marker lights

August 2018


September 2020

Join our new 4070 weekday work sessions and help us to speed up our restoration efforts on this classic locomotive. (Photo by Ron Reed.)

New 4070 Work Sessions Being Added

Interested in helping us to make progress on 4070 but not often available for our weekly Saturday volunteer work sessions? We are planning on adding an additional work session every week specifically for the restoration of the locomotive. The most likely day will be Wednesday, so if you are interested in joining please contact the office to sign up. If enough people sign up for the new sessions, progress will move forward at a faster pace

Many different skills are needed for this project. We welcome any volunteers that are experienced in welding, cutting, machining and assembly. If you are lacking those skills but would like to learn one or more, you can be paired with somebody that has the skills and be trained.

It is great to follow our progress through Marker Lights or our Facebook pages but it is even better when you can come down and actually help us to make the progress that we report on.

Co-operation in Restoration

One item that is always in short supply at the railyard is an abundance of usable ties. Occasionally, we may get some decent usable ties from CSX but never enough to cover maintenance or expansion.

In August, MRPS and American Steam Railroad came to an agreement where ASR would barter a large number of reclaimed relay and switch ties in exchange for goods and services. The ties were recently donated to ASR and their value as agreed upon by both organizations would be used by ASR to help offset outside track storage, occasional short term stall rent and equipment rental needed to perform work on Reading T1 2100.

Ties are piling up, and soon will be used to replace the storage track above the sewer line that was ripped out earlier this year as well as additional tracks into the roundhouse stalls. Another track that would run parallel to CSX bid 5 west of the building is in the planning stages. There may not be enough ties to complete everything on our list, but we will be off to a good start.

The barter agreement is a win-win situation for both MRPS and ASR. Midwest gets much needed ties and ASR gets to save some money that can be used to continue their restoration efforts on the locomotive. It is a good thing for railfans everywhere when organizations like ours with similar goals can work together to restore and preserve our rich rail heritage.

Ties are delivered and stacked in a staging area of the yard where the shipping containers sat until being moved over to the stall 15 area.

Rearranged Storage

One project currently well underway entailed relocating the storage containers in the yard over to the stall 15 area of the roundhouse. After clearing the area of old ties and spare rail, the containers were emptied, moved and stacked to create a future sand blasting area. Eventually a wall will be built in back and a roof constructed overhead. A track will be constructed from the turntable and all future sandblasting projects will be done there.

Shelves that were removed from the old baggage car were reconstructed in the lower level containers and items put back into storage with logs made cataloging parts and locations so they can be found easily. Access to upper level storage was facilitated by cutting a doorway in the side of one container and adding an outside stairway. Some containers butted together had their ends cut away to create one 80 foot long storage area.

This one project enabled us to make headway in other projects. Moving the containers gave us room to store the stacks of reclaimed ties from ASR, and allowed us to also clear the shelving and parts out of stalls 8 through 10 so work can again start on the roundhouse restoration. And, as mentioned, it is also the beginning stage to create the sand blasting containment area. There is still plenty to do but progress is ongoing at Midwest.

The door without the steps is shown in the photo at the left.

Midwest Midyear Financials

Even though MRPS has been hosting small group tours that comply with the city and state covid19 mandates, the organization has been hurt financially since all of our scheduled open houses so far this year have been cancelled. Not knowing when we will be able to once again conduct open houses in our normal format, we have not yet scheduled any for the remainder of the year. Over the years, Midwest has generated substantial revenue for our operating fund through the open houses, especially those for special events like Easter and Christmas.

In this issue of Marker Lights we are sharing the portion of our Year -to-Date Financial Report that itemizes our income and expenses through the end of July so everyone can see where our money comes from and where it goes.


Gifts in Kind – Goods $58,898.69
Paranormal Night Event 1,550.00
Locomotive Rental 42,635.20
Passenger Car Lease/Rental 703.80
Roundhouse Stall Rent 6,930.00
Track Space Rental 2,998.50
Rental of Container Space 650.00
Equipment Rental 432.00
Towmotor Usage 390.00
Crane Time 110.00
Sandblasting Machine Usage 390.00
Service Repair Work 27,735.20
Sandblasting Work 447.49
Painting Income 60.89
Body Work & Repair 5,075.45
Man Hours at Shop Rate 1,778.40
Stake Bed Truck Income 900.00
Welder Fee Shop Rate 1,251.13
Switching Service 50.00
Other Income 1,524.83
Miscellaneous Revenue 700.00
Reimbursements 28.13
Fuel Surcharge for Truck 75.00
Membership Dues 3,240.00
TOTAL $158,524.71


