Re: How to display a steam loco
Date: 07-14-2021 - 08:38
When I visited the Illinois Railway Museum I talked to one of the people there about the barns. He made a great point. He said "the best way to drive away volunteers is to have them restore a piece of equipment then 10 years later ask them to do it all over again because it was left out in the weather." The barns pay for themselves many times over. It's not just the labor involved but the materials too. Knowing a piece of equipment will be safely tucked into a building when restored gives more incentive to get the job done. Anyone who has spent any time restoring a piece of railroad equipment knows the amount of hard labor that goes into the restoration of just one piece. The IRM collection is huge and has an amazingly large number of fully restored pieces. Without the barns it would look like a scrappers lot like so many other collections. I wish we had big barns in Niles Canyon like what the IRM has to protect our equipment. Indoor safe storage is always on the dream list our organization.
It's true that having equipment stored in barns makes it difficult to photograph but it is also just as difficult to photograph equipment stored in a multiple track yard. Try taking pictures of the equipment stored on the middle tracks of the NCRY yard. It's not very easy.
The IRM is pretty good at pulling different stuff out on different weekends giving you a chance to photograph your favorites. From my standpoint I'm very impressed what the IRM folks have done and think it is a model for other museums to follow.