Author Topic: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!  (Read 4099 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« on: February 18, 2018, 05:37:19 PM »
Hi WW&F Friends.

It's rare that I will mention other preservation efforts on our forum. There are just too many important projects across our country (and around the globe) that need support. There simply isn't enough preservation dollars to go around (and, like many of you, I am particularly "narrow minded" in what I choose to support.)

That said, there is a legitimate preservation emergency in Texas where a (formerly City-owned) "park engine" was sold to a scrapper.  It's a long, complex story, but the upshot is that the city didn't contact the "right" people to deal with environmental concerns (leaking asbestos and fuel oil) caused by recent storms, and it is now waiting to "demolished" using a wrecking ball and and be cut up. In fact, the only reason it hasn't been destroyed already is due to inclement weather.

Now, fortunately there has been a last-ditch effort to save Louisiana & Arkansas 4-6-0 #503. Preservationist and steam restoration contractor Jason Sobczynski is on-site, made an inspection of the locomotive, and has made plans for its purchase from the scrapper, transportation to the Texas State Railroad, and possible return to operation. Yes, his initial assessment of the locomotive (and ultra-sound testing of the boiler) reveals that it is in mechanically good shape, but needs a new backhead, tender trucks, and cab.

Obviously this is a very fluid situation and things are constantly being developed. As of yesterday, there was a deadline of Wednesday 2/21 to come up with a viable plan for #503's removal, or it would be smashed and cut. A ground-roots fundraising effort was launched via social media, and as of this writing, over $16,000 has been raised. It will take about $50,000 to purchase and move the locomotive.

Now this is why I share this on the WW&F forum. Money is desperately needed. Jason S. not looking to "buy" the locomotive; he only wants to see it saved. (As do I.) Moreover, this series of catastrophic events only shows how relevant and necessary the mission of the the WW&F is to "educate and enlighten the general public" about rail preservation. Yesterday at the Steam Train Snow Day a first-time visitor asked me exactly what is the purpose of doing what we do - and she then came to understand that our educational goals are that purpose.

If you can help out this cause, please throw a couple of bucks at:
https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-the-la-503-friends-of

I've made a contribution. I hope you can too.

Thanks,

-Ed
(Speaking in no way in an official capacity for the WW&F.)
Ed Lecuyer
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Al Michelis

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 05:46:54 PM »
Ed - Thanks for letting us know.

Gary Kraske

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 06:08:43 PM »
Thanks Ed;  Donation sent. Barb and Gary

Carl Soderstrom

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2018, 10:55:23 PM »
Seeing that the WW&F benefits from donations from other organizations - might at least a token be sent.
Not to set a precedent. But a timing appears to be essential. 

Mike Fox

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2018, 11:08:39 PM »
Undoubtedly, timing is everything. Once a locomotive is gone, it is gone. What was not mentioned in the hasty original announcement, the locomotive was underwater in August. Not completely, as far as I can tell, but this is what led up to the contractors being called in to destroy it.

As far as the WW&F making a token donation. I do not agree that an organization of our limited means should do such a thing. If our members would like to, that is up to them, but the museum should not be taking monies designated for elsewhere by the donors and donate it to another organization.

I wish them luck. Hopefully the can find someone to donate the transportation...
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2018, 11:20:41 PM »
I agree, with Mike; the WW&F (as an organization) should probably not make a donation. I consider this an important cause and thought others may as well. (And after I made this posting, I did note a few familiar names join the GoFundMe donor list.)

The locomotive was underwater during one of the hurricanes. However, the high water mark was well below the driving wheel journals. The lead truck journals were just at the water line - so they may be fine (but would likely be converted to roller bearings, anyway.) The tender trucks are toast. Also, all tires are worn out and will need to be replaced anyway.

And someone is donating the transportation (trucking) to the Texas State Railroad (for temporary storage) at cost. Crane expenses have yet to be announced.
Ed Lecuyer
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Bill Baskerville

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2018, 11:22:28 PM »
Ed,

Thanks for the heads up.  I made a donation and passed it on to my local NRHS chapter which may prompt other donations. 

All the museums and rail preservation enthusiast need to stick together as best we can.

Bill
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Mike Fox

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2018, 11:30:44 PM »
Great to hear Ed.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2018, 11:58:45 PM »
Thanks Bill. The key to making this happen is to get lots of eyeballs on this ASAP. When I last checked, they had raised nearly $20,000, with the average donation only being $50. That's a LOT of $5-20 donations from all over.
Ed Lecuyer
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Skyler Kimball

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 02:35:07 AM »
Wow! as of 9:30pm, they have reached over $21,000. Impressive fundraising, considering that about 2 hours ago they had not reached $20,000! I hope they can make the deadline!

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 11:19:16 AM »
Funding this AM stands at 23,400. Still a long way to go, but nearly half way there as of Monday morning @ 6:15. I'm in, even if it is broad gauge :)

Jeff Schumaker

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 02:23:00 PM »
Updates, and interesting comments, can be found at:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41678


Jeff S.
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Gary Kraske

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2018, 02:59:27 PM »
We donated again, many thanks to Jason and our Ed for notifying us all. Now, 1000 EST, OVER $25K!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:01:40 PM by Gary Kraske »

Benjamin Richards

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 04:59:48 PM »
Echoing the thanks of others for sharing this here, specifically. My rounds on other social media are infrequent enough that I would have missed this entirely through those channels alone.

Donation made, situation shared via FB, now awaiting the outcome with baited breath.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 05:33:35 PM »
Fundraising has topped $40,000. I've never seen an online fundraiser for rail preservation do so well, so quickly.
Ed Lecuyer
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