Because our project is growing leaps and bonds we had to start a new site just for our update project photo's. Just like our other site you can become members of this one too.
To all that have been following this work.
We are officially been told to stop work on 565. The reason is that somewhere somehow The bosses above Steamtown got wind of us restoring her back to her rightful condition. Due to a Section 106, which is apparently required by The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, not being completed we have to stop working on the engine until that is completed. How long will this take? I don't know could be years. The historian needs to complete this and it's looks like it’s a nightmare. Many agencies involved.
We had no warning of this and were not consulted during the decision-making process. Somebody invoked a historical documentation procedure that resulted in us being shut down. The shop work was going great and many historical inaccuracies were being corrected.
The Park Service wants to halt the work to do a full 106 review, which is designed to assess the impact of federally-funded work on historic structures (565). This legislation was originally designed to protect historic structures from the impact of federally-funded work being done on other things in the area of the structure but has been adapted to be used when federal funds are used to work on the historic structures themselves. I have no idea if this application is within the original intent of the drafters but it is what is done. The problem is that a full review and issuance of a report could take the Park Service much longer than the team we've put together is willing to wait around. We are still trying to clarify how long but it will essentially kill the project as people drift off to do something else.
They did not tell us who ordered the review. 565 is one of the locomotives that is not part of the collection but rather is considered an historic structure and so is not under the purview of the Museum Curator, Sarah Smith, but is under Pat McKnight's authority as the Historian/Archivist.
This restoration started over five years ago when I approached the Park Service about putting the Shay back together. The Park Service redirected me to 565, knowing that this review had not been done. Why they decide to do it now when we are very close to completing the whole front truck, the # 1 Driver, and the spring rigging that connects them - I do not know
I'm very proud and happy to have worked with all of you on this project. We have made great progress and we were only months from getting it rolling again. I know we all have spent many hours and sweated and bled getting this engine to where it is today. It hurts me deeply that this has happened and I will miss working with you all. I can't justify the travel time and money to go up to Steamtown and just tinker with another project that needs some attention or what the shop needs that day. If I was closer I could. But 2 1/2 hours travel each way I can't. If and when the Section 106 is completed I will again try to work on the 565. She is the most important piece up there.
Thanks to everyone who either sent pictures or gave us some lead to chase down.