After a year of negotiations with various entities within the city our efforts were not in vain. We were able to convince the city that our volunteers had the experience, knowledge and know how to not only prepare and archive the engine but that we had an asbestos contractor, with steam locomotive experience, that was interested in giving them a very reasonable quote, thanks to Mr. Bob Kredel, of the Southern California Chapter of the RL&HS. Thus, we were asked by the city of Modesto to interface the entire project for them and oversee all work to be performed. This is our story.
A team of volunteers was organized from the WARM and the SBRHS to assist the city in resolving their concerns towards the disposition of ex Santa Fe #2921. Bill and I worked out a three phase project proposal with the parks department officer in charge and entered into an agreement to accomplish the following:
1. Prepare the locomotive for asbestos and flaky lead base paint abatement; making the contractors job easier and at the same time archiving and identifying any parts removed for parts replacement.
2. Evaluate the restorability of the locomotive; with attention given to the running gear and its ability to be moved.
1. Interface the actual asbestos and paint abatement work.
1. Stabilize the exposed areas of the boiler caused by the abatement process; by surface preparation and painting.
2. Replacing as many parts after stabilization as deemed necessary. And finally,
3. Filing a comprehensive report to the city for their exclusive use in issuing an Request for Proposal for the final disposition of the locomotive.
All of this was to be accomplished with a volunteer force with the city only paying our expenses. However, satisfactory completion of this project would certainly shed a favorable light on the possibility of W.A.R.M. being able to acquire this magnificent artifact for our museum. So it was with this in mind that we set out on this project.
In fact, as VP of W.A.R.M., at that time, I suggested to our board of directors that we should seek to acquire this locomotive as a center piece for our museum in Barstow - Which they unanimously agreed. If W.A.R.M. is successful in this effort, it would be our hope to have it transported to Barstow, where we would set about to fully evaluate its restorability and perform cosmetic work initially. I would not rule out a full restoration at a later date, though as 2900's go, 2921 is not the best candidate! All of this of course, would depend on the City of Modesto and their determinations for her future.
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