The restoration of GTW 4070 is a top priority of Midwest Railway. That has been documented many times in the past and is the focus of our recent campaign to raise funds to repair the crack in the main frame.
Although the restoration is a high priority, it is not the only project that has the organization’s attention. Midwest is responsible for maintaining the roundhouse, warehouse and rail yard that we occupy. Along with that, our vintage passenger cars are undergoing required maintenance that in some cases will keep the cars off of the rails for an extended period of time.
Our ancillary equipment has been undergoing much needed maintenance and repairs also. That includes our fleet of fork-lifts, the stake-body truck, the air compressors, cranes, bulldozer and many more. When any of these are out of service, our ability to make progress on any project is severely hampered.
Volunteers have also been busy laying new trackage around the yard that will greatly increase our storage capacity.
Two important pieces of equipment undergoing extensive repairs are trackmobiles TM3 and TM9. Once these are completed, they can be leased out on revenue service to make money for the organization. Our passenger cars and power car are also profit centers that contribute to operating funds when out on lease.
Outside of car leasing, our main sources of income is through stall and track rent. Because that is not sufficient to cover all of our expenses, we also sell services that include sand blasting, painting, car and locomotive repair as well as other related services.
It is important to note that all of our special projects are funded through donations that cannot be used for any other purpose whatsoever. The general fund cannot draw money from the special accounts even if there is a shortage for monthly expenses. Money donated to 4070 is only used for 4070. Money donated to the building fund is only used on building maintenance or roundhouse restoration.
When you see or hear someone commenting that Midwest should not be wasting resources by spending time and money on anything other than 4070, it wouldn’t hurt to set the record straight. There are many “experts” that offer their opinions on topics of which they most likely are not fully informed.
Photo (above) credit: Grant Geist