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#60
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EastonRailGuy
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #560 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 11:33am »
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Wow- nothing like a steam locomotive to raise the blood pressure of railfans!
 
Let’s not forget that it takes a lot to run a perfectly operable and beautifully maintained steam locomotive. A railroad needs a functioning water tower or water plug, a ramp to coal the tender (and obviously a contract with a coal company), a functioning back-hoe to do the coaling, and an ash pit and area to blow down the boiler.  
 
Additionally, regular maintenance will require an inspection pit to adjust shoes and wedges, grease axles (and replace that bad spring pack she's rumored to have). Also, a sufficient supply of compressed air will be needed to blow out tubes come boiler wash time, and possibly draft the fire during fire-up. Oh, and if minor repairs (such as that pesky spring pack) are to be completed, the locomotive will need to be jacked to take weight off the drivers (are those jacks available?). Let's not forget that a good supply of high pressure water/firehose is essential for a boiler wash, and to refill the boiler afterward. And it wouldn't hurt to have a small kiln to make your own firebricks, which will need regular replacement. Nothing easy about running steam in a non-steam world!
 
And, let's assume for a moment that all of these things are in place and functional- it takes manpower too! You know, people with some skills who are willing to work in the dark pit under a locomotive in a stuffy, humid, and hot engine house over the summer- lifting and working with very heavy tools in awkward places, and climbing in and out of tight and confined spaces that aren't forgiving when you wack your head or elbow into them. Its impossible to do this job without getting covered in soot, cinders, and a healthy amount of grease- meaning no matter how well you clean up, its gonna get in your car and make a mess. And all of this for how much pay?
 
I do not know anyone at the BRWRR, nor do I have any affiliation with any steam railroad, but I do have the utmost respect for anyone who attempts to keep these machines running! Let's give the railroad credit for getting this far, and wish them the best with the challenges that lie ahead, be they mechanical or manpower related, and most of all, let’s be patient. There are a lot of little details that need to be taken care of and none of us are in any position to judge.


« Last Edit: Jul 29th, 2009, 11:34am by EastonRailGuy » Logged
Cumbres and Toltec fan
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #561 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 2:13pm »
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on Jul 26th, 2009, 11:27pm, CR9847 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
And being honest, that bit about "uninspired railroading" is just too much.

I had no idea such an innocuous comment would cause such an uproar.  Hey, sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, and I could have said a heck of a lot worse about the railroad given the condition of the place.  In no way was the remark intended to malign the dedicated & knowledgeable volunteers working on bringing 60 back to service, or the necessity of a professionally run freight operation.  I was simply echoing the palpable frustration of a signficiant number of steam enthusiasts who have been patiently waiting 60's return for nearly a decade.  The criticsm is not intended for the volunteers, but for the overall operations and what seems to be a lack of clarity regarding tourist passenger trains.  A second-rate diesel pulling coaches that look like something from a junk yard past a plethora of car dealerships is hardly something that generates enthusiasm.  Everyone is allowed an opinion on the subject, even if it is upsetting.


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PRR4811
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #562 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 9:35pm »
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on Jul 28th, 2009, 10:26pm, Super_foamer wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I saw 60 this past Saturaday.  It has been quite awhile since I saw the old girl and spoke with people actually working on it.  If I had to place bets, with as little left to do on 60 I say that politics are playing a huge role in her not being steamed up.  There are still a couple little odds and ends to button up before an FRA hydro and steam up but honestly they shouldn't take long, and it seems more like her steam up is being stalled.  
 
Oh and to BRWRuckus,  I hear there is now a sign up sheet for recording hours worked on 60 towards a spot as a student fireman.   Is this move retroactive, say for those who helped out before this sign in sheet was introduced, or is it simply for what has been recorded?  
 
Oh well I need to dry off, still wet from a boiler wash.

 
Having received e-mail notices from the RR explaining the sign-in sheets and not reading said notices leaves one to make guesses as to the true meaning of making sure employees follow necessary rules for their own safety and wellbeing. It can therefore be assumed the comment provider has not totally read and understood the rules by which he operates trains. This does not make for a safe situation as guessing gets one into harms way quite rapidly.


