Author Topic: MEC 470 in better days  (Read 25039 times)

Stephen Hussar

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2012, 08:57:43 AM »
The project to restore 3713 is a partnership between the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley RHS, and the Steamtown National Historic Site. L&WV RHS is raising the money as best they can. 

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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2012, 09:25:59 AM »
[Mod's note]
Let's not get into a back-and-forth on the 3713. Instead, let's focus some positive efforts to see that the 470 ends up in a good home.
[/Mod]

Does anyone have any contacts in the City of Waterville? It would be helpful to know if any proposals were received before the deadline. Is it possible that they kept this quiet on purpose because someone approached them, and they needed to do "due diligence"?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 10:24:45 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2012, 10:55:12 AM »
I think that research was done by Richard Glueck (see the RYPN forum), with some assistance by Stephen Hussar.  The PDF is dated from 2006, which I believe was around the time of that proposal.

Leverett Fernald (now of the Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth) did the research, as he admitted on RYPN in their latest 470 thread:
http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33737

Stephen Hussar is credited in at least one photo.
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Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2012, 03:55:28 PM »
And what would you describe as a "good home" for the 470, Ed?  Many are the locomotives which we thought WERE in such homes, but time has proven otherwise.

As the WW&F experience proves, you have to have a plan, you have to stick to the plan or make sensible corrections along the way, and you have to convince supporters and donors that the end product will be delivered successfully.  Sounds easy, but many have tried it and failed.

I am all for "saving" the 470, if indeed it CAN be saved, but I remain to be convinced that anything I've seen so far will accomplish that feat.  I well remember the little group from Waterville that came down to the Walker Transportation Collection a few years ago seeking photos and information on the engine. One or two of those folks were serious. The others were of the opinion that a little rust scraping and POR-15, and you'd be close to lighting a fire in it.  Is it any wonder that folks get cynical?

Being closer to the empty part of the hour glass than the full part, some of us don't have the luxury of decades to wait for someone to get things right when it comes to these projects.  So bear with us if we become a bit impatient. 


Ed Lecuyer

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2012, 04:29:03 PM »
A good home... hmm.
One could argue that a good home would be the Jacobson collection out in Ohio. But then again, it would get locked in a roundhouse where no one would see it.

Coles Musuem in Bangor? Or Owl's Head in Rockland? - Stuffed, mounted, and lifeless.

Maine Eastern? Fully Restored and operational - until the NIMBYS complain about the smoke, and it's converted to burn french fry oil; or it gets run into the ground. Not to mention the long, drawn-out restoration.

Beverly Mass? Nah, it would get covered with graffiti :-)

My point, Richard, is that there is no perfect solution. No one set out for the 3713 to take forever. Same with the 501 in Conway, or the Flying Yankee.  Continuing to rehash this serves no purpose.

I sincerely pray that you will see some or all of these operate. In the meanwhile, let's all do what we can to further that goal.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 10:22:17 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2012, 08:20:49 AM »
Of course rehashing it serves a purpose. That being to emphasize that most of these things go belly up if great care is not exercised in the planning and in the doing.

If enough of them fail, NOBODY will be sucked in to supporting yet ONE MORE project that probably will join the list.  Don't you see that?

If all were accomplished successfully, everyone would be lined up to help support the next example. But string a bunch of bungled or failed projects together, and folks are going to shy away from supporting anything else. That's the POINT.

WW&F has a great record.  We know why.  Others. . . not so much. Again, we know why.  It ain't easy. Folks who think it is, ought not get involved in restoring anything, lest they contribute to the problem.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2012, 08:40:36 AM »
Your point is taken.

My point is similar: What can we do together to see that the 470 does not suffer the same fate? We all know too well what not to do. What has worked for a project of this type? And, who is going to organize it?
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Terry Harper

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2012, 08:39:55 AM »
From what we can tell there were no proposals submitted in response to the RFP. Additionally any proposals would have to be taken-up before the city council before action could be taken.

The cities big concern (at the moment) is safety and liability (go figure) Considering the hazards posed by the deteriorating cab and tender this is not surprising. Yes, the best solution would be to fix both. However the city appears to want to shift the burden of restoration, upkeep etc. to others.

Their short term solution at the moment is installation of a fence to prevent people from climbing on the locomotive and other things.

