McKeen motorcar light fixtures
2006 - Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City, Nev.
When the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, Nev., decided to restore its Virginia & Truckee McKeen motorcar, one of the major missing components were its 11 interior acetylene lights. The 2006 Trains Preservation award helped address that problem, as Chris DeWitt, restoration supervisor, explained.
The McKeen car had been retired nearly 70 years ago, and all that remained of the lamps were their outlines on the walls. "I thought one of the original [lights] might still exist," Dewitt said. "This is a small town, and I thought someone might have one." He asked around to no avail.
The big break came when the last Virginia & Truckee master mechanic died, and his daughter offered the museum some railroad items she found in his house.
"We went to look, and there were a couple of lanterns and a lot of papers,” DeWitt said. “Then, in the one box, I saw two of those lights.”
Those lamps were used to make replicas for the McKeen, modified to be electric instead of the original acetylene lamps. DeWitt said museum personnel dismantled one of the lamps and sent parts out to be duplicated. Restoration workers took on the task of making the milk glass covers for the lamps, making a mold and heating and forming the glass themselves.
Virginia & Truckee No. 22, a McKeen "windsplitter" gasoline motorcar, was built in 1910 and served the railroad until 1945. The museum acquired the carbody in 1995 and started to restore it in 1997. Following a three-year restoration, the car went into service on holidays at the museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2012.
Painting for the "All-American Diesel"
2007 - Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, Baltimore, Md.
In 2007, Trains awarded its grant to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore so the museum could repaint CSX Transportation GP38 No. 2002. As Baltimore & Ohio No. 3802, the locomotive was dubbed “the All-American Diesel” by Trains, which sought to identify the nation’s average locomotive in its 1982 Motive Power Survey. The locomotive carried a plaque on its cab denoting that honor. Donated to the museum by CSX, it arrived in a faded coat of maintenance-of-way orange.
"No. 3802 was built for the B&O, then went to C&O, and finally CSX," said Courtney B. Wilson, museum director. "We restored it to its CSX livery because we didn't have any locomotives in that paint scheme."
"It's not often that something as pedestrian as a locomotive is honored," Wilson said. The Trains award helped purchase the paint and prepare the locomotive for painting by the museum's restoration shop crew, Wilson said. The colorful CSX livery is quite popular with visitors. No. 3802, still in working order, powers the museum's short "First Mile" train ride.
2008 - Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wis.
The 2008 Trains Preservation Award went to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wis. On June 9 and 10 of that year, the heavy rains forced the Baraboo River over its banks and through the museum's depot, yards, and shops. The Trains award helped the museum begin the cleanup process.
"There was lots of building and equipment damage," said Jeffey Bloohm, museum president. "Every journal box had to be cleaned out and repacked. The traction motors on our diesels had to be sent out. The platform at the depot washed away, the first floor of the depot was ruined, and the basement was filled to the top."
The Trains funds were used to repair and modify the platform so it won't wash away in the next flood, Bloohm said. A concrete curb will channel water over the track and away from the platform area.
"The funds were well-spent," Bloohm said. "Those funds, as well as other grants and donations helped us recover." There is still more to do, he noted. Certain pieces of shop machinery still has not been repaired or replaced, and other structures have yet to be cleaned out and repaired.
Boiler work on 2-6-6-2T No. 4
2009 - Pacific Locomotive Association, Sunol, Calif.
The Pacific Locomotive Association received the 2009 Preservation Award. The funds were designated to aid the group in completing the boiler overhaul of Clover Valley Lumber Co. No. 4, a 2-6-6-2T Mallet.
Alan Siegwarth, steam road foreman, credited the Trains award with accelerating the restoration of No. 4. "We used those funds to finish the boiler work on the engine," he stated. "There were matching funds and other donations, but without the Trains funds, it would have been two or three more years before we would have finished the work." Siegwarth said the major work included replacing the bottom half of the front flue sheet and the knuckle at the front of the firebox as well as the bottom of the smokebox.
The locomotive, one of only two serviceable Mallet compound articulated locomotives in the country, is operated several times annually, Siegwarth said. It was the largest of five engines under steam for Steam Fest 2014, held on two weekends in June.
Wallace W. Abbey photo preservation
2010 - Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Madison, Wis.
Scott Lothes, director of the Center for Railroad photography and Art in Madison, Wis., believes the 2010 Trains Preservation Award was "a wonderful shot in the arm to get it going." He was talking about the Wallace W. Abbey collection, which includes 25,000 black and white negatives and 8,000 color slides dating from the late 1940s to the 1990s, which the Center is now cataloging and digitizing.
Abbey worked for the Soo Line, the Milwaukee Road, and the Transportation Technology Center in Colorado during his railroad career, and was managing editor of Trains in the early 1950s. "He had lots of access in interesting times," said Lothes. "He had a strong technique, putting him on par with the greats like Steinheimer and (Jim) Shaughnessey."
