Newsletter v5 No 2 2006

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September 2006

THE MAN WHO MADE IT HAPPEN A Tribute to Joe Bailey This issue of the newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Joe Bailey. Joe and the crew he assembled were responsible for repairing, renovating or completely rebuilding much of the rolling stock purchased by the Museum in its early days. In many cases the cars were obtained in a state of advanced deterioration - the worst case being a pile of metal parts on the ground - but all were carefully researched and brought back to their former glory. Joe commuted 170 miles daily, 6 days a week, from his pecan farm in Simonton, Texas, for the privilege of sweating 10 hours a day in the hot Texas sun to restore old railroad cars. Joe even took the first cars acquired by the Museum home to begin restoration. Joe once commented “My mind is just a moving picture of old railroad cars. Every railroad car has a special story to tell. When I’m working with these vintage cars, bringing them back to life, I am fulfilling the dream of a lifetime.” Joe was railroader through and through! His mother was a Texas & New Orleans station agent in Simonton. He was a “boomer,” the railroad slang term for a guy who jumped from railroad to railroad as jobs came along, and at one time or another he was employed by the Texas & New Orleans, the St. Louis and San Francisco (“Frisco”), and the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad. He worked as a fireman, water pumper and trainman. His passion was railroading. He wrote: “I’ve had a continuous love affair with the railroads for as long as I can remember” and he devoted himself to acquiring, researching, and piecing the railcars purchased by the Museum back together. He scrounged through junkyards to find parts he needed. He even hand forged some of the tools he had to use in the restoration because “the real ones are scarcer than the cars themselves.”

The Man Who Made it Happen ........................ 1 First Annual Train Show .................................. 2 The Good News Department ........................... 3 Meet Mrs. Sarah Chinn .................................... 5 The Most Endangered Car in the Museum .... 6

So, as you wander through the Museum’s rail yard and examine the cars, remember Joe Bailey, the man who made it possible for you to do so. Joe succumed to cancer in 1990. Those of us who love railroading are indebted to him, and those of us who were not privileged to know him are poorer for it.

Joe Bailey in the cab of Engine 555.

When not working on 12" to the foot scale cars, Joe created award winning 1.5" scale models of Southern Pacific engines and cars, and he had a live steam operation on his farm. His hand made 2-8-0 still runs on occasion at Zube Park in Houston, Texas. We are also indebted to Joe for leaving us a written history of the cars, and a written and photographic record of the restoration work he and his crew did. It is most unfortunate that lack of attention and lack of funding allowed much of what Joe accomplished to deteriorate. However, restoration of the rolling stock is well underway, as has been documented in past editions of this newsletter, and we thought it was time our readers knew the story of who was responsible for fixing up the collection the first time around.

Joe Bailey on his home made Consolidation locomotive. 1


September 2006

THE MUSEUM'S FIRST ANNUAL MAY TRAIN SHOW WAS AN OUTSTANDING SUCCESS Executive Director Ralph Stenzel and board member Steve Barkley teamed up to produce a train show that was enjoyed by everyone. Held on May 20 and 21, during picture perfect weather, the event took over the entire Museum. Visitors coming in the main entrance to the Peoples’ Gallery were greeted by several model railroad layouts brought to the Museum by area clubs, and by vendors selling model railroad cars and engines. Outside in the Garden of Steam was a kiddie railroad with engines operated by crank handles. Members of the Beaumont Model Railroad Club held clinics on various aspects of modeling. In the main parking lot was a 1.5-inch scale streamliner train for visitors to ride. Morris Gould brought his dad’s speeder and took folks for rides. Volunteers manned the handcar and assisted folks as they pumped the car along the tracks. And of course, we offered train rides. Engineer Ray Wells made 20 runs both Saturday and Sunday, hauling caboose loads of visitors out along Harborside Drive and back. Some of the weekend activities are documented on this page.




