We’ve submitted our proposal to save the 503!

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITY OF PORT ARTHUR

March 1st, 2018

Dear City of Port Arthur,

I am sending this letter to you on behalf of the supporters of the “Save 503” campaign and on behalf of all others who value historic preservation in our country.

Had we not taken steps with Inland Environments on Wednesday February 14th, 2018, the locomotive would have been scrapped starting Monday February 19th, 2018. By the time the disposition of the locomotive was initially made an issue of, beginning Wednesday February 21st, 2018, the locomotive would have been largely demolished.

As a historic preservation community, we have raised $67,084 via contributions from some 1,253 people from at least 6 countries around the world.

Secondly, the locomotive has sat a victim of mother nature for some 61 years and as a result has experienced much damage. This damage which will largely continue to occur even if the locomotive were to be placed under a roof due to the effects of the coastal, humid, salt ladened air. Given the current amount of decay, long term preservation would be placing the locomotive into a climate controlled structure.

Thirdly, we ask that you support the opportunity which stands before this piece of history. Before us stands a defined path upon which will not only see this locomotive preserved, but restored to operation.

Together, we can see the hands of time turned back so that no longer will people have to look at a deteriorating machine and wonder what it once was, but rather people will be able to again experience what it is.

Thank you for supporting this endeavor.

Sincerely,

Jason Sobczynski and Nick Hovey

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LETTERS OF SUPPORT

Letter of Support: Ross E. Rowland, Jr.

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Read our letter of support from Ross Rowland and click here to send your own! (more…)

OUR PLAN

1) purchase the locomotive from the contractor hired to perform the demolition and fund the move of the locomotive out of Port Arthur.

2) place the locomotive under the care of a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to its ongoing rehabilitation.

3) finalize arrangements for the use of a restoration facility and restore the locomotive operation via funding provided through donations and from The Royal Palm Railway Experience which is operated by the Orlando and Northwestern Railroad in Florida.

4) move the locomotive to Florida for long-term operation with the Orlando and Northwestern Railway. This is a campaign to save a locomotive that does have a future! These funds will accomplish the purchase from the scrapper and the initial move from the park to the Texas State Railroad.

We are a group of qualified railroad preservationists currently employed as contractors, rebuilding a locomotive in Grapevine, TX. This locomotive rebuild project positioned us, geographically, to be able to immediately act towards the preservation of Louisiana and Arkansas 503.

We began and continue this fundraising campaign as volunteers to intervene on this historic locomotive’s behalf and have decades of experience evaluating, restoring and operating historic railroad equipment.

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