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Date: 08/03/22 18:07
Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: webmaster

This was forwarded to me.  This is all that remains of Tonopah and Tidewater #30, one of the remaining pieces of this railroad that served Nevada's eastern mining region.  This car had been passed around through its life.  It was retained by the scrapper and used as an office. Eventually it was donated to the Los Angeles Live Steamers in Griffith Park near Travel Town. In the 1980s the car was deteriorating so the group donated it to the Nevada State Railroad Museum, where it awaited rebuilding.  The State lost interest with the car and the City of Tonopah asked for it to be moved to town so they can restore and display it. From what I understand the State of Nevada turned down the request.  So it sat until just before the Great Western Steam Up and it was decided the time had come to get rid of the car.  It was cut up and most everything tossed, except the trucks and a few other items. 

No wood car is ever too far gone to be rebuilt.  When I had a tour of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City about ten years ago by Chris Dewitt who operated the restoration program he explained that they take the hardware off the old cars and rebuild the car.  This seems contradictory to that concept.  What the hell happened here?  No museum should, (state owned at that) should ever cut up a wood passenger car into firewood.


Sharon Evans captured this photo of the car from our Trainorders excursion there about a decade ago. If the trucks and other hardware are present then there is no reason this car could not have been rebuilt.  Such a shame to see this chopped. 

A link to more information about the car:
http://www.nsrm-friends.org/nsrm55.html

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com







Date: 08/03/22 18:54
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: wcamp1472

Todd,

Thanks for your well written essay....
It is a way-too-often occurrence with many types of rail artifacts over the past
75 years....

The largest such destruction was the mid-1960s and was the tear-down of
NYC's Penn Station,  and many significant locomotives have also met many ignominious 
similar outcomes.

I appreciate your writing and your consternation.
Another case 'official vandalism'  that's a damn shame.

Wes Camp



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/22 19:47 by wcamp1472.



Date: 08/03/22 19:48
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: ironmtn

I literally gasped when I read this. Just unbelievable. Destruction of an historically relevant artifact capable of restoration (which Todd clearly cites, and which makes perfect sense to me), and which is awaiting restoration, is simply not acceptable without very good reason. Particularly just to accommodate a special event, however important and worthy. It is at the least highly questionable by contemporary curatorial standards.

I am shocked by this news. And it is going to get some more research by me.

MC



Date: 08/03/22 19:58
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: RRBMail

What, the Nevada State Railroad Museum scrapped an historic passenger car to make room for a weekend choo-choo train steam up??? As a Smithsonian-trained curator, I am appalled! Apparently, the Nevada State Railroad Museum knows no more about being a professional, preservation institution than its neighboring conspirator the infamous California State Railroad Museum. I'm dropping my NSRM membership for good!   



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 10:33 by RRBMail.



Date: 08/03/22 23:37
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: needles_sub

As younger people become involved, they do not have a sense of historical significance of the equipment in their care. The Thomas The Tank crowed only see's novelty train rides for the public. 



Date: 08/04/22 05:03
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: P

It is shocking to me how many people that are supposedly in railway preservation are so carelessly ambivalent about historic equipment like this that look rough and are willing to dispose of such pieces. I see and hear it all the time.

'We ought to just cut up that car' because I'm not going to fix it and it looks bad is an infuriating statement to hear.

Posted from Android



Date: 08/04/22 05:32
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: alongthejointline

needles_sub Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Thomas The Tank crowed only see's novelty train rides for the public.

Maybe, but its popularity does introduce kids to trains as a being a fun activity much like Marx, Lionel and American Flyer did in my youth.
Perhaps the dwlndling interest in railfanning and model railroading would be even worse without Thomas?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 05:35 by alongthejointline.



Date: 08/04/22 06:46
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: co614

I've recently done a bit of a tour of a number of railway museums in the greater Northeast and sadly can report that almost all of them share a coomon charactaristic. They are loaded with cars/locomotives in various stages of deteriorization, many of them clearly long since gone past being candidates for even a surface cosmetic restoration. My semi educated guess is that nationwide the cars/locomotives in this category number in the high hundreds or low thousands. 99.9% of them will NEVER get restored, and hard as it is to accept would be better off getting monetized and the money used to support the institution's ongoing efforts.

