• Restoration Fund

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by admiralwolf
Maybe this is in vain, and maybe this could lead to something grassroots-like, but is there an actual fund one can donate to, NFP-wise, that helps the railroad out? I know there is Friends of the Arcade and Attica, but do they actually take monitary donations towards things like the restoration or the excursion cars and engine(s)?

If so, who do we contact because eventually (hopefully within the year) I'd hope to be able to make at least some sort of donation towards it (in addition to trying to be a regular patron of the excursions).

I haven't exactly won the powerball lotto myself, but if I ever happened into a good chunk of change, this would be one of my places to designate, and I certainly would love to donate something, even if it's not a few million.

Just curious.

  by reinhardtjh
Just wondering if any recent estimate of the condition and repair costs of #14 has been made. Since she's been down so long is restoration even feasible? It would be a great pity if not for she was a nice looking engine.

John H. Reinhardt

  by admiralwolf
According to the crew members I talked to, they said it would be about 3/4 of a million to repair her and make her run-ready again. Believe me, I'd put my support (whatever I can manage) behind that.

  by WNYP431
First of all, let it be known that 18 would not be breathing again without the help of the local community, politicians, railroad workers, contractors, and the efforts of Senator Dale Volker and Assemblyman Daniel Burling. Without these efforts, she didn't have a chance. Even if not directly related to the steam engine, those who helped take up the slack in other areas enabled the A&A crews to get work done. Funding for track projects and working to keep the company afloat were all a part of the effort.

However, if she is to be the centerpiece of a community again for very long, there needs to be a concerted strategic effort to bring up the entire railroad, and all the supporting assets that go with a steam program.

No one wants to watch an American Steam engine's tender filled with a garden hose.

While cabooses sit on sidings and rot, the A&A provides the perfect forum with which to re-introduce the caboose to the public by running them. I have to believe that railbuffs would rather spend time scraping paint and fixing broken windows on running tributes to the 2nd largest rail community on the US, rather than seeing them sit mute behind an old fertilizer plant.

The railroad gets help from many people, and most of the time it's the unseen work that makes that Engineer look so good. If people want to contribute, there are many local groups including the Freinds of the A&A that help the railroad. If you are unsure, get in touch with the company in Arcade. No one contribution is insignificant to this railroad, and if you think a donation may be lost in a big project, step up for something else. That new caboose, ticket window, or railroad display is just as important as the coal cinders falling in your hair.

The railroad needs alot of the same attention that other shortlines in New York are getting. Competition for new industry is tough. With increased state funding for rail infrastructure, new business is created by other lines who can now spend money on marketing, business development, communications and administrative support. Even with the similar economic conditions, this little railroad must spend it's limited resources on staying afloat.

As 18 reunites the people with the only regular tourist excursion powered by the Goddess of Fire, I hope that people realize - and act on the fact - that the whole picture must be brought into focus, and the steam engine deserves a supporting strategic plan to survive and expand.
Last edited by WNYP431 on Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

  by WNYP431
#14 needs everything that #18 needed, in addition to a tender, plus a bit more effort. Having been stored inside, it is not an impossible task. One steamer at a time, though.....even if we work on a third steamer...baby steps....

Now that #18 is about to be re-born...

The Arcade & Attica Railroad is fortunate to have the support of the community and the State of New York. Many have different opinions about the role of public money in such a project, or in the infrastructure requirements in general, but the A&A will be offering again, as it has for 45 years, a unique experience that is dear to many, but expensive to maintain and difficult to reproduce. The Buffalo Zoo, providing things that are just as unique, could not survive on ticket sales alone.

#18 is not, by itself, the savior of the company. That may have been true in 1962, but times have changed. In this day of I-Pods, Blackberries, and Bionicles, the Steam Locomotive cannot carry the burden of the railroad alone. Whether some people like that or not is irrelevant. This railroad stands to lose tens of thousands of dollars in new freight revenue - as we speak - because it has not been able to expand its ability to handle freight cars - the primary function of a railroad.

Had this not been the case, the historic assets of this company would have rebounded much more quickly.

Those who want to contribute to the railroad and it's preservation need to step up now, hard and fast. Those who have control over the economic conditions surrounding the railroad need to step up for the business development potential. Those who pull so hard for the company, also need to pull in the same direction. Without participation, cooperation, and a defined, positive direction with one goal, the wheels of that steamer may rust yet, but we are definitely heartened and appreciative of all the efforts to get her going again.

  by admiralwolf
Well, I'm not sure how much this will help, but maybe if I can take more photos like I did the other week and we can get them printed in nice, high-quality form, we can sell them to make some momento money... let me put it this way - I will gladly donate my photos to the company to help something like that - likewise I'm trying to raise awareness from some of my students by having them do projects like modeling the trains as part of a 3D project.

Anyway, I will contact the company as soon as the dust settles on my career change and believe me, I'd be glad to help - I don't have a lot of skills I imagine that they need, but if I can find a way to help, I'll be there to do so.

  by WNYP431
Career changes are a good thing....

  by admiralwolf
Yeah - this would be from a part-time adjunct college instructor and full-time software engineer to a software-engineering consultant and full-time department chair... but I digress.

  by admiralwolf
Actually, something from the prior post caught my attention...
No one wants to watch an American Steam engine's tender filled with a garden hose.
I take it right now that they leave a garden hose on overnight to fill the tender for excursions... so 1) how much would a watertower cost to install and 2) where would the railroad want to put such a structure?

  by jgallaway81
actually, an older style fire hose is used to fill the tender, however that hose is fed by a much smaller diameter pipe.

A water tower would be nice, but you asked the very important question... where would one put it where it could be useful?

A grass roots organization is a great idea, but a tower is a secondary consideration when there is so many other things that would be a better consideration.

I have lots of ideas, and am willing to help, but it requires a large dedicate group willing to pout in hours of hard labor and money towards small goals to build a credible force to work towards greater goals.

  by admiralwolf
I agree, but if there's some way I can help, I want to - my great grand father was a car cleaner for the New York Central in Buffalo. My grandfather, my dad and I (and my family as well) have all been into trains - often models because we didn't always have a lot of money to take long trips.

So let's start at something small but critical - what's something that can be done to help - is it something that can be done through the friends of the A & A, and how do we go about contacting them? Through the main office? Or is there a website to visit or an email address I can write to?

  by Benjamin Maggi
If you are really interested in the "Friends of the A&A" then contact fellow board member Pat Connors through the private message feature. Or, he might respond here in this post. I know he is really busy lately and private messaging might be a better option.

  by admiralwolf
What is his handle? I couldn't find it trying to search through.

  by admiralwolf
Many thanks. I've just written to him. And my offer still stands if you'd like some help adding to / expanding the current main A & A site. PM me if you would like the assistance.