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Buying Columbia Heights/Beaver Creek


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#1 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:06 AM

Well as I'm sure many of you know about the troubles at the Indiana Transportation Museum and how they have till July 12th to get all 100 pieces of equipment off the city owned property before it gets repossessed. So I decided why not buy one of their cars.

Initially I was going to buy the Burlington Silver Salon which is a Budd built combine and convert the baggage room into a dance room, and bar. While converting the coach section into a 30 seat lounge. While I was preparing the extraction plan for it someone offered 40k for the car and it was turned down demanding 50k.

So instead of giving up after I had already contacted a museum/tourist railway about operating my car there by leasing it to them I decided to pivot and get one of their 1937 Budd built coaches for the Santa Fe El Capitan. The cars all have HEP, HVAC, Roller Bearings, and most are current on CO&TS. However most have been victims of vandalism and are missing some to all Windows.

Windows aren't a deal breaker for me because I can install one in 45 minutes however FRA Type II glass is a pane to get due to so few manufacturers and the price. But not an overall deal breaker. I can piggy back on a friend's order and should get a slightly lower price.

So with that being done I went on finding a trucking company who will take it off the land locked track to the Indiana Railroad. Easy quick 1,500. To ship it to Nashville where I intend to use it will cost me another 1,500 to ship via CSX which is the only railroad in that market. Again not a super large issue but I am soliciting truck prices for the entire distance.

After that I talked to my friends at New River Joe and Chris, and the owner of the only park car in non certified PV service to learn about how to structure the deal. They recommended that I charge the railroad $1,200 a month for use of the car but that is contingent on them giving me running repairs for free, and free storage with power.

I have started making the formal arrangements with TCRM today to move the car. And if things move as planned it will enter service in my birthday August 11th without a new interior. The interior retrofit would occur during the off season.

Then tonight I find out ITM no longer has any interest in selling the Budd cars because they think they can get them out. While most of us monitoring the situation are not confident that they are able to do that. Most of us believe hell has a better chance in freezing over than them getting their act together.

So to do a recap of things July 2 the car would have cost $500 as a low bid, day 2 $45 dollars per ton (roughly 2,500-3,500 depending on weight), and July 4 they no longer want to sell. What does July 5 hold no clue but I'll keep trudging onward.

I'm sending two mechanical contractors to the cars on Saturday to inspect them and to negotiate for me because I am unable to make the trip up. They are going also to inspect cars for themselves and are doing me a favor inspecting stuff for me. By having boots on the ground I'll also know what I want to bid for the cars after the city repossess them which will be a win win for me.

In other PV news I have located four former NYC coaches in central Florida with a Ex Burlington baggage car, a LIRR commuter car, and a heavyweight C&O office car that I'm also eyeing. Either way this will be the year I attempt to buy a car because I have a solid business plan for one as well as a tourist operation gearing to start in the southeast that a county government study on it said would attract 30,000 passengers.

So I do have a strong need for a car (multiple cars). Currently for our tourist train we have four cars lined up to be in our consist. And are actively looking for more.

So be it a car from ITM or one of the cars from Central Florida it is very likely I'm getting a car this year. Please feel free to ask questions, and to follow the ups and the downs.

Today has been more of a down since they decided they won't sell. However I'm not overtly concerned because I have plenty of other options and roughly 25,000 I can spend on it between my partners and myself.

Which leads us to the two naming choices. My partner wants to call it Beaver Creek. His reasoning is my love of the Beaver State, and his love of wildlife. And my trifecta of names the Columbia Heights which incorporates the Columbia River, the city I grew up in Columbia, SC, and the city my partner is from the District.

Right now it's a white knuckle ride with plenty of ups and downs. So buckle in, and please keep all limbs inside the car at all times.
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#2 JRR

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:55 AM

Well as I'm sure many of you know about the troubles at the Indiana Transportation Museum and how they have till July 12th to get all 100 pieces of equipment off the city owned property before it gets repossessed. So I decided why not buy one of their cars.

Initially I was going to buy the Burlington Silver Salon which is a Budd built combine and convert the baggage room into a dance room, and bar. While converting the coach section into a 30 seat lounge. While I was preparing the extraction plan for it someone offered 40k for the car and it was turned down demanding 50k.

So instead of giving up after I had already contacted a museum/tourist railway about operating my car there by leasing it to them I decided to pivot and get one of their 1937 Budd built coaches for the Santa Fe El Capitan. The cars all have HEP, HVAC, Roller Bearings, and most are current on CO&TS. However most have been victims of vandalism and are missing some to all Windows.

Windows aren't a deal breaker for me because I can install one in 45 minutes however FRA Type II glass is a pane to get due to so few manufacturers and the price. But not an overall deal breaker. I can piggy back on a friend's order and should get a slightly lower price.

