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Re: Are there any individual projects out there?

July 23, 2011 07:20AM
As to selling off my Apache #6, it was always in the back of my mind that this may happen, it was only a surprise that it happened so soon.

I looked at a lot of options for keeping it here in NJ. Sounds odd, but if she was still in pieces and not running I probably would have kept her, but the idea of dismantling her, undoing years of work, in order to make a move easier and indoor storage cheaper, well, that was just not an option in my mind. Two local places offered a home where she could be operated on a short section of track, but I did not want to go through the effort of moving the track. The other issue was the open cab so storage outdoors was really not an option. In the end she went to Arizona where she operated most of her life. Kind of like going home.

In place of the Porter I picked up a 1907 Herschell-Spillman 15" gauge steam locomotive which appears to have run at Cedar Point in Ohio 50 or so years before the 3' gauge operation was installed. This engine was being restored by my Porter partner so I have picked up the project about 1/2 way through. A Herschell is pretty much the same thing as a Cagney with a few minor differences. At this point I am waiting for new drivers/axles to be finished and I can get this engine back on its wheels for the first time in many decades. While I am a 3' gauge fan, a 15" gauge locomotive fits in the garage much better, but in truth I will have spent far more on the Herschell versus the Porter. Where will I run it? Hopefully up in Benton Harbor, MI, home of the House of David amusement park which is under going restoration by a devoted group of volunteers. They had an extensive 15" gauge railroad to move park attendees going back to the early 1900s.

I did have a few lessons learned out of the Porter effort. Here in NJ, its far better to own standard gauge if you want to have options available as to where to keep it and perhaps operate it. If Apache #6 had been standard gauge, I would still own it today.

J.R.
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Are there any individual projects out there?

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