Bring Back Frisco #1522?

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Bring Back Frisco #1522?
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 6:42 PM

Hello everyone! Surely some of you remember the Frisco 1522! I was thinking, if a large movement like "Fire Up 611!" were started, do you think we could bring back 1522? This is, of course, is assuming that the St. Louis Museum of Transportation fully cooperates. Many things would have to line up for this to work, such as a lot of funding, museum cooperation, and a railroad to host excursions. Do you think that it could potentially be done in the next 5-10 years?

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Posted by earlydiesels on Tuesday, June 03, 2014 6:49 PM
I agree it would potentially work, if all the criteria mentioned were met. Count me in if it happens.
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Posted by JOSEPH the steam buff on Friday, June 06, 2014 7:44 PM
for me being only 21. i was deeply saddend when they retired her for a second time unexceptedly due to funding. i have been a big fan of the 1522. i think a lot of people have been waiting a while for the st of mot to announce the return of 1522 to steam. but we keep waiting. i think she would be probably just as popular. and have complete confindence that there coud be a campain to steam for the 1522. i would difently be a suporter in a heart beat. only time will tell.
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Posted by dknelson on Friday, June 13, 2014 10:10 AM

I'd love to see the 1522 return to Galesburg Railroad Days -- more specifically I'd love to HEAR the 1522, because I know of no other preserved steam that has a whistle sound to match that engine's. 

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Friday, June 13, 2014 10:53 AM

I agree. 1522 was a nice engine. I spent a lot of time with her back in the late 80s early 90s on the WC.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 14, 2014 7:25 AM

Randy Stahl

I agree. 1522 was a nice engine. I spent a lot of time with her back in the late 80s early 90s on the WC.

  You worked with the 1522 crew?

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Saturday, June 14, 2014 7:42 AM

No , I worked for the WC. We all "helped out" with things they needed in the engine house. The "crew" was a nice bunch of guys and I would certainly work with them again.

 

I really miss the WC.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 14, 2014 10:50 AM

How does everyone think the STL MOT would react if a "Bring Back 1522" Move was started? Do you think they would allow it to move forward?

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Posted by Cwex on Saturday, June 14, 2014 12:41 PM
Why not contact them and ask them?
Chris W
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 14, 2014 5:56 PM

.

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Posted by Big Bend Ken on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:23 AM

Being someone from the area, a member of the museum since 1969 and one of the early members of the rebuild crew thirty years ago, many of us would also like to see her run again. Not many of the original workers can still do the hard work needed and most of those with the technical skills have moved away. A new community of skilled workers will have to be found and brought together and of course, the money and donated services. Will it ever happen, I doubt it, but sometimes I love being proven wrong.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 4:14 AM

Short of BNSF starting a corporate steam program, I don't think so. The challenges that ended her a few years ago haven't gotten any easier since then. 

Need a plan for her first. The challenge isn't making her run, but to have a viable program in place first that will give her regular opportunities to stretch her feet while meeting the direct operating cost and perhaps an extra 20% or so to put away towards her maintenance. 

Not being viable is why she was stuffed and mounted the last time around despite one of the best crews around. 

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Posted by Sunnyland on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 4:45 PM

Of course, I'd love to see this happen too, being from a Frisco family.  I got to see her running a couple of times, which was a thrill.  But never got to ride behind her.  Did get a cab tour at NRHS '90 with permission from Jeff Schmid. Met him a couple of times last year at local NRHS events when I had a trial membership and thanked him again for letting me have that experience. She was not set up for tours, but with my Frisco history, I got the OK.  The crew had to haul me up and down, as my legs are short and barely able to reach one step from another. But with their help, I did make it.

I always feel sad when I see her just sitting there at MOT, when she should be flying down the rails. But don't see it happening, as BNSF is not a promoter of steam like UP and NS are.  They haven't even put out any heritage engines, that would be a big thrill for me too, as I'd love to see an engine saying Frisco passing by. 

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Posted by LUKE SOLBERG on Saturday, November 14, 2015 9:19 PM

From what i herd from someone doing a project for a Trainz model of 1522 the museum said they lease out the locomotive but they want no part in restoring it.

