Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

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Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:15 am

this thread is specifically to discuss the last of the RF-16A units. currently stored on the Esquabanna and Lake Superior railroad in Wells, Michigan, the pair has been there, out of the public eye, for the better part of the last 20 years. i emailed the railroad last night (8-31-2010) to see if the units are there, or still exist for that matter, as on the forums i've visited recently have much controversy over the units, but i could be over stating the problem. anywho, this thread is to help us discuss the units, and dispell any rumors about their disposistion
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:56 pm

I doubt you'll get a response from the Escanaba ( :wink: ) and Lake Superior, as they've been secretive about the existence of these locomotives for many decades. I'd also be surprised if they accepted volunteer help to restore them, if they exist, as irreplaceable parts were stolen the last time they allowed the public to see these locomotives.

If you do hear from them though (positively or negatively), please keep us posted!
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:11 am

well, just because their being secretive about their existance dosn't mean that they arn't working on them. not to sound like a crazy person, but it looks, to me, that the ELS has been doing work on them as time allows, so then they can say that they had plans the whole time and then they'd own a major piece of history, and potentially have reason to get local support. but if not, then i guess they just want people to say at least they have them, which gives them their claim to fame
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby MEC407 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:37 am

Hmmm... I would ask the moderator to correct the spelling of the thread title, but it looks like he hasn't posted on this site since 2009...
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:26 pm

daylight4449 wrote:well, just because their being secretive about their existance dosn't mean that they arn't working on them. not to sound like a crazy person, but it looks, to me, that the ELS has been doing work on them as time allows, so then they can say that they had plans the whole time and then they'd own a major piece of history, and potentially have reason to get local support. but if not, then i guess they just want people to say at least they have them, which gives them their claim to fame


The E&LS doesn't need the Sharks to have a claim to fame - they already are one of the very few roads to operate Baldwins on a regular basis, and have a long historical record besides. Besides, customers don't care about rare locomotives, they care about the timeliness and cost of their pulp wood shipment. Historical monuments are only of use to the E&LS if someone else pays for them. And, how does it look to you that the railroad has been repairing those locomotives? They've been in dead storage for nearly 30 years, assuming they weren't scrapped decades ago, and likely have been cannibalized for parts to keep the rest of their dwindling Baldwin fleet running.

MEC407 wrote:Hmmm... I would ask the moderator to correct the spelling of the thread title, but it looks like he hasn't posted on this site since 2009...

Hrm, good point. Let's see if Otto can do it for us - I'll report it and see if anyone notices.
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:08 am

well i'm not refering to the customers at all. if the ELS is a haven for baldwin locomotives, then it would be safe to assume that the ELS just owning them would be enough to make a baldwin fan drool. and i'm not trying to sound crazy about a possible restoration. if you think about it, the sharks on the ELS have been inaccessable to the public for nearly 30 years, so how could anyone keep track of anything done with the units accurately, especially when dealing with a company that does a better job of keeping two locomotives some-what secret than iran keeping it's nuclear program hidden
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby Komachi » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:57 pm

I think all you need to know is in this thread here...

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8238


Not to be overly cynical, but as others have said, doubful you'll get a response.

If you do get a response, it'll probably be akin to the standard government verbage of "We can neither confirm, nor deny the existance of said locomotives."


I'm sure Mr. Larkin knew what he was buying when he purchased them from Castolite, as he seems to be a man who likes his Baldwins. Not sure what he had in mind for them, however, a couple yahoos (best I can come up with without using "colorful metaphors") ruined it for the rest of the railfan community by stealing parts and the operating manuals, etc.

So, Mr. Larkin locked them away and the railroad became anti-railfan.


As many have speculated, we won't know much about them until the event of Mr. Larkin's passing and the assets of the E&LS are disposed of.


Hate to rain on your parade, but you're beating a dead horse that's already been worked over ad-nausium on the board.

Maybe you'll be extremely lucky and actually get someone to talk, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:05 am

Komachi wrote:I think all you need to know is in this thread here...

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8238


Not to be overly cynical, but as others have said, doubful you'll get a response.

If you do get a response, it'll probably be akin to the standard government verbage of "We can neither confirm, nor deny the existance of said locomotives."


I'm sure Mr. Larkin knew what he was buying when he purchased them from Castolite, as he seems to be a man who likes his Baldwins. Not sure what he had in mind for them, however, a couple yahoos (best I can come up with without using "colorful metaphors") ruined it for the rest of the railfan community by stealing parts and the operating manuals, etc.

So, Mr. Larkin locked them away and the railroad became anti-railfan.


well, i'm not rhe type of person who's willing to give up. frankly, he should give railfan's another chance. just cause 2 yahoos robbed them and stole the manuals 30 some-odd years ago dosn't mean it'll happen again


As many have speculated, we won't know much about them until the event of Mr. Larkin's passing and the assets of the E&LS are disposed of.


Hate to rain on your parade, but you're beating a dead horse that's already been worked over ad-nausium on the board.

Maybe you'll be extremely lucky and actually get someone to talk, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby Komachi » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:54 pm

daylight4449 wrote: well, i'm not rhe type of person who's willing to give up. frankly, he should give railfan's another chance. just cause 2 yahoos robbed them and stole the manuals 30 some-odd years ago dosn't mean it'll happen again
[/quote]


Persistance and annoyance are separated by a thin line. A VERY thin line.

As determined as you are, I highly doubt you're going to accomplish much other than annoy and alienate yourself from the E&LS.


