• #18 strange footboard

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All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by Benjamin Maggi
Hey all,

Take a look at this auction, and the slide featured in it. It shows #18 with a really pronounced front footboard (painted white) cutting through the lower portion of the smokebox and cover. Am I seeing things, or did #18 have a wrap-around walkway at one time?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Arcade-Attica-2-8-0 ... dZViewItem
  by jgallaway81
Ben, I'd say thats the same as the walkway around the front as whats there today, just painted differently
  by Mountcastle
Ben, that board in front of the smokebox has been there from the beginning and it is there today. You'll see it in pre-A&A photos of 18, as you will in photos from last season. It isn't one 'wrap-around' board, though. The smokebox board is separate from the boards alongside the boilers (the photo you've referenced is somewhat deceptive).

I know that, for a time, the board was removed (as were the brackets that support it); the 1990s era brochure features several images of 18 without it. But when I was there in the 90s, the board was attached, regardless of the contemporaneous brochure photos.

Also, the edges of the boards were all painted white, again, around 1995 or so, as was the lettering on the tender and the numbering on the cab. The white lettering/numbering and boards, combined with a very "Durango & Silverton"-looking silver smokebox and firebox--but retaining orange for the grab rails--represented the most radically different (and, to me, the least attractive) paint scheme that No. 18 has been subjected to thus far.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Thanks guys for your comments. I guess it is just my eyes deceiving me.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Is there any good reason to keep the footboard on? Does it aid in getting into the smokebox? While looking at pictures again of it missing the footbard, I think the engine really looks a lot better.
  by jgallaway81
Its funny really... Anywhere else, an engine would be kept in as close to original condition as possible, regardless of 'how it looked'.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Considering the engine's history of using at least two tenders, one of which has mis-matched trucks; various whistles; paint schemes (original railroads, plus various A&A colors); and pulling equipment of various colors (at least three coach schemes)- it is hard to support the argument that the A&A is driven by trying to restore its equipment to "historical" appearances. Nor should it, in my opinion. If it did, it would say "A&A" on it but another railroad entirely.

This isn't Strausburg...
  by jgallaway81
You are correct Ben, but you missed my point.

Here everyone is arguing for 18 to be modified, oblivious to historical context, yet when the coaches were painted green, it was hailed as "restoring them to their historic colors".

I have always felt that the A&A was its own entity, and because of its longevity in the steam excursion business, it had earned the right to develop its own identity, hence leaving the coaches orange.

As for the 1980's when it ran without the footboard, check youtube... several videos have been posted in the last few months, including several from that time period. One includes a nice shot of 18 without the board, yet, WITH the brackets.

As for the board's originality. I'm going to argue that it is OEM. If you take the footboards as a whole, you will see they work harmoniously together. Most engines that lacked this board, the footboards on either side of the smokebox would have been modified so as to offer some mechanism for climbing up from the front pilot.

As for utility of it... it allows much easier access to the smokebox for cleaning out the ashes, as well as makes it a bit safer to walk from one side of the boiler to the other... as a general rule, climbing up or down is more dangerous than simply walking around.

I'd like to have seen the front board trimmed in orange instead of the bar... carry the trim right around the front. It might not look any better, but I can't offer an opinion on it till I see it.
  by jgallaway81
You know what.. I think I'm gonna change my vote on the board being OEM.

Two other engines from the cuban set, one 18's sister LBR 1923 and MNJ #11 a 2-6-0 show no signs of this board. Its possible that they were removed by the roads that purchased them, but I have no evidence either way.

I'm not certain which way I like better. Yes, I agree that most engines don't have such an emplacement. However, 18 has been with it for so long, it will seem like she is missing some clothes if it were removed. And, almost all regular people won't even notice its removal... likely most people wouldn't even see the difference if you put two pictures in front of them.
  by Benjamin Maggi
I will admit that she has had it for much longer then without, so in that context I suppose it should stay. I only notice the footbard when I compare #18 with other steamers, most notably #14. For what it is worth, the A&A modified one of their 44 tonners (I think it was #111) to have extended handrails that wrapped around the front of the engine instead of keeping them stock. So, maybe the A&A added the footboard. I don't know much about the history of #18 and defer to your research and knowledge.

And I too wished that the coaches had stayed orange because that was what "I" remembered from my childhood. And, I only notice the footboard.

I love caboose #304 because my wife and I went exploring it on our first date. If, after it is moved to Arcade, they rebuild a new cupola to put on the top to make it more resemble how it once looked then I will certainly vote against making it OEM! Some things must remain true to the A&A, gaudy paint and cheap popcorn (yum) and all!
  by jgallaway81
Well, as I recall, that caboose HAD a cupola, it was removed, and then the unit sold.

I have seen a picture of 18 from its BCRR service days, it does have the front footboard. That is what made me first think it might have been an OEM design feature of the Cuban engines.

The fact that 14 was not modified to match also suggests that it was NOT the A&A that added the part.

Like I said, at this point, regardless if the engine was built with the footboard, or not, and weather or not it makes the engine different from other locomotives, it IS a part of 18's design. Removing it would alter 18's personality and make it a different engine. Because of its longevity, it should remain. That's my opinion. Obviously, it bares no effect to what happens... enless I argue the point at a board meeting, lol.

Personally, I feel that these types of changes effectually distract from whats important to the operation of the road... rehabilitation of excursion rolling stock and expansion of the freight business.
  by Mountcastle
"...unless I argue the point at a board meeting," he said, no pun intended. :wink:

They replaced 18's original plank-style pilot with a wooden "cowcatcher" style one, and then replaced that with the metal tube pilot that originally replaced the wooden "cowcatcher" from number 14...so the presence or the absence of the board in front of the smokebox seems inconsequential to me by comparison. What ever happened to the wooden "cowcatchers", both from number 14 and from number 18? Gone with the wind? If anything, I'd like to see 18's wooden "cowcatcher" replaced. That would dramatically improve her appearance.
  by jgallaway81
MountCastle.. while no pun was intended, As a stockholder in the Arcade & Attica, I do have the right to bring such things before the Board of Directors. Granted, holding only one share, my voice means much less than others, its still an opinion and should be considered as seriously as others.

While I am by no means an Ed Lewis nor a Linn Moedinger I'd like to think that my five years in active service on the Arcade & Attica, two years with the excursion service of the Middletown & Hummelstown and now, six years with Norfolk Southern, all combined with my decades of dedication to the A&A and serious research into steam technology give me a unique point of view to offer some creative suggestions.

As I said in my previous post, these trivial issues of cosmetics do nothing to increase the paying ridership, and only serve to distract from the real needs of the railroad: rehabilitation of the excursion fleet and a massive increase in freight car counts. While I am personally in love with 18 and steam service, I have to acknowledge the fact that putting all ones eggs in one basket it seriously flawed idea. One should ALWAYS diversify their portfolio. It just makes financial sense.
  by Mountcastle
Ok. I was just wondering whatever happened to 18's old pilot.