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Posted by Dr D on Sunday, November 15, 2015 7:22 PM

Just thinking out loud here!

I am sure STEAMTOWN USA which does not currently have any operating AMERICAN steam locomotive on site would be glad to have FRISCO 1522 run on a daily basis.  

Other considerations would be Project 1225 in Owosso, MI which often runs visiting steam power and could handle any maintaince work as well as the operation of Frisco 1522.  Its interesting how engine numbers 1225 and 1522 are quite similar to each other! 

Another consideration for an operation venue could be Western Maryland Scenic Railroad which is currently restoring 2-6-6-2 C&O 1304.  I have not heard how well this project is going but a servicable backup engine might be of greater interest to them than you might be aware of.

Just thinking out loud here,

Doc

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 1:26 PM

Doc,

Some interesting thoughts on moving a loco to another region to run, and some good points as well. It definately adds depth to possibilities of running 1522. But at the same time it poses an issue, a locomotive is thought to "belong" to the area in which it originally ran, and moving 1522 hundreds of miles away-outside of it's original territory- is unthinkable to the people who adore and own it.

Think of the N&W Y6a #2156, a truly an amazing loco, and the people of Virginia wanted it back, because it was "their" engine, mostly because it ran in their area, and "did not belong" in St. Louis.

Moving such a prized loco and exhibit (Refering to 1522) from the area where it ran in revinue service (as well as excursion service) and was diplayed for so many years would be akin to sending the N&W #611 or 1218 to the ORHF (Owners of SP 4449) or to UP just so it can "run".

I believe that in some cases, a loco is better to sit cold, properly preserved and displayed in the area where it operated, and has the most local heritage and sentimental value, than move away "just to run".

 

Furthurmore, I can say that we are lucky to have as much steam running today as we do. Now is also a time not to forget about the other steam locos that are in terrible shape. They need the money just as much as 611 or 4449.

I would rather see the $$ it would take to restore and operate 1522 go to the cosmetic restoration, preseravation, and display of other locos in intolerable condition; which in some cases hold more historical, local, and mechanical signifigance than those that do run!

Think of the $2M it would take to restore and operate 1522 going to restore and put a roof over: C&NW #1015, A&S #12, or Frisco #3695, and those are just at the same museum, to say nothing of the countless others around the country, in and out of museums.

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the benefit of preservation in whole, we cannot afford to loose more examples, more parts of "the big picture", than have already been lost to time and future generations. Two or three static locos in good shape is better than one operational in my book.

The point I am trying to make is that before we think about sinking the $$ into another mainline steamer (Which may lose tracks to run on at any time, NS and other RR's could stop anytime), we need to think about the big picture and the future of railroad preservation as a whole.

Just my two cents.

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 2:01 PM

S. Connor
Two or three static locos in good shape is better than one operational in my book.

I would argue the complete opposite. I'd rather see one engine actually fired up and moving cars (no matter the zipcode) than to see 3 engines slowly rusting and rotting back to the earth.

I know people get emotionally attached to engines.  But is 1522 doing any good just rusting away at St. Louis?  If by some miracle (a very ulikely one at that) money was found to move and operate 1522 at Steamtown, why would some be against it?  Becuse it's not close to them?   Pretty selfish and immature, really.  These engines were designed for a purpose.  Sitting in one spot and holding down pieces of rail for eternity was not it.

 

Just my opinion.

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 4:18 PM

   And don't forget about the SOUND!   The sound of a steam engine, especially when working hard, is spine-tingling.  

_____________

   My mind's made up.   Don't confuse me with the facts.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 7:42 PM

More thinking out loud to hook on to the drawbar of the Bard of the High Iron, Doctor D, since he has steam up on this idea.

How about a "locomotive in residence" for a period of years at Steamtown, similar to the Virginia Museum of Transportation with 2156, but operational?

I think if Steamtown moved to that model, you would have repeat visitors.

They have had 765 there and 261, both for short times.

What about for a period of 2-3 years?