Cost of Goods Sold $27,312.01
Volunteer Supplies/Lunch 802.63
Business Expenses 5,713.31
Business Registration Fees 483.80
Contract Services 33,892.50
Legal Fees 7,777.50
Outside Contract Services 64,661.94
Facilities and Equipment 19,248.08
Equip. Rental & Maintenance 12,840.46
Property Insurance 23,949.46
Rent, Utilities 10,392.15
Operations 575.35
Books, Subscriptions, References 330.43
Postage, Mailing Services 343.10
Printing and Copying 586.48
Supplies, Other 1,883.46
Telephone, Internet, Web 738.93
Shop Supplies 4,445.97
Other Miscellaneous Expenses 10.40
Ins., Liability, D&O, Truck, Volunteers 5,576.03
Other Costs & Expenses 134.02
Reconciliation Discrepancies 2,000.00
Reimbursements 3,584.67
Travel & Meetings 623.69
TOTAL $227,906.37

The totals above show the disparity between income and expenses, a good portion of which is directly related to the open house cancellations. Also, because scenic railroads have shut down or greatly curtailed operations, money that we would normally make through car leasing has been lost.

Knowing that we would be facing an income shortfall, earlier this year the organization applied for, and received a low interest covid relief loan from the Small Business Administration. The loan has enabled MRPS to keep the doors open and continue to make progress on our many projects. A portion of the loan could be forgiven if the money was used to stimulate the economy by buying American made products or if used to keep contract workers employed.

4070 Restoration Efforts

While volunteers continue repairing the roof of 4070’s cab structure, drawings are still being created for reconstruction of the tender. The drawing process is a slow one because detailed sketches have to be made and then measurements taken and added to the sketches. The sketches are then passed on to the draftsman who recreates the parts using a cad program. Often, at this point, the draftsman finds that more information or dimensions are required and those items must then be determined and sent back for inclusion into the drawing.

When reconstructing something as old as the tender, there are certain parts of the assembly that may be changed to facilitate manufacturing and save cost. There are processes available today that weren’t available then and we have to decide how to proceed. Certain items are intended to be reused whenever possible, especially if they are historically significant. While not as overwhelming as restoration of the locomotive, reconstructing the tender is still a major project, although because of donated steel, the monetary outlay is not as great as it would be otherwise.

Our volunteer draftsman for the tender is Tom Wiatrak who has been working at home from sketches provided by Nick Resar and Ken Yandek. Once the drawings are completed, actual construction will begin and then everyone will really see tangible progress.

Rusted out sections of 4070’s cab were cut out and will be replaced with new sheet metal (top left). The tender frame (top right) is being drawn using a cad (computer aided design) program. Still to be done is sandblasting, inspection and painting. An example of a cad generated drawing for the tender is shown (lower left) depicting the top deck assembly. An interior view of one side of the tender showing construction details is shown (lower right).

4070 Fund Update

The total donations received for the 4070 Restoration Fund for the months of July and August totaled $503.52. Every penny counts so stop down and drop your donation in the fare box next to the front end display.

Still Accepting Donations to the America Fund

A detailed “to do” list has been posted on the outside of the “America” informing everybody interested just what still needs to be completed. The big jobs are completing the new kitchen design and installation along with replacement of the outer pane of the windows. The Board has approved purchasing polycarbonate windows in place of Lexan due to the extended lead times caused by the covid19 situation. Seals and spacers are already in stock so window replacement can begin once the window sheets arrive.

As mentioned previously, MRPS has met its’ matching goal and our generous benefactor has promised to deliver the remainder of their donation in September. More money is needed however, and any donations will be greatly appreciated. Currently the donations to the “America Fund’ totals $18,519.90. With your help Midwest can achieve our goal and get this historic car back in service.

Still Seeking Gift Shop Help

Midwest is still looking for somebody to step forward and volunteer to take over as gift shop manager. With cancellation of our scheduled open houses this year there hasn’t been a lot of activity in sales and restocking but once things return to normal there will be a great need for one or more people to become involved. Training will be provided in all aspects of the operation. If you are interested or know anyone who may be, please let us know. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Happenings “AROUND the HOUSE”

Although difficult to see when standing at floor level, the new air lines are being run overhead along the back wall in the roundhouse (above left). The air lines are also being run into the machine shop (above right) and the lines soon will run out in between stalls to facilitate the use of pneumatic tools.

An assortment of parts that were stored outside along the roundhouse wall of stall 10 were moved to allow reconstruction of the wall. Currently sitting between the relocated storage containers, they are being sorted before being moved to their new storage location (above left). A military truck arrived at Midwest in August (above right). The deuce and a half truck is scheduled to have some paintwork done while here.

