Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

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Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby WSH » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:18 pm

Somehow after spending appx. $15million restoring a steam locomotive (completed) and matching railcars the owner of the Greenbrier is shocked to learn that there are major regulator issues involved in operating a steam train of a section of track heavily used by CSX and Amtrak!

My best guess is they'll eventually get the train going, but just maybe not under steam power. A friend of mine who works for CSX told me a while back that hell would freeze over before CSX would permit a steam locomotive on thier tracks!

For the whole article:
http://www.dailymail.com/Business/201208220250
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Re: Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby Gadfly » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:28 pm

Well, he should have consulted others beforehand. Mr. Rowland must have known about CSX's hostility towards steam power; they didn't begin this venture in a vaccum. Too many people would HAVE to know the issues involved! Why did they move forward with it without addressing these hurdles first? Boldly spending millions assuming they can run the train smacks of simple ignorance of not only regulatory policies, but also of lack of knowledge of the host railroad's policies. Even a high schooler grad like me could do better. What I have is railroad experience. It is sad, and I hope they get it worked out. It could be that the entire concept may need to be changed, given an entirely different name and focus, and route. I hear Norfolk Southern, CSX's arch rival is amenable to steam! ;) If it should get out that they would be willing for it to run on their tracks, it might make CSX relax their policies and let the train run from the Greenbriar. :) :)

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Re: Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby Gadfly » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:31 pm

BTW, from CSX's record on safety (derailments, et al), I don't know if I'd want 'em to run a steam train, either!!!!!!!!

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Re: Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:16 am

Somehow I am not keen on the success of this proposed operation especially with steam power and its high costs. This migh add more to killing this scheme than the refusal of CSX to cooperate with steam operation. I think running a train with period cars behind diesels or even in cooperation with Amtrak's Cardinal would be better than trying to run it with steam.
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Re: Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby WSH » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:44 am

It would be hard to say which CSX dislikes more steam or Ross Rowland! You'd think with the amount of coal CSX hauls they'd be open to it. I know C&O stuck with coal long after other railroads gave up on it, but today is a different story.

From watching Jim Justice's "rise to power" and tenure as head of the Greenbrier you can tell he is a man that heavily believes in the "money talks" way of doing things, and for the most part he's got his way (he somehow paid the National Gaurd to get the golf course up and running for the PGA tournament right after that big storm, way before most of WV had any power restored).

I've always liked the idea of the Greenbrier Luxury Train, but even as much as I love steam, I never thought it was very feasible to have it under steam power. I'm sure the train will one day run but it wouldn't surprise me if it was being pulled by a nicely repained F40 or a Genisis!
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Re: Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby umtrr-author » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:27 am

I think there's a point being missed here, and it veers dangerously toward a generally frowned-upon topic here, but I'll go there anyway.

The key point that was being made over and over again was not CSX or Amtrak, but the amorphous "regulations" that are preventing this train from running. Whether this is true or not, that's what was being emphasized.

In fact, in the piece it's stated (fair use quote with my emphasis added):

Asked if the culprit is CSX or Amtrak or some other entity, Justice said, "It is surely not CSX. They're great to work with. They've been perfect. I think it would be unfair for me to say it's Amtrak. The culprit really falls back on me... I wouldn't have known that (the time and complexity in gaining government approvals) in a million years."


The few comments in the article-- and I swear I should stop reading them-- take the bait. This isn't about CSX, this is about the big bad job-killing gobmint-- at least according to some of those comments.
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Re: Greenbrier Luxury Steam Train Now in Limbo

Postby WSH » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:29 am

UA,

I think you're a little off in your thinking but I see where you're coming from. I don't think this is antigovernment at all. I think basically Mr. Justice is admitting more or less that he figured he could just throw money at the situation and make the train idea happen (that's what he's done with everything else at the Greenbrier) and in this case he's realizing that that money can't get you through the red tape/regulations/etc. involved with running a steam locomotive on a major railroad through multiple states.
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