Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby GP40MC1118 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:34 am

Announced this past weekend in their newsletter and Facebook page, closing September 4th.

Hopefully the NH RDC & boxcar can find a good home...

Dave
GP40MC1118
 
Posts: 3313
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:06 pm

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby Cosmo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:57 am

:(
"It belongs in a MUSEUM!"
-Indiana Jones
User avatar
Cosmo
 
Posts: 2319
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:55 pm
Location: New London, CT

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby Mikejf » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:33 pm

How very unfortunate. When the volunteer base dwindles to just a handfull, it is hard to keep things going. Too bad they cpuld not have cut back to every other weekend or something. Once this is gone, it will be extremely hard to get back.
Mikejf
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:46 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby FLRailFan1 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:20 pm

GP40MC1118 wrote:Announced this past weekend in their newsletter and Facebook page, closing September 4th.

Hopefully the NH RDC & boxcar can find a good home...

Dave


I wonder if Connecticut Eastern would like an NH boxcar and RDC...(of course, CERRM doesn't have mileage...it would be fun to see a 7 mile trip on the Airline...or the Midland).
FLRailFan1
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:39 am

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:11 pm

Is any of their equipment operable? Cape Cod Central or Newport & Narragansett Bay would certainly take anything that's roadworthy. Especially the Budd (even as unpowered trailer).
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7230
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby GP40MC1118 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:19 pm

The RDC has floor issues from what I hear. As for the caboose, boxcar...Mass Coastal probably
would move them once the switch is restored, but to where?

Some of us would like the RDC and boxcar at least go to the Freetown Historical Society in Assonet.
They have a long siding with plenty of room.

D
GP40MC1118
 
Posts: 3313
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:06 pm

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:22 pm

This is the first time I have ever heard of this railroad museum... Here's a link to their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/oldcolonyandFRrailroadMuseum/

A lot of frustration being posted by whoever runs the facebook page, but its clear their marketing tactics are not working if they see continual decrease in attendance. Then again, it appears they don't operate a train ride, so I don't know how attractive a static display of old train cars can be. Without a train ride, you will always struggle to gain visitors.

-otto-
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At
User avatar
Otto Vondrak
 
Posts: 20146
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:01 pm

Sad news, especially I'm sure for the volunteers who kept the place going. Unfortunately the museum seems to have been too low-profile to attract sustainable crowds, in spite of being located across the street from the well-established Battleship Cove marine museum. Their small equipment collection (with no train ride, as Otto notes) just wasn't attracting non-railfans with no special interest in local railroad history. I don't know how aggressive their marketing was, but they had a lot of competition for tourist dollars in a seacoast region with lots for vacationers to do, and being open only six hours a week didn't help either.
TomNelligan
 
Posts: 3186
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby GP40MC1118 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:21 pm

The OC&FR RR Museum has been struggling for many years and frankly surprised it lasted
this long. It probably did due the sheer determination of its founder and president. As
previously noted:
-No train rides. Just static displays. They were never going to get any chance of offering
rides when Conrail and CSX were there. And the most scenic part of the line was south
of the city towards Tiverton and that was long out of service and impassable.

-Competition from Battleship Cove and to a lesser extent - Heritage Park and to an even
lesser extent the just as struggling Maritime Museum around the corner.
Recent highway construction (RT 79) there over two years made travel difficult.
The location, under the Braga Bridge, next to an active, small yard and the state pier
wasn't ideal.

-There never seemed to be enough volunteers. A lot of the volunteers were old folks and
some have died off. No one to replace them. Don't know what the membership count was.
They never seemed to attract much in the way railfans either. I know someone who offered
to do a slide show last year, but they never followed up on it.

