original proposal NHVRR BOD

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original proposal NHVRR BOD

Post by DaveLathrop57 on Sat May 18, 2013 10:32 am

From the end of 2011. As it turns out, it never went to bid, and was donated.

To all concerned:
We have been made aware of the availability of an artifact – a steam locomotive – that, if acquired, would not only contribute directly to the defined interpretive mission of our organization, but also help solve an operational problem we are starting to face.
Former Cliffside Railroad 110, now stored at Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad, is going to be auctioned off probably in November 2011. The Cliffside Railroad was a shortline built by Cone Mills to connect their textile mill at Cliffside, NC to the Seaboard Coast Line, and functioned as a separate shortline railroad from 1905 until abandonment in 1992. As such, a locomotive from this railroad directly ties into the first clause listed in the mission statement section of the SWOT Analysis document, to wit:
“To be a living embodiment of a southern short haul railroad, with a focus on NC centric railroading.”
As one of the last operating North Carolina shortline steam-powered locomotives in regular service, it would be difficult to find an artifact more representative of NC shortline history.
On to operational issues – we have now added another car to the train, and are carrying more passengers than ever before thanks to improvements in the site, consist and marketing mix. This development has stretched our little tank engine, #17, to its capacity. Like all American tank switch engines, 17 was built to move a great deal of weight relative to its size, but for short distances and at short intervals. The issue isn’t power – 17 can pull the train – but it is endurance, as the extra weight requires working more steam less expansively, with a longer cutoff, such that the boilers ability to continue to make more steam to replace the additional steam used is being stretched. Forcing the boiler will limit the life of the firebox and lead to reliability issues. So, we need to find a steam locomotive with about the same or a bit more power than 17, but with a significantly higher capacity for continually making steam, a “larger boiler” if you will.
Based on rough calculations using rough measurements of the boilers of 17 and 110, 110 has a higher steaming capacity than 17 by about 50%. It is also slightly higher in tractive effort – power at the wheels- than 17.
So, it is reasonable to consider acquiring 110 for both interpretive and operational reasons.
A small group from NC Railway Museum made an unofficial trip to Stone Mountain and did a quick inspection of 110 in spring 2011. Here’s more information about 110 which we discovered:
110 has been very heavily used and all the machinery is worn beyond the point of condemnation for overhaul. The good news is that once overhauled, 110 will be in like new condition mechanically, and will work for a very long time in light museum service without more heavy work required.
The boiler shell stays, braces, and firebox appear to be in good restorable condition without any areas of extensive or heavy erosion or damage. All spots checked for thickness showed well above minimum required thickness. There may be some small repair necessary behind the firebrick or at the bottom of the front tube sheet, but nothing of any real consequence was discovered during our visit.
The locomotive has been stripped of most of its appliances and some of its internal parts – most notably the throttle valve. I have researched the documentary trail for drawings relating to 110 and its parts, and found the throttle drawing listed as available along with its file number (copy of spec sheet attached) from an archive in Pennsylvania. The other appliances will need to be provided or built custom to fit – which will also allow us the ability to improve on the original design to make 110 even more efficient and reliable.
Other considerations:
110 is a light 2-6-2 tender locomotive of pleasing proportions and made for light industrial track and will be gentler on the track than 17. The appearance (see photos attached) will be very pleasing to our visitors as well as historically accurate. Lots of technical documentation is available for this locomotive. Some members have already pledged support as donations to be made should NC Railway Museum be successful bidder. A friend well placed in the State House has offered to assist us in funding restoration costs should we succeed in acquisition.
110 is stored dead on a disconnected bit of track near one of the Stone Mountain Scenic RR stations and, as mentioned above, has been stripped of a lot of its parts and appliances. There is a substantial logistical job in getting it to where it can be loaded out and removing it, and a more substantial restoration job to be done which may limit the interest of other rational potential bidders. There is no practical limitation on the interest of irrational bidders. Locomotives in the size range (50 tons) are popular compared to mainline engines for private purchasers since they are more portable, but again, logistical issues may prevail. In short, it is worth our consideration and given the problems involved in its restoration and removal, I believe NCRM stands as good a chance of success as any entity likely to be interested in bidding. Conditions may change, we will know more when the bid package is distributed.
The Cliffside was a very colorful, long lived, and late operating NC Shortline, and we can capitalize on that recent and colorful history as a marketing tool. Please look over the Cliffside Railroad 110 Fact Sheet attached for more information on 110 and the Cliffside Railroad.
Respectfully submitted for consideration to the membership and Board of Directors, NC Railway Museum.


DaveLathrop57

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Join date : 2013-04-14
Location : North Carolina, USA

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