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MLW 261 - Steamtown Return?
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   Author  Topic: MLW 261 - Steamtown Return?  (Read 465 times)
bigjim4life
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Posts: 349
MLW 261 - Steamtown Return?
 
« on: Oct 29th, 2011, 7:39pm »
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Ok - NO, this isn't an announcement or anything I've read.  It's an open question, and I wanted to get some opinions going/discussion on this - what would the chances be of Steamtown inviting back the Milwaukee Road 261 (once it is finished being restored) as a "visiting" locomotive for a while?  She's been there before, as many of us know, and I think something like that could attract some good publicity for Steamtown.  Thoughts?

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565fan
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Posts: 1029
Re: MLW 261 - Steamtown Return?
 
« Reply #1 on: Nov 1st, 2011, 3:23pm »
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This is not a bad idea.  In concept anything can happen.  One thing to remember is that when 261 came to Steamtown, she cost about $60,000 in 1995.  The Steamtown Grand Opening committee paid this and related costs. There were several railroads involved, Twin Cities and Western, Burlington Northern, Wisconsin Central, CSX, Buffalo & Pitsburgh, Conrail, CPRail and the Delaware-Lackawanna.  It took 6 days to get from Minneapolis to Scranton, if I remember, and there were many delays heading east and heading west.  A small army arrived with her.  They all had basic human needs, like food, shelter and the rest.  Everything had a cost.  
Like every other great idea, someone has to put up the funds to pull it off.  Even if someone offers in-kind services, that still needs to be taken care of before the train comes to town.  Then you have to figure out what to do with her.  In the mid-90s the track was only good to go from Scranton to Tobyhanna.  I'm sure it would be neat for her to go to the Delaware Water Gap, but how many times can this take place?  How many cars would she need to haul to make back the costs?  Where would the extra cars come from?  
These are questions that every locomotive owner/group has to look at.  Sure, Steamtown can provide some of the needs for a big steamer. But if a loco owner wants to "make" money, they need to make it sellable, and competitive.  If a 261 trip costs $150 to go to DEWA, and a Steamtown trip costs $54, which one would the average train rider want?
Just some food for thought.
 
 


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montclaire
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Re: MLW 261 - Steamtown Return?
 
« Reply #2 on: Jun 27th, 2012, 12:33pm »
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Might not be a bad idea should the clock run out on 3254 before a replacement is available.  What does it cost to run a big steamer per day?  I've said a number of times that bringing in visiting steam is a good idea if it is cost effective.  If they can rent a steamer for the same expense as run their own, having a year to "catch up" on another in-house loco might be worth doing.  Making additional money for the owner would be difficult, as I don't believe that Steamtown has an open invitation to run the main, and I'm sure that ticket prices under the NPS may have a cap.  
 
Most likely to happen would be 26 coming on-line, and 3254 retire out with most all excursions handed over to the diesels until 3713 is eventually finished.  Look at this year's schedule - steam to Moscow.  And that's it.


« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2012, 12:37pm by montclaire » Logged
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