We Need Your Help to Save a 4-6-0 from Being Scrapped Next Month

My friend sent me this:

“Fwd: So the steam engine donated to the city that laid abandoned and neglected by the city for 60 years that the city PAID a contractor 25,000 to scrap in a hurry, that had 65,000 raised in a week to " save" has suddenly been reclaimed by the same stupid city in an emergency closed door counsel meeting“

Just curious but is this true? 

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

smd4 posted:

The one guy said it would cost $45,000 to lay a section of track and move the engine forward enough to remediate the soil under it. Seriously? Where are these numbers coming from?

Not unlike many things these days - they made them up!


A good deal of strategic planning is like a ritual rain dance.

It has no effect on the weather that follows, but those who engage in it think it does. 

Furthermore, much of the advice related to strategic planning is directed at improving the

dancing, not the weather.

 

 

Clarence Siman posted:

I'm calling BS. You get more oil off the road after a rain storm than anyone would from the engine.

So,,,,,,you are comparing the "oil off the road" to the Bunker C heavy stuff that has apparently been leaking out of the locomotive's tender (since the 1950s)?

Someone has a secret agenda here.

 

     The councilman said that at no time did city council decide the disposition of the locomotive and is claiming it to be a council decision.  He also failed to mention any Texas state imposed EPA deadlines.  The video cut off at his question of being open to public hearings.  

Yea, just spend 45k to extend the track, grease it and drag it forward!

Pete S

Normally the proper way for a city to remove something of value, is to put it up for bid with a "must be removed by"  time restriction. Highest bidder gets the train and removes it. If no one bids on it, then action would be taken to have to pay someone to remove it. That action would also go up for bid. Lowest bidder would get the job and charge their bid to remove it. After watching the video of the meeting, it looks like no decision has ever been made. Was the comment about the contractor that received $25,000.00 for removal fact or fiction?  

Dave Z

Clarence Siman posted:

I'm calling BS. You get more oil off the road after a rain storm than anyone would from the engine. Someone has a secret agenda here.

The secret is that you were not informed of the situation.  The oil bunker in the tender has some fuel oil in it and has a slow leak which has saturated the ground under the tender with oil.

Please, get the facts first!

Rick Rowlands

 

Team Member

Bring Back 757 Project

Mad River & NKP Museum

PETE S posted:

     The councilman said that at no time did city council decide the disposition of the locomotive and is claiming it to be a council decision.  He also failed to mention any Texas state imposed EPA deadlines.  The video cut off at his question of being open to public hearings.  

Yea, just spend 45k to extend the track, grease it and drag it forward!

Pete S

No Council did not make the decision because expenditures under $25,000 do not need Council approval.  The bid came in at $24,000.  Who can abate a locomotive and remediate soil and include enough of a profit margin to make it worth your while for $24,000?  Nobody can.  But add in the $35,000 value of the locomotive as scrap and it can be done.  

Now that environmental cleanup contract DOES exist.  Council is acting as if it does not for some reason.  

Rick Rowlands

 

Team Member

Bring Back 757 Project

Mad River & NKP Museum

Rick,

The councilman claims  council jurisdiction over the transaction.  Whether he is correct or not, I have no idea. Has ownership transferred?  Can council void the cleanup contract or is this just political grandstanding?

Pete S

Rick, did this start out as an undisclosed movement within a city department, making the decision on their own without the involvement of the council, to remove it? I could understand the expenditure rule which is normally for repairs, maintenance and upgrades to city property, but the removal of city property would have to go through the council and be voted on. They represent the people and the people of the city own the engine. Was it ever put up for bid to sell, with no bids received, before putting it up for bid to remove?  Done right the sale would help raise the money for soil clean up. Someone needs to suggest an appraisal of the engine, to the council, then proceed from there. At least then if it's put up for bid the high bidder can be approached by the fund raisers and the money donated to them "if" the buyer has plans to restore it and after the restoration actually begins.

Dave Z

Anyone attempting to understand the rules and policies of the City of Port Arthur without first hand experience and insight as to how the internal working of the city government as well as the politics of the city council is likely comparing apples to oranges.   Not to mention residents, media, of Port Arthur are likely reading this and other rail preservation minded forums.  

I prefer to let Jason and company, who know better than anyone what is going on, to do their best.  It sounds like the locomotive is safe at this point, even if it stays in PA because the local community has had a reawakening in their past.  How is that anything but a win?  

If that happens, I personally, will trust Jason to hold the funds for the next "need to move it in 24 hours or else" project (of which there are many!).

Bob

So, how was the town going to deal with this ridiculous clean-up project prior to the big fund-raising campaign?  Methinks we've been duped into paying their bills for them, the engine having been a smoke-screen.

There is a good reason I had never contributed to one of the GoFundMe campaigns before, and I'm pretty sure this episode has convinced me I never will again.

I still hope that the engine survives, but a pox upon this town's authorities.

 

Bonus Thought for the Day: 

How do you know a politician is lying?