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PRR4811
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #563 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 9:41pm »
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BRW 60 and her tender have been remated. She awaits a final test.

« Last Edit: Jul 29th, 2009, 9:41pm by PRR4811 » Logged
CR9847
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #564 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 10:57pm »
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on Jul 29th, 2009, 2:13pm, Cumbres and Toltec fan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I was simply echoing the palpable frustration of a signficiant number of steam enthusiasts who have been patiently waiting 60's return for nearly a decade.  The criticsm is not intended for the volunteers, but for the overall operations and what seems to be a lack of clarity regarding tourist passenger trains.  A second-rate diesel pulling coaches that look like something from a junk yard past a plethora of car dealerships is hardly something that generates enthusiasm.  Everyone is allowed an opinion on the subject, even if it is upsetting.

 
You're right...everyone is allowed an opinion. But knowing the facts beforehand often is a good thing.
 
These steam enthusiasts, and I presume you include yourself in that group, have they:
- Volunteered to crew trains?  
- Volunteered to assist with restoration projects?
- Done any work with 60 in terms of helping bring her back to life?
 
I presume the answers are no, no, and...no.
 
When the engine does run again, are you going to buy a ticket to contribute in your own small way? Or are you just going to take pictures of her and complain that the builders plates aren't clean enough?
 
Anyone you see working a train at BR&W is doing so voluntarily for the love of the job and out of sheer dedication to the railroad and keeping it running. Black River has been through some very challenging times over the past 25 years or so and has come through with the help of these dedicated volunteers.  
 
You probably don't know (or even care) but back in the late 80s things were so bad, after Tenneco closed there was talk of scrapping 60. It never happened thankfully, and a few people put their personal money up not only to keep the engine and restore it but to keep the railroad itself going. So perhaps you might understand that people who put in a lot of time there to keep things rolling get tweaked when camera toting railfans who don't know or appreciate the situation mouth off.
 
Folks, politics has NOTHING to do with that engine not running in spite of what some may say. The railroad has far better things to do with hundreds of thousands of dollars than to rebuild a seventy year old locomotive just to not run it. There is no logical or conceivable reason to "stall" in steaming up the old girl.  
 
In spite of what you say, you do malign the efforts of the volunteers when you spew your venom. You seem to have all the answers, so come on down and volunteer. There are plenty of restoration projects to tackle, and there will always be roster spots to fill. When can we expect to see you?
 
 


« Last Edit: Jul 30th, 2009, 7:01am by CR9847 » Logged
Super_foamer
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #565 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 11:00pm »
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on Jul 29th, 2009, 9:35pm, PRR4811 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Having received e-mail notices from the RR explaining the sign-in sheets and not reading said notices leaves one to make guesses as to the true meaning of making sure employees follow necessary rules for their own safety and wellbeing. It can therefore be assumed the comment provider has not totally read and understood the rules by which he operates trains. This does not make for a safe situation as guessing gets one into harms way quite rapidly.

 
 
I also have received notices via email and I skim them since I do not operate trains at BRW and I get a very large amount of emails per day.  I do read every bulletin at the railroad I do operate trains at, which btw is kind enough to have copies of all bulletins on hand where we sign in rather than forcing us to print them out.   I read the purposes of sign in sheets, however it was the first time I heard that the sign in sheets for working on 60 were to be used to give those who helped on it a boost towards working on it in operation.  
 
Also to clarify, I am not looking to find out what I am "owed"  or anything of the sort.  I was just wondering if in general if this was the case if they were only going by the sign in sheets or what was done before.  I have personal feelings as to who I believe should get to operate 60 based on volunteer time and I certainly am not one of them.
 
Finnally I wish 'em luck with solving the few remaining quirks.


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Man with no Name
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #566 on: Jul 30th, 2009, 1:40pm »
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on Jul 29th, 2009, 10:57pm, CR9847 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
You're right...everyone is allowed an opinion. But knowing the facts beforehand often is a good thing.
 
