New Steam Potential In Minnesota

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Mark D
Conductor
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

New Steam Potential In Minnesota

Postby Mark D » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:22 pm

It's a long article in the Minneapolis Tribune on small, short line railroads. There are a number of them that are interconnected in various ways. All of them are begging the state to fork out a bunch of money so they can upgrade their tracks because of so many derailments.
Most of them don't like outsiders operating on their rails at this time. But once you get the state giving them money for their infrastructure it can open doors.
One of those railroads is one that does welcome the former Milwaukee Road steam locomotive and consist, The TC&W. I sort of think that if the other railroads get money from the state, then there might be a window to use a bit of leverage to bring an occasional steam trip on those tracks. The state recommended $8 million in grants and no interest loans as a start. The governor is $2 billion going on.
In the end, it probably will just fizzle out, or maybe cut back to about a quarter of what's envisioned. But if there's government money involved, the citizens often have a say in how it is used.

Now, if that were to work, maybe the 261 would have some other places to go other than just out on the former Milwaukee Road tracks, now TC&W.

AND

With a new CEO of Amtrak coming aboard it might be possible for all the steam operators that had to park their trains because they can't use Amtrak's self insurance, and they made a lot of money from that while it lasted, just mabey they can once again run on the high iron on the big lines.

It probably won't happen in either case, but there is a slight chance, IMO.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

John Bohon
Conductor
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:30 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: New Steam Potential In Minnesota

Postby John Bohon » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:51 am

I hope the shortlines do get some money. As much as the government pays out to all the other forms of transportation getting money for railroads is usually harder than pulling teeth from a mad rattle snake. The money excursions bring in to local communities could be a way to help pry at least a little of the money away. I wish you guys luck in getting into the program. As for Amtrak, I am afraid those days are just over. With luck someone will prove me wrong.

John Bohon

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 3426
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: New Steam Potential In Minnesota

Postby Mark D » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:23 pm

I agree with you, but I am hoping the new man at the head of Amtrak might be a little more open minded about the use of their insurance at a profit, as was done for so many years.
If not, Oh well.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

John Bohon
Conductor
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:30 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: New Steam Potential In Minnesota

Postby John Bohon » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:43 am

At this point I think we need to change our focus to which groups are going to survive. I think the all volunteer groups like 261 may have the best chance. They can essentially just stop spending money and come out on the other side in decent shape. The organizations, including shortlines, that have paid employees and debt are in serious trouble if this goes on very long. I am afraid we may see some pretty big names disappear or come back limping along just trying to survive until passenger numbers come back to something that resembles normal. Shortlines hauling freight are in a little better place possibly but freight traffic is going to take a big hit too. Just ask anyone who hauls anything related to automobile traffic. The government is going to bail out huge corporations and businesses that are considered necessary but historical groups are going to be left holding the bag. I read the new Amtrak man is committed to the policy changes currently enacted at least for the time being. That door seems to remain closed too.

John Bohon


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