How about 2-3 years of 1522 or 3415? (Maybe the revenue from 1522 could go to help care for those other locomotives in St. Louis.)

How about the "American-ized" Iowa Interstate QJ watered, coaled and ready to roll?

Just something to fill the gap until 3713 is ready?

But even then, how about continuing the locomotive in residence program?

There is an enormous population within one day's drive of Scranton.

It could be a virtuous cycle.

 

 

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Posted by LUKE SOLBERG on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:50 AM

the IAIS QJ are puling some trips next year i herd out in illinois.

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Posted by BLW2102 on Friday, November 20, 2015 10:00 PM

But at the same time it poses an issue, a locomotive is thought to "belong" to the area in which it originally ran, and moving 1522 hundreds of miles away-outside of it's original territory- is unthinkable to the people who adore and own it.

Are you suggesting that 2100 should be returned here to Reading,Pa. where it can sit and rust away or should we be thankful to those that are restoring her to running condition and will hopefully do so. Even though 2101, 2102 and 2124 are not far from home there is little or no chance that life will ever be breathed back into them and 2124 is the only one even on display at all.

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Posted by BLW2102 on Friday, November 20, 2015 10:10 PM

Paul of Covington

   And don't forget about the SOUND!   The sound of a steam engine, especially when working hard, is spine-tingling.  

Well Paul, that is why the souvenir recordings of the Reading Rambles(2100/2124) and of the Broadway Limited(PRR NYC to Chicago) that I accuired so many years ago have been copied to cds and incorporated into the music files in my computers.

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Posted by Sunnyland on Thursday, November 26, 2015 2:20 PM

Glad to see people are still interested in #1522.  I was fortunate to take a trip behind #611 this summer and a lot of work went into restoring her.  But I'd like to see #1522 stay in our area if she is ever restored so she can run on "home roads" like #611 was able to do. 

 

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, November 26, 2015 3:17 PM

Sunnyland
But I'd like to see #1522 stay in our area if she is ever restored so she can run on "home roads" like #611 was able to do.

So let me ask.  Hypothetically, if the options are:

 

a.) allow 1522 run again, but it would be away from home rails

 -or-

b.) let 1522 sit cold at St. Louis. 

 

Which is a better option?  Neither answer is wrong. 

 

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by MAX MEDAGLIA on Friday, May 06, 2016 9:57 AM

I'd have to choose option A.  Sure, it'd be away from home, but she'd at least be running again.  I'll have to bring up leasing 1522 from St. Louis to Andy Muller next time I see him.  

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 07, 2016 9:58 AM

A bit late to the party here, I admit, but wasn't 1522 and it's excursions one of those programs killed by the liability insurance crisis back in the 90's?

RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, May 07, 2016 10:48 AM

Firelock76
A bit late to the party here, I admit, but wasn't 1522 and it's excursions one of those programs killed by the liability insurance crisis back in the 90's?

At the time, that was the very publicly stated reason.  I do not think anything has changed 'for the better' for the Museum in the intervening time, nor do I think there is an organized plan to revive or operate 1522.  I think it can be, and has been, argued that excursions with 1522 are too high-risk for covering their cost, let alone provide an incentive or additional 'reserve' funds worth the danger, for the Museum to go ahead and sink the necessary funds into All That Will Be Necessary.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 07, 2016 11:21 AM

Firelock76

A bit late to the party here, I admit, but wasn't 1522 and it's excursions one of those programs killed by the liability insurance crisis back in the 90's?

 

 
Pretty much. This is the way my SLSTA friends say it was:
 
Rising insurance costs in the aftermath of 9/11 made excursions more and more expensive to do. Railroads were also becoming less and less willing to let them use their tracks. Just to get one of their test trips to Newburg, MO they had to get permission from UP (To exit the museum property), Pay to get an Amtrak pilot so they could move over 300 feet of Amtrak right-of-way, and finally move onto BNSF for the test run. You can quickly imagine the difficulty in logistics for just one test trip.
 
