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PC: B&O Museum

The B&O Museum has a HUGE collection of equipment. If they have something
of interest and it is not displayed and/or restored, you should contact
them about obtaining it if possible. They have been in the process of
centering their collection on the B&O specifically and Baltimore in
general; anything not fitting in is a target for removal from the B&O
Museum collection.

Some equipment will be sold, some traded and some scapped. Their Little
Joe went to MILW territory where it would be appreciated (even though it
wasn't a MILW unit.) The L&N U25B 1616 went to Chattanooga where it basks
in new gray and yellow paint.

Sadly some of the equipment will be scrapped. Many museums scambled to
get all of the equipment they could, especially when it came to passenger
equipment. (The B&O Museums former corporate ties put it in the situation
of sometimes having to receive and keep equipment it didn't want in the
past.) While it was good that this equipment was saved, many of the
saving organizations do not have the resources to restore (or sometimes
even store) this equipment. If a museum (not just B&O) has equipment that
it doesn't want and can't use, something has to give. If nobody wants it,
the scrapper is waiting.

While scrapping is bad, there are some slight plusses. First, the scapped
equipment generates revenue to preserve other equipment; it's sad that
anything has to be scarpped, but without cash and entire collection could
rust away. Also, many of these scapped cars are heavily stripped before
being scrapped, yielding otherwise unavailable parts to restore other
equipment. I know someone that owns a very old Pullman. He was able to
buy parts salvage rights from a B&O Museum car that was being scrapped.
One car is now gone, but another is well on its way to a first class

What to do?
(1) Get involved somehow in restoration. Join a club or museum. Work on
excursions. So something to generate cash and furnish labor that will
save equipment. Every little bit helps.
(2) Help get equipment back to its home. Often, neglected equipment is
far from its home. All things being equal, if a museum in California has
a Santa Fe coach and a Pennsy coach, which do you think will get
restored? The B&O has done some trading, and other groups should follow
the lead.
(3) Get to know you local rail scrapper. Sometimes the scrap dealer is
easier to deal with than the car owner. I know of a case where a railroad
will not deal with a museum. However, the museum knows the scrappers and
can get equipment from the scrapper when they get it from the railroad.
Scappers are not evil people trying to destroy rail heritage, just
businessmen trying to earn a living; they'd just as soon sell equipment
to a museum as to sell iron to a mill. (Just don't expect a handout.)
(4) Realize that everything may not be saved, but still try to save as
much as possible while concentrating on important pieces.

Bryan Turner

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