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Golden Spike Chapter Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - What do they have to show for themselves?

September 09, 2019 09:52PM avatar
With the publication of the news about the complications with the 223's restoration, I've noticed certain themes resurface in regard to the chapter, perhaps in attempt to find a scapegoat for the issue. Some of our generous donors have expressed concern, and understandably. Hopefully nobody feels that their donations will be wasted.

I mentioned in the other thread that many have leveled the criticism "It's been twenty years, what do you have to show for yourselves?" What is not understood is that in those 20 years, the Golden Spike Chapter has undertaken and completed several major preservation projects simultaneous to the 223. First was a Union Pacific Railway Post Office Car, which was acquired by the chapter from a scrapyard in Pocatello Idaho and completely restored and then donated to the Union Station Foundation for display at the Utah State Railroad Museum. The second was an Army Hospital Car obtained without trucks from the backlot of Smith & Edwards, a large army surplus store in Farr West north of Ogden, and again fully restored and donated to the Foundation for display at the Utah State Railroad Museum. Both cars are integral pieces at the forefront of the USRM collections and if you attended the Golden Spike events this year we hope you enjoyed them. We also returned a Utah Central Railway GE 44-tonner to operation after 15 years of inactivity. The shop whistle from the Southern Pacific Backshops was installed on the roof of the Union Station with a compressor system and blows every day at noon thanks to the Golden Spike Chapter.

A more recent project is the organization and preservation of the Spotlight King Photograph Collection. Spotlight King was an employee of Union Pacific on their passenger trains (and supposedly he worked briefly for the Santa Fe) and collected autographed photographs from the celebrities who rode his trains. The chapter is working on an online gallery for his collection to be available.

Through all of this, the chapter has worked with the Union Station Foundation to maintain the Utah State Railroad Museum collections as a whole, mitigating vandalism, cleaning the rail center, and providing security during events. The full 24-page equipment roster and history that the Foundation displayed on the Utah State Railroad Museum website (now defunct as Ogden City took over the operation but didn't continue the dedicated webpage) was written by me over a five month research period as part of the chapter activities.

In regards to the 223, in November 2018 when we were served the notice to vacate premises, we had just barely finished lettering the tender. That phase of the project is done. We were about to send off the drivers to be turned, and had the transportation ready to move them to the machine shop where that was to be done. Discussions were in progress with another shop to bore the cylinders and we had requested bids for the boiler work. The cab is complete, all major appliances are complete, and we had hoped that by this time this year the running gear would be reassembled and the boiler at a shop being worked on. This was the home stretch - we could have seen an operating 223 by summer 2020, pending fundraising of course, if the chapter had not been served an eviction at the last moment.

My hope is that if you had any doubt of the chapter, or were among those that criticized us for not accomplishing anything, that you will reconsider. As far as historical societies go, we have accomplished quite a bit beyond what our original charter (to restore the 223 to operation) entailed.

Our website, Save223.org, has more information, and photos, videos, and writing of the 223 project as well as our other historical projects. Please take a look.

Regards,

Josh Bernhard



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2019 09:55PM by D&RGW 223.
Subject Author Posted

Golden Spike Chapter Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - What do they have to show for themselves?

D&RGW 223 September 09, 2019 09:52PM

Re: Golden Spike Chapter Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - What do they have to show for themselves?

Bill M. September 10, 2019 07:00AM

Re: Golden Spike Chapter Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - What do they have to show for themselves?

Steve Stockham September 10, 2019 08:49AM

Re: Golden Spike Chapter Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - What do they have to show for themselves?

nedsn3 September 12, 2019 07:13AM

Re: Golden Spike Chapter Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - What do they have to show for themselves?

Rob Gardner September 14, 2019 09:33PM



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