So with that being done I went on finding a trucking company who will take it off the land locked track to the Indiana Railroad. Easy quick 1,500. To ship it to Nashville where I intend to use it will cost me another 1,500 to ship via CSX which is the only railroad in that market. Again not a super large issue but I am soliciting truck prices for the entire distance.

After that I talked to my friends at New River Joe and Chris, and the owner of the only park car in non certified PV service to learn about how to structure the deal. They recommended that I charge the railroad $1,200 a month for use of the car but that is contingent on them giving me running repairs for free, and free storage with power.

I have started making the formal arrangements with TCRM today to move the car. And if things move as planned it will enter service in my birthday August 11th without a new interior. The interior retrofit would occur during the off season.

Then tonight I find out ITM no longer has any interest in selling the Budd cars because they think they can get them out. While most of us monitoring the situation are not confident that they are able to do that. Most of us believe hell has a better chance in freezing over than them getting their act together.

So to do a recap of things July 2 the car would have cost $500 as a low bid, day 2 $45 dollars per ton (roughly 2,500-3,500 depending on weight), and July 4 they no longer want to sell. What does July 5 hold no clue but I'll keep trudging onward.

I'm sending two mechanical contractors to the cars on Saturday to inspect them and to negotiate for me because I am unable to make the trip up. They are going also to inspect cars for themselves and are doing me a favor inspecting stuff for me. By having boots on the ground I'll also know what I want to bid for the cars after the city repossess them which will be a win win for me.

In other PV news I have located four former NYC coaches in central Florida with a Ex Burlington baggage car, a LIRR commuter car, and a heavyweight C&O office car that I'm also eyeing. Either way this will be the year I attempt to buy a car because I have a solid business plan for one as well as a tourist operation gearing to start in the southeast that a county government study on it said would attract 30,000 passengers.

So I do have a strong need for a car (multiple cars). Currently for our tourist train we have four cars lined up to be in our consist. And are actively looking for more.

So be it a car from ITM or one of the cars from Central Florida it is very likely I'm getting a car this year. Please feel free to ask questions, and to follow the ups and the downs.

Today has been more of a down since they decided they won't sell. However I'm not overtly concerned because I have plenty of other options and roughly 25,000 I can spend on it between my partners and myself.

Which leads us to the two naming choices. My partner wants to call it Beaver Creek. His reasoning is my love of the Beaver State, and his love of wildlife. And my trifecta of names the Columbia Heights which incorporates the Columbia River, the city I grew up in Columbia, SC, and the city my partner is from the District.

Right now it's a white knuckle ride with plenty of ups and downs. So buckle in, and please keep all limbs inside the car at all times.


I understand your preference for the West Coast names but I think Seaboard should be part of any name you choose unless that would run afoul of copyright or similar issues.

Await your further adventures with great interest.

#3 cpotisch

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 08:41 AM

So to do a recap of things July 2 the car would have cost $500 as a low bid, day 2 $45 dollars per ton (roughly 2,500-3,500 depending on weight), and July 4 they no longer want to sell.

Wait, so on a good day, with a low offer, you could possibly get a car like that for as little as $500?


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#4 the_traveler

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 08:42 AM

I like the name Columbia Heights as it could be both northwest and SC.
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Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#5 cpotisch

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 08:48 AM

Agreed. I'm routing for Columbia Heights. I could have my head in the clouds, but why don't you setup a poll? Agree with your partner beforehand that you'll go with whichever name wins. Just a thought.


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#6 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:14 AM

A poll sounds like a good idea.

 

I like Columbia Beaver myself. :P

 

Best of luck in your enterprise, and we will all be watching your progress and rooting for you. :)


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#7 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:48 AM

So to do a recap of things July 2 the car would have cost $500 as a low bid, day 2 $45 dollars per ton (roughly 2,500-3,500 depending on weight), and July 4 they no longer want to sell.

Wait, so on a good day, with a low offer, you could possibly get a car like that for as little as $500?

Usually no you couldn't. But anytime things go to auction you. Can get good deals. I know someone your age who bought an Amtrak certified car at auction recently for $900. Usually it is much much lower than that.

I would start a poll but I'm not positive on how to do that.
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#8 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:50 AM

And I am thinking about putting Seaboard in the letter board. Especially after its service in Tennessee. Generally that museum requires all cars be lettered for them. And I'm ok with that.
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#9 cpotisch

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:55 AM

 

 

So to do a recap of things July 2 the car would have cost $500 as a low bid, day 2 $45 dollars per ton (roughly 2,500-3,500 depending on weight), and July 4 they no longer want to sell.

Wait, so on a good day, with a low offer, you could possibly get a car like that for as little as $500?

Usually no you couldn't. But anytime things go to auction you. Can get good deals. I know someone your age who bought an Amtrak certified car at auction recently for $900. Usually it is much much lower than that.

I would start a poll but I'm not positive on how to do that.

