Several months ago, RS&N members John and Susan Cease were on a motor car tip in Pennsylvania where they met an old friend, Dean Mark.  Many know Dean as the man who purchased the inventory of, and filled the vacuum created by, the death of a dedicated motor car vendor and operator, Mr. Les King.  This was no small doing, as Mr. King had an extensive inventory of parts, contractual agreements for manufacture of aftermarket motorcar items, sales and rebuilding of motor cars.  His investments provided the items to carry forward the history and hobby of motor car operation.  Les King lived in NE Ohio, and Dean was a friend who lived nearby.

So, on the Pennsylvania trip, John asked Dean about some parts needed for a new MT-19 clutch rebuild.  Of course they were in stock.  Asking about other equipment, Dean said that he had two heavy duty steel decked work flat cars.  Requesting the price Dean said he would sell them to RSN for $300 each.  Photos were provided to the RS&N BOD for a decision on purchase.  Realizing the good value, the BOD authorized the purchase.  The Ceases were enlisted to transport the cars to NC for the cost of fuel, and the transport was made over the first weekend of December.

The round trip distance was 1,570 miles, including tolls of $14.00 on the West Virginia turnpike.  Lodging was provided by member Jennifer Cease at her home in Christiansburg, VA.  She also helped by driving round trip from her house to Dean’s business in Fredericksburg, Ohio. Given the loading challenges, this made for a very long day. 

The cars were off loaded at Chris Abbood’s shop in a driving rain on Monday, December 7.  A good tractor with a fork lift simplified the unloading. 

The former Penn Central and Conrail cars have 1¾ inch axels with large bearings and appear to be in working order.  Two additional used bearings were negotiated to be included in the purchase price.  The cars will need inspection, grease and new decking, and cleaning and paint will help. The cars will be capable of carrying very heavy loads by comparison to our existing equipment, and will be a welcome addition to our fleet of work cars.

While at Dean’s, John was also shown a Fairmont W84 walk-behind model hydraulic spike puller. It appeared complete but operational capability was unknown.  After a little negotiation, an agreed upon price of $200.00 was struck.  If the machine can be rebuilt, it will equal the value of a used working one for $4,000-$6,000. Hopefully, Jerry Parker and Alton Reilly will show an interest.  Even if it needs a new engine, it’s a bargain.

Now if we can just get our maintenance sheds completed in Red Springs, RS&N has a good start for track maintenance equipment! 

(John Cease, RS&N BOD member; Susan Cease on board in photo.)