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Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
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   Author  Topic: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643  (Read 906 times)
The_Bessemer_Man
Former Member
Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« on: Jan 18th, 2009, 6:09pm »
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Hello everyone,  
    Just to let you all know the French Creek Valley Railroad historical Society is attempting to save a Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Steam Locmotive # 643. It's a 2-10-4 Texas Type steam locomotive. It weighs 454 tons. The FCVRRHS is a Meadville based group working to preserve the history of the Railroads in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Mainly Crawford County. So far They've talked to the owner, They've also have visited the Locmotive, and are looking for grants and are still negoiating. The 643 is stored in McKees Rock Pennsylvania west of the former P&LE shops. DO NOT go looking for the 643 without permission it's private property and a very dangeous location. The FCVRRHs hopes to have the 643 opearate under COMPRESSED AIR not steam. If any one has any photos of the 643 while in Glenwood or McKees Rocks I'd like to see them posted if you can.
 
The Bessemer Man


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CHESSIEMIKE
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #1 on: Jan 18th, 2009, 6:26pm »
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on Jan 18th, 2009, 6:09pm, The_Bessemer_Man wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello everyone,  
    Just to let you all know the French Creek Valley Railroad historical Society is attempting to save a Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Steam Locmotive # 643. It's a 2-10-4 Texas Type steam locomotive. It weighs 454 tons. The FCVRRHS is a Meadville based group working to preserve the history of the Railroads in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Mainly Crawford County. So far They've talked to the owner, They've also have visited the Locmotive, and are looking for grants and are still negoiating. The 643 is stored in McKees Rock Pennsylvania west of the former P&LE shops. DO NOT go looking for the 643 without permission it's private property and a very dangeous location. The FCVRRHs hopes to have the 643 opearate under COMPRESSED AIR not steam. If any one has any photos of the 643 while in Glenwood or McKees Rocks I'd like to see them posted if you can.
 
The Bessemer Man
Here is a link to some history about this engine:
http://steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1047
 
Good luck with the project!
CHESSIEMIKE


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Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
The_Bessemer_Man
Former Member
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #2 on: Jan 18th, 2009, 6:37pm »
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Yes i've sen that info
 
Thanks


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martinm1218
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Posts: 311
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #3 on: Jan 18th, 2009, 7:25pm »
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on Jan 18th, 2009, 6:09pm, The_Bessemer_Man wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello everyone,  
    Just to let you all know the French Creek Valley Railroad historical Society is attempting to save a Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Steam Locmotive # 643. It's a 2-10-4 Texas Type steam locomotive. It weighs 454 tons. The FCVRRHS is a Meadville based group working to preserve the history of the Railroads in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Mainly Crawford County. So far They've talked to the owner, They've also have visited the Locmotive, and are looking for grants and are still negoiating. The 643 is stored in McKees Rock Pennsylvania west of the former P&LE shops. DO NOT go looking for the 643 without permission it's private property and a very dangeous location. The FCVRRHs hopes to have the 643 opearate under COMPRESSED AIR not steam. If any one has any photos of the 643 while in Glenwood or McKees Rocks I'd like to see them posted if you can.
 
The Bessemer Man

 
I'm showing my dumbness, but what is the difference operating it with compressed air instead of steam? Don't the brakes use compressed air?


« Last Edit: Jan 18th, 2009, 7:28pm by martinm1218 » Logged

N&W 611 and 1218: The Thoroughbreds of steam.

I also enjoy the NKP, Southern, and VGN.
Here is a link to my youtube videos.

http://www.youtube.com/user/m611martin
The_Bessemer_Man
Former Member
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #4 on: Jan 18th, 2009, 7:56pm »
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Compressed air is VERY SLOW 3-4 miles. I believe it avoids the big maintence. The FCVRRHS wants to do demonstrations on a 500 ft piece of track by the former EL main through Meadville

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martinm1218
Historian
Posts: 311
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #5 on: Jan 18th, 2009, 9:24pm »
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Is returning it to full operational condition a goal?

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N&W 611 and 1218: The Thoroughbreds of steam.

I also enjoy the NKP, Southern, and VGN.
Here is a link to my youtube videos.

http://www.youtube.com/user/m611martin
The_Bessemer_Man
Former Member
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #6 on: Feb 4th, 2009, 9:30pm »
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Today, I was contacted via mail by the owner regarding the 643. I'd sent a letter to him regarding it.
 
I'll keep you posted whether it's good or bad news


« Last Edit: Mar 7th, 2009, 11:41pm by The_Bessemer_Man » Logged
The_Bessemer_Man
Former Member
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #7 on: Nov 29th, 2009, 1:18pm »
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Link: http://www.wrmrrm.org/

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BLE909
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Posts: 129
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #8 on: May 3rd, 2010, 3:52am »
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Last I heard all of the above outcomes for the engine are still wishful thinking.  The owner wants more out of it than any of the said organizations currently have the funds to offer.  As it stands, she will continue to sit.  But for God's sake can someone with some money just buy it and move it somewhere more secure?  I really concerned about its current whereabouts.

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Jon Clark
Greenville, Pa
towny72
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #9 on: May 3rd, 2010, 8:57am »
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I keep buying powerball tickets with no luck, but she is in the top 10 for my plans to spend the winnings.

