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Re: PC: A Penn Central Museum? (Was MU # 1077)
- Subject: Re: PC: A Penn Central Museum? (Was MU # 1077)
- From: Robert Holzweiss <robert.holzweiss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 13:35:20 -0400
- Content-disposition: inline
JEROME A ROSENFELD wrote:
"It makes a difference since the NH RS-1 they have is not an honest
NH unit and never really set foot in that yard or another NH trackage.
Anyway the museum calls itself DANBURY "RAILWAY" MUSEUM a
museum that is supposed to preserve "ALL" types of railroad equipment
not just NH stuff. And they also have none NH stuff, a PRR B60
Baggage, Box Car, Hopper, EL Hopper most of which never made it there
anyway and who cares, "its a MUSEUM". NYC 4537 is no different than
what other non-NH stuff they have there."
"The E8 and Roger Williams are obviously there so the owners do not
have to pay for storage of their equipment as before going tp DRM."
Mr. Rosenfeld makes a good point. Questions about "authenticity" and
"scope" have plagued museums since museums began. In my
experience the debate can be quite furious leading some people
(especially volunteers) to abandon the museum forever. An unnamed
museum I was associated with handled the problem like this - 1.) survey
the collection, 2.) decided what railroad is best represented, 3.) decide
what era of the particular railroad the museum should represent.
Sounds easy but it practice it is difficult because it may mean parting
with a favorite piece of equipment and acquiring and painting equipment
in unpopular paint schemes. Often, if equipment from the representative
road was no longer available, a substitute (like the Danbury RS1) was
found and painted into appropriate scheme with the understanding that
the public would be informed that it was not original. That said,
preserving Penn Central equipment (1077 for example) AS Penn Central
equipment would be very difficult without a museum exclusively
dedicated to Penn Central. Why? Penn Central:
1. Existed for a relatively short period of time ('68-'76)
2. Had what many believed to be a somber paint scheme
3. Had embarrassing problems with operations, maintenance, and
finance (i.e. little positive tradition)
4. Destroyed two (or three if you include NH) railroad companies with
long traditions of excellence and service
5. Served many areas with competing railroads that had long proud
traditions with attractive paint schemes (EL or RDG) i.e. if a museum is
formed to model railroading in an area or city, they will probably chose to
focus (not exclusively hopefully) on railroads other than the PC.
6. The short span of PC did not allow it to accumulate a tremendous
amount of exclusively PC equipment (SD45's, GP38's, U33B's, U23B's to
name a few) that would have a great deal of "display potential" at the
Considering the fact that few museums with PC equipment chose to
represent it as such it is refreshing to see Danbury repainting a caboose
into the PC scheme. Considering the great quantity of preserved GG1's,
it seems that one of them (or freight cars) would be a good candidates
for the PC worms.
One final note. I personally think the Danbury Museum should look at
a few of the 1100's if they are available. If they do not accession any
into the collection, they can certainly use them in excursion service (with
modifications of course). One rule of museums that is almost always
followed is: Do not expend historically valuable items in daily use. Obtain
other expendable equipment. The 1100's ride very well and are already
configured to transport large numbers of people. Just some thoughts.
"Robert.Holzweiss -AT- bush.nara.gov"
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