Newsletter v10 No 1 2012

Page 1



REALLY THE ^ GOOD NEWS DEPARTMENT by Morris Gould, Executive Director

THE MUSEUM REOPENED ON MARCH 15TH March 15th, 2011 was truly a red-letter day. Not everything is fixed: the buildings are not all open and the cars are not all completely restored, but they should be by May 2012. Regardless, the Museum began accepting guests again, and judging from the reaction of those guests, the public is overjoyed that the Museum is open once again. Members and long-time readers of this newsletter are fully aware that the Museum was devastated in September 2008 by Hurricane Ike’s flood waters. You may also know that the Federal Government, in the guise of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) rode to the rescue, not only of the Museum, but also of much of Galveston Island. FEMA, in case you are under the misconception that they hand out free money, does not do so. The agency provides funds after a disaster so that communities can rebuild and continue providing jobs and generating tax revenues, both locally and at the Federal level. FEMA personnel estimated damage to the Museum would require $8 million to repair, but the total will probably be closer to $6 million. The Museum had to generate 10% of the final total as matching funds. With this mandate, the Museum began a vigorous campaign to secure the required funding. Board Member Don Harper wrote grant proposals to the Moody Foundation, the Mary Moody Northen Foundation, the Kempner Foundation (all located in Galveston), the Meadows Foundation, the Houston Endowment, the Herzstein Foundation (all located in Houston), and the UP and BNSF Foundations. Both the Moody Foundation and the Meadows Found-

ation awarded the Museum grants of $100,000. Both were, however, contingent on the Museum raising an equal amount. The Kempner Foundation awarded an unrestricted $5,000 grant. While grant proposals were pending, the Museum staff and Board were not idle. Board President George Williamson wrote a letter soliciting donations from all current and past members. As the number of individuals asking to tour the Museum to see reconstruction progress increased, staff decided to give tours for a donation. And, our webmaster set up a Pay Pal account on the Museum’s website to make it easy to donate. Donations from all three of these efforts total about $90,000. In addition, George Mitchell donated $15,000. Then came the ultimate good news. I received a telephone call from Elizabeth Love with the Houston Endowment on July 20 informing me that the Endowment board had awarded the Museum an unrestricted grant of $250,000. This grant not only “unlocked” $2.5 million of FEMA funds, but also provided the matching funds required by the Moody Foundation and Meadows Foundation. To compound the good news, the Herzstein Foundation provided $25,000, and Union Pacific Railroad’s Vice President Joe Adams and Assistant Vice President Juan Carreon came to the Museum bearing a check for $13,000. Subsequently the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe’s President John Ambler. and Joe Faust, Corporate Relations, came to the Museum with a check for $10,000. So, in all, the Museum raised almost $600,000. And now that the Museum has reopened, the Museum’s share of the City of Galveston’s hotel-motel tax, which is used for advertising and production and mailing of this newsletter, was reinstated. .

And One More Thing Because the Museum is located in an area vulnerable to flooding, FEMA-funded repairs have been criticized by some as a waste of money. To put FEMA’s rescue of the Museum in perspective, consider the following. Forty-six years elapsed between major flooding storms - Hurricane Carla in 1962 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. If the total repair bill comes to the full estimated $8 million dollars (unlikely), then the

amortized cost for a like period of time in the future is about $176,000 per year. The Museum routinely pumped much more than that into the economy in direct wages and purchased and taxes, not to mention putting heads in beds in the local hotels and motels. Once restored to full operating capacity, the Museum will more than repay the funds invested in the rebuilding effort.

THE REGULAR GOOD NEWS DEPARTMENT by Don Harper, Board Member While all the grant writing and donation solicitation was occurring, the Museum staff wasn’t sitting idle. Besides dealing with FEMA paperwork, bids were sought, and contracts let, for car repairs. Here we review recent repairs.

Illinois Central RPO 100 The IC RPO had to be gutted - termites had invaded the mail sorting benches and severe rust had weakened the frame. The floor was ripped up. New frame members were fabricated and installed. All metal parts were hydroblasted, coated with Rust X, and primed before the floor was replaced

New subfloor in place, January, 2010, ready for the floor boards.

The RPO car’s metal frame exposed. Note the rusted out cross members on the left at the far end.

RPO interior, May 2010. Floor replaced. Note that about half the boards are new. Welding in new pieces of frame.

