Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

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Hotbox
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by Hotbox » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:18 am

Well, if the freight aspect is that limited, obviously your ability to generate repeat interest among the local excursion crowd, will be crucial.

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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:56 am

The city has the final two potential consultants for the riverfront development study under review.

As part of the RFP, the selected consultant is required to include HWJ in it's visioning.
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:58 am

Hotbox wrote:Well, if the freight aspect is that limited, obviously your ability to generate repeat interest among the local excursion crowd, will be crucial.
I agree...between dinner trains, event trains, holiday trains, events at the facility, etc, there are a number of opportunities to consider, in addition to ideal seasonal excursion departing Fort Wayne with the 765.

KL

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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:29 am

http://headwatersjunction.com/riverfron ... nt-chosen/

The city has chosen the consultant for their project. In one of their initial renderings, a train is spotted just west of Lawton Park. Not exactly a 2-8-4, but you get the idea.

While the former NYC yard and property in question may continue to be somewhat of local quagmire, two other sites have been floated.

The timetable here is very interesting. In the early 70s the FWRHS tried to acquire money for the corner of 4th street and the freight house. They didn't have the capital on hand for that type of investment. Between the 70s and 80s, riverfront plans included mention of a "future home of 765" along or near the 4th street and Cass Street. The original Headwaters Park plans called for the 765 and a host of other historic transportation opportunities to be included in the north end of the park plan: http://headwatersjunction.com/central-p ... eric-kuhne and http://headwatersjunction.com/kuhne-end ... s-junction and now the germ of the idea is wrapped up in a new riverfront development study, with sizable public support, positive response from decision makers, and the requirement that the consultant evaluate where the idea can serve the highest and best use. To top it off, a passenger excursion run out of Fort Wayne in the not too distant future is very likely, as part of a multi-year contract and program with NS to operate the 765 throughout its system, with a sizable steam event possible in 2015.

It's bewildering and we are very fortunate to be in this position. A rising tide raises all ships, is there a railroad equivalent phrase?
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:37 pm

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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by dbrackin7 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:37 am

So is this a final concept?
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by Bob Durnell » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:55 am

Looks promising, but I'm a little concerned that the roundhouse area seems a little hemmed in, and AWFULLY close to the river. Does this space provide enough room for future expansion and or exibits, and is it safe from floodwaters? Also, from the way it is drawn, this seems to rule out the possibility of trolley service to the zoo or points beyond, IF that was ever a serious proposal. I think many of use were envisioning the roundhouse to be more adjacent to Science Central. One of my thoughts is that a more visable location along a main thoroughfare would add increased attention and awareness. I'm not sure being tucked down off Harrison Street would accomplish quite the same thing.
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:55 pm

Not a final, but preliminary plan.

With the levees, this is just out of the 100 year flood plain.

Unfortunately, until the city acquires the Omnisource site, it's out of the question to plan for there.

This doesn't rule out a line going north to the zoo, that could be phase 3-4 and planned for in the implementation.

We've dropped in other roundhouses onto the site for reference and while not wildly spacious, it is flexible. Believe it or not, the Age of Steam roundhouse in Sugacreek (with turntable, tracks, and shop) fits here. This would also include acquisition of other property along or near the ROW for yard tracks, storage, and expansion - think West Wayne.

As far as this being a serious proposal, it's straight from the consultants and endorsed by the city. As to visibility, think ahead to the time period when this would exist - this is the center of the riverfront promenade, and Harrison street is due to become a major artery and area of focus for development.

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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by Bob Durnell » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:04 pm

I had always assumed that the Omnisource property was kind of a centerpiece area of the whole project, or has that focus shifted with a new emphasis on river development? As far as the Omni property, is Rifkin just holding out for the absolute top dollar, or does he appear uninterested in actually selling it? Since you mentioned the West Wayne area, could that area become a '"Plan B" if the downtown development flames out, or would being 100% over there and a little out of the way kind of defeat the purpose of moving? The irony of a building a new new roundhouse on the footprint of the old Nickel Plate roundhouse is almost too cool to imagine. IF either project actually happens, is it feasable to disassemble your current building, and put it back up downtown for storage or some other use? Could some of the track at Casad be reused? Has any of the multitudes of other track that has been torn out at Casad found it's way to the FWRHS? I'm always looking at ways to save money and get the biggest bang for the buck. Sorry for 20 questions routine, but every answer usually brings 10 times as many questions to my mind.
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by dbrackin7 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:49 am