For several reasons, there were major challenges in organizing and cataloging the Abbey images, Lothes said. The project has required more resources than originally thought and has been on-going for two years. Utilizing student interns from nearby Lake Forest College, the Center has made low resolution scans of every image. "We can use those scans to view the image," Lothes explained. "We have every one on a spread sheet to include all of his notes for everything."
Re-painting of Norfolk & Western's Bicentennial SD45 No. 1776
2011 - Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke, Va.
The 2011 award went to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, which allowed the museum to repaint Norfolk & Western's Bicentennial SD45 No. 1776 back into its 1976 garb. "It was really significant that we qualified for the award with our desire to restore that locomotive," said Bev Fitzpatrick, executive director.
The museum paid Norfolk Southern to repaint the locomotive at its Altoona, Pa., paint shop. "The locomotive has a prominent place on track 3 at the museum right next to N&W No. 1281 and No. 611," Fitzpatrick said. "It's wonderful to have Trains as a partner. It means that we're doing something well, and that means a lot to us."
Restoration of Collinsville Inn
2012 - National Railway Historical Society, Washington, D.C., chapter
In 2012, the Trains Preservation Award went to the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, to help with restoration of former Pennsylvania Railroad car Collinsville Inn. Chapter member Jim Lilly, who wrote the grant application, said the restoration is moving ahead but not as quickly as he'd like. All the necessary work on the car's trucks has been completed except for the wheels, Lilly said. "Because Amtrak changed the requirements, we're probably going to have to replace the wheels," Lilly said. This may cost as much as $25,000, an unexpected development.
Collinsville Inn is a 1949 Budd-built car, originally a 21-roomette sleeper, and was rebuilt into a coach by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1964 to accommodate visitors to the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. It was rebuilt again in 1994 by Maryland Area Regional Commuter railroad, which donated the car to the Washington Chapter in 2008. The Chapter already owns and operates a sister car, Franklin Inn, as well as Dover Harbor, a heavyweight Pullman sleeper-lounge-buffet car.
Alco PA restoration engineering
"Without the support of Trains, we wouldn't have started on Collinsville Inn," Lilly said.
Cosmetic restoration, Atlantic Coast Line 4-6-2 No. 1504, Jacksonville, Fla.
2013 - National Railway Historical Society, North Florida Chapter
The North Florida Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, received the Trains Preservation Award in 2012, which was matched by CSX Transportation. The funds are to be used for a cosmetic restoration of Atlantic Coast Line 4-6-2 No. 1504 in Jacksonville, Fla. The locomotive has been displayed outdoors for over 50 years, including 28 years at its present location at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center.
No. 1504 is a USRA "light" Pacific-type engine built in 1919, the sole survivor of 81 locomotives built for four railroads. The effort, dubbed "Project Return to Glory," is off to a slow start due to a number of issues. While volunteers have made some progress, major work has yet to begin.
Volunteers engaged a contractor in early 2014, but issues including volunteer labor led to the contract being voided. Since then, a small cadre of volunteers has continued working, making new cab window frames and preparations for their installation. While a detailed restoration plan exists, including major steel reconstruction of the tender, the execution of the work plan is unfulfilled at present. The funds from Trains and CSX are currently held in a bank account, pending resolution of the issues.
26L brake for Santa Fe 4-8-4 No. 2926
2014 - New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society
The New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society received the 2014 preservation award to fund a modern 26L brake for its Santa Fe 4-8-4, No. 2926. The group is working to return the 1944 Baldwin to steam by 2016. The project began in 2002.
“The next big step is the construction of the brake stand and related valves, filters and piping,” said Chief Mechanical Officer Rick Kirby. “Then it will be time to install the tubes, flues, superheaters, and firebrick; rebuild the safety valves; recondition or buy gauges and water glasses, and update the electrical system.”
C&O 2-6-6-2 restoration to operation
2015 - Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
The group will use the award money to professionally paint the locomotive, restore and install an appropriate bell and whistle on the locomotive, as well as restore in-cab gauges for operation.
No. 1309 was the last steam locomotive Baldwin Locomotive Works built for a U.S. railroad. The locomotive operated on the C&O in freight service between 1949 and 1956. It was eventually stored at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md., as a static display.
2016 - Museum of the American Railroad
The grant will sponsor the transferring of engineering documents of the carbody, nose, and cab contours to a scalable, digital, three-dimensional format so replacement parts can be fabricated quickly and accurately for Santa Fe No. 59L at Frisco, Texas.
The work will focus on the cab area, speeding the day when the famous Santa Fe silver, red, and yellow Warbonnet paint scheme can be reapplied to this historic locomotive.