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  1. #1

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    3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Steve continues the story of the Disneyland Railroad's Ernest S. Marsh, discuss it here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: MiceAge.com - A different look at Disney...
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    nice link... thanks!!!
    thanE

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Great stuff Steve. Well researched and well told -- a great read!
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Great work Steve, can't wait for the rest. It's interesting to see how ungainly the saddletank made the little engine look.

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Thanks everyone.

    Yes, the locomotive was a pretty ugly little thing when built. To see her transformed, you'd never have thought it was the same engine.

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Now for the interesting question that they always dance around on complex gear with many replaceable components like railroad engines: What's left that is still "Original"?

    "Here, I still have a true antique, my Great Grandpappy's Ax. Handed down through the family, it's built eighteen log cabins, split hundreds of miles of fence rails, and countless cords of firewood. Of course we've replaced the handle ten times, and the head twice, but I think one of the handle wedges is still original, maybe..."

    Let's see, they removed the saddletanks, and the Builder's Plates were attached to the tanks - which were already gone in the first Pine Creek RR picture of the article. The original wood cab burned up, and that Pyle Turbogenerator behind the smokestack is long gone. The tender was scratchbuilt by the Pine Creek folks, and all the Backhead gear has probably been swapped out when it failed or leaked.

    Disney must have replaced the boiler shell by now, since riveted Lap Seam boilers make insurance companies Very Nervous, and the flues and superheaters must have been changed many times over the decades...

    So what's left? Frame rails and cross bolsters, the firebox door, smokebox door, the whistle...

    --<< Bruce >>--
    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post

    Yes, the locomotive was a pretty ugly little thing when built. To see her transformed, you'd never have thought it was the same engine.
    Great article, Steve. Thanks for continuing the series on the individual engines' histories. Looking at the photos, I don't think the original engine was that ugly; it just looked like a different model of engine when they removed the saddletank. It's like taking the shoulder pads off of the football team's kicker; it just made it look less bulky.

    Looking forward to the next article!

    DL

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Oh my! Amazing how close the Ernest S. Marsh came to being melted down scrap ..possibly part of it being used to make the gopher traps I set today.

    Good thing the employees of the Raritan River Sand Company (and their friends) shared a fondness for classic steam engines. The Pine Creek Railroad Museum and Cowboy City amusement park were each flukish fortuitous moments in the lucky life of the little engine. Cowboy City was in a sense a harbinger to the wonderful home that it would later find at Disneyland ..whistling up happiness and magic to this very day.

    One has to wonder what the scrapdealers intentions were when they placed the add in "Railroad" magazine. Was he simply trying to avoid scrapping the engine out of genuine appreciation for it? Or did he figure he could profit more from selling it "whole"? Then again, could he have did so for both reasons? An interesting puzzle to ponder.

    Well ..the only thing that ultimately matters is thet Walt, Roger Broggie and Jerry Best saved the engine for posterity ..for the millions if not billions that have tooted about the perimiter of the park. Hopefully, they will continue to do so into the next century ..and beyond.
    To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!


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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    Now for the interesting question that they always dance around on complex gear with many replaceable components like railroad engines: What's left that is still "Original"?

    Let's see, they removed the saddletanks, and the Builder's Plates were attached to the tanks - which were already gone in the first Pine Creek RR picture of the article. The original wood cab burned up, and that Pyle Turbogenerator behind the smokestack is long gone. The tender was scratchbuilt by the Pine Creek folks, and all the Backhead gear has probably been swapped out when it failed or leaked.

    Disney must have replaced the boiler shell by now, since riveted Lap Seam boilers make insurance companies Very Nervous, and the flues and superheaters must have been changed many times over the decades...

    So what's left? Frame rails and cross bolsters, the firebox door, smokebox door, the whistle...

    --<< Bruce >>--
    I write about this in the next segment, but here's (mostly) what's original:

    --Frame
    --Cylinders
    --Side rods
    --Bell
    --Valve gear
    --Drive wheels (for now).

    The whistle isn't the kind Baldwin used, so that's not "original." The all-welded "new" boiler was built in 1959 by Dixon; the domes, cab, smokestack, headlight--virtually everything is "new." The firebox door is a different design for an oil burner versus a coal burner, so the original coulnd't be used, and a new smokebox door came with the new Dixon boiler. It's possible the throttle is original, but I have no way of knowing. Somehow I doubt it. None of the original piping, plumbing or valves were re-used.

    Nothing of the old boiler would have been reused--and Bruce, engines this small weren't equipped with superheaters. They use nothing but "saturated steam." In the biz, they're sometimes called "soaks!"

    As you know from earlier articles, the builder's plates are reproductions, using the originals as patterns. The originals are in private hands--at least one is owned by the Roger Broggie estate. Whle they didn't appear on the engine when it was at Pine Creek, the provenance for them exists--basically they "line up" with the original engine specification sheets, which can be accessed at the California State Railroad Museum, so we know at least that they belong with this particular engine.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 04-01-2009 at 06:30 AM.

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I write about this in the next segment, but here's (mostly) what's original:

    --Frame
    --Cylinders
    --Side rods
    --Bell
    --Valve gear
    --Drive wheels (for now).
    And the soul.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    And the soul.
    Indeed.

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyland Limited View Post
    Great article, Steve. Thanks for continuing the series on the individual engines' histories. Looking at the photos, I don't think the original engine was that ugly; it just looked like a different model of engine when they removed the saddletank. It's like taking the shoulder pads off of the football team's kicker; it just made it look less bulky.

    Looking forward to the next article!

    DL
    Thanks, DL. In writing the article and working on the drawing of how the engine originally looked, I must admit it sorta grew on me.

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I write about this in the next segment, but here's (mostly) what's original:

    --Frame
    --Cylinders
    --Side rods
    --Bell
    --Valve gear
    --Drive wheels (for now).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    And the soul.
    Amen!

    It's not like buying a huge pile of repro parts and an original radiator ornament, and building a "Brand New" car listed on the pink slip as a 1932 T-bucket roadster. It might look like one, but if you are honest with yourself it really isn't one.

    It's keeping an original running by replacing parts when necessary - but you do have to keep in mind that big pieces of the old are new.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    There is something to be said about the "soul" of the steam locomotive. No mechanical device I know of exhibits such "living" characteristics. The locomotive must be fed and watered regularly to keep it "alive." Its exhausts sound like breathing. It emits warmth, as does a body. One can't simply turn it on or off with the twist of a key--it must be taken care of like a living thing. Each engine--even identical ones--"behave" differently, as individuals do.

    When I once asked friends what piece of machinery they thought was the most "alive," they told me the automobile.

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    Re: 3/31: In Earnest, Pt. II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    There is something to be said about the "soul" of the steam locomotive. No mechanical device I know of exhibits such "living" characteristics. The locomotive must be fed and watered regularly to keep it "alive." Its exhausts sound like breathing. It emits warmth, as does a body. One can't simply turn it on or off with the twist of a key--it must be taken care of like a living thing. Each engine--even identical ones--"behave" differently, as individuals do.
    Bingo. Another dead giveaway that steam locomotives feel alive to people is when you stand beside one that isn't steamed up, you kind of get the sense it's sleeping. And climbing aboard, you move differently on a locomotive that's steamed up than if it's cold. Kids or adults, everybody senses it, not just railfans. I love diesel electric too, but they're not "alive."
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


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