Any news on Long Island #39?

Just wondering what the news was about this engine. I know the owners of it and Strasburg had partnered.

- Joe

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters, METCA,

Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division,

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders,

Raritan River Chapter of the NRHS,

Black River Railroad Historical Trust

 http://raritanriver-rr.com/

http://www.blackriverrailroad.com/

 

 

"You're too young to remember the Raritan River!" -Told to me by a man at a train show.

Original Post

As for the #39, I do know they have about 150K or 160K of the some 1 million needed to get it to run. Frankly, after 30 some-odd years of trying to raise money and the fact that after about 5 years they've only gotten this far, I don't expect it to ever be running. I most certainly hope I'm wrong.

Being I spend my holidays, summers, etc in the Hamptons, I've been to the Riverhead Museum many, many times. I remember a "whole" 39 on display in Riverhead. My personal opinion is if they can't raise the money to get it running, bring it home, put it back together, make it look good and be done with it. I'd like to see a "whole" 39 again, not a truck-less tender in Riverhead, a Boiler in Pennsylvania, etc.

As I've said before, I hope and pray, that before I die, I get to see the 39 and/or 35 thunder through Eastern Long Island out to Greenport or Montauk. Unfortunately, I'm not getting my hopes up. I'll be happy with a complete, cosmetically restored version.

After speaking with people connected with the 39 project, it is pretty much dead in the water. Simply comes down to not enough funds. Maybe some years down the road, and hopefully with some economic upswing, she will eventually have the money to be restored and operate. 

PennsyPride94 posted:

After speaking with people connected with the 39 project, it is pretty much dead in the water. Simply comes down to not enough funds. Maybe some years down the road, and hopefully with some economic upswing, she will eventually have the money to be restored and operate. 

Sorry to hear that.  I guess you can only raise so much selling some boxcars (I did buy one to support the cause, as well as the other cars RMLI offers).

-Dave

I agree. Given they have over 3/4 of a million to go before the SRC will even touch her, they need to do some drastic changes to their public relations area in order to get more outreach and fundraising. I hate to say it, but I think the past few years, with the massive influx of preservation groups restoring their own locomotives, #39 has been lost to the wind. IMO, the LIRR should figure out a way to get #39 to matter more than other locomotives and "sell" the restoration. 

Some significant boiler work on 39 was done in the Strasburg RR shop before funds ran out.  Strasburg installed a new firebox crown sheet that meets today's boiler standards.  By using thicker steel than called for in the original PRR design they could use the same number and location of stay bolts.  The same could not be said for K4s 1361.  That restoration crew had a new crown sheet made but failed to adjust the design for today's higher standards.  As a result the boiler can not be approved to operate at the original's 205 PSI.  The latest issue of The Keystone reported on the status of 1361 including a timeline of events dating back to the first restoration run.   Apparently one option being considered by the museum is fabricating a totally new boiler with private funding provided by a group of deep pocket supporters.  

Ed Rappe           PRRT&HS 421

Gentle Forum Members,

Please, let me answer some of your questions regarding the progress on LIRR G5s Steam Locomotive #39.

I wouldn’t echo the folks PENNSYPRIDE94  spoke to “. . . . . . . . the 39 project, it is pretty much dead in the water,”   Let me say it is nowhere near death, but it is moving at what might be considered a snail’s pace.  Our “arrangement” with the Strasburg Rail Road Company (SRC) is to raise the funds necessary for our share of the restoration within a fifteen (15) year period.  In 2017 the agreement calls for the Railroad Museum of Long Island (RMLI) to provide $1,093,955.00 and the SRC to provide $1,321,086.00 toward the restoration of #39.  That is a total of $2,415,042.00.  Since March 2013 the RMLI has raised $190,602.00 and we continue to fundraise for this worthy cause.  As we enter 2017, the total restoration project is 63% funded, there is $903,354.00 remaining to be raised and SRC will go back to work.