    Sad but true. Ross Rowland 



Date: 08/04/22 10:35
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: coach

What gets me is that the City of Tonopah was willing to take the car and restore it....



Date: 08/04/22 11:01
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: wcamp1472

Especially daunting is restoring diesel electric locomotives and passenger cars with 
electrical and air conditioning equipment.

If idled, even for 30-days, unused ---- electrical problems crop up.
Older wiring systems used more primitive insulation  materials...electrical 'shorts'
are throughout the 'vehicle', open-style relays get plagued with corroded contacts and
obsolete/defunct manufacturers & suppliers make it hard to get the highly specialized replacements
--- all factors that make resurrection very difficult.

. So that 1950s passenger cars and locos are very labor intensive to get up to today's standards
and expectations---- things like "currently acceptable" air conditioning  equipment that's  
suitable for todays' refrigerants, etc

All the electoral wiring is 'shot', and don't forget the concealed asbestos removal costs.

Steamers, are far easier to restore..  they have very simple electrical systems,
it's  easy to apply today's electrical equipment and upgrades... boiler work and testing is
straight forward, but involves a lot of manual work involving welding and metal working.
But, steamers can be restored very readily...depending on crew size and available 
labor skill sets.

A facility like Silvis makes restoring steamers much simpler...
But other 'projects' needing soeciaiuzed parts-availability can be critical when trying to revive old
diesel locomotives.... and, tnen leaving a restored diesel loco unused, out in the elements,
very quickly leads to electrical component deterioration ...all over again....

Ask anybody that's parked todays' diesels for a few months, or extended periods----
what kinds of problems they face when the calls come to return the stored units, back to service...
Troubles and reliability problems follow them for months...

So, Ross's summation about "the 99%" is very accurate ....and equipment conditions get increasingly worse 
with every hour that the equipment remains Idled and exposed to the weather..
 
Been there, done that, got many tee shirts..... and limited experience, coupled with low success,
trying to get old, stored, diesels up and operating....  

Steamers are much more rewarding, and they don't get worse, just sitting around ----
as long as they've been properly drained and protected  from freezing.. 

W.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 11:13 by wcamp1472.



Date: 08/04/22 11:13
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: RRBMail

Sorry Ross, although I am very grateful for the hospitality you've extended to me over the decades, I disagree with you on the NSRM's gross stupidity. Acquiring an historic railway car or locomotive for restoration is a public trust. However, if you can't manage to budget its protection then don't seek nor accept the artifact in the first place. Remember the travesty of the Santa Fe Railway historic locomotive collection going to the California State Railroad Museum in what amounted to museum/corporate skulduggery that negatively impacted the Albuquerque museum's future? (Alas, given CSRM's limited resources it was unprofessional to take on the the Santa Fe collection which ultimately resulted in the loss of many of its artifacts.) As for looking to "monetizing" historic artifacts to restore other historic artifacts, would one also be willing to monetize a "fantasy-impacted" PA to help with the ongoing needs of a universally recognized historic 4-8-4? Museums should prioritize sheltering their collections from the elements and if not able to budget such, then pass on acquiring more historic artifacts only to have them monetized, in this case, for the temporary convenience of space for a passing event. Remember NSRM is state supported and I imagine the T&T car was state property. Does one destroy historic state property in Nevada for the sake of temporary parking for guest steamers? Who was watching the store? Sure, the unwanted artifact may have otherwise been "monetized" by another museum--who knows--but your museum's professional reputation will remain untarnished for when future artifacts become available.  



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 18:27 by RRBMail.



Date: 08/04/22 14:06
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: needles_sub

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've recently done a bit of a tour of a number of
> railway museums in the greater Northeast and sadly
> can report that almost all of them share a common
> characteristic. They are loaded with
> cars/locomotives in various stages of
> deterioration, many of them clearly long since
> gone past being candidates for even a surface
> cosmetic restoration. My semi educated guess is
> that nationwide the cars/locomotives in this
> category number in the high hundreds or low
> thousands. 99.9% of them will NEVER get restored,
> and hard as it is to accept would be better off
> getting monetized and the money used to support
> the institution's ongoing efforts.
>
>     Sad but true. Ross Rowland 

I guess using that logic, museums should start scrapping cars and locomotives to get money to keep the giving the public a five minute thrill of riding a "old time"train. Maybe even paint locomotives in clown colors to entertain the kiddies. At that point, it's just an amusement park, not a museum with historical trains.



