Herb updated the meeting with a progress report which follows:
Annual General Meeting
January 26, 2013
Welcome to the Year of 1392! This year we will showcase the significance and history of this locomotive which holds such an important place in railway history, especially in Western Canada. If you really want to know how we came to own the engine and its early history speak to Norm Corness.
New acquisitions, repair and restoration have added to and improved the collection. Improvements to the grounds have been accomplished including clean-up and re-locating some pieces of equipment.
Plans for an upgrade to Dunvegan Shop have been submitted that will make the shop more usable.
Dunvegan Shop has had no major upgrades for most of its life. The work in Dunvegan essentially stops after October of each year and does not begin again until mid-April.
The basics of work space are there, the equipment is available, the shop size is adequate but the lack of heat and light makes volunteer recruitment difficult.
We have quotes on installation of the following.
We do not have the skilled volunteers to do the job ourselves. We have therefore applied for a grant to do the job.
We can use the casino funds to supplement the grant application. For every dollar that we put in from the casino we get another dollar from the grant. We can also use volunteer hours for the same purpose.
For example if the estimates add up to $80,000 our cash and volunteer contribution would be $40,000.
To get an upgrade to Dunvegan for $40,000 would be another major step forward.
A paint booth is planned for the north track in Dunvegan. It does not have to be included in the insulation quote. It can serve as a restoration area also but would make exterior painting much simpler. Our collection suffers from lack of attention in that area. We can remedy that with a paint booth. We have the spray painting equipment and individuals that can use it.
This proposal is directly dependent on using casino funds for the project. This is also an example of project based management and zero based budgeting.
A SUCCESSFUL RAILWAY MUSEUM
Ten years ago, in an editorial in Locomotive and Railway Preservation, John Craft presented the following definition of a successful railway museum.
He says: the museum has grown up – it is no longer a place where a collection of artifacts reposes in the middle of a huge room or building waiting for people to discover it.
A train ride is not preservation – it helps to bring the visitors, but they must have something else to interest them and bring them back. We must take the interpretation and education parts of our museum and carry them to ever higher levels.
To do this, he says we must:
Pick a focus:
1. Focus on our region. We collect and interpret artifacts from CN and NAR and put them into the context of Northern and Central Alberta.
2. Focus on types of trains: passenger, freight, work and auxiliary
3. Focus on specialized equipment – the snow plow, the cranes, the load test car, the Maintenance of Way equipment
4. Focus on railway functions: the telegraph, Centralized Traffic Control, Discovery Centres: the NAR, Diesel Locomotives, Steam Locomotives
5. Focus on publicity: the CN timeline, the Mail Car, the NAR and CNR neon signs
6. Focus on function: answering the questions: what is this? and what is it for?
7. Focus on education and interpretation: tours , school groups, seniors, railway enthusiasts, historians, and rail veterans
Clean up the displays
1. Set up the displays so that the visitor sees what is real – cabooses at the end of a train, engines displayed at the front of trains, passenger trains with the coaches in the proper sequence; head end cars (express refrigerator, through baggage, mail express, baggage), coaches, diner, sleepers and observation car. Auxiliary with the steam crane, a tender, a water car and a gondola/flat car
2. Make sure that everything is clean and neat – the signs are readable – not torn or defaced – the cobwebs are removed, the bedding, carpets, seats are dust/dirt free.
3. The platform is swept, the grass is cut and the buildings are painted
4. Make sure that everything works – the videos, the music, the lights.
5. Keep improving the displays in the station, the cars and on the grounds.
6. Damage control: broken steps, windows, sidewalks, walking hazards.
7. Directional signs