Author Topic: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!  (Read 2614 times)

Kevin Madore

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2018, 08:05:43 PM »
The fund raiser just crossed the $45,000 mark, from just under 900 donors.   That's an average of $50 per donor.  It's 3PM on Tuesday, and its hauled in $5,000 just since lunch.    I think it will make the goal.  Hopefully, Jason S. can at least succeed in getting the locomotive to a safe place.   According to an interview that I just listened to, he's done some quick UT tests and believes that except for the backhead, the boiler is in pretty good shape.

I looked through the list of donors......I can't believe how many of them I know.   Who says that rail enthusiasts don't spend any money?

/Kevin



Kevin Madore

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2018, 09:39:09 PM »
Well, just as the fund raiser was about to top the $50,000 goal, the scrapper is now apparently claiming that the locomotive is worth $15,000 more than the original estimate.    My guess is that he's been following the fund raiser and sees an opportunity to cash in.   The goal is now $65K, but apparently, the long-standing-unyielding deadline has been extended to some unspecified date.   Pull the shoulder belts tight, there's turbulence ahead.

/Kevin

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2018, 10:13:14 PM »
Didn't I say something about this being a rapidly changing fluid situation?

Anyhow, this just in from the GoFundMe page...
Broken down, the projects costs are now:
$35,000 to Inland Environment for the purchase
$10,000 to Over-the-Top Construction for trucking
$20,000 for cranes
The deadline for raising funds is now February 28th! A purchase agreement for the locomotive will be signed on February 21st.

Fundraising continues at a staggering rate: $51,560 as of this writing.

And yes, the public donor list reads like a who's who roll call of railfans and preservationists from around the country. I see a lot of our members have donated.
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Bob Holmes

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2018, 01:06:30 AM »
Kevin, I'm cynical enough to believe with you that greed drove the price increase.  Nevertheless, it's worth saving...

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2018, 01:18:57 AM »
Jason S explains the price increase quite diplomatically in this Facebook video:
https://www.facebook.com/319972281379363/videos/1722686031107974
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Bill Baskerville

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2018, 02:05:46 AM »
Wow, As of 9 pm Tuesday evening the total raised at the GoFundMe site to save this locomotive stands at $55,751.  The total went up $581 while I was typing this. 

However, the environmental remediation company has raised their price so the total now needed is $65k.  I would expect the funding to be at or near the $65k by tommorrow when purchase agreement is scheduled to be signed.  The Texas environmental department has granted a weeks extension to scrap or move the locomotive.

Perhaps the success of this preservation operation is a indication of why our preservation fund drive to save the Moose-Trout-Brook Bridge was so successful.  Perhaps we could add further emphasis to the preservation message of our activities.
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2018, 02:32:22 AM »
While it is too soon to call this a "success", I am pretty certain this is the first truly "viral" fundraising campaign that has hit the rail preservation community. I've seen lots of "GoFundMe"s for various projects (heck, I've helped run three for the WW&F; and have personally contributed to a few) but I never seen this level of interest.

I suspect that the urgency of a ticking clock is a big motivation. Also the mental and visual image of taking a wrecking ball to a steam locomotive I think is pretty striking. And let's not forget it's a mainline steam locomotive - everyone instinctively knows that those need to be saved, whereas not everyone understands the rarity of the Moose-Trout Brook Bridge or the Maine narrow gauge. (Let's not forget that some folks think of 2fters as oversized toy trains and are ignorant of their history and function.) I suspect that this sort of campaign will be tried again, and will probably fall short - unless all the stars are in alignment (as they were in this case) for an immediate project with mass appeal.

However, what is most encouraging is that this is being funded mainly by small donations. The average donation is about $50. This implies that there is widespread intergenerational interest in rail preservation, and that should be very encouraging to us all.

total is at $55,872...
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Rick Rowlands

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2018, 12:36:44 PM »
All of us on the "Save the 503" team thanks everyone who has donated to this effort.  It is truly amazing to see how many railfans, modelers and historians have joined together for this.  We will make this happen, one way or another!
Rick Rowlands
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Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2018, 02:04:35 PM »
About $5000 more to go, if you haven't donated now is the time.  That's only 500 people giving $10 each. Remember that any money left over will go toward restoration .
Mike Nix
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Kevin Madore

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2018, 02:42:45 PM »
It appears as if the revised goal has now been reached.   A gentleman has just donated $1,000 to put them over the top.   The current total as of Wednesday morning is now just under $66,000.   Congrats to all who participated!