Hydroblasting the frame after repairs were made.

RPO interior, Oct 2011, completely refurbished.

Calvin removed the rotted wood, hydroblasted the metal parts, applied Rust X, primed the parts and applied a top coat of oxide red.

Another view of the RPO interior, Oct 2011.

Calvin Wehrle painting the B end truck. Then the rebuild commenced. Timbers for the sills, and planks for the deck, were purchased.

New brake triple valve (left) and reservoir installed.

Missouri-Kansas-Texas Flat Car 15143 Calvin Wehrle undertook a complete rebuild of the MKT flat car. The wooden frame had almost completely rotted away, leaving metal parts on the ground - much the same condition as it was in when Joe Bailey found the car. Timbers for the MKT flat car being delivered. Those beams are 8x8 and 36 feet long. The sills were lifted into place using a small bucket loader.

Calvin Wehrle (at far end) directing placement of sills. The MKT flat car in 2006. By 2009 the sills had mostly rotted away.

And once the sills were in place they were primed and top coated with oxide red, and finally the deck was installed.

The sills in place and primed. MKT flat car being lifted off the tracks.

MKT flat car in the yard. Calvin Wehrle installing the decking. And finally stakes were installed in the side pockets, completing restoration of the flat car.

Western Fruit Express Refrigerator Car 66354 The rotted exterior siding of the car was removed and new sheathing was installed.

The reefer car side before repairs began.

The completely restored MKT flat car. The flat car had been sandwiched between the Silver Hours coach and the former Artrain coach, neither of which move, for years. It was also behind a fence where the public couldn’t access it. In March the car was picked up and moved out into the yard where it can be used and where patrons can see and touch it. The reefer car about half resheathed.

The reefer car with the right side completely resheathed.

Tank Cars BNSF sent two locomotives to the Museum to move disabled locomotives and cars out of the way so that track repair could begin and the tank cars could be moved.

ATSF tank car back upright, on its trucks.

The Case Steam Tractor After finishing the MKT flat car, Calvin Wehrle completely repaired the Case steam tractor in the Garden of Steam and repainted it.

BNSF locomotives shoving a long string of rolling stock onto Track 5 after clearing other tracks in the yard. Once the tracks were cleared, L&T Company was able to come in and remount the tank cars (remember they had floated off their trucks) back on their kingpins.

The UTLX, Arrow, and ATSF tank cars, could be seen listing to port, immediately after cars were removed from Track 3.

Calvin Wehrle hydroblasting the tractor.

Calvin and his assistant scraping paint off the tractor in preparation for painting.

Newly painted fountain, with Mexican heather planted around it, May 27, 2010

The left and right sides, finished.

The Grand Fountain and Garden While Calvin was working on the tractor, I spent a week in Galveston working on the entrance fountain. It was stripped of old paint before being primed and painted.

The garden around the fountain is now known as “Carol’s Garden” in memory of my wife who originally conceived the idea of a fountain garden in 2006. Carol removed turf and lots of cinders, pieces of brick and other filler, and replaced these materials with garden soil, and finally planted Natal plum in a ring around the fountain and sage between the Natal plum and the curb. Those plants grew quite well, with the Natal plum growing up to the level of the fountain rim, hiding the cinder block supports, but were killed by Ike’s flood waters. The Natal plum had long, sharp spines and were a hazard to visitors, so they were replaced last year with Mexican heather. The heather didn’t survive the winter. In the spring of 2011 I removed the Mexican heather and, on the recommendation of a local Master Gardener, planted orange-blooming Ixora around the fountain. I also planted the low-growing “White Princess” Lobularia hybrid along the curb. Sandi Cobb planted vinca in between. The results are truly spectacular.

Fountain before cleaning.

Carol’s Garden, October 2011

Engines SP 314 and WBTS 1

Fountain basins primed and Mexican heather planted.

Both engines have been completely rehabilitated – rusted metal replaced, rotten wood replaced – and repainted. They both look like brand new engines.

WBTS #1 in sad shape before. It is difficult to see in this small photo, but the sand dome, just in front of the cab, is rusted through along almost all of its base.

Workers installing new ties. The two workers in the foreground are using a spacing bar to be sure the rails are 4’ 8.5 inches apart.

