members have ignored our emails in the past, then what's the point of writing further emails to them?

Second, if Jason's timeline is correct, then I suspect that the city harbors a great deal of animosity towards him for putting them in this uncomfortable situation. Had he not interfered, then the 503 would be gone and forgotten. If he submits an RFP, perhaps it might be better to put it under another name.

Finally, if Jason is so positive about Inland having ownership of the 503, then why not hire an attorney to settle it once and for all? Yes, I know that'd run a few bucks, but I just don't see an alternative to settle the issue.

Here's hoping that things work out.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 447
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Jason's latest Facebook appeal.

https://www.facebook.com/31997228137936 ... 789515398/

If anyone does write an email, DO copy Jason!


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:45 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1353
Charlie wrote:
... if Jason's timeline is correct, then I suspect that the city harbors a great deal of animosity towards him for putting them in this uncomfortable situation. Had he not interfered, then the 503 would be gone and forgotten. If he submits an RFP, perhaps it might be better to put it under another name.

Finally, if Jason is so positive about Inland having ownership of the 503, then why not hire an attorney to settle it once and for all? Yes, I know that'd run a few bucks, but I just don't see an alternative to settle the issue.

.


To your first point, I could not agree more.

To the question of ownership, I don't believe that it necessarily follows that just because Inland had a contract to scrap 503, they owned 503. That may seem logical because Inland was to scrap 503, and once they did that, 503 would cease to exist. And therefore nobody would own it. So it might seem logical that the City was surrendering their ownership of 503 to Inland to do as they wish with the engine after removing it from City property.

But even so, the City might argue that Inland had no right to sell the locomotive intact to a third party who intended to use the locomotive for a rail operation. The contract called for demolishing the locomotive. I doubt that Inland could claim ownership of 503 without it being clearly spelled out in the contract.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:35 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Danbury, CT
Well, who was it that told them who the owner was. If I recall correctly, the City’s spokesperson told them that it was Inland’s. That sent the dogs barking up the wrong tree. In my opinion, the contract clearly states that the City owns 503 until such time as it is dismantled in Bryan Park. It would then cease to be a locomotive and would become debris, which would be disposed of. Mileage may vary.

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