THE MUSEUM, IT IS ACHANGIN’ by Don Harper, Chair, Volunteer Committee The improvements are coming fast and furious. I am pleased to report that two items in the Museum’s inventory that had not worked in over 10 years are operating again. The first is Air Force engine #1673. This engine was built in 1952 and purchased from Barksdale Air Force Base, California, in 1994. I remember its arrival being trumpeted in a newsletter article. “Little Blue” it was called, and it ran. By the time I joined the board in 1996 it had ceased operating. Our master mechanic board member, Morris Gould, determined that it could run by hooking jumper cables from engine 1303 to the AF engine. Once new batteries arrived, Morris set about making the engine operate on its own. He changed the oil and oil filters, cleaned and rebuilt the throttle actuators, and cleaned the accumulated “gunk” out of the sumps on both fuel tanks. Once Morris got it operating, it was used to move cars in the yard.

Fountain before renovation.

This gives the Museum two operating engines for switching operations or hauling passengers in the Missouri Pacific caboose. Morris says his next project is to repaint the AF engine.

Fountain restored and operating. Morris Gould working on the Air Force engine. The other non-functioning item, although non-revenue producing, but important nonetheless, was the fountain in the Museum’s parking lot. It was a nondescript rust bucket until my wife, Carol, and I removed the rust and flaking paint with wire brush and wire wheel, then primed and painted it. The interior of the large lower basin is green and the remainder is gloss black. Morris Gould got the water pump operating and constructed a cap to spray water into the upper basin from which it cascades down into the lower basin. The net effect of this huge ornamental iron fountain is quite stunning as one drives in the parking lot. Carol and I have planted a ring of natal plums around the fountain rim and are contemplating other plantings for the perimeter.

In the last issue we reported that Missouri Pacific caboose 13895 was being used to take Museum visitors for rides on Saturdays. To get the caboose ready for the train show in May, volunteers Carl and Samantha (Sam) Hallows completely renovated the inside, painting it gray. Morris Gould rebuilt the conductor’s table and installed it. The windows, which were stuck, were removed, cleaned, and now slide back and forth easily. The broken seats were repaired On the outside, they treated the left side, roof and porches with Ospho and painted them MP red. After the show, I cleaned the right side, filled in rust spots with Bondo, and applied rust converter. Sue Canup and Victor Garcia painted the right side and Sam Hallows finished the detail work. Drivers passing the caboose on Harborside Drive during the train rides now have a brand new looking caboose upon which to gaze.



September 2006

Carol Harper priming the inside of the gondola.

Carl and Sam Hallows painting the MP caboose.

MP caboose restored. In other restoration activities, volunteer Jerry Edwards, (a member of the Northwest Crossing Model Railroad Club whose members have contributed a lot of time and talent to the Museum’s restoration activities), constructed all new cab windows for our Waco, Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine engine #1. Since the last newsletter issue, volunteer Frank Mohler has painted more of engine 555. I have cleaned and primed more of the Santa Fe tank car, mostly the undercarriage areas. The inside walls of the KCS gondola have been cleaned, primed and painted and cleaning and priming the floor is in progress. Victor Garcia, the Museum’s jack of all trades employee, has painted the tops of all the passenger cars with aluminum roof coating. This has stopped the water leaking that was threatening


Shiny new car roofs as seen from the Shearn Moody Plaza roof. to rust them from the inside out. Recently Executive Driector Ralph Stenzel and I were taken to the roof of Shearn Moody Plaza and we were able to capture the scene shown above. Victor Garcia's latest effort was to paint the columns supporting the butterfly concourse roofs Santa Fe passenger car green. In addition, the frame of our Fairbanks Morse UP 410 has been painted gray and the hood has been treated with Ospho to stop rust. The Anacapa private car has been completely restored externally. As this is being written, the trucks and side frames of several cars are being painted.


September 2006 Even little things make a big difference in appearance - Sue Canup has painted the metal parts of all four baggage carts. Yes, folks, years of damage are being undone. And remember, a lot of these restoration activities are being funded by your membership donations. For this support, the Museum thanks you profusely. On the next-to-last page of the newsletter is a list of volunteer opportunities. No matter what your skills, the Museum can use your help. We invite you to get involved in your Museum as a hands-on volunteer. Come in and help us get things fixed up faster. Don't wait until all the fun things are done. Your satisfaction will be immeasurable.

