Museum members have always worked hard to minimize the cost of acquiring new pieces of railroad rolling stock for the ever-growing collection. Unfortunately costs inevitably go up. Whenever possible cars are moved on their own wheels by rail, usually the lowest cost method. But more and more restrictions are being put on movement of old rolling stock by rail.
Recently some railroads have placed a prohibition on movement of equipment not equipped with roller bearings, making movement of older equipment, typically equipped with friction bearings, impossible to move without changing trucks. One eastern railroad will move passenger equipment, regardless of condition, only in special trains, greatly increasing costs. So more and more IRM is forced to move equipment on railroad flatcars or by truck.
An additional very real cost of acquiring railroad equipment is the cost of constructing yard trackage to hold the new car or locomotive when it arrives at Union. IRM has a policy that equipment be placed on track as quickly as possible after arrival, and that storage tracks be connected by switches and yard leads, as they are on operating railroads. While costs are kept to a minimum, labor and material expenses are still significant. Second-hand rail is obtained by donation or at scrap prices, but must still be loaded and moved to Union. New ties are used instead of used ties because even though it initially costs more than using used ties, in the long run the cost is less, since new ties last much longer before needing replacement.
At today's prices, the cost of building new yards at IRM seems expensive, about $75.00 per track foot, but it is cheap compared to what a railroad contractor charges (more than twice as much). Included in this $75.00 is the cost of rail, ties, spikes, tie plates, bolts, sub-ballast, grading of the land, and labor to build the track. By IRM Board of Director's policy, this track cost is assessed per track foot against the cost of acquisition for each new piece of rolling stock.
Ticket Number: 14556
Last Modified: 05/05/05 03:34:19 AM
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