Things are still going well with the planning and ultimate construction of our engine house at the Eastern California Museum. As of September 2015 the county has approved our site grading plans and is going through an environmental impact review of the overall project. This should hopefully be complete in the near future and at that point we can begin the dirt work. More updates to come as they are available.
We finally have an answer to the most asked question of the restoration: Where are you going to run it?
After some hard work by numerous individuals including John and Katie Olsen who commissioned and paid for the painting by Jan Rons, and Kevin Blakeney who did all of the site drawings, we have the plan and the Counties agreement that we can go ahead with it. While we are still waiting to go before the full Inyo County Board of Supervisors for their final approval (hopefully in January), all of those County officials involved in the direct implementation and decision making for this project have given us the go ahead.
The basic plan is that the engine will be housed in a Keeler style engine house at the Eastern California Museum in Independence. Along with the engine house will be approximately 800 – 1000 feet of trackage to operate the locomotive on. Due to costs and the desire to complete the locomotive restoration, the plan will be implemented in two phases in which the CCRW will cover the expected $300,000 price tag. Part of the plan will also include a replacement SPNG piece of rolling stock in Dehy park.
While final operational agreements will come later, the CCRW would like to keep operations to only a few times annually with an occasional trip off site with the locomotive.