Sue Canup painting a Railway Express baggage cart.

MEET MRS. SARAH CHINN KEEPER OF THE BACK GATE Mrs. Sarah Chinn has the distinction of being the longest serving employee at the Museum. Hired in 1995, she has faithfully worked to keep everything and everybody in good working order. If visitors are interested in holding celebrations of any kind, including weddings and receptions, Mrs. Chinn is the person to contact. She even includes cake and ice cream for that special birthday party. Often Scouts work on railroading badges at the Museum and she makes these events run smoothly. Visitors to the Museum who park in the free parking lot will enter through the back door and often meet Mrs. Chinn at this entrance. Perhaps you will encounter her in the People’s Gallery off the Strand entrance where she can be found relieving others during lunch. Mrs. Chinn knows the Railroad Museum inside and out. She has seen different Board of Directors make additions to the surroundings and has worked with two Executive Directors. The one common thread of all who work here is their effort to make the Museum a fun place to visit. Leaving the Museum happy and with a sense of having learned about the past is what everyone strives for. Prior to coming to the Museum, Mrs. Chinn worked for over 26 years for the Galveston School District. Besides her Museum family, she is the mother of 5 children, grandmother to 19 and great-grandmother to 15. Mrs. Chinn’s cheerfulness is an asset to the Museum. She greets other employees and those that visit with a big smile. Once you have met her, you feel as though you have made a friend. The Railroad Museum would not be the same place without her. Come meet Mrs. Chinn!



September 2006 THE MOST ENDANGERED CAR IN THE MUSEUM by Don Harper, Chair, Rolling Stock Committee

Without a doubt, the most endangered car in the Museum is the MKT flat car # 15143. It is a 36-foot, 30-ton capacity flat car. It has wooden sills, 8 stake pockets on each side, and it once had a wood deck. This is the only car in the Museum’s inventory with both truss rods and a K type triple valve. Both of these appliances were banned in interchange service long ago, so we know this car was used only on the home railroad. This car, constructed about 1896, has gone through several changes in appearance during its lifetime. Originally #15143 was probably a stock car or box car, based on the underframe design. It was acquired by the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine Railway and was converted to a caboose. The WBTS built a house on one end and two long tool boxes on the other end. The accompanying photo is courtesy of Don Ross. ( dr024.htm)

MKT 15143 as WBTS caboose #303. When Museum personnel found the car in Trinity, Texas, it had rotted completely in two and the truss rods and queen posts were sitting on the ground. It was completely rebuilt in Galveston by Joe Bailey and his crew. All metal parts, except the wheels, are original. The original car number is unknown, and 15143 was selected by Joe.

MKT 15143 in its current state.

When the car was rebuilt in the late 1970’s untreated timbers were used. Time and the weather have taken their toll on this car and it is in danger of literally falling apart before our eyes. The sills are dry rotted and last year the weight of the coupler caused the center sill to buckle upward. This car is in need of a lot of TLC, and anyone looking for a good time is welcome to take on the project of rebuilding it. The broken, splintered end of MKT 15143.