 

You have to start a new topic, then click on "Manage Topic Poll," which will be on the right side of the screen. Put in the question, choices, and poll title. It's not very intuitive, but once you add the poll, it's pretty simple to edit and add a description.


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#10 railiner

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 11:37 AM

Well good on you, for following your dreams, and entrepreneurship spirit.   Many other's have such dreams, but rarely have the courage to actually act upon them...

Whatever the outcome of your negotiations, I wish you the very best of luck, and also will follow your reports here, with interest. :)


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metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#11 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 11:57 AM

And what would you know today would bring new developments. Now they are willing to work with a person if you go to their campus in person, and can prove you can get the car out. Luckily I have all the quotes in hand from truckers and an escape plan as far as getting off the property.

The new issue at hand my original Place I was working on and I couldn't come to an agreement so both my business partner and I are scrambling to find a home. I think I have just found a home in Central Michigan that is looking for cars. So I'm hoping I can touch base with them tomorrow.

I've moved up my mechanical inspector to tomorrow and he now has the authority to negotiate on my behalf within limits.

No updates on the Central Florida cars other than I'm preparing to reach out to the owner and make a bid to purchase all seven cars. Obviously that is going to cost more than I want which is why I'm bringing in some more friends on the deal.

So we're in process somehow. But it's definitely a roller coaster.
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#12 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:58 PM

Next mission is getting permits to move the cars 33 miles across Indy. Stay tuned. Things are looking better.
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#13 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:55 PM

Well the ITM deal is back on. No one knows exactly what price were at but what else is new on this roller coaster of a ride. The new trucking plan is to truck it nine miles to a shortline in Lapel, IN rerail the car. Then ship in freight to Michigan or Alabama.
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#14 Seaboard92

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:31 AM

Things are moving much faster now. The mechanical inspector is going tomorrow. And if he is happy with how things are. He will negotiate the release of the car. And we will have it moved off the property by the 12th to a small shortline.

After that we should be golden still looking for a home for the car so we can get it operating. Open to all suggestions.
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#15 railiner

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 01:10 PM

Things are moving much faster now. The mechanical inspector is going tomorrow. And if he is happy with how things are. He will negotiate the release of the car. And we will have it moved off the property by the 12th to a small shortline.

After that we should be golden still looking for a home for the car so we can get it operating. Open to all suggestions.

If you have choices, weigh carefully the pro's and con's of each...one of the most important to consider is if the choice seems like it will remain solvent, so you don't have to go thru this again...


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metroblue?

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#16 Seaboard92

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 03:30 PM

We have options to store the car currently in WV, MI (operating), AL, SC, MD, and PA. Personally I'm leaning towards Michigan where it can operate.

WV is my ultimate fall back because I want to avoid a $400 a month rent. If push comes to shove I'm sure I could use a connection in Kentucky to move there.

Right now I'm eyeing the ITM cars and two batches of cars in Florida. The Florida cars are on live rail which might stretch my cash longer even at a higher cost to purchase. So it evens things out.

I'm trying to take this very carefully to ensure I don't make a mistake in the rush to save something.
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#17 Seaboard92

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 12:05 AM

Well thanks to another AU member I might have found a spot that would be willing to store us in exchange for free use in the upper Midwest. Thankfully near a Delta Hub so flying to and fro should be easy.

He's also found another car I could purchase as a back up car. So things are rolling down the track.
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#18 Seaboard92

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:38 AM

First discovery from the mechanical team the cars aren't mainline compliant according to the owner for hep and hvac. Neither him nor I truly understand what they are saying. I've been on the phone with my shop and they have no clue what the owners claims are.
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#19 Seaboard92

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 03:41 PM

Minnesnowta fell thru because the car to meet their standards needs about 50-75k in updates right off the bat. And I don't have access to that kind of money at the beginning. And that's the discounted price because I can do my own work.

We have one last potential home in upstate New York off live rail. If that fails we might be up a creek. Good think I've survived swimming up this creek multiple times in life. Wish us luck were gonna need it.
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#20 Seaboard92

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 05:34 PM

Well the car might have fallen thru as well for a few reasons.

1. Over the course of an hour the price changed from $45,000 per car. Ten minutes later we will be willing to work with you, ten minutes later we won't sell anything we're keeping it, and ten minutes after that $2,500 which was the price I was wanting. But they are far too sketchy with pricing for me to play this ball game with them. I'll wait for auction if I go after these cars.

2. No railroad will accept this car without me doing 50-60k worth of work in updating the HEP. And that's the price if I do it at the shop I work with. So it would be a difficult investment to buy then drop a lot of money to find a home.

3. My partner on this withdrew his half of the money due to point 2.

4. The only place that might take it means two trucks. And that might be a deal breaker.

All in all I learned a lot of lessons. Did any of you learn anything?
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 




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