Date: 08/04/22 17:38
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: ChrisCampi

"However, if you can't manage to budget its protection then don't seek nor accept the artifact in the first place."

---------------

This is a bit of a catch 22 right? Assuming nobody else wanted the piece and it would go to scrap otherwise, museum A could take it and store it in hopes that someday circumstances might dictate it does get restored or moved, sold, traded to museum B that does have the resources needed to save the piece.

The museum I volunteer for has done this quite a few times now. Another issue with wood cars is they really must be stored indoors after restoration or all the manpower and funding put towards the restoration goes for nought in a hurry. Many museum's struggle with finding enough covered storage and it really should be a priority as soon as possible. Buildings can be difficult though. Not just the expense, but permitting, fire prevention, fire road access, ADA, local politics and a whole host of issues can arise. It's particularly challenging if the museum doesn't own the property.

I have no idea what the situation in Nevada is, but things aren't always cut and dry and hard choices need to be made sometimes.



Date: 08/04/22 18:36
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: Mgoldman

I can often find myself looking at hidden, out of the way, forgotten equipment and finding
an appreciation for it equal to what is considered "worthy" - this applies at the B&O RR
Museum, the Museum of Transportation (St. Louis), East Broad Top's Mt Union Yard -
and somewhat recently, back in Februarry of 2020 - the Neveda State RR Museum.

That historic equipment as such could be cut up for scrap (especially considering someone
made a request to take it) is insane.  I'd be willing to bet there were places it could've been
moved to - until it was sold, or in this case, until the event was over.  It could've even been
placed off rails vs in the dumpster.

The confines were tight, the light was dim - thought I was able to grab more pics.  I am hoping
it was not the passenger car in this photo that was scrapped?  My memory of the details elude
me.  I seem to recall and even older, less ornamental car which alone was not impressive, but
upon discovering the history of it, became that much more impressive.  Perhaps it was the
yellow peice of rolling stock in the rear of the second photo?

/Mitch



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 18:53 by Mgoldman.






Date: 08/04/22 19:01
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: callum_out

Tonopah had the LV&T/T&T station which was beautiful but a bit less so after it burned down. I know that the
Central Nevada Museum lobbied the city to get the LV&T car back from Carson City, not sure where this fell
apart.

Out 



Date: 08/04/22 22:58
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: RRBMail

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 not sure where
> this fell
> apart.
>
> Out 

It fell apart when the NSRM novice, posing as a curator (Middle English for guardian), gave the order to trash it."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 23:02 by RRBMail.



Date: 08/05/22 05:51
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: atsf121

Sad

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/05/22 10:08
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: BAB

RRBMail Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> callum_out Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>  not sure where
> > this fell
> > apart.
> >
> > Out 
>
> It fell apart when the NSRM novice, posing as a
> curator (Middle English for guardian), gave the
> order to trash it."

Thanks for the rest of the story seems that puts a nail in all of the ranting above this.  Poor management oversite of there people who report to them allowing one person to make a huge decision which was done for that persons own needs only.



Date: 08/05/22 10:24
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: DPTHIELEN

Great discussion here. Perhaps I can clarify some issues.

Tonopah Mining Park never wanted this piece. It was offered to them and several other museums. They declined.

The museum does not have unlimited resources. That includes time, space, funds or personnel. It just does not. We must admit that.

Given the constraints, we make hard decisions on what must be saved. What is in the collection that needs to get out of the weather? Are there more important items than yet another coach?

We were able to move two important flat cars, the a rare water car, and the remaining pieces of rare motor cars from the V&T railroad into the building, You may not agree with our decision, but we had to choose. The Museum has lost historic fabric and was destined to lose more if we continued to let pieces dissolve in the environment.