All of the legal documents involving this restoration and partnership may be found on the RMLI website, www.rmli.org by clicking on the “documents” tab.  For your convenience, here are the direct links to the pertinent documentation.

http://www.jameswerner.net/rmli/39_agreement.pdf

http://www.jameswerner.net/rmli/39_lease_exhibit.pdf

http://www.jameswerner.net/rmli/39_scope_of_work.pdf

As for 645’s comments on the re-engineering of #39’s firebox, it was completed prior to 2010 and KEYSTONE ED says it all in his post.

BOBBY OGAGE asks about the Engine 35 restoration.  LIRR G5s Steam Locomotive #35 is the property of the County of Nassau, New York and is in the care of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum    www.obrm.com

Some information on the #35 restoration may be found at these links:

http://www.oysterbayguardian.c...omotive-on-track,243

http://www.obrm.org/_pdfs/OBRM-35-update.pdf

SJC, I understand your frustration waiting for the #39 to turn a wheel.  I too look forward to the day a head of steam propels #39 on a revenue train across the fields of Amish farmers.  As for viewing the two steam locomotives on the LIRR mainline, never say never, but the lack of railroad infrastructure to support steam railroading on Long Island and a very cautious MTA/LIRR administration almost preclude that from ever happening in our lifetime.

The RMLI Board made a decision to restore this engine to operation in 2008.  The project was at a crossroads and it was time to decide if the Museum would “stuff and mount” #39 at Riverhead or “make it run.”  After much soul searching and discussion, the Board realized if we are to “save” this historic artifact for future generations of New Yorkers and people living in PRR territory, we must restore it and we must run it!  History has shown us that cosmetic restoration and outdoor display of steam locomotives is detrimental to the machine, it continues to deteriorate as soon as the paint is dry.  Only when the locomotive is used, maintained, oiled, lubricated, kept hot and operationally ready, will the machine truly survive.  That fact drove us on our mission to utilize the $800,000.00 ISTEA grant from 2005 and to move the boiler to SRC and have them work on it.  Five years later, in 2013 that fact propelled us to partner with the SRC to not only complete the restoration but to run it on their property for a minimum of forty-eight (48) years.  This locomotive will not be a “Hanger Queen,” when completed it will run a minimum of one hundred (100) days a year at the SRC, we all will have many opportunities to ride behind this iron horse, an Altoona bred stead gone home to Pennsylvania!

Of note, the RMLI has had title to #39 for only twenty-four (24) years.  The “Engine 39 Restoration Committee” was formed under the guidance of noted author and LIRR Historian Ron Ziel  in the late 1970’s.  In 1980, thirty-six (36) year ago, Ron’s organization successfully moved the #39 from a Stony Brook, NY museum to Riverhead and efforts to restore #39 began.  The historic 1980 move can be seen here:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwI4J3iR9mY

Thank you DAVE45681 for supporting the #39 restoration by purchasing a “Steam up LIRR 39” Lionel boxcar!  The sale of those boxcars brought $10,000.00 to the restoration fund in 2016!!  Every collectible car sold, every dollar donated and every large personal donation moves the restoration effort forward and closer to our goal!

In 2017 the Committee will be releasing the “Steam Up LIRR 39” boxcar in HO scale.  We heard from many HO modelers that they wanted to buy a car, but they had no use for an O gauge car!!  We listened to them and we are moving forward with that request.

For our O gauge community, a unique Lionel “Blue Boy” boxcar is on the drawing board for 2018.  Please continue to support our efforts going forward.

KOOLJOCK, Jon!!  A “director of development” has not proven to be the answer for the RMLI.  Twice in our Quarter-Century history, Museum Boards have tried and it failed.  Once to the cost of $10,000.00 and once to the tune of $16,000.00!  At the RMLI we have learned the hard way that the members and volunteers are the best directors we could ever have.  Their passion, vision and hard work moves the Museum and the #39 restoration forward.  I’ll address why a “director” who “earns their own keep Plus the fundraising goal for the given year” doesn’t work in industrial preservation in a minute.