His lips are moving.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
palallin posted:

So, how was the town going to deal with this ridiculous clean-up project prior to the big fund-raising campaign? 

????... they were going to pay a contractor $24k.  The source of the pollution disappears,  the dirty dirt and rock disappears with clean dirt and fresh grass seed.   The contractor sells the scrap.  

What isn't there to understand with that transaction?  The mid-level government employee was likely patting themselves on the back for coming up with a out-of-the-box solution that was quick and easy.  

bbunge posted:
palallin posted:

So, how was the town going to deal with this ridiculous clean-up project prior to the big fund-raising campaign? 

????... they were going to pay a contractor $24k.  The source of the pollution disappears,  the dirty dirt and rock disappears with clean dirt and fresh grass seed.   The contractor sells the scrap.  

What isn't there to understand with that transaction?  The mid-level government employee was likely patting themselves on the back for coming up with a out-of-the-box solution that was quick and easy.  

The "Pollution" issue is a farce.

And we have contributed $65,000, if you please.

Bait-and-Switch.  False Advertising.  Shell Game.  Con.

The gov't employee is patting himself on the back for swindling people into paying for their illusory problem, and we have no guarantee the engine will end up saved, anyway.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

There may be ideal expectations on how this should all happen, but contracts and government and such are hard to navigate. It will take time for this to play out. It appears to me, for the moment, that there is a genuine effort behind this endeavor as there is no true evidence of intentional mismanagement - just arm chair grumblers.

OP: The City of Port Arthur, Texas has sold their park display locomotive, Louisiana & Arkansas No. 503 for scrap.  That fact was not learned until it had already been sold, and now a bunch of railfans/modelers/railroaders etc. are getting together and pooling our money to purchase the locomotive and move it to someplace safe.  

According to the OP, "it has been sold". So the city no longer owns it. Or was that just a lie. Everyone has the right to grumble if it was.

Dave Z

alcors110 posted:

I just donated as well. Scrapping a steam locomotive in 2018 should never happen. Where is the respect of history sometimes?

I have always thought that the scrape craze after ww2.Was a big mistake this country has lost a lot of history thanks to scraping!!!I hope she is saved.

david1 posted:

That is why nobody should donate to a go-fund me page. Too many of them are nothing but scams.

Dave

In this case, it was created by a known trustworthy individual with a track record of working on steam locomotives successfully. If the folks at TVRM or Strasburg or Black Hill Central had done this; would you still be making that statement about donating? In the end it all comes down to doing your research on the organization and the people who have set up the campaign. 

hullmat991 posted:
david1 posted:

That is why nobody should donate to a go-fund me page. Too many of them are nothing but scams.

Dave

In this case, it was created by a known trustworthy individual with a track record of working on steam locomotives successfully. If the folks at TVRM or Strasburg or Black Hill Central had done this; would you still be making that statement about donating? In the end it all comes down to doing your research on the organization and the people who have set up the campaign. 

EXACTLY!!!!!      That was just another case of a "toy train guy" posting to a thread subject on the Real Trains Forum, when he knows NOTHING about the subject nor the people involved.

Hot Water posted:
hullmat991 posted:
david1 posted:

That is why nobody should donate to a go-fund me page. Too many of them are nothing but scams.

Dave

In this case, it was created by a known trustworthy individual with a track record of working on steam locomotives successfully. If the folks at TVRM or Strasburg or Black Hill Central had done this; would you still be making that statement about donating? In the end it all comes down to doing your research on the organization and the people who have set up the campaign. 

EXACTLY!!!!!      That was just another case of a "toy train guy" posting to a thread subject on the Real Trains Forum, when he knows NOTHING about the subject nor the people involved.

Nice ad hominem argument there, sir.

However, it doesn't change the facts that the goal posts keep moving, that the engine is far from saved, that there is a great deal of money involved that doesn't seem to have any definite purpose, and that the people involved in organizing this effort are calling for yet more help (I got the email today from them) for what was advertised as a sure-thing, slam-dunk, in-the-pocket project.

Too little information is being made public on all sides.

I *really* want to be proven wrong; I *really* want that engine to be saved.  But it sure doesn't look likely, and nothing I have seen of or from the organizers does anything to allay my misgivings.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
Hot Water posted:
hullmat991 posted:
david1 posted:

That is why nobody should donate to a go-fund me page. Too many of them are nothing but scams.

Dave

In this case, it was created by a known trustworthy individual with a track record of working on steam locomotives successfully. If the folks at TVRM or Strasburg or Black Hill Central had done this; would you still be making that statement about donating? In the end it all comes down to doing your research on the organization and the people who have set up the campaign. 

EXACTLY!!!!!      That was just another case of a "toy train guy" posting to a thread subject on the Real Trains Forum, when he knows NOTHING about the subject nor the people involved.

My post was not on the engine itself but on the way they had to raise money. Using go-fund me pages are tricky and is rife with fraud. 

Besides Hot you know nothing about what I know or don't know. Sometimes it is best to MYOB

Dave

 

 

 

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TommySouthernMike


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