Richard, I could be tempted to say some smart alec remark, but please pay attention. STEAM HAS BEEN OPERATING at IRM the last three consecutive weekend days! There are a limited number of remaining days scheduled, and without support, future such events will be looked at closely.
Bob, I am aware that Leviathan #63 has been operating, although it hardly qualifies as a part of your regular operation. I intend to see be there over Labor Day weekend. My question was really along the lines of when will regular steam be back (Frisco 1630 e.g.)? I'm a long-time member and believe that it's such an important part of keeping folks coming back (I have a five year old grandson that I am eager to introduce to steam, but so far no luck). Thanks for your response.
You are teasing me away from reporting activities and accomplished facts. But here goes - some of my opinions. The average visitor will not distinguish between Leviathan steam and steam from a longtime member of the IRM roster. If they are not attracted by one, they will not make a trip for the other.
Steam locomotives are a complex and expensive proposition to operate or to restore and maintain. The dynamics of any volunteer efforts necessarily involve long timelines. Not only because none of us put in a paid 40 hour week out there, but because skills and materials are simply not existing in society or industry today. If you were will to salt in something over $100K to help, the projects would move faster, but that is not an option.
The accomplishments of the volunteer efforts over the years is truly astounding if you were to be aware of the steps needed and careful work accomplished. DO NOT diminish those efforts, but applaud them. The crews are moving along on many tasks and we report those in these blogs. But I doubt we should ever predict when smoke will come from the stack, or for that matter when sparks will fly from a trolley pole. There are just too many uncertainties.
Bob, I was certainly NOT diminishing the efforts of anyone at the museum. As a long-time member and avid reader of Rail and Wire, I marvel each month at the skill and dedication of the volunteers who make it all happen. At the same time, I wonder what the specific plans are to get some of the IRM's steam roster operational again. It's been off line for a long time and I search Rail and Wire each month in vain for some information.
Like any volunteer organization, ALL the various tasks are just that - done by volunteers. Within my limits, I try to take pics and report on what I am involved in. But it is up to each department to report their accomplishments and progress. Some are better at that than others. But if it a choice of typing a report or story vs. wielding a cutting torch or machining new steel, I vote for the latter. Several 'reporters' have forwarded stories on their work, and there has been more news about steam than previously. Will it continue? It is not up to me.
There is no paid staff for Rail & Wire and it is not up to them to prowl the site every weekend, camera in hand to try to 'create' a story. They work with what has been submitted to them.
The way to fix such a problem as you perceive is to be part of the solution. Come on out, take pics, jot down notes, and submit content.
My son and I had the oportunity to tour the steam shop a couple weekends ago and one of the volunteers said at leasr 2 years to get one of IRM's locomotives back under steam.Like all things at IRM money donations and volunteers would be nice.