This piece was not a donated piece. It was purchased by the state. It was not in the collection. It was in storage. It should not have been purchased. It was sold to the state with the understanding it was a LV&T coach. This made it very interesting. However it was not a LV&T. It was a T&T coach with less significance. It was heavily modified by the in the 1960s at the LA Live steamers. Much historic fabric was removed to make apartments. The partitions were gone. All seats were gone. A bathroom was installed and its unattended leak caused substantial damage. Was another coach more important than obscure pieces in the collection? Probably not. This was never a candidate for restoration. No other museum offered to receive it. No research had been done by the museum or private entities in nearly 40 years. It was only in 2013, when space was at a premium, did its identity become known. Any tiny amount of interest in the coach was extinguished at that time. It was old-yes. It was a wooden coach-yes. Can anyone state why this coach was more important than anything else? Not even modelers looked at this item.

No one was happy about this action. This was not a novice decision as claimed above. Reality has to address how to we save collections. $25-50M (yes million) dollars are required to expand our ability save everything germane in our collections. We can receive that through donations, if you have it.

Daniel Thielen
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum.

edited for errors
 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/22 10:35 by DPTHIELEN.



Date: 08/05/22 11:22
Re: Disturbing News out of Carson City
Author: webmaster

DPTHIELEN Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great discussion here. Perhaps I can clarify some
> issues.
>
> Tonopah Mining Park never wanted this piece. It
> was offered to them and several other museums.
> They declined.

This contradicts what I have heard from two other sources I think your statement is untruthful.

> Given the constraints, we make hard decisions on
> what must be saved. What is in the collection that
> needs to get out of the weather? Are there more
> important items than yet another coach?
>
> We were able to move two important flat cars, the
> a rare water car, and the remaining pieces of rare
> motor cars from the V&T railroad into the
> building, You may not agree with our decision, but
> we had to choose. The Museum has lost historic
> fabric and was destined to lose more if we
> continued to let pieces dissolve in the
> environment.
>
> This piece was not a donated piece. It was
> purchased by the state. It was not in the
> collection. It was in storage. It should not have
> been purchased. It was sold to the state with the
> understanding it was a LV&T coach. This made it
> very interesting. However it was not a LV&T. It
> was a T&T coach with less significance.

Why is T&T less significant?  It was a competitor to the Las Vegas and Tonopah and they both chased the same business. To say it is less significant railroad to Nevada is open to interpretation.  It is ridiculous to say the car should be scrapped because it is not an LV&T car.

> It was
> heavily modified by the in the 1960s at the LA
> Live steamers. Much historic fabric was removed to
> make apartments. The partitions were gone. All
> seats were gone.

So what, other items in your collection were in just as bad of shape if not worse before they were rebuilt.

> A bathroom was installed and its
> unattended leak caused substantial damage.

It is a wooden car and rebuilding it would not make a difference if there was rot, a water leak, and a bathroom.  You would tear everything off a wooden car rebuild anyway.

> Was another coach more important than obscure pieces
> in the collection?

Another coach, do you have any other coaches of this size and type in your collection? How many T&T pieces do you have in your collection?

> Probably not. This was never a
> candidate for restoration. No other museum offered
> to receive it.

Who was it offered to and when?  

> No research had been done by the
> museum or private entities in nearly 40 years.
> was only in 2013, when space was at a premium, did
> its identity become known. Any tiny amount of
> interest in the coach was extinguished at that
> time. It was old-yes. It was a wooden coach-yes.
> Can anyone state why this coach was more important
> than anything else? Not even modelers looked at
> this item.

How do you know who looks at it?  One of my members knew quite a bit about it, so a blanket statement that nobody looked at it is rubbish.

>
> No one was happy about this action. This was not a
> novice decision as claimed above. Reality has to
> address how to we save collections. $25-50M (yes
> million) dollars are required to expand our
> ability save everything germane in our
> collections. We can receive that through
> donations, if you have it.
>
> Daniel Thielen
> Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum.
>

$50 million for a covered structure?  That is rediculous.  Your statement implies that there are other pieces destined for a date with the chainsaw. 

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



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