/Kevin

Bill Baskerville

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2018, 04:37:37 PM »
Based on what Jason Sobczynski has posted on the site the purchase papers have been signed and there was an extension granted by the Texas DEQ allowing them until around the first week in February to move the locomotive. 

Any extra funds donated not used to purchase and relocate the locomotive to the Texas Railroad Museum will become seed money for a new campaign to make the locomotive polish the rails again.

The Royal Palm Railway Experience which is operated by the Orlando and Northwestern Railroad in The Royal Palm Railway Experience which is operated by the Orlando and Northwestern Railroad will become the eventual operator of the locomotive on their tourist/entertainment railroad.  They will assist in funding the restoration and subsequent moves of the locomotive to Florida.
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2018, 03:21:46 PM »
Update:
The City of Port Arthur canceled their contract with the scrapper and has re-asserted ownership of locomotive #503. They then voted unanimously to turn it over to a yet-to-be-formed group of local citizens for its care within the city.

In short, the locomotive will not be scrapped - this time. However, it will likely just continue to languish and deteriorate, as so many "park engines" have. It has not been announced if Jason S. intends to hold the money raised temporarily to see if the local group fails, or if he is going to submit his own proposal. GoFundMe does have strict disbursement rules, so it is unlikely that he can forward the raised funds to a group whose goal is not operational restoration.

Article from Trains News Wire: (currently does not require a Trains subscription to view)
http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/03/06-texas-city-decides-to-sell-troubled-ten-wheeler

Article from the Port Arthur News:
http://m.panews.com/2018/03/06/council-meet-tceq-mandates-seek-new-503-funds/
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James Patten

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2018, 05:02:57 PM »
I'm getting a chuckle out of the locals that say "We can't let you take our engine out of town!" when it was scheduled to be destroyed, which would effectively remove it from town.

Benjamin Richards

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2018, 06:26:16 PM »
The sentiment is oddly reminiscent of the collapse of US passenger rail in the 1960's. I remember one particularly cynical individual's take on the matter: We Americans view our train stations like we view our churches (and some other institution I can't quite remember): We rarely make use of them while they're around, but God help the man who tries to take them away from us.

Robert Hale

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Re: PRESERVATION EMERGENCY - 4-6-0 About to be SCRAPPED in TX!
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2018, 11:27:05 AM »
Update:
The City of Port Arthur canceled their contract with the scrapper and has re-asserted ownership of locomotive #503. They then voted unanimously to turn it over to a yet-to-be-formed group of local citizens for its care within the city.

In short, the locomotive will not be scrapped - this time. However, it will likely just continue to languish and deteriorate, as so many "park engines" have. It has not been announced if Jason S. intends to hold the money raised temporarily to see if the local group fails, or if he is going to submit his own proposal. GoFundMe does have strict disbursement rules, so it is unlikely that he can forward the raised funds to a group whose goal is not operational restoration.

Article from Trains News Wire: (currently does not require a Trains subscription to view)
http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/03/06-texas-city-decides-to-sell-troubled-ten-wheeler

Article from the Port Arthur News:
http://m.panews.com/2018/03/06/council-meet-tceq-mandates-seek-new-503-funds/

This sounds like breech of contract to me, since legal purchase papers were signed between the scrapper and Jason with an agreed purchase price of the locomotive then the city does this? I thought the whole reason why this locomotive was to be scrapped was the "environmental" impact due to it being flooded? So how much tax payer money will be used by the city to maintain the environmental issue until this new non-existent citizen group takes control of the site and loco? This seems atypical anymore with these cities and the political nutcases elected to run them. No common sense and no intelligence at the helm.

After re-reading both articles I think that this is a serious issue, because first of all it costs money to do these contracts, and second ownership of the item should have transferred to the company to satisfy the contract. What the contractor does with the item is their business and not the city's. Let's say this was a building instead that needed to be demolished. The physical land still stays the property of the city, but everything in the building is now the property of the demolisher and if they choose to take the building down brick by brick and sell them for a profit, then that is out of the city's hands since they transferred ownership of the item to be "disposed of" off of city land. That includes the contaminated soil.
Also, where were these "concerned" citizens when the city council voted to scrap the engine in the first place? This whole thing smells bad and unfortunately a historic machine is caught in the middle of all of this. Such a shame.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 11:57:18 AM by Robert Hale »