Dave
GP40MC1118
 
Posts: 3313
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:06 pm

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:14 am

I hate to say this but I think there might be more museum or historic places that will not last. Unfortunately there are way more folks interested in model and toy trains than are interested in the real thing. In this case under a bridge in Fall River with no place to operate is probably the root of their problem. It costs money to operate or to even maintain a static display and the less you can offer the less income get. I am not going to venture a guess on here but I think there will be more news of this nature down the road. IF half of the modelers would contribute some time, tallent and/or dollars to one of the very worthy full scale operations things would be a lot different but it seems that they are more interested in being home and tinkering or operating models than they are in the real thing. It has been mentioned previously that it is a shame that more equipment from New England has not been preserved but it takes time, talent and money for this to happen and again there are just not enough folks interested in the real thing. Another minus is that a lot of the supporters of these museums are well past their prime of life and as they depart the operations that they contribute to get one more problem that will not go away. I could say a lot more on this but I don't really want to stir things up right now.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9377
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:44 pm

Yes, unfortunately the older generation of people running these museums and tourist railroads has been waning for a while. All of the years I went to Cape Cod as a kid, I never stopped at the museum. it seems like it is in a poor location.
njt/mnrrbuff
 
Posts: 2835
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby Cosmo » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:09 pm

NJT: Yeah, I stopped there once but they were closed then. :(
Noel: I think you are sadly correct that we are and will continue to see museums close, for a number of reasons including those you mentioned. However, there ARE more than a few success stories that help make up for it. There are also those with private collections of their own that keep the past alive in their own way.
Despite the tough economic times, the successful operations I have seen/kept track of are quite robust.
"It belongs in a MUSEUM!"
-Indiana Jones
User avatar
Cosmo
 
Posts: 2319
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:55 pm
Location: New London, CT

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:38 pm

Look at the tourist trains that have closed and it is probably for the same reasons as the museums. The people running the operations are elderly and probably don't have the ability to keep up with the current changes in technology. Some have felt that the time has come to retire, especially those who were working on the railroad all of their lives. Sadly, some of them went to heaven.

Remember, Newport isn't that far and there is always the Newport and Naragansett RR.
njt/mnrrbuff
 
Posts: 2835
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:36 am

Newport's in much better hands now because they were bought by Seaview Transportation, the terminal switcher at Davisville/Quonset Point across the bay, last year when the original mom-n'-pop owners retired. And Cape Cod Central is owned by Iowa Pacific with operations combined with their freight arm, Mass Coastal. It is a tough environment for the largely volunteer outfits, but thankfully the excursion carriers in much of New England (Newport, CCCR, Conway Scenic, Valley RR) are largely profitable of their own accord or backed by growing freight money to ensure their long-term future.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7230
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum Closing

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:45 pm

I agree with most on here. I think you can look pretty close and find some very successful operations: three good trolley museums in Connecticut and Maine, the Valley Railroad in Essex, the Conway Scenic, Rail Museum of New England, the operation in Hyannis and probably a few more. Some organizations are in over their heads but I will not say here which ones I think are because I do not want to stir up an argument. The problems are not confined to New England either, New York State has two great organizations that are getting less than adequate cooperation from the state, Catskill and Adirondack, I wish them both well. Freight business or other outside income will help some of them, being in a populated area or a good tourist area will help others, young volunteers can be a big boost and should by all means be encouraged. I remember at Branford a couple of "juniors" who became big boosters in later years. Encourage the younger railfans to get involved, don't turn them away or discourage them just because they are young, have some odd ball ideas or are over eager, encourage them, help them and give them an opportunity to be a part of the program. I think the trolley museums are a great place to get started. You don't need steam engines either to have a good and interesting operation. Just ask RMNE which is 100 per cent diesel, Conway Scenic which is mostly diesel or Adirondack Scenic which is also diesel operated. Valley Railroad which is mostly steam has good leadership and is a 100 per cent good operation, I haven't been there in a long time but from what I read they have a good future. I know of an organization that is in New England that has no election of their leadership, run by the same click for a long time, in a rut, their train shows have gone steadily downhill and it mostly run by a bunch of old timers who will fade away and after they do the organization is in serious trouble. Enough for now.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9377
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Next

Return to New England Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests