Since the video was taken, The money was raised to bring the car back to Tacoma from where it was retired back in October of 1949.
On July 14th, 1873, Tacoma was selected by the Northern Pacific Railroad as its West Coast Main terminus. This historic decision put Tacoma on the map. With such a rich railroad history, it makes perfect sense to preserve any unique pieces of history that our City and visitors to our city can enjoy. The car has several different stories to tell. Its long history on the North Coast Limited tells not only the story of early cross country travel, but also serves as a symbol of cultural barriers that were tore down as the African American community, led by early civil rights activists like A. Phillip Randolph, helped form the first labor organization led by blacks to recieve a charter in the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
We've recieved a great response from volunteers and specialty trades that have offered to help us preserve this car once a covered restoration site is made available. Unfortunately, we are on the verge of losing the car for good if we are unable to raise $17,000 to transport this large artifact to the covered facility by March 30th. Special equipment is needed to transport and manuever the car to the covered site. The LeMay family has offered space for restoration and will become a permanent home as part of the LeMay Family Collection.
Our project has gained support from the Tacoma Historical Society, Historic Tacoma, Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission, Tacoma's Historic Preservation Office, Northwest Railway Museum, NPRHA (Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association), BNSF, Tacoma Rail and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
The car has been kept heated 24 hours a day since it arrived here. We recently learned that the car will need to be moved by March 30th to make way for construction activities that will be running directly through the site where the old diner is currently located. We hadn't planned on moving the car again until I was able to secure a permanent location. It is very expensive to move these oversized loads. It takes large cranes with crews to provide the proper rigging and specialized trucking to transport.
It was very difficult to find any covered sites that could accomodate this 80 foot long, 47 ton, heavyweight dining car.
Fortunately, the local newspaper, The News Tribune http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/02/16/3050440/piece-of-tacoma-rail-history-could.html and a very popular website, Exit133.com, ran stories on our urgent need for covered storage. With an overwhelming response from the community, we explored several options and decided to donate the car to a local foundation that will allow us the ability to complete restoration efforts and display the car to the public once all work is complete. Former Mayor and current Tacoma Historical Society President, Bill Baarsma, and I met with representatives of the LeMay Family Collection and were extremely impressed with their operation and friendly staff.
The LeMay Family Collection is a perfect fit for the car. The LeMay family collection is a 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization
The facility houses one of the most remarkable car collections in the country and holds a nice variety of special events and shows that will showcase this old railroad artifact nicely. Up until now, I have funded this project on my own, but now I am faced with a cost to move the car that I cannot afford in such a short time frame. The cost proposal to move the car is $17,000. We will need to raise the necessary money by the end of March to guarantee keeping the car in Tacoma. If not, this beautiful old time piece will be hauled out of town by another group. Can you assist us with a contribution to help keep the car here? Anything you can spare will be very much appreciated. Should we exceed our goal of $17,000, it will go directly into our roof restoration which will be our first phase of construction at the new facility. We plan to apply for additional grants once we are at the permanent site and also plan to run a separate "Phase II" campaign with Kickstarter once we relocate to address the much larger cost of restoration which is estimated to run nearly $430K to bring the car back to its original splendor.
I have uploaded some actual photos of the car in its current state, in addition to some memorabilia and artifacts; please follow this link: http://www.pinterest.com/aswanstrom0093/historic-preservation-project-railroad-dining-car/
Risks and challenges
As with any project, there are always potential obstacles, from production delays, to permits and collaborator mishaps. I feel very confident with my ability to coordinate multiple contruction projects with a wide variety of crews and specialty trades. My experiences have enabled me to foresee potential problems and resolve them before they escalate to major issues. I have worked for a government agency for the past 23 years as both a construction inspector and for the past twelve as an Engineering Construction Coordinator. With good communication and detailed documentation, I am confident that we will be more than capable of working through any potential obstacles or "hiccups" that might arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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