Newsletter v15 No 1 2017

Page 1


April 2017

TRAIN ORDERS by Morris Gould, Executive Director

Many changes have occurred at the Museum since the last newsletter was written. There have been a couple of personnel changes. Betty Morris, long time Gift Shop Manager at the Newsstand in the People's Gallery, retired just after the Railroad Days event on the 1st and 2nd of October. Betty was recently honored for her always-smiling attitude toward patrons and her dedication to the Museum. Executive Director, Morris Gould, presented Betty with a plaque for her outstanding service. Lanette Pacheco has assumed the position of Gift Shop Manager. Lanette and her husband, Bill, reside in Port Bolivar. They moved to Galveston in 2012 from Arlington. Crystal Peralez left to the Museum to take another job at American National Insurance Company in Galveston. Her position has been assumed by Ginni Salas.

Morris Gould presenting Betty Morris with her a plaque in appreciation for her service to the Museum. Samantha Tan is the Railroad Museum’s new Marketing Director and Events Coordinator, replacing Lauren Llanes, who resigned in September. Samantha was born and raised in St. Louis Park, MN, a small suburb just west of Minneapolis. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Marketing with a minor in

Leadership from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. She and her husband made the move to Galveston, TX so that he could attend UTMB as a Physical Therapy student. Samantha joined the Museum in October 2016 and is excited to dive into marketing the Museum and coordinating special events.

Long view of the Museum parking lot. Dozens of motorcycles filling available space – at $5 per bike.

Samantha Tan in her office. The Rail Diesel Car (RDC) that has been on the Museum’s roster since 1976 was sold to the Southern Pacific Railroad History Center – the car is going back to home rails. Galveston’s annual bike rally was held on 4 and 5 November 2016. The Museum made a few bucks by providing parking places in its parking lot. The Museum’s Shay locomotive and Texas & New Orleans caboose, on loan to Texas City for years, has been returned to the Museum. The exterior of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy caboose, oldest railcar on the Museum’s roster (built ca 1880) has been fully restored. The Museum’s Fairmont S-2 motor car, submerged in Hurricane Ike’s flood has been restored and returned to the Museum. The Museum has been leasing its chair cars to various organizations. Eventually the cars will pay for themselves and earn the Museum a nice return. The Museum is fully indemnified in the event of a derailment or other accident that renders the cars unusable. A new manager, Taqueria Melchor Ocampo, has taken over operation of the Whistlestop Café at the Museum. LONE STAR BIKE RALLY Once again, the Museum opened its parking lot to the motorcyclists who travel to Galveston to participate in the Lone Star Bike Rally. As seen in the photos in the right column, the Museum attracted a large number of bikers.

Museum staff on hand to collect the parking fee from the bikers. . THE MUSEUM’S RAIL DIESEL CAR RETURNS TO CALIFORNIA The rail diesel car (RDC) concept was introduced by the Budd Company in the early 1950's to help railroads continue to provide passenger service on main and branch lines where passenger revenue was relatively small. These are self-propelled passenger cars, generally having a motorman and a conductor as the only crew. They are also much lighter than conventional engines and coaches. The RDCs were developed during the time when the railroads were trying to phase out passenger service entirely because of high costs, but were not allowed to do so by States and/or the Federal Government. The RDC gave the railroads a much less expensive alternative to passenger coaches pulled by either steam or diesel engines. They could be operated singly or in tandem. This Budd car was bought by the Southern Pacific when SP was compelled to continue providing passenger service along the San Francisco-Oakland to Sacramento line. Purchase of #10 (at approximately $175,000) allowed the SP to remove 4 daytime steam passenger trains from

service. RDC service commenced on 4 April 1954 and continued until March 1959. After the OaklandSacramento run was discontinued in March 1959, #10 was leased to the Northwestern Pacific. #10 is a standard production, stainless steel, model RDC-1 with 88 seats. Weight is 59 tons. The car has a pair of 275 hp GM 6-110 diesel engines connected to torque converters that power one axle on each truck. It can cruise easily at 70 mph. Maximum recommended speed is 84 mph. As built, she had cabs and controls on both ends, but a grade crossing encounter with a truck loaded with railroad ties on 7 October 1960 destroyed one end. When repaired, she was a one-ended car, with a baggage section replacing the demolished cab, and seating was reduced from 88 to 68. Northwestern Pacific, a subsidiary of SP, operated the RDC on the Redwood Empire Route between Willits and Eureka, CA, until May 1971 when Amtrak was formed. She was sold to the Yreka Western in July 1971 and became car #100, then later was sold to the Oregon Pacific & Eastern Railway in Cottage Grove, OR. The Museum acquired the car from the OP&E in 1975. The Museum operated the RDC for several years before the motors quit working. The RDC was half submerged during the Hurricane Ike tidal flood in 2008, rendering it totally inoperable. Early in 2016, the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society expressed interest in purchasing the RDC from the Museum and raised the funds to do so. One of the major obstacles to overcome for the move was the cost of the crane services. The Museum contacted L&T Crane Services, who in the past have been tremendous supporters of the Museum. After meeting with Scott Inman, Vice President of the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society and representatives of L&T Services, the Museum Board of Directors agreed to underwrite the crane expenses of loading the RDC on a flat car. The Board determined that this was necessary to save this piece of Southern Pacific rail history.