New Rolling Stock The Museum’s SP 1303 switcher, the Air Force engine, and Texas Limited F-units were damaged beyond repair by salty flood waters of Ike. Replacement engines have been purchased. A GE 80-ton center cab switcher now provides power for caboose rides. Still to be delivered are two rehabilitated F-units and two chair cars. This consist will be Amtrak certified and will be able to run excursions to and from Houston. Stay tuned for updates.

WBTS #1 completely, and beautifully, refurbished.

33rd Street Crossing Repairs The grade crossing at 33rd Street has long been both an eyesore and a very rough road. This was corrected in August when track workers dug up the asphalt and timber surface, removed the old ties, such as they were, and installed new ties. No. 1983, denoting the opening of the Museum for the first time.

Building Repairs

Road surface and old ties removed from 33rd Street crossing

Architect Harry Gendel has been busy drawing up the plans for reconstruction of the buildings. First priority was the Peoples’ Gallery, as it is a major source of cash flow. Recently, Board Chair George Williamson and Mr. Gendel signed the contract that initiated the rebuilding process. The Peoples’ Gallery has been completely refurbished and is open to the public. The gift stand, which was trashed by the storm, has been duplicated and is open for business. Stop by and visit with Betty Morris and the other staff. If you stay long enough, they will surely help you find something you can’t live without.

George Williamson driving the minitrain in the 4th of July parade along the Strand in Galveston. George Williamson (left) and Harry Gendel (right) sign the rebuilding contract. Executive assistant Sandi Cobb looks on.

Events at the Museum The Museum and its minitrain has been a prominent feature of two (so far) Galveston events - Mardi Gras and the 4th of July parade. In both events a group of ecstatic kids got to ride in the minitrain cars. The Museum also hosted an open house following the parades. Hot dogs and lemonade were served to over 500 participants.

Carl Hallows (in conductor hat) and Larry Highley waiting for the train to roll in the Mardi Gras parade.

Kids riding in the open minitrain car.

Attendees in the Garden of Steam

Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski holding forth. Kids riding in the “dome� car.

The Santa Train was run in early December, to the absolute delight of kids and kids at heart.

Santa arriving on the rear deck of the Missouri Pacific short, bay window, caboose.

Santa greeting kids as they wait to board the MP caboose and ride to the end of the tracks.

Families lined up (sort of) waiting to board the caboose.

Museum staff dressed up for the Santa Train event.

The Museum Joins the Tree Sculpture Tour You may already know that the salty flood waters associated with Hurricane Ike killed a very large number of trees on the Island. Most of these have been cut down and replacements have been planted in many cases. But some of the dead trees were selected to be sculpted into artistic masterpieces, and those are the subject of an Island tour. The Museum recently acquired property across Santa Fe Place from the Museum proper. And on that property were two dead trees, one of them reputed to be the oldest tree on the Island. Jim Phillips, a master sculptor with a chain saw, has transformed two ugly stumps into works of art.

Jim Philips using his chain saw to create a sculpture.

Jim Phillips working on one of the tree stumps.

Jim Philips posing with a statue carving, about half done.

OBITUARY John E. “Jack” Haley Former Board Member and Friend of the Museum

Semaphore and engineman created from the two tree stumps.

Jack Haley standing beside his scale model of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Close up of the sculpture depicting an engineman checking his watch with the semaphore in the background.

John E. “Jack” Haley, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), 75, died July 2nd of a heart attack while out walking with his wife Marj. Jack served on the Board of Directors of the Museum from 1997 through 1999. He had an extensive collection of Union Pacific HO scale engines and rail cars that he loaned to the Museum for several years. These were displayed in the theater building room containing the HO scale railroad. But whether on the Board or not, Jack always supported the Museum. Jack Haley had a storied life. He was a railroader, a model railroader, a pilot, a businessman, and best of all, a good friend. His father was a Union Pacific brakeman and Jack was inculcated with the railroad bug at an early age. He hired out on the UP as a brakeman while a teenager, during the steam to diesel transition period, and worked several years before joining the Air Force. His collection of engines represented the power he saw and worked around during his stint with the railroad. He became a pilot during the Viet Nam era and flew numerous bombing missions. He said the most harrowing experience was when an unexploded surface-to-air missile was in his fuselage and his co-pilot was dead in the seat