I wonder the cost of cleaning the soil at the omnisource site would motivate it to be sold for cheap. On a side note i was a little worried when i saw the current conceptual drawing, but if it is the same size as age of steam then great. Is there still a potential for freight service still?
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by Notch 8 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:04 am

None of this makes much sense, The location at Casad for a steamer is much better suited then say a Downtown location. Being in town you have to deal with Vandalism, Future Expansion, Nimby's, Noise, Parking, Pollution etc. Yes it would be neat to see something like this in Fort Wayne but the cost vs. benefits seem so unbalanced that I think this should have killed itself.... unless someone thinks the taxpayer is picking up the tab. Does the FWHRS own the property that they occupy ?

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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by dbrackin7 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:45 am

Nimbys, Vandals and noise complaints will be an issue wherever they are. And just give it time, the outskirts of new haven are expanding every year. Don't think people won't complain about the noise at Casad in the future. The tax issue, I would assume since they were asking for light lease money it would be from the tax payer technically. Yet if the freight service is still possible it could be a return investment, and a benefit to the city. I'm not against you Notch 8 I just disagree that Casad is the best home for 765.
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:57 pm

Notch 8 wrote:None of this makes much sense, The location at Casad for a steamer is much better suited then say a Downtown location. Being in town you have to deal with Vandalism, Future Expansion, Nimby's, Noise, Parking, Pollution etc. Yes it would be neat to see something like this in Fort Wayne but the cost vs. benefits seem so unbalanced that I think this should have killed itself.... unless someone thinks the taxpayer is picking up the tab. Does the FWHRS own the property that they occupy ?
In short, it doesn't make any sense to rely 100% on the uncertain sentiments of Class 1 and regional railroad hosts and hide the 765 in a barn 300 days out of the year.

It doesn't make sense to let the fear of vandals or NIMBYs keep an organization out in the weeds. Those things haven't stopped the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation or the Three Rivers Rambler from operating/locating in and along downtowns. Our friends in Oregon get enough walk-in visitors making donations to pay for the utilities for an entire year.

Legacy money is not tax revenue, it's money from the lease and sale of the city's electric utility. Legacy projects require matching funds from private sector sources.

The FWRHS owns its property, but not the railroad connecting it to the general railroad system - in essence we only have a few thousand feet of track. Does that make much sense either?

An organization that doesn't consider development/strategic planning, visibility or relevancy, and depends all of its revenue structure and business plan on third parties may as well "kill itself." The FWRHS does not have "a steamer" - it has a collection of historic/cultural/tourist attractions, and if you want to survive, you don't hope that people stumble over them in the corn field.
Bob Durnell wrote:I had always assumed that the Omnisource property was kind of a centerpiece area of the whole project, or has that focus shifted with a new emphasis on river development? Since you mentioned the West Wayne area, could that area become a '"Plan B" if the downtown development flames out, or would being 100% over there and a little out of the way kind of defeat the purpose of moving? The irony of a building a new new roundhouse on the footprint of the old Nickel Plate roundhouse is almost too cool to imagine.
West Wayne has always been "Site B" and something we've been quietly exploring as part of the plan or the central location since the start. North River is not critical to riverfront development and is too contaminated and too much money to be relevant at this stage.

We may yet release our rendering of the project at West Wayne - we're getting our boxcars in order over at FWRHS and there should be a formal announcement on our part in the near future.

Respectfully,
KL

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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by nathansixchime » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:08 pm

Here's a detail on the area in question. The property owners have already expressed an interest/willingness to move, and have specifically cited this project.
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Re: Feasability study planned for river and rail attraction

Post by Bob Durnell » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:00 am

Would/could the Cass Street Depot become part of the FWRHS complex, or is that likely to remain private property? Would ANY of the existing bottling company buildings be of any use to the FWRHS? There I am with those pesky questions again... Back to the ironic depatment, IF after you and 765 did the "Coca Cola ad project", the FWRHS end up on the former home of the Pepsi bottler. :lol:
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