These steam enthusiasts, and I presume you include yourself in that group, have they:
- Volunteered to crew trains?  
- Volunteered to assist with restoration projects?
- Done any work with 60 in terms of helping bring her back to life?
 
I presume the answers are no, no, and...no.
 
When the engine does run again, are you going to buy a ticket to contribute in your own small way? Or are you just going to take pictures of her and complain that the builders plates aren't clean enough?
 
Anyone you see working a train at BR&W is doing so voluntarily for the love of the job and out of sheer dedication to the railroad and keeping it running. Black River has been through some very challenging times over the past 25 years or so and has come through with the help of these dedicated volunteers.  
 
You probably don't know (or even care) but back in the late 80s things were so bad, after Tenneco closed there was talk of scrapping 60. It never happened thankfully, and a few people put their personal money up not only to keep the engine and restore it but to keep the railroad itself going. So perhaps you might understand that people who put in a lot of time there to keep things rolling get tweaked when camera toting railfans who don't know or appreciate the situation mouth off.
 
Folks, politics has NOTHING to do with that engine not running in spite of what some may say. The railroad has far better things to do with hundreds of thousands of dollars than to rebuild a seventy year old locomotive just to not run it. There is no logical or conceivable reason to "stall" in steaming up the old girl.  
 
In spite of what you say, you do malign the efforts of the volunteers when you spew your venom. You seem to have all the answers, so come on down and volunteer. There are plenty of restoration projects to tackle, and there will always be roster spots to fill. When can we expect to see you?
 
 

 
 
Very well put.
 
I was originally under the impression that the BRW operated the tourist trains so I was one of those frustrated railfans (although when I visit a railroad I always buy at least one ticket   ) but I thank de-rail for informing me that the line is operated by volunteers.  
 
Now I can understand the enormous amount of effort people have taken to restore the road. There is still much work to be done, but it will be finished in good time.


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de-rail
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #567 on: Jul 30th, 2009, 8:55pm »
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on Jul 29th, 2009, 9:41pm, PRR4811 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
BRW 60 and her tender have been remated. She awaits a final test.

And to think I had thought of a big speech on why one should join the trust regardless of when 60 returns to service, oh well, guess I will have to wait 15 years for that one.


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PRR4811
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #568 on: Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:35pm »
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Management clearly knows who volunteered on the lengthy restoration effort and the manhours dedicated to 60.  The sign-in sheets are not for that purpose.  They facilitate Blue Flag criteria compliance only.

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PRR4811
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #569 on: Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:40pm »
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on Jul 30th, 2009, 8:55pm, de-rail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

And to think I had thought of a big speech on why one should join the trust regardless of when 60 returns to service, oh well, guess I will have to wait 15 years for that one.

Why wait?  This forum is the perfect venue for such verbosity. Besides, joining the Trust enables you to get your hands dirty in a unique sort of way - coal dust mixed with oil, mixed with cinders...


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Cumbres and Toltec fan
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #570 on: Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:47pm »
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In retrospect, I think I have been too critical regarding certain aspects of the overall operation.  As previously stated, in no way was my post(s) meant to malign the dedicated & hardworking volunteers.  I was just voicing the collective frustration of seeing a terrific steam locomotive (#60) sidelined for nearly a decade.  Again, I never meant to offend the volunteers who, if it weren't for them, 60 wouldn't even be close to returning for service.  It has to do with the "hurry up and wait" aspect of railroading (something I'm familiar with firsthand, BTW).  It just seems to be in extra slow-motion at the BR&W.  There are those who comment with the usual "it takes a long time to restore a steam locomotive" and so on; granted, that's true.  However, if 60 were across the river at another notable tourist railroad, it would be up and running tomorrow.  So, to use a variation on a political catch-phrase - yes, it can be done!

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PRR4811
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #571 on: Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:50pm »
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on Jul 30th, 2009, 1:40pm, Man with no Name wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Very well put.
 
I was originally under the impression that the BRW operated the tourist trains so I was one of those frustrated railfans (although when I visit a railroad I always buy at least one ticket   ) but I thank de-rail for informing me that the line is operated by volunteers.  
 