beside him. After his tour of duty, he piloted Air Force Two for a number of years. Upon leaving active duty, he and Marj purchased a short line railroad and operated that for several years. They also started and operated a dinner train. Finally, Jack got into the real estate market, specializing in apartments. He developed a computer program that he used to determine if a particular piece of property could be bought, rehabilitated, and rented to generate a profit. He was very successful in this venture, and he attracted a lot of investors. Haley Associated Limited Partnership stopped accepting new investors in 2010 and a new partnership, Haley Associates Limited Partnership Fund No. 1 was established. While retaining their home in Galveston, Jack and Marj also went searching for a home in Jack’s Omaha, Nebraska, roots. The main requirement of the home was that it had a large basement for his model railroad. They found such a home, and soon after the purchase, Jack

began building his dream layout – an HO scale model of the Union Pacific covering the territory he worked as a brakeman. Jack and Marj traveled extensively in Europe. Once there, they did most of their traveling by train. Almost invariably Jack would go to the head end and talk with the engineer. When they learned he had owned a railroad and had been an engineer, they usually invited him into he cab to look around, and often he got to ride with the crew. Besides his business partner, best friend and wife, Marj, Jack leaves his children: Kathleen Buhrman, Monica Haley-Pierson, Mary Haley-Amen, John Haley, Margaret DeCampo, Patricia Stueckler, Cecilia Mixon, Monette Zaugg, Kristi Storm, Kirk Storm , and Mitch Storm; 26 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; sister Patricia Clatanoff; and a vast array of friends. Burial with full military honors was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Elkhorn, Indiana.

VOLUNTEERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME The lifeblood of any non-profit organization is the volunteers who give their time and money simply because they love what the organization stands for. There are many great volunteer positions available for YOU at the Galveston Railroad. Check out the types of jobs listed below and see which ones interest you! Archives Volunteer: Assist Stefanie White with cataloguing and care of materials located in the Museum’s archives. Create new displays for artifacts. Some prior experience helpful. Times needed: weekdays and weekends. Docent: Assist Andrew Ridenour to conduct guided tours of the Museum grounds and watch over Museum displays. A one-day training session to familiarize the docent with railroad history and the Museum equipment and grounds is required prior to beginning tours. Times needed: weekdays and weekends. Education Volunteer: Assist Larry Highley in presenting educational material to merit badge classes, Pullman Parties, and school groups. Should enjoy interacting with children ages 4 through 17. A one-day training session to familiarize the volunteer with railroad history and the Museum grounds and equipment is required. Availability year around is a plus. Grounds Volunteer: Assist the groundskeeper with cutting grass, and planting, watering and weeding flowers, and picking up trash and leaves. On the job training is available if needed. Times needed: flexible to fit your schedule. Publicity Volunteer: Generate publicity notices for local newspapers and provide copy to same. Assist in keeping the Museum’s mailing list for special events and newsletter mailings up to date. Assist in preparing and mailing newsletters. Times needed: flexible to fit your schedule.

Model Railroad Volunteer: Assist Stephen Duncan and Joseph Maytum to keep the model railroad display in Theater 4 running by cleaning tracks, engine and railcar wheels, replacing worn out parts, and keeping structures on the layout clean. Also act as a docent and answer questions from visitors while working on the layout. Times needed: flexible to fit your schedule. Rolling Stock Maintenance Volunteer: Assist in restoration, conservation and maintenance of rail cars and engines. Includes painting, woodworking, and upholstering, as well as metal, mechanical, and electrical work. Should have suitable work clothes and work shoes. Safety equipment can be provided. Times needed: weekends and weekdays. Way and Track Volunteer: Assist Scott LaPointe in railway track maintenance and in keeping the Museum yard and right of way clear of weeds and grass. Should enjoy heavy work. Should have suitable work clothes and work boots. Safety equipment can be provided. Times needed: weekends and weekdays. Conductor. Assist Chris Hazelton and Spence Gaskin with passenger control during rides on Saturdays. Must be able to repeatedly climb on and off the engine or caboose. Special Events Volunteer: Assist the Museum staff during events such as the annual train show, Hobo Night, the Santa Train, Mardi Gras, and other such events. Volunteers need only to enjoy interacting with the public: Times needed: during special events.

Galveston Island Railroad Museum & Terminal 2602 Santa Fe Place Galveston, TX 77550 409-765-5700

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