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Author Topic: Grand Canyon Railway quiting steam  (Read 17495 times)
Yampa Bob


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« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2008, 09:24:44 PM »

I am curious as to why any individual, company or corporation, wanting to earn a living, improve their status, provide jobs for others, would be called "greedy".

I worked hard all my life to achieve success, and now I'm comfortably retired.  Was I being greedy?  I provided for myself, so that others wouldn't have to provide for me.

The problem is there are too many people not willing to work to earn their keep.  For 20 years I tried to hire ranch hands.  Their first question: "How much does it pay".  My response was: "How hard are you willing to work?"

In life you don't get paid to work, you work to get paid.

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Santa Fe buff


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« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2008, 01:09:03 AM »

Ah Bob,
   I've tried to stay out, but when you posted that... Undecided

My mother knows this man, who is currently retrofitting an old house for the city of Kankakee, IL.So he's hiring people who are welcome, he pays them flat out $50.00 each, and puts them to work. He said, "After about 3 or so hours, they wanted to give out after I told them they had to do 5 hours." All my money is earned by chores, birthdays, and helping on jobs. I do use if for a cause, because I've always dreamed of a good college, I've been saving up with a savings acount with First American Bank. So far: $655.55, after only about 5 years. I'm going to need to improve the rate FAST, so I donate all my money to half at times. Smiley

Money well earned, is well spent, and it feels so good and right. Wink

- Joshua Bauer

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« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2008, 04:39:07 PM »

Roger raises a good point and I'm not sure the answers so far are as good as the question.  A couple of possibilities:
Sheer size.  British locomotives are much smaller than American.  In addition, England is much smaller than the US.
When steam departed.  In the US steam was gone long before in the UK.  The men working on them today actually saw a lot running when they were kids. 
Attitude of railroads concerning retired steam.  Did they make it easy to restore them?  Do they want them running on their rails? 
Quite frankly, I'd rather see one running than four rusting.

Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Yampa Bob


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« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2008, 07:53:07 PM »

I can't speak for the rest of the country, but in Colorado there are thousands of volunteers working hard to keep the excursions rolling. There are also a lot of sponsors who help financially. I am proud to be one of those sponsors.

Being more outspoken than most people, when I hear complaints about the current status of excursions, I have to bluntly say "Put your money (or your back) where your mouth is". Most excursions are owned by various Historical or Preservation Societies, and expenses are at all time high.

Forget operating, repair and maintenance costs, and forget the pressures imposed by the EPA.  A major expense for companies operating the excursions is Liability Insurance.  People are "sue crazy" today.

The "Georgetown Loop Railroad" for instance involves 2 separate entities.  The Colorado Historical Society (CHS) owns the tracks and land, but THE Georgetown Loop Railroad, Inc. (GLRR) provided the engines and operated the line until 2004.

GLRR lost the contract in 2004 because they wouldn't agree to the liability requirements imposed by CHS. The loop has been operated by "Railstar,Inc.", for the seasons 2005-2008.  Steamers owned by GLRR are currently displayed at the museum in Golden.

There are also business "politics" involved.  Area businesses rely heavily on the tourist trade, and bitterly opposed C&S's petition in 1939 to discontinue  operation.  But now that the line is back, (at the expense of CHS) these same businesses do not provide adequate support for the line.  There are only two small exit signs on the interstate, and very little publicity by business groups or news networks.

Having served as President of several Chambers of Commerce over the years, I have a grasp of the intense competition for local and tourist dollars. It's not greed, merely survival.

Baldwin #12 ("Pineapple Princess") was acquired by CHS, but it needed assistance of a diesel to negotiate the steep grades.  (see story and pictures at above link) The "Princess" and other steamers are currently being rebuilt.

CHS is making a sincere effort to restore steam to the Georgetown Loop, but it will take more than volunteers.  Refer to the "Sponsor" page at the above link and write out a check.  If you aren't willing to chip in, with either your time or money, then don't complain.  Remember the old saying: "Talk is cheap".

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2008, 09:11:41 PM »

Yes, talk is cheap, but fixing a steamer for todays standards is extremely expensive. 20 + years ago we were scheduled to take a fan trip behind Nickel Plate 2-8-4 #765. The run would have started in Buffalo, gone east through Rochester to Lyons, then swing south through Geneva to Corning. After a 2+Hour layover in Corning, it would head back to Buffalo going a different route over the high bridge at Letchworth State Park. 3 days before the excursion, it was canceled due to liability rates. No trains have run any part of that route since. There were well over a 1000 heart broken and angry at Conrail fans.
Yampa Bob


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« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2008, 09:31:15 PM »

Back in the horse and buggy days, around 1900, people also said:  "I wouldn't have one of those new fangled contraptions".

Well, the horse and buggy are history, and let's face it, so is the "Iron Horse".

If they could build a diesel disguised as a steamer, with sound effects and non-polluting steam from the stack, would that make everyone happy? Cheesy

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Paul W.

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« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2008, 10:12:36 PM »

I do agree that things change, and we move forward. However, take the Amish, they still to this day travel with horse and buggy, and live the same lifestyle as their parents and grandparents.
However, restoring and keeping history alive is important. That's why folks restore clasic cars. It's a part of history that can be driven, heard, and rode in. I've restored several antique tractors, and although I do it because I enjoy the process, to see peoples face when they see it running in a parade, or even plowing a garden is very satisfying.
I also donate money to support several local RR's, and belong to the RR museum of PA.
If this whole issue was indeed about money, I'm sure folks would have stepped up and made donations to keep the steam alive.
The Grand Canyon RR is a scenic excursion, and one of just a handful of places to ride behind a working steam engine. It is a true loss to deny folks the chance to experience a ride in a beautiful area behind a living piece of history. I'm very thankful that I live within driving distance of several steam RR's. I visit them often, and enjoy it each and every time!

Happy Steamin'

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