With so many false accusations flying around about an organization of which I am an officer, I am left with no choice but to respond. Kevin Klees, like most disgruntled former volunteers who sever ties with an organization for their own reasons, has information that is both out of date and incorrect. Many of the policies and procedures Kevin is criticizing were formed during his tenure, and the museum has taken great strides to reform its project management procedures to the benefit of the collection. Many of the decisions to acquire pieces and how they should be utilized at the museum were made decades before my arrival, though it doesn't diminish the value of the collection one bit.
NYCRRson wrote:They have two dissembled steam locomotives with a bare bones plan to do a cosmetic restoration of one of them.
Connecticut Light & Power No. 2 is a 0-4-0 fireless that was acquired from Gunlocke in Wayland because it represented similar locomotives that were operated at Kodak Park. I can't comment to the extent it is disassembled other than the shroud removed, but it is currently stored inoperative. Since the mission for the museum has changed since the engine was acquired in 1999, it is admittedly an odd duck out.
Brooklyn Navy Yard No. 12 was acquired from a private owner in Owego and moved to the museum in 1997. A dedicated group had focused on disassembling the locomotive as the first steps towards inspection and assessment for restoring to operation. After a professional report on the condition of the boiler was provided by Strasburg Rail Road, the project was shelved and attention turned to other more pressing matters. It was decided within the last two years the best possible course at this time would be to use the funds allocated for the project for reassembly and cosmetic restoration for display. There's a dedicated group that meets each week making progress on clean-up and restoration. If you want the details on the scope of the work, please contact project manager Joel Shaw.
They have a shrink wrapped passenger car, and a mostly disassembled subway car.
We actually have *two* passenger cars that have been shrink-wrapped.
Lackawanna 2628 is an electric m.u. car built in 1930 and retired by NJ Transit in 1984. It was acquired in 1985 and brought to Industry, where it was on display and occasionally pulled on our museum railroad by one of our diesels. Due to a metallic reaction common to these cars construction, the roof failed a few years ago. Lacking adequate funding to make a timely repair, the car was professionally shrouded to preserve the interior while we determine next steps for possible repairs.
Pennsylvania Railroad Pine Falls was built in 1939, retired in 1979, and acquired by Don Jilson in 1978. It was donated to our museum in 1985, and was on display for many years near the depot. While the interior was largely in good shape, the cor-ten steel body was rotting from the inside out due to the failing roof allowing water in where it shouldn't. Since the car was no long on public display, the board decided to shroud the car to prevent further damage from water while next steps are determined for restoration and repair.
Rochester Subway Car 60 was donated to our museum in 1956, before the museum existed. Loaned to Rail City for a number of years, the state of New York acquired it for possible use, but stored it outdoors under a shed near Albany until we proved it was ours and had it returned in 1998. A dedicated group of well-meaning volunteers disassembled the car in an attempt to assess and make metal repairs. Many volunteers were of advanced age and simply died off, and the museum shifted priorities. In 2015, it was decided to use money allocated to the project to hire metal contractors to construct and install a new letter board as the first step towards restoration of the car body. Thanks to successful fundraising efforts, the next phase of restoration takes place this summer with replacement of rotted body panels. The project moves as quickly as we find donors, and many other small pieces have been cleaned and restored awaiting installation. Please direct inquiries to project manager Rand Warner.
They have far too many diesel locomotives without the proper staff to maintain them correctly.
I think our Mechanical Dept. Supt. Joe Nugent and the volunteers who work with him would be very insulted to hear you say that.
One diesel loco needed an engine rebuild simply because the exhaust stacks were not properly covered while it underwent a 5 year long "re-paint."
This is false. According to the maintenance logs on Rochester Gas & Electric GE 45-ton No. 1941, the water infiltration began years prior to the unit being taken out of service for rebuild and repair. Aside from mechanical tune up, the cab required extensive sheet metal replacement and body work before it was thoroughly repainted. The project had stalled for many years until Joe Nugent took up the mantle of project manager and led the reassembly and completion of the restoration in 2012. The locomotive is placed in active service several times throughout the year.
They have a nearly 100 year old internal combustion railroad locomotive (one of the oldest IC RR loco's in existence) that was damaged during careless handling by their unprofessional "RR Crews" after a lengthy and volunteer funded rebuild from a total derelict to an operational locomotive.
Kevin led the restoration of "R&GV No. 1," a rare Plymouth Model BL built in the 1920s and later served at Odenbach Shipyards. The only "damage" is some scratched paint on the coupler pocket. As far as I know, the locomotive is mechanically sound, but none of our volunteers have been trained in its safe operation, so it remains stored under cover inside the Restoration Shop.
And as a full disclaimer I volunteered at the R&GVRR for almost two decades and funded (almost entirely out of my pocket to the tune of $10K plus) the restoration of one piece of equipment in their collection. Then I was informed it was "in their way"
I don't know the circumstances surrounding the restoration of the Plymouth BL locomotive, but I'm certain the contributions you made were of your own free will, and greatly appreciated. As far as it being "in the way," the locomotive lacks standard couplers and air connections (it is an industrial locomotive), so anytime it must be moved requires special procedures and extra care, which is why it has been moved to an inactive track where it will not be disturbed.
As far as Kevin's accusations about stuff left to rot, in some cases that is true, again surrounding policies and procedures put in place years ago. I think all organizations suffer from these kinds of growing pains. Over the last few years, there has been a concentrated effort to focus on keeping what we have in good condition, lest anyone confuse us for a junkyard again.
Some freight cars that are on public display have received a new coat of paint, and are about to get lettering. Extensive work was undertaken on the FGEX wood reefer to repair and repaint the body a few years ago. Our PRR mail car is being transformed with a fresh new paint job (and a new exhibit inside). Locomotive EK 6 is currently being transformed into a static walk-through display since its days of operation have ended. The LV caboose saved from the scrap yard a few years ago is being reassembled and repainted this summer after the completion of sheet metal repairs and a complete sandblasting and priming project. LAL RS-1 No. 20 which was donated to us at the end of 2016 was successfully reactivated and operated in 2017. Privately-owned Nickel Plate Alco S-4 No. was donated to us at the end of 2016 and was also reactivated in 2017. RG&E 110-ton No. 8 is currently in the shop getting its brake system replumbed, connected to new main reservoirs. We are also working with a private donor who is funding restoration of our 1926 Erie Stillwell coach.
Many more projects are in the works, and none of them move forward without adequate funding. We always welcome new volunteers and additional funding in any amount should you choose to get involved. Many, many people worked very hard to get the museum to the point where it is today (building up to 7,800 visitors in 2017 versus 4,000 visitors in 2013, for example). It's the job of the board to not only be responsible with the stuff already in the collection, but consider and take advantage of new opportunities when they arise.
Can we please return to the discussion of the LV boxcar and cease the extraneous chatter?