I can agree with PENNSYPRIDE94 when he comments: “I think the past few years, with the massive influx of preservation groups restoring their own locomotives, #39 has been lost to the wind.”  Truly, every steam locomotive preservation effort that comes on-line dilutes the pool of available resources.  I think in the future, those who come after us “old folks” will look back and say they (we) were crazy!!  Few engines were ever restored to operation because “we” didn’t carefully prioritize.  We didn’t plan where to run the locomotives so even if the project came to fruition, it failed because there was nowhere or way to sustain it.

The general public tends to donate their hard earned cash to socially relevant causes: cancer research, the Red Cross, camps and services for the disabled, educational entities, food banks and so on.  This is not a negative comment, it is just a fact of life for us in the interest of industrial preservation.  We are trying to preserve something that our society has deemed dirty, costly to run and inefficient . . . . . . . why donate to something that has been replaced by the Acela and bullet trains around the world??  I disagree that  “#39 has been lost to the wind.”   I believe #39 and all of the steam locomotive restoration projects across the United States struggle to gain serious funding, (and they do unless a major Class 1 wants to support them), because the majority of people in our Country are not moved to us.

So who has donated close to $200,000.00 to the RMLI in three years and eight months???  People from the United States, and from across the globe, who do care about historic, industrial/rail preservation.  We are a minority here so we struggle forward at a snail’s pace . . . . . . . . but, we do move forward!

Jon’s suggestion of a “director of development” leads me to think of grant writer’s.  In education and government circles grant writers can be very successful.  In historic preservation, we can be very successful in writing small ticket grants, say between $500.00 up to $20,000.00.  But those grants are usually very specific on what the funds may be used for and there is a timeline connected to the grant, usually between twenty-four (24) to thirty-six (36) months, when the funds must be expended and the final paperwork completed.  The costs of steam locomotive restoration and the associated support services and facilities climb into the millions of dollars and the time to restore an engine can easily take five or more years of shop time!  Serious grants for our type of work just aren’t forthcoming

In the past thirty-six (36) months, we have written ten grant applications to Foundations and Corporations.

  1. Of the ten, five grantors were considered “railroad interest” specific.
  2. Three grantors, (one railroad specific), failed to even acknowledge receipt of our application!
  3. Six grantors sent kind letters of rejection giving varied explanations as to why they could not support a locomotive restoration project.
  4. Two grantors showed very high interest in the Railroad Museum of Long Island and asked us to submit future applications for historic preservation of railroad subjects. (Grantor “A” would not support the #39 project because, “they do not provide money to steam projects due to poor performance from past experience.” Grantor “B” “could not support a project that would ultimately be removed from Long Island.”) We sincerely thanked both of these grantors for their consideration and the RMLI will be working with both Foundations in the future for non-steam projects that will remain on Long Island.
  5. One railroad specific grantor wished us well but admitted they would only support steam projects within their area of operation.

Prior to applying, we first research prospective Foundations. We find that many limit the amount of their grant. Further, they look for a specific timeline of thirty-six months or less for successful conclusion of the funded project. These two “givens” further limit the possibilities for our #39 project as we need much larger sums of grant money and the project cannot be guaranteed to be complete within thirty-six months of granting the funds.

We are not perplexed by this Foundation and Corporate response. It is an ongoing education and we continue to search for grantors that may be interested in supporting a truly American Industrial success story. If you, gentle reader, have any suggestions for corporate funding, please pass them along and we will diligently investigate them: dfisher@rmli.org

So, to recap this long explanation, the “Steam Up LIRR 39” project IS NOT DEAD, it is not resting, it just takes time to raise over one million dollars, and we have eleven (11) years remaining to do it.  If you want to see this G5s run again, send us your money, tell us who you know that would support the restoration of a Pennsy workhorse.  Say good things about the project, make it a priority and tell the world.

Thank you,

Don Fisher, President

Railroad Museum of Long Island

TCA 08-63024

Thank you Don - very much appreciated that (very) thorough reply. You nailed it on the head in regard to diluting the resource pool and the public 'perception' issues when it comes to giving to industrial restoration projects such as steam locomotives.