September 2006

THE MUSEUM IN THE PUBLIC EYE The October 2006 issue of Scouting Magazine will have an article on model railroading and the Boy Scout Railroading Merit Badge. Two museums that offer merit badge classes are featured in this article and one of them is your Museum. There will be a photo of 3 scouts standing on one of our hand cars. Be on the lookout for this issue. And remember, if you have a Boy Scout in your home, we offer the Railroading Merit Badge throughout the year. The Museum was asked by Galveston’s Strand Street merchants to attend their monthly meeting in July and present an update on the state of the Museum. Naturally we waited until the last minute and then frantically assembled 32 photos of the Museum and some of the restoration activities done or in progress. Executive Director Ralph Stenzel and Board member Don Harper attended the luncheon meeting. Harper gave the presentation, entitled “The Galveston Railroad Museum: Up From the Ashes Like a Phoenix” to the assembled group. It was very well received and there were a lot of questions, both during and after the talk. A vigorous round of applause occurred when Harper announced one of the prime goals of the Museum was to restore passenger service to and from the Island. FUNDRAISING EFFORTS Don’t forget, the Museum recycles aluminum cans to generate funds for railcar maintenance. Anyone is welcome to drop off bags of cans at the Museum. We’ll take it from there. So far this year we have recycled 367 pounds that has generated $226 that did not have to come out of the general operating fund. Kroger cards are a simple way to obtain additional funding. When you check out, remember to hand the clerk your Museum Kroger card and 1% of your total bill will come to us. Doesn’t sound like much but with lots of folks using their Kroger cards, it becomes a significant amount. If you don’t have a card and can use one or want extras for friends/relatives, please contact the office and we will send you as many cards as you can use. The Museum actively solicits grants, and there are many, many granting agencies out there. If you are aware of a grant funding source appropriate to the Museum, let us know. It just may be one that we have not tapped yet. VOLUNTEERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME The lifeblood of any non profit organization is the volunteers who give of 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. Don Harper is chair of the volunteer committee and he would like to hear from you. He can be reached by e-mail at, or by phone at 409/ 744-4103. Give him a call. Or call the Museum directly, 409/765-5700 and leave your name and a contact number. Get involved. Check out the types of jobs listed below and see which ones interest you! Model Railroad Volunteer: Assist Stephen Duncan keeping the Archives Volunteer: Assisting cataloguing and care of materials model railroad display in Theater 4 running by cleaning tracks, located in the Museum’s archives. Creating new displays of engine and railcar wheels, replacing worn out parts, and keeping artifacts. Some prior experience helpful. Times needed: weekdays structures on the layout clean. Also act as a docent and answer and weekends. questions from visitors while working on the layout. On the job training available if needed. Times needed: flexible to fit your Docent: Conduct guided tours of the Museum grounds. A oneschedule. day training session to familiarize the docent with railroad history and the Museum equipment and grounds is required prior to Rolling Stock Maintenance Volunteer: Assist in restoration, beginning tours. Times needed: weekdays and weekends. conservation and maintenance of rail cars and engines. Includes painting, woodworking, and upholstering, as well as metal, Education Volunteer: Assist in presenting educational material mechanical, and electrical work. Should have suitable work clothes to merit badge classes, Pullman Parties, and school groups. Should and work shoes. Safety equipment can be provided. Times needed: enjoy interacting with children ages 4 through 17. A one-day mostly Saturdays, some Sundays training session to familiarize the volunteer with railroad history and the Museum grounds and equipment is required. Availability Way and Track Volunteer: Assist in railway track maintenance year around is a plus. and keeping the Museum yard and right of way clear of weeds and grass. Should enjoy heavy work. Should have suitable work clothes Grounds Volunteer: Assist the groundskeeper with cutting grass, and work boots. Safety equipment can be provided. Times needed: and planting, watering and weeding flowers, and picking up trash mostly Saturdays, some Sundays. and leaves. On the job training is available if needed. Times needed: weekdays and weekends. Publicity Volunteer: Generate publicity notices for local newspapers and provide copy to same. Assist in keeping the Conductor. Assist with passenger control during rides on Museum’s mailing list for special events and newsletter mailings Saturdays. Must be able to repeatedly climb on and off the engine up to date. Assist in preparing and mailing newsletters Times or caboose. needed: flexible to fit your schedule.


Galveston Island Railroad Museum & Terminal 123 Rosenberg Galveston, TX 77550



September 2006 Galveston Island offers everything in a resort destination - beautiful accommodations, entertainment, shopping and 32 miles of Gulf Coast beaches. Galveston’s festivals, special events and attractions are enjoyable for Islanders and tourists alike. One bit of advice - don’t wait until you have out-of-town visitors to tour the island’s many attractions. Be sure to visit the Museum during your stay.

For additional information, visit the Galveston Island Visitors Center at 25th Street and Seawall Boulevard or Galveston Island Railroad Museum & Terminal 123 Rosenberg Galveston, TX 77550