Museum of Transport to be Independent of County

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This is interesting. Who knows what changes this could lead to? Maybe even a relocation?

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metr ... caa7a.html
^The property is deed-restricted, I think. Something about how if the MoT has to return it to county parks if they can't operate it there anymore. I do wonder how they'll change operations without the county oversight. Obviously the county has been putting in cash on an annual basis, but MoT wouldn't go along with the change if they didn't think they could make up the difference by transforming into a Forest Park Forever-type foundation. It was probably difficult for them to convince big donors and institutions to partner up if they were connected to the county, and I would guess that the county affiliation limited their partnership and fundraising abilities (limits on corporate sponsors, etc.).
Hopefully someday we'll look back, and this will mark the beginning of the Museum of Transportation ultimately winding up at Union Station.
The site is historically significant and large enough to accommodate garages for restoration, etc. Hard to seem them moving...but, a partnership with Union Station seems like such a no-brainer. With US putting more excursion trains together, it seems Museum of Transportation could play a role. At the very least, a couple engines/cars from MoT should be parked at US at all times.
Who pays to move them and what items do you want to move? There's a value to having the collection all in one place. It tells a story. As it stood a couple of years ago, with everything together, I could walk you through the museum and tell you the story of the development of the American locomotive from nearly its origin to nearly the present day. (I could never tell it quite in order, as things aren't arranged for that. But the temporal jarring wasn't too bad.) At present, with just one locomotive loaned out, there's a rather noteworthy lack of anything compound, which is an important part of the story. And that's not just because it was the Y6. There's very very little redundancy. Most of the locomotives are pretty singular. There used to be some duplication in the diesel collection, but most of that was sold off. Moving railroad equipment is complex and expensive business. It can be done, but . . . well . . . not lightly. I suspect TMA would want compensation, and goodwill probably wouldn't pay for that kind of freight. (Note; VMT has done two cosmetic restorations at their cost and loaned the museum a significant piece of their collection just to borrow the Y6a for a few years. That's some serious scratch. And I believe NS donated most or all of the transportation, since VMT is their baby. A for profit Union Station would have a hard time finding that kind of support.) All that said, it's been done before. Where there's enough money a lot can happen.
Alex Ihnen wrote:
The site is historically significant and large enough to accommodate garages for restoration, etc. Hard to seem them moving...but, a partnership with Union Station seems like such a no-brainer. With US putting more excursion trains together, it seems Museum of Transportation could play a role. At the very least, a couple engines/cars from MoT should be parked at US at all times.


Yes! US as a satellite location of the MoT, and a train running through the Kirkwood tunnel between the two would be amazing. I've no idea how practical that would be (would it even be feasible to renovate the tunnel? Does it connect to any active lines any longer?), but seeing how LHM's vision of Union Station is that of a tourist destination, I'd think the arrangement could be mutually beneficial. And yes, rotating a few of the MoT's stable of historic engines - assuming they're in shape to move - over to US for a time would be great.

-RBB
symphonicpoet wrote:
Who pays to move them and what items do you want to move? There's a value to having the collection all in one place. It tells a story. As it stood a couple of years ago, with everything together, I could walk you through the museum and tell you the story of the development of the American locomotive from nearly its origin to nearly the present day. (I could never tell it quite in order, as things aren't arranged for that. But the temporal jarring wasn't too bad.) At present, with just one locomotive loaned out, there's a rather noteworthy lack of anything compound, which is an important part of the story. And that's not just because it was the Y6. There's very very little redundancy. Most of the locomotives are pretty singular. There used to be some duplication in the diesel collection, but most of that was sold off. Moving railroad equipment is complex and expensive business. It can be done, but . . . well . . . not lightly. I suspect TMA would want compensation, and goodwill probably wouldn't pay for that kind of freight. (Note; VMT has done two cosmetic restorations at their cost and loaned the museum a significant piece of their collection just to borrow the Y6a for a few years. That's some serious scratch. And I believe NS donated most or all of the transportation, since VMT is their baby. A for profit Union Station would have a hard time finding that kind of support.) All that said, it's been done before. Where there's enough money a lot can happen.


Your comments are sensible, and I've no idea if it'd be financially feasible at all. But this would activate Barrett's Tunnels, which are already on the National Register of Historic Places and a testament to the workers who quite literally carved hundreds of feet of tunnel out of solid limestone by hand. It'd be fantastic to see those tunnels open to public and to tell the rather interesting story of how the first railroad tunnels west of the Mississippi came to be.

Too, think of the tourists who only came to see downtown - the a ballgame, the Arch, for business, etc. Maybe they flew and don't have their own car, but (for a decent fee of course) could take a rail ride from Union Station - say, a breakfast or lunch ride with a meal included - to the MoT, spend the afternoon there, then ride back to their downtown hotels. Heck, I live here and I'd do that.

-RBB

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