Perhaps you all have thought about it already - but have you ever considered letting the 'crowd funding' options play out such as KICKSTARTER or GOFUNDME? These are essentially world wide windows that open onto your project which you guys can manage (no hire required) at your own pace, infused with your own passion for the project.

There's still the risk here of getting lost in the crowd of hands being held out as well - but it exposes you to a much wider audience. Just a thought. Have a Merry Christmas.

John

Don

Thanks for the very complete reply. It is a massive project but I would love to see it happen. Bought a boxcar and am surprised their sale raised $10K.

Please keep up the good work. (I've got to join the museum, been meaning to for years.)

Thank you Don for the reply! It is good to hear information from the horse's mouth. 

Will the museum be doing another fundraiser at some point? I missed the boxcar fundraiser and would love to donate. After seeing the #460 all shined up from its cosmetic restoration, I can't wait to see the day the 39 rolls out of the shops. 

Good evening Forum Members,

Thank you for your kind words.  We are awaiting the cost of an HO scale "Steam Up LIRR 39" boxcar at this moment.  Once we have that information we will be promoting the car through Social Media, our website and the several HO scale magazines.  I anticipate we will be taking pre-orders for the HO car in February 2017.

A specific Engine 39 fundraising Lionel "O" Gauge Collectible "Blue Boy" boxcar will be marketed in 2018.  The Museum will be releasing two Lionel Collectibles in 2017, but the funds raised from those cars will go to the Museum, its exhibits, programs and the Historic Lionel Layout from Chesterfield, MI.  Watch for those offerings on this Forum, the TCA HQ Newsletter, Classic Toy Trains and O Gauge Railroading magazines.

Additional fundraising items include Engine #39 Christmas Tree Ornaments, tee shirts, decorated railroad spikes, new, 1980's staybolt caps and sleeves from the locomotive   http://www.jameswerner.net/rml...ybolt_Order_Form.pdf     and a book, written by retired LIRR engineer Mark Smith, available through Amazon    https://www.amazon.com/My-Life...motive/dp/1492869090

JOHN NEWBERGER, we tried the social media fundraising route.  We had a goal of $20,000.00 and we succeeded in attracting only $250.00 within our time period.  We haven't tried it again.  From watching other restoration projects on Kickstarter and Go Fund Me, steam locomotives are a tough sell - for all the same reasons I've mentioned earlier in this thread. 

Again, thank you for your positive thoughts and comments, we continue to move forward!!

Don

 

TCA 08-63024

Contrary to all the jibberish that's posted 39 is " DEAD" in my opinion.  In 1975 the Project 39 needed $50,000 to complete the restoration job for 1976, it didn't happen. Now a few years ago they needed close to three million dollars to complete the project, well that was a few years ago. Now how much will it cost in 2018 dollars,  give it up just keep dreaming. Oh by the way if it ever gets finished there is a multi year lease with Strausburg to run 39 there. I strongly doubt any of us will see 39 run on the LIRR in our lifetime.

firefighter 4 posted:

Contrary to all the jibberish that's posted 39 is " DEAD" in my opinion.  In 1975 the Project 39 needed $50,000 to complete the restoration job for 1976, it didn't happen. Now a few years ago they needed close to three million dollars to complete the project, well that was a few years ago. Now how much will it cost in 2018 dollars,  give it up just keep dreaming. Oh by the way if it ever gets finished there is a multi year lease with Strausburg to run 39 there. I strongly doubt any of us will see 39 run on the LIRR in our lifetime.

I've got to agree. I've long been of the opinion that the poor thing should be brought home, put back together, made to look good and be done with it. While I support the museum's efforts, and I'm not giving up hope of one day seeing double-headed G5s storm over the Shinnecock Canal bridge, I don't think now is the time. 

Started this post 3 years ago. Have to agree that as of now nothing is really coming about.