They are well aware the outrage that would result if they simply scrapped it. The ultimate solution would be to move it to secure storage (indoor) than develope a long range plan from there.
Removing it via rail would be a challenge though I do know the folks at Belricca have been accomidating when other non-roller bearing equiped pieces have been moved. The big issue is movement to the active line, disruption to install a switch etc. Leverett thought the journals were not in bad shape though it took him sometime to get the gravel out. He also suggested installing draincocks to drain-off any water in the boxes Dropping the rods would be a significant task but doable with a proper equipment.

The alternative is disasembly. It would be interesting to get a quote from a rigger in this regard though where its going and the route would be vital information.

Leverett wrote his appraisal based on the desire to see it restored to operating condition. There was some talk of "hacking-off" appliances etc. That was not leverett's intent. He was mearly suggesting that some appliances such as the power truck, feedwater heater would not necessarily have to be restored to attain a functioning restoration and thus could just be along for the ride until time and funding allowed.


Dylan Lambert

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2012, 12:00:06 PM »
For the time being, I'm just going to sit back and watch.... Maybe the project I'm working on now might be of some use later on down the road. Still, quite depressing to see how bad the situation regarding 470 has gotten...  :'(

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2012, 12:11:05 PM »
Thanks for the update, Terry. Depressing as it may be, it at least summarizes the situation in a nutshell.

Now . . . I discovered quite by accident last month, that PanAmRailways own Mr. Mellon was a sponsor and volunteer on the search for Amelia Earhart's long missing aircraft out in the Pacific.  His name was listed on the group's (TIGHAR) website. Upon inquiring, I was told that he WAS the same Mr. Mellon. Apparently he hoped to be able to benefit from the Pan Am tie-in should the plane be located. Ms Earhart was one of the founders of the original Pan American World Airways.  In any event, the plane was not located on this latest expedition.

I have no idea how much money Mr. Mellon may have invested in this search effort. BUT, imagine if that money had been invested in preserving the 470. After all, it is part of Mr. Mellon's railroad heritage. If he could be convinced to take on the project, much as he has painted certain of his diesels in "heritage paint schemes", then we might have a chance of seeing the 470 restored properly, perhaps in his own railroad shops!  Far out?  You bet!  Conceivable?  Maybe!  Worth a shot? Absolutely!

Does anyone here have an "in" with the PanAm folks?  If so, could the seed be planted?  At least with the 470, he would have a finished product which could be the pride of the company. That's somewhat better than to look endlessly for a missing airplane in the vast Pacific. 

Comments?

Dylan Lambert

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2012, 02:56:54 PM »
Hate to break it to ya Richard, but TIGHAR thinks they may have found the wreckage from Earhart's plane!
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/08/18/researchers-reportedly-may-have-video-that-shows-amelia-earhart-plane-debris/

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2012, 04:11:22 PM »
No matter. . . the POINT being that Mr. Mellon has the means to do these things. If he's into linking the heritage of Pan Am with his present day rail system, then he might be talked into funding the restoration of one of "his" heritage locomotives.  He could even do what the Norfolk Southern is doing right now with borrowed NKP 2-8-4 #765, use it for a public relations tool. Period-wise, it fits right into the era of Amelia Earhart's flight, when all railroads were primarily powered by steam locomotives. He could have both the Earhart / Pan Am tie-in, and the period motive power of that day and age.  I reiterate, it's an idea well worth looking into.  The worst he can do is say "no", but after making this plane seeking expedition discovery, anything is possible.  Agreed?

Dylan Lambert

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2012, 05:44:16 PM »
Good point Richard. No is the worst thing that could come out trying to use a steam engine for PR... But hey, I'm just the crazy instant-gratification hungry high school senior (Not thrilled about the title... Tends to give people ego problems)  8)

Bill Sample

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2012, 07:15:38 AM »
I believe Richard has an excellent point regarding a rescue of MEC 470.  A Pan Am Railways initiative to take in one of their ancestor's "children" would be noticed by important ally Norfolk Southern.  As Richard stated Mr. Mellon has the means to help sponsor this, his company has the know-how to return the loco to active rails, and Pan Am could have some inside storage space very nearby within the Waterville complex where #470 could reside.
There also are a few classic passenger cars that show in aerial photos of Waterville (a combine and a business car) that would be good company for #470.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: MEC 470 in better days
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2012, 07:58:09 AM »
While I am quite skeptical of any such assistance from Pan Am Railways, noting that its management has always been virulently anti-railfan, I will note that various outliers of the Mellon family have written substantial checks to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum near Washington, Pa., allowing the museum to acquire several pieces of rolling stock at well above market prices, build a huge carbarn and hire a full-time executive director and an educator.