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Ron_Mele
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Posts: 134
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #10 on: May 3rd, 2010, 2:58pm »
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on May 3rd, 2010, 8:57am, towny72 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I keep buying powerball tickets with no luck, but she is in the top 10 for my plans to spend the winnings.

 
Good luck with the power ball! 643 has had an interesting and sad odyssey since the B&LE sold her. I was a member of the Pittsburgh chapter of the NRHS when one of our members, Glen Campbell (not to be confused with the country singer), bought 643. He had high, but unrealistic,  hopes of turning it into an operating unit. Unfortunately, Glen just didn't have enough money to get it into running condition. Plus, none of the Pittsburgh area railroads had any interest in running it on their lines. I think Glen bought 643 in 1982 - 28 years ago. I wish someone could do something with it, even if it were in static display. But, even that would take a bundle of money. It would take an individual or organization with deep pockets to make it happen.  I'm curious to know who owns 643 now and how much compensation they're looking for to sell it.
 
Ron Mele


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towny72
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #11 on: May 3rd, 2010, 9:57pm »
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I am a big BLE fan, and there are a good bit like me in this area, but i think one of the big issues on 643 is outside of the area there is not much of a historical following. You got your thousands of B&O, PRR, NYC, SF, etc people out there and when the numbers of fans goes up so do the chances that one has more money then he knows what to do with.

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drgwsteamer
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Posts: 41
Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #12 on: May 30th, 2010, 12:45am »
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Ron,
 
Glenn still owns 643.  With the assistance of a gentleman by the name of Howard Stern (not the loser on the radio), they hired Gary Bensman to restore the boiler and the running gear back in the mid to late 80's and by the early 90's the engine was basically fully restored.  However, Glenn did a very poor job of keeping the paperwork that documented the work done to the boiler.  So now, with the new FRA boiler regs, all of that work is for naught.  They steamed the boiler once prior to completion of the running gear repairs.  You would think the engine would have been operated under its own power but I do not believe that it has.
 
I worked with Glenn, Bill Goslin and a few others during the summer of 1995 preparing 643 to be steamed in McKees Rocks while she was stored inside the old P&LE car shops building.  We were literally just a couple of work sessions away from lighting her off and this was PRIOR to the crown sheet failure on the Gettysburg RR and the new FRA boiler regs that came soon thereafter.  That summer, Glenn was trying to assemble a team of interested Pittsburgh residents and movers and shakers to try and pry the P&W Subdivsion of CSXT north of Pittsburgh (along Rt. 8 through Valencia and Mars and ultimately Eidenau Jct. outside of New Castle, PA) from CSXT to form a shortline and have a place to run 643.  It didn't develop enough steam, and now we know the ulitimate fate of the line was to become a part the Allegheny Valley Railroad of Russ Peterson.  I would like to think that if the funds could be assembled to get the boiler in compliance with the current boiler regs, the AVR would most likely be willing to let her stretch her legs on either or both the P&W or W&P Subdivisions which both have pretty stout bridges, heavy jointed and welded rail and really good tie conditions.
 
643 is certainly appropriate to the Pittsburgh area and Western PA in general.  While it is true that very few if any places exist where she could be operated with an regularity, I do believe it could be done.  The ex-B&O lines north and south of P-burg were well-built in the first place and are in pretty good shape today and would be a fine home for 643 someday to operate.
 
Rob Gardner


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MrBear
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #13 on: Oct 5th, 2013, 12:39am »
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It's been a few years. Is this still sitting in McKees Rocks?

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CHESSIEMIKE
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #14 on: Oct 27th, 2013, 10:20pm »
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on Oct 5th, 2013, 12:39am, MrBear wrote:       (Click here for original message)
It's been a few years. Is this still sitting in McKees Rocks?
Welcome to The Forums MrBear. The last reports I have still have this locomotive in McKees Rocks, PA, so I would say yes. Bear in mind I have not seen it in person.
CHESSIEMIKE


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towny72
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #15 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 12:33pm »
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There it sits, and there it rusts away. The old girl is slowly making a full circle of life as she is turned back into the elements from which she was made.

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Charlie Ricker
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #16 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 12:50pm »
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Well that's unfortunate.
 
Is this locomotive even worth restoring if a money-tree ever beared fruit?
 
Just curious,
Charlie


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~Charlie Ricker

PRR5503
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #17 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 1:38pm »
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http://www.railpictures.net/photo/316963/  


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towny72
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #18 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 8:25pm »
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on Nov 19th, 2013, 12:50pm, Charlie Ricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well that's unfortunate.
 
Is this locomotive even worth restoring if a money-tree ever beared fruit?
 
Just curious,
Charlie

 
 
Well I guess that is a difficult question, but for the short... Yes.. Its been a little over 20yrs since major work was done to the unit in hopes of running it. It had been under roof up till about a year ago. Much worse locomotives have been brought back to life, sadly locomotives in much better condition are now razor blades.


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towny72
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Re: Bessemer & Lake Erie # 643
 
« Reply #19 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 8:27pm »
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oh and yes, still buying powerball tickets.... With the current local of this old girl I think you know how my luck has been going in that department..

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