- Joe

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters, METCA,

Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division,

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders,

Raritan River Chapter of the NRHS,

Black River Railroad Historical Trust

 http://raritanriver-rr.com/

http://www.blackriverrailroad.com/

 

 

"You're too young to remember the Raritan River!" -Told to me by a man at a train show.

Never say never, but until the money is reached 39's boiler will continue to sit out in the east end of the SRC yard. Like I've mentioned before, the engine's biggest problem is its competition IMO. There are multiple other restoration efforts that are on going right now which obviously draws money and time away from the 39. On another point, as much as I understand LIRR fan's wish to see her run on the LIRR, 39 would have an excellent home at the SRC once restored (full time steam shop, extremely competent crew members and staff, well kept up ROW, etc).

Gentle Readers, 

Currently the "Steam Up! LIRR 39" restoration fund rests at $214,408.00 and continues to grow slowly - for all the same reasons we have discussed over the past twenty-two months since this post was started.

The "Steam Up! LIRR 39" Lionel O gauge collectible ($10,000) and Bachmann HO scale collectible ($7,800.00) car projects have both done well.  We anticipate another healthy infusion of cash to the project when Lionel and Bachmann deliver our current "Steam Up!" offerings in November, in time for the 2018 Holiday Season.

I'm not going to re-hash all the challenges of this project, they remain.  We continue to host discussions with professional fund-raisers and grant writers, explore foundations and philanthropic donors and garner the support of rail focused organizations.  In the past eighteen months a Long Island Chapter of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society has become active and they are raising funds for both Engine #39 and Engine #35.  The greater PRRT&HS and their Chapters continue to greatly support this "Pennsy designed" G5s restoration and we appreciate their interest and desire to see #39 back in steam.  To date the PRRT&HS and its Chapters have donated $27,610.00, not a small feat for one organization.  We thank them and their members who have donated as well.

There will always be members of our community that fear a project can not be accomplished.  Thankfully, the greater community forges on with the vision and desire to "git 'er done!" 

Gentle Reader, this is a project that began with "talk" in the 1970's, (Engine 39 was going to be operational for the U.S. Bicentennial!), initial movement of the locomotive that occurred in 1980, and a steady progress of good work getting done on the steam engine ever since.  One million dollars has already been expended on this three million dollar restoration project.  Over a million and a quarter dollars is in the bank and pledged to continue the restoration . . . . . . . we are in the home stretch to raise the remaining funds necessary to complete the restoration.  You are our best cheerleaders, you can help make LIRR 39 steam again - yes, in Pennsylvania - where it will be appreciated and regularly visited by people from all over the world and where it can be well taken care of and survive into our children's and grandchildren's future - support the project with your dollars and talk about it to your friends and the organizations you belong to.  If you have any suggestions for corporate funding, please pass them along and we will diligently investigate them: dfisher@rmli.org  

Thank you for your interest and keeping this thread alive!
Don Fisher, President

Railroad Museum of Long Island

TCA 08-63024

With all the money and legal stuff with mainline steam, maybe a better system would be to have live steam models.  At least you would not have to worry about class ones and Amtrak.  Plus the models can run at a higher frequency than mainline, at lower costs.

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

While I understand the need to put a positive outlook on this situation, money raised looks to be about $10,000.00 a year or so in the past couple years, with over $800,000.00 remaining to raise?  

That's quite a long time in projecting the reaching of the goal for the money, then the factor in of time after that to get her completed.

While a worthy endeavor, I will be pleasantly surprised if this project gets completed in a timeframe that enables the people who have begun this campaign recently to actually see her running under her own power.

"Maybe someday, you'll be an Engineer for the Santa Fe!" - in a note to me sent with a P.R. package from the Santa Fe railroad.

Just going from memory, I believe there were/are two PRR G5 class 4-6-0 locomotives, i.e. #39, and the "other G5" currently at the Strasburg Rail Road. I can't remember the number of the "other" G5 at Strasburg, but one would assume that that locomotives has a far grater chance to be rebuilt and returned to service, especially since it has a rail road to run on.