Now I can understand the enormous amount of effort people have taken to restore the road. There is still much work to be done, but it will be finished in good time.

 
One thing that many folks do not fully realize is that although we may be volunteers and run a passenger and freight railroad system (freight crews are also the same volunteers who run the passenger trains) is that many of us are also camera toting railfans as well.  We comply with FRA criteria in training and qualifications and quite a few BRW alumni have become Conductors, Engineers, Dispatchers and Train Masters with CSX, NS, etc. and their volunteering enabled them to get the training and qualifications before moving into those paid positions. It's almost a perfect mix.


« Last Edit: Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:53pm by PRR4811 » Logged
CR9847
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #572 on: Aug 4th, 2009, 8:23am »
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on Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:47pm, Cumbres and Toltec fan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
It just seems to be in extra slow-motion at the BR&W.  There are those who comment with the usual "it takes a long time to restore a steam locomotive" and so on; granted, that's true.  However, if 60 were across the river at another notable tourist railroad, it would be up and running tomorrow.  So, to use a variation on a political catch-phrase - yes, it can be done!

 
Yes, it can be done and it will be done!
 
However, you complain about it being in "extra slow motion" but I would challenge that perhaps if you had come out and volunteered to help restore it, maybe the slow-motion may have not been so "extra." In so far as help with 60, the more the merrier.  
 
Yes, if it was at Strasburg, it probably could be up and running tomorrow, but it's not going to happen so its silly to even banter about it.  
 
All 60 is waiting for now is a hot hydro. Now it's up to the Feds as to when they come out and certify the test results.  


« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2009, 9:26pm by CR9847 » Logged
NHI_FIREMAN
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #573 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 1:10am »
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on Aug 2nd, 2009, 9:47pm, Cumbres and Toltec fan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
In retrospect, I think I have been too critical regarding certain aspects of the overall operation.  As previously stated, in no way was my post(s) meant to malign the dedicated & hardworking volunteers.  I was just voicing the collective frustration of seeing a terrific steam locomotive (#60) sidelined for nearly a decade.  Again, I never meant to offend the volunteers who, if it weren't for them, 60 wouldn't even be close to returning for service.  It has to do with the "hurry up and wait" aspect of railroading (something I'm familiar with firsthand, BTW).  It just seems to be in extra slow-motion at the BR&W.  There are those who comment with the usual "it takes a long time to restore a steam locomotive" and so on; granted, that's true.  However, if 60 were across the river at another notable tourist railroad, it would be up and running tomorrow.  So, to use a variation on a political catch-phrase - yes, it can be done!

C&T, don't waste your energy.  Any sensable person can clearly come to the realization the RR doesn't care about 60.  There's no convincing with the blind being led by the blind.  
 
Also, (since you and I actually have been a part of the "restoration") don't let the experts enlighten you with all their information and experiences of "hard work".
 
Like you have stated earlier, it's not the volunteers.  It's the people behind the desk.  In fact, I respect the hell out of the volunteers for putting up with all the nonsense, hats off to them!


« Last Edit: Aug 5th, 2009, 3:41pm by NHI_FIREMAN » Logged

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Re: #60
 
« Reply #574 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 11:15pm »
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Yes folks, NHI Fireman is right.
 
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on 60 and the railroad doesn't care. Makes sense! Now I see the light. A great big THANK YOU to NHI Fireman!
 
Its pretty incredible that people who work for other railroads seem to know so clearly what is going on at BR&W.
 


« Last Edit: Aug 6th, 2009, 7:31am by CR9847 » Logged
BRWRuckus
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #575 on: Aug 6th, 2009, 7:49am »
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Ah now I understand. It's all coming clear. The railroad continues to spend untold amounts of cash on the locomotive....but doesn't care.  
 
I hate to break this to you folks, but the "people behind the desks" (I guess that includes me?) that you rumor to be holding up this project are the same people writing the checks. The railroad does not have extra cash to burn, and as such, would not be spending a single dollar on 60 if the project was not important.
 
There is a major difference between a project being important and being on the list of top priorities. As far as keeping a railroad operating is concerned, steam is pretty low on the list. Might I remind you that we're (unfortunately) going on year 9 of an all-diesel operation and, most shockingly, the trains still roll and passenger counts continue their slow but steady upward trend.  
 