Our efforts continue to spruce up the interior of the roundhouse. The second original safety sign on our list is almost completed and although it does dress up the roundhouse, it also conveys an important message to all volunteers and contractors.

Eight years ago, MRPS restored the B&O vintage passenger car shown above. The photo on the left is of the car sitting in Clark Yard near the old Clark Avenue Bridge pillars waiting for pick up for delivery to its’ destination in Hartville, Ohio. The photo on the right, from Bruce Bryan, is of the car today where it sits in Hartville. Owning a number of vintage cars, Midwest specializes in restorations in many different types and scopes.

Relocation of the storage containers has opened up space, and regrading of the ground in that area has commenced. The photo above shows the progress that has been made.

The graded area alongside bid 5 in the above photo is where MRPS is planning a new track that will be tied into the lead with a switch. The pile of rubble will be used to fill in low spots as needed.

The Chesapeake & Ohio wooden caboose pictured above sits on one of our storage tracks and was built in the 1920’s. The interior is still in need of some restoration that includes scraping and repainting as well as reassembly of interior fixtures. This caboose is just one of our collection that also includes the B&O wagon top caboose that sits at the entrance.

The locomotive in stall 3 has been lowered back onto its’ trucks, and recently the generator was removed and replaced. Unfortunately, the new generator was faulty and returned to the vendor for a working replacement to be reinstalled.

Pens whose bodies are turned from an authentic beam from the Historic B&O Roundhouse are still available. The cost is $65.00 and each pen comes with a certificate of authenticity and the faint odor of coal smoke. Proceeds go to the building restoration fund.

Pieces of wood removed from the inside of 4070’s cab can still be had for a donation to the locomotive’s restoration fund. Like the Roundhouse Beam pens, these pieces of history have the aroma of coal fired smoke. You can take one home for dropping a donation into the fare box in the roundhouse.

Run a Locomotive for an Hour!

Sit at the throttle of our vintage Alco RS3 locomotive under the watchful eyes of a Midwest engineer. An experience that you will never forget! If you are looking for a unique experience or a one-of-a-kind gift for that special person, consider our “Run a Locomotive for an Hour” program. People travel all over the country for an opportunity to do just what we offer here at MRPS in your own back yard. The cost is just $375 but members pay a discounted rate of only $175. Interested? Contact us at 216-781-3629 or email us at

Help Needed

Volunteers with skills and/or experience in the following areas are always needed. Please stop by and lend a hand.

  • Draftpersons Diesel Mechanics
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Project Managers
  • Masonry
  • Experienced Welders
  • Bookkeeping
  • Trackmen


Dues are annual (1 year)

SENIOR (55 OR OLDER) $40.00


Proud Partners of Midwest Railway Preservation Society

Proud Sponsors of Midwest Railway Preservation Society


Steve Emling, President
Steve Korpos Jr., Executive Director
Ken Yandek, Chairman of the Board
Karen Bates, Recording Secretary
Greg Antz
Mark BilleyTom Hunt
Mitch Karibinus
Ken McCown
Dale Pietrasz
Bud Ramkey
Petar Stojsavljevic


Editor and Chief Writer: Ken Yandek
Send comments and feedback to:


Open House Dates

Small group tours for weekdays and Saturdays are available by appointment only. Tickets can be purchased through Etix in one hour time slots. Follow the link that appears in our social media posts to reserve yours. The Saturday tours also include a train ride on a caboose.

Open House Events
for the remainder of 2020
have yet to be determined.

Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

Historic B&O Roundhouse

2800 W. 3 rd Street
Cleveland, OH 44113 Get guided tours of the site
Learn how railroads helped make Cleveland an industrial giant
Climb on board an original, elegant “parlor coach” from the 1920’s
Hear the history of the famous “4070” steam locomotive

Share in our vision to save the Roundhouse
Visit our gift shop Donation for Admission: $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under Free admission to all members in good standing All proceeds to be used for Roundhouse restoration efforts Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes as the site is still in rough condition. Children must be under the supervision of an adult at ALL times. Visitors with disabilities are Welcome but should know that the site and equipment are NOT ADA-accessible. For more information, call (216) 781-3629

You shop. Amazon gives.

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Click Here. MARKER LIGHTS is the official publication of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society (MRPS), an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and holder of a 501 © designation of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, contributions to MRPS are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the code. The principle location is the Roundhouse restoration facility at 2800 West 3rd Street, Cleveland, Ohio. The business address is also 2800 West 3rd Street Cleveland, Ohio.Midwest Railway Preservation Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, restore, display, and operate railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public. Members must be 18 years or older.Copyright © 2020 Midwest Railway Preservation Society, All rights reserved.

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