Monday, January 7, 2013

Utah State Railroad Museum - update on security

The ball is rolling now, folks. Recently an agreement between the Union Station Foundation (operators of the USRRM) and Scott Pitman was signed, making Scott the contractor for large restoration projects such as rebuilding the Saltair open cars, or repainting the 1969 Golden Spike Centennial display car in the museum's collection. Scott has extensive experience restoring vintage automobiles, and as a fireman at Golden Spike National Historic Site. One of his first projects was to fix the fence surrounding the Eccles Rail Center. That's right, after months of debate and meetings money was set aside to fix the gaps in the fence to prevent people from sneaking in from the back. The front will be left open, but since it faces Wall Avenue and is well lighted it was decided to leave it alone for the time being.

The good news about this is that there have been no more cases of new broken windows for the past few months! The Golden Spike Chapter finished boarding over the already broken ones, and Scott is currently collecting money to purchase new glass to replace the damaged panes.

To combat the problem of visitors climbing on roofs and walkways and leaving every imaginable unsecured hatch open, Lee Witten produced signs that are attached to the grab irons of the locomotives with u-bolts, which are then locked on the ends to prevent people from just unscrewing them. As far as we've observed these have been effective in keeping most people off of the equipment, although as in any public operation, there are always those who will disobey a sign just for the heck of it...
One of the signs installed on the 833. The cab has been boarded shut, much to the dismay of the professional photographers and tourists (they can't get any hanging-out-the-window shots, but it's a necessary sacrfice). The damaged storm wall is still under repair.

In other news, two separate projects are underway. One, artist Tom Hudson is preparing murals in the Art Deco style to decorate the recently remodeled Browning Theatre in the old Postal Terminal building. The murals will depict UP 833's driving wheels on the storage doors under the stage, and the original GM "Train of Tomorrow" in the archways along the walls, a nod to the Moon Glow, which is in the museum's collection and is the last car from the trainset.
These are the arches so far - he's still working on the ToT artwork.
 The images of the 833 installed under the stage:
 And here's an extra image that is stored inside the restoration shop for the time being. These are combinations of photographs, 3-D renderings and digital painting. Tom worked as a roller coaster designer for many years, designing famous rides in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
Another volunteer is painting replica numberboards for the 5371 in the Rio Grande's "Railroad Roman" font used on the 5371 from the 90s until they were stolen in 2006. As such, both boards have been removed, leaving an interesting view that most people don't see: the bulbs that illuminate them.

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