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Re: PC: FA Thread & PC Prototype

On Sat, 18 Dec 1999 BMills1958 -AT- aol.com wrote:
> I guess we need to see about preserving an "original" PC unit--like a GP-38 
> or 40,  SD-40 or 45 or a PC U-boat or Century 636, if they haven't already 
> been scrapped.  Chances are probably better with an EMD unit--while not as 
> "interesting", they are more likely to still exist.  With the used locomotive 
> market being as tight as it is, an SD-45 might be the best bet.

I believe that there aren't any C636's in the U.S. anymore. I have heard that
Mexico has some, but I don't know about previous ownership and I have heard
they are a huge pain in the ass to deal with as far as bring units back to the
States goes. Numerous people are saying it is a complete miracle the PA hulks
were obtained. I know of only one C630 (the Reading T&HS unit) and no C628's on
U.S. soil. Big U.S. built ALCos are hard to come by.

There are a lot of ex-PC and predecessor Geeps, SD's and U boats kicking around
and the time is ripe to pluck them from the Reaper's torch before there aren't
any left to be painted in PC. CSX has several rebuilt SD40's and SD40-2's which
are ripe for retirement. UP may also be a source as they will be retiring
entire classes as their SD70M's from the 1000 unit order start coming on line.
They picked up all types of units from everyone over the years. The leasers
have a pile of rebuilt SD45's, surely some must be ex-PC, I know a lot are
ex-EL, SP, BN and SF and possibly even RDG. Even with 16-645 prime movers and
no cab signals they look plenty mean and 'right.' There must be some PC U23B's
kicking around somewhere. I'd really love to see a PC U33C preserved, they were
the first units delivered in PC paint as they had been ordered by PRR.

Now finding a museum willing to invest substantial amounts of time and money in
preserving a large piece of PC heritage before it is too late is a tall order.

I fear that in most cases the passing of the torch from generations too old to
think of the PC as anything but a destroyer to generations who grew up on the
PC will be too late to preserve anything of much note which is authentically
PC. I think that to preserve more than few knick knacks and small PC
curiosities it will take a true PC fan at the reins of a preservation
organization or museum.

Currently the powers that be in virtually every organization capable of
preserving, housing and restoring to use an artifact as large as a locomotive
are either preoccupied with earlier eras than PC times or are afraid that
expending any signifigant resources to preserve a PC locomotive will discourage
the patronage of and participation in their organizations.

In 10 years, when it is basically too late, it will truly be a shame to not
be able to visit even one authentic PC diesel locomotive anywhere.

Look at the flack the Danbury museum has had to deal with. Even one of the
major railfan magazines made a disparaging comment in their photo caption of
the "PC FA." While not scathing, it blatantly implied that in that writer's
opinion the PC was not worthy of such efforts when other numerous other roads
were appropriate for representation by that FPA and the Museum. Needless to
say I was livid and I swore out loud when I saw it. I would have made a big
stink about it, but I'm already known far and wide for bitching up a storm and
I don't think it would serve any useful purpose to further alienate
myself from others who share my endless love of steel wheels on steel rails. I
will, however, say that I strongly feel that editorial derision of any
organization's preservation efforts by a mainstream rail enthusiast publication
is absolutely reprehensible. There, now that I have at last had my rant on that
subject, I feel better :)

It amazes me how many people see only the 'dark ages' of the PC and not the
omnipresent reflections of the beloved PRR, NYC and NH. One had to try pretty
damned hard to ignore what they saw, no matter how bastardized some things on
the PC appeared, to not see the echoes of the PC predecessors. Those echoes in
themselves are fascinating and worthy of intense study in their own right.

Despite conditions and appearances, if one looks at the PC without any
knowledge whatsoever of its predecessors, it was, for all its shortcomings, a
truly great railroad and undoubtedly worthy of remembrance.

I model the PC at our club and I'm proud of it!

Long Live The Penn Central Railroad and to Hell with anyone who doesn't like

J. Henry Priebe Jr.       Blue Moon President & Network Administrator
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