Two cranes with lifting straps around both ends of the RDC, awaiting arrival of the flat car.

Flat car being pushed by GRRM center cab 1983 toward the lifted RDC.

RDC being lowered onto the flat car.

Scott Inman, Vice President of the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society, second from left. To his right is Executive Director, Morris Gould. The other individuals are the L&T crane crew. They posed after the RDC was safely affixed to the flat car.

Sign on the window of the RDC indicating its destination.

SP 10 in Woodlands, Ca, awaiting unloading.


The RDC at Valentine, Arizona. 24 Nov 2016. Photo courtesy of David Carballido-Jeans.

New Staff at the Whistlestop Café. Irma Rabago has assumed the operation of the Whistlestop Café. Her specialty is Mexican food, but she also offers other fare. When visiting the Museum, be sure to stop at the Café and have some lunch.

THE OLD AND THE NEW SP 10 departing Sacramento, CA.

SP 10 arriving in Woodlands, CA, 7 Dec 2016.

SP 314, built 1893 and ATSF 315, built 1953.

THE GOOD NEWS DEPARTMENT By Don Harper, Board Member CHICAGO, BURLINGTON & QUINCY CABOOSE #14118 Calvin Wehrle resumed work on the caboose after the car was moved from its location on Track 1, next to the fence, to Track 2, after the latter had been rehabilitated. Calvin reported that the damage to the wood on the left side of the car was worse than on the right side – the left side faces the Gulf of Mexico, so receives the onshore wind laden with salt. In the photographs below, Calvin has removed all the external siding, exposing the diagonal boards beneath. He has installed a new side sill. The large open space is storage space beneath the cupola. There is a similar storage space on the other side of the car. The small area between the storage space and the end of the car is where the “toilet” is located – nothing more than an inverted cone that opens on to the tracks below. A very good reason not to be standing next to the tracks in those bygone days when a caboose was on the end of every train.

CB&Q 14118 caboose, A end, finished except for lettering and numbering. SHAY LOCOMOTIVE AND T&NO CABOOSE RETURNED TO THE MUSEUM

CB&Q caboose, left side, repairs in progress on 26 October 2016.

Back in the mid-1980s, the Museum loaned its Shay locomotive and Texas & New Orleans caboose to Texas City in exchange for boiler work being done on Engine 555. The boiler work was never completed, but the equipment sat in Noble Park for 20+ years before the Museum’s Board of Directors requested they be returned. The equipment was brought to Galveston on 1 December 2016 on flatbed trailers and unloaded onto the Museum’s lead track. Executive Director Morris Gould oiled the mechanisms. Museum volunteer Bob Johnson used the GE 80-tonner to push the Shay to a position on Track 2, and then lined up a string of box cars behind it. The Texas & New Orleans caboose was placed on Track 3 ahead of the newly restored Chicago, Burlington & Quincy caboose.

In the photo below, Calvin is attaching diagonal siding. He has already installed studs in several places where the original wood was damaged.

CB&Q caboose being resided by Calvin Wehrle in late October 2016.

Shay locomotive as it arrived at the Museum’s lead tracks.

Caboose being lowered on to the lead track.

Shay locomotive being lowered onto the lead tracks.


The Shay locomotive on Track 2, heading a line of freight cars.

The Museum’s Fairmont S-2 motorcar, submerged during the flood waters of Hurricane Ike, has been restored thanks to the efforts of Mike Harris.

T&NO Caboose alongside the lead track.

The restored motorcar in Mike Harris’ garage prior to being returned to the Museum.


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 one (or ones) interest you! Archives Volunteer: Assist Ellen Rider 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. Excellent opportunity for internship. Docent: Assist Eric Bowen to conduct guided tours of the Museum grounds and watch over Museum displays. A oneday 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 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 Stephen Barkley 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 Spence Gaskin and Bruce & Glenda Hehemann with passenger control during rides on Saturdays. Must be able to repeatedly climb on and off the engine or caboose. Special Events Volunteer: Assist Samantha Tan during events such as the annual train show, Santa Train, Mardi Gras, and other such events. Volunteers need only to enjoy interacting with people. NEW MEMBERS OF THE MUSEUM Alan Anderson Marlene Auth Dan Barr, Jr. Amber Brown Lori Betz Rachel Brown Leslie Gosnay Bill Higgins Charla Hinton Patrick Karsten

Aaron Long Jim Martel Grace Milstein-Torres Gregory Santo Shanee Scribner Brendon and Gaylon Strahan Daniel Wilson Ning Wang Wel Zhang Xinya Zhang

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

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