Also, bear in mind the old rule of thumb regarding a couple of bad apples spoiling the whole bushel. Like it or not, the locomotives are HIS TOYS and if he feels that the general public can't be trusted to respect his property (and you know there are those railfans out there who will go to any lengths to acquire "genuine" pieces of railroadiana... horns, builders' plates, etc.), then it is his right to lock them away and tell people they are not allowed to see or touch them. It sucks, yes, and I hope that they are destined for museums, if not restored to operational status instead of being scrapped, but their fate has yet to be decided and that time will come when Mr. Larkin (or his estate) is ready to decide.


Now, just to clarify...

I'm NOT knocking your crusade, I'm not trying to start a flame war and I have nothing personal against you. People have tried for the past thirty-some odd years to get at those Sharks. NOBODY has been successful. You might get lucky, but past experience proves otherwise.

I'm also not the type to give up easily, but I also know when to cut my losses and run and when to pick my battles. If people in the industry and various historical institutions can't gain access, I doubt you will either. You might surprise all of us and wind up being given unprecidented access to the units, but, right now, if I were a betting man, my money would be against you.

I wish you the best of luck, but as I and others have said... don't get your hopes up.

Maybe you can team up with Doyle MacCormack and "liberate" the sharks. If he can get two of the four PA-4s back from Mexico...


"Goodnight, and Good Luck."
- Edward R. Murrow.
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Re: Esquabanna and Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:49 pm

Komachi wrote:
daylight4449 wrote: well, i'm not rhe type of person who's willing to give up. frankly, he should give railfan's another chance. just cause 2 yahoos robbed them and stole the manuals 30 some-odd years ago dosn't mean it'll happen again



Persistance and annoyance are separated by a thin line. A VERY thin line.

As determined as you are, I highly doubt you're going to accomplish much other than annoy and alienate yourself from the E&LS.


Also, bear in mind the old rule of thumb regarding a couple of bad apples spoiling the whole bushel. Like it or not, the locomotives are HIS TOYS and if he feels that the general public can't be trusted to respect his property (and you know there are those railfans out there who will go to any lengths to acquire "genuine" pieces of railroadiana... horns, builders' plates, etc.), then it is his right to lock them away and tell people they are not allowed to see or touch them. It sucks, yes, and I hope that they are destined for museums, if not restored to operational status instead of being scrapped, but their fate has yet to be decided and that time will come when Mr. Larkin (or his estate) is ready to decide.


Now, just to clarify...

I'm NOT knocking your crusade, I'm not trying to start a flame war and I have nothing personal against you. People have tried for the past thirty-some odd years to get at those Sharks. NOBODY has been successful. You might get lucky, but past experience proves otherwise.

I'm also not the type to give up easily, but I also know when to cut my losses and run and when to pick my battles. If people in the industry and various historical institutions can't gain access, I doubt you will either. You might surprise all of us and wind up being given unprecidented access to the units, but, right now, if I were a betting man, my money would be against you.

I wish you the best of luck, but as I and others have said... don't get your hopes up.

Maybe you can team up with Doyle MacCormack and "liberate" the sharks. If he can get two of the four PA-4s back from Mexico...


"Goodnight, and Good Luck."
- Edward R. Murrow.[/quote]

not bad. mabey doyle could get it done. but either way, at least say ":hey, so i don't want people to be near them, but who's to say i can't take some pics to say that the sharks are still alive"
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Re: Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby dsrc512 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:12 am

FWIW, Mr. Larkin is on the board of directors of the railroad museum in Duluth. It is possible that he may elect to donate the two sharks to the museum in the future. It is a worthwhile place to visit, located in a classic railroad station. Most of the equipment is under roof. Some of the noteworthy items are the oldest extant rotary snowplow (which was once on display on the Cadillac & Lake City Railway in Lower Michigan), the first (and only remaining) set of MILW box cab electrics used on their pioneer mainline electrification, a DM&IR 2-8-8-4 which has both sets of drivers supported just above the rails that are rotated by discrete electric motors three times an hour during visiting hours with a taped narration with sound effects, and Soo Line GP-30 #700 which is in service on the museum's excursion train north to Two Harbors where you can see the ore docks and another Baldwin 2-8-8-4.
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Re: Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:10 am

dsrc512 wrote:FWIW, Mr. Larkin is on the board of directors of the railroad museum in Duluth. It is possible that he may elect to donate the two sharks to the museum in the future. It is a worthwhile place to visit, located in a classic railroad station. Most of the equipment is under roof. Some of the noteworthy items are the oldest extant rotary snowplow (which was once on display on the Cadillac & Lake City Railway in Lower Michigan), the first (and only remaining) set of MILW box cab electrics used on their pioneer mainline electrification, a DM&IR 2-8-8-4 which has both sets of drivers supported just above the rails that are rotated by discrete electric motors three times an hour during visiting hours with a taped narration with sound effects, and Soo Line GP-30 #700 which is in service on the museum's excursion train north to Two Harbors where you can see the ore docks and another Baldwin 2-8-8-4.
Alex Huff


so if the guy hates railfans, then why would he be on the board of the lake superior railroad museum?
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Re: Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby Marty Feldner » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:08 pm

Real world alert warning...

With good reason, he hates thieves and vandals.
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Re: Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:24 pm

Marty Feldner wrote:Real world alert warning...

With good reason, he hates thieves and vandals.


then if he's on the board, then he can assure a safe location to display and possibly restore them and not have to worry about theviery and vandals
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Re: Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin RF-16A pair

Postby daylight4449 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:27 pm

anywho, i'm emailing him again tonight. he may not have considered moving them to the lake superior railroad museum, so if i can convince him to do so, i can count another significant accomplishment
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