Fewer people were riding and more were chasing, to get better pictures without the cost of a ticket. This resulted in less revenue, and the SLSTA did not own their own passenger cars and had to pay to rent Amtrak-certified passenger cars and have them moved to St. Louis. More money spent, and less people were riding. The only trips they ever really sold out on in 14 years of operation were the "farewell" trips.
 
The 1522 became a "locomotive for hire" in the end, running for the railroads and movie companies who could pay for it.
 
Also facing an overhaul after only three years due to new FRA regulations was morally and financially depleting for the SLSTA. And in the end, they decided to quit while they were ahead.
 
 The crew of the SLSTA did a FINE job for their circumstances. They made sure the 1522 was stored serviceable, and in one piece so that IF (a big if) there was potential for her to run again, it might be done.
 
I dont think that the 1522 could have exited the stage any better.
 

In the two years since I posted this thread, I have met many people (Some of them formerly active SLSTA memebrs) who opened my eyes to real preservation, and made me less "foamish" when it comes to these matters. As well as becoming a volunteer for MOT, I am more familiar with the locomotive itself, and the issues that would be faced to get any steam running in/out of MOT. I have realized it takes more than just starting a group saying "we WANT to do this.".

 
So what of the potential for 1522 to run again?
 
1- The locomotive needs the suspension rebuilt and new firebox sheets, as well as the normal 1472 flue replacement/inspection. The crew cars and auxilary tender are no longer with the 1522, so you will need those.
 
2- The locomotive needs tracks to run on. The UP isn't freindly to outside steam, and the UP is the only way out if MOT. These tracks must be somewhat close to St. Louis and MOT so that the 1522 can remian a part-time exhibit. This fact would make it a lot easier to convince current MOT management to let it happen.
 
3- Passenger cars, ones that can be owned/long-term leased by the operating group.
 
4- A group with a sound, air-tight business plan, experts who know what they are doing, and MONEY! Running a steam operation like 611, 765, or 1522 involves operating like a buisiness, to insure sucess, and professionalism. The original SLSTA was just like this, just look at a picture of them working together in their uniforms.
 
Will the 1522 operate again one day? Who knows, anything can happen. But getting her going again posses its own challenges, more unique and challenging than 611, for example. There is no current plan to restore 1522, and an excursion locomotive is too high-risk for the museum to sink funds that are needed elsewhere into.
 
If one wanted to get steam going in St. Louis, there are smaller locomotives in better shape than the 1522 at MOT.
 
Here are some better candidates than 1522: Union Electric #1 (0-4-0T), MKT #311 (4-4-0), and DL&W #952 (4-4-0). There are a couple more. But even these would be difficult considering the museum's tight, packed trackage.
 
If you could get a movement going that successfully restored and operated one of these locomotives, it might open the eyes of MOT management and make them more open to restoring larger steam, like 1522.
 
But for now, MOT has more to worry about. They still have a collection to look after and stuff needs paint all the time. It seems only yesterday we painted the Big Boy #4006, and now it is beginning to fade. Mother nature works quickly. What we really need is more money, and more roof space.
 
I desprately hope that I can help get steam running at MOT one day, but for now, reality says that we have other, more important things to focus our meager funds and volunteers on.
 
Disclaimer: While I am a volunteer at MOT, I do not speak in any capacity for the museum or its future plans/goals. My statements are my own opinions formed by my expiriences at the museum.
 
Below: 1522 in April, 2016. She was moved out from under the shed for the first time in 13 years for the anual night photo shoot.
This September 1522 will have been in her second retirement for the same amount of time she was in excursion service.
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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Saturday, May 07, 2016 12:03 PM

It has  always bothered me that so many rail fan chasers do not bother to ride or donate to the steam operators they chase. Its so sad to see empty coaches on excursions trains and 100's of chaser  alone for a free ride.

With that said, I always been an advocate of tieing or rotating more  steam locomotives Thur Steamtown. Steam town had reported how thier attendance was increased last year when # 765 was in town and even now # 26 is back in service. Seems like a win win if the numbers work for both parties.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 07, 2016 2:37 PM

Thanks for all the information gentlemen!

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