The Erie-Lackawanna baggage car number 452
One common problem most organizations similar to Midwest faces is the lack of funds to perform restoration efforts on older pieces of rolling stock. Some pieces may be unique and have a historic significance while others may be somewhat common and mainly display pieces. One thing they all have in common is that if they sit outside in the harsh weather conditions of northeast Ohio they will continually deteriorate until they are no longer financially viable for restoration. Our recent visit to the National New York Central Railroad Museum proved that we are not alone in this regard. There are many pieces of rolling stock there on display that are deteriorating just as many of ours.
The Trustees of MRPS have been evaluating our rolling stock and deciding which are still valuable and candidates for restoration and which are beyond repair. Three pieces that were deemed expendable by the Board are the USRA 40' covered hopper that was used to carry lime for LTV Steel, the ex-CN hopper car that was repainted for the USMC Toys for Tots campaign and the old Erie-Lackawanna eighty foot baggage car number 452. A thorough inspection of these cars made it evident that they are too far gone to do anything but sell them for scrap.
Volunteers are currently sorting out the contents of the baggage car and putting all useful items in storage. Items that are no longer useful are being thrown out or scrapped. The hopper car needs to be emptied of asphalt and there is still some lime in the covered hopper that must be properly disposed of prior to scrapping. The steel bracing and walls of both of these cars are badly rotted and the walls are collapsing making them unsafe for movement. Any useful parts from these cars that can be salvaged will be removed and saved if at all possible.
It is sad to say goodbye to pieces of our rail heritage, but proceeds from these cars can be used to help fund other restoration efforts on site.
the USRA covered hopper
the ex-CN hopper car