But I'm sure I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm not associated with Strasburg or NH&I.  
 
Both are fine operations. Every one of these businesses, from BR&W, to NH&I, Strasburg, and any other railroad running tourist trains is in a unique situation - and nobody has it easy these days. Every one of us has to deal with a unique set of circumstances and obstacles just to keep the business afloat, much less improve and expand our products. When I have the rare opportunity to visit, I try and enjoy each place for what it is, and what its volunteers (and employees) have made it...instead of immediately finding as many problems as possible and focusing on them.
 
Sigh. I don't know why I even bother with this board at this point. I propose an alternate name: RailGripe.net.  
 
If anyone is interested in actual BR&W news, rather than ongoing negative commentary, feel free to have a look at the BRRHT Facebook page. (There's a link and news feed from the page at www.brrht.org)


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NHI_FIREMAN
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #576 on: Aug 6th, 2009, 12:37pm »
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No one ever tried to compare RR's, so there's no reason to get deffensive.  No one ever said they loved Strasburg.  NH&I has its faults just like BRW, Strasburg, or any other place.  Name any flaws you can think of and I'll probobly agree with you.  
 
Getting back to BRW......only a fool talks to a fool.  


« Last Edit: Aug 6th, 2009, 12:58pm by NHI_FIREMAN » Logged

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Re: #60
 
« Reply #577 on: Aug 12th, 2009, 10:10pm »
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on Aug 6th, 2009, 7:49am, BRWRuckus wrote:       (Click here for original message)
If anyone is interested in actual BR&W news, rather than ongoing negative commentary, feel free to have a look at the BRRHT Facebook page. (There's a link and news feed from the page at www.brrht.org)

 
I would echo BRWRuckus's comment with respect to the Facebook page.
 
If there is anyone on here TRULY interested in the progress of 60, go to the Facebook page.
 
It seems that the individuals who are most vocal in this thread are all from NH&I. These folks contribute little or no time to the Black River & Western, and thus are not in ANY position to offer ANY kind of credible information on 60 or the BR&W itself.  
 
It would be like me going to the NH&I boards and running my mouth over there. I don't have anything to do with that railroad, so I offer no commentary on it. Maybe its stating the obvious, but I have better things to do with my time than to go and gripe about a railroad that I don't contribute anything to or with which I have no involvement.
 
If you want the truth about Black River, you've come to the wrong boards.


« Last Edit: Aug 13th, 2009, 7:49am by CR9847 » Logged
PRR4811
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Re: #60
 
« Reply #578 on: Aug 12th, 2009, 11:01pm »
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The feeling that things are not being done right is just an opinion.  Once one gets their hands dirty while doing the work and then formulates that opinion uniquely from a distance, perhaps that distance should be maintained?  Why?  Well, didn't that opinion, in part, result from the work that the writer performed?  Oh, I forgot, maybe the writer had not bothered one iota to get his hands dirty in the first place except to leave fingerprints on his keyboard.

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Re: #60
 
« Reply #579 on: Aug 13th, 2009, 10:20am »
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on Aug 12th, 2009, 10:10pm, CR9847 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I would echo BRWRuckus's comment with respect to the Facebook page.
 
If there is anyone on here TRULY interested in the progress of 60, go to the Facebook page.
 
It seems that the individuals who are most vocal in this thread are all from NH&I. These folks contribute little or no time to the Black River & Western, and thus are not in ANY position to offer ANY kind of credible information on 60 or the BR&W itself.  
 
It would be like me going to the NH&I boards and running my mouth over there. I don't have anything to do with that railroad, so I offer no commentary on it. Maybe its stating the obvious, but I have better things to do with my time than to go and gripe about a railroad that I don't contribute anything to or with which I have no involvement.
 
If you want the truth about Black River, you've come to the wrong boards.

the facts are that BR&W is not what it once was,if you want the truth about BR&W just stop by and take a look around and judge for yourself.makes new hope look like the 4 seasons.LOL


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