Hot Water posted:

Just going from memory, I believe there were/are two PRR G5 class 4-6-0 locomotives, i.e. #39, and the "other G5" currently at the Strasburg Rail Road. I can't remember the number of the "other" G5 at Strasburg, but one would assume that that locomotives has a far grater chance to be rebuilt and returned to service, especially since it has a rail road to run on.

I think #39 is the one at Strasburg now, with #35 being the other one.  But, Strasburg is only restoring it contingent on the museum in Long Island raising their half of the money needed for Strasburg to work on it.

"Maybe someday, you'll be an Engineer for the Santa Fe!" - in a note to me sent with a P.R. package from the Santa Fe railroad.

Gentle Forum Members,

There are three surviving G5s Class 4-6-0 locomotives remaining from the one hundred twenty-one original engines built.

The PRR #5741 is cosmetically restored and on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg, PA.  Of interest, #5741 was in service on the Long Island Rail Road in late 1954 early 1955, shortly before the LIRR performed its "End of Steam Ceremony."

LIRR #35 is owned by the County of Nassau, NY and is in the care of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, Oyster Bay, NY.  Currently, #35's drivers, front pilot truck and other parts of its running gear are being worked on by Mr. Scott Lindsey of Steam Operations Corp.  The remainder of the locomotive resides at the OBRM Equipment Yard at Oyster Bay. 

The LIRR #39 is owned by the Railroad Museum of Long Island.  Between May 2005 and December 2010 an $800,000.00 ISTEA Grant was exhausted to restore the tender and the locomotive's firebox, that suffered the same engineering/safety issues as K4s #1361 at the Railroaders' Memorial Museum of Altoona, PA.  In March 2013 the Railroad Museum of Long Island and the Strasburg Rail Road Company partnered to create a plan for restoring the locomotive and operating it at Strasburg for a minimum of forty-eight years.  Each entity has pledged more than $1,000,000.00 to the restoration that is contracted to take three years to complete once the RMLI reaches its financial goal.  It is this goal we work toward.

THE unique position of LIRR #39, unlike the majority of mainline steam restorations and creations now underway, is that this locomotive has an operational plan to run in revenue service on the Strasburg Rail Road once it is restored.  I concur with DOMINIC MAZOCH, "the money and legal stuff with mainline steam" is the hard reality . . . . . . where will "those" locomotives run??  and when,  if ever again??  LIRR G5s #39 is assured a future home, it has facilities for coaling and watering, housing and backshopping, it has a cadre of young, experienced craftspeople to maintain and operate it at the Strasburg Rail Road Company.  The future for LIRR G5s #39 is indeed bright, we are only 27% away from accomplishing a $3,000,000.00 restoration with an "End Plan" that means every dollar donated and spent is going toward a steam locomotive that is assured of operating for the public upwards of one hundred days per year, every year for forty-eight years or more . . . . . . . . that is something for our children and grandchildren to look forward to, even if some of us who support the effort fail to see it completed.  

Again, thank you for your critical thoughts and support,
Don

TCA 08-63024

I have read all of the post about No. 35 & No. 39. I conclude that No. 39 has the better chance of running in my lifetime (I'm 75). What is not so clear is where to send donations.

Don, please post the address of where donations for No. 39 should be sent.

By the way, I've updated my signature to include No. 39. Thus when I post on the OGR Forum, No. 39 will be brought to mind of those who read it.

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

BOBBY OGAGE, Thank you, we appreciate your kind words! 

I'm attaching a pdf of our story/donation flyer to this posting.  Please open it with Adobe and print it out.  You may enclose your donation with the flyer's end-piece and mail to:  RMLI Engine 39,  POB 726, Greenport  NY  11944-0726.  You will receive a letter of thanks and your name will appear on our "Wall of Honor" for the restoration of LIRR #39.

Thank you,
Don

TCA 08-63024

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Don,

The donation form is too hard to use in my opinion, and it may frustrate others from donating. Please post the donation form only so we can copy it from the this forum to make a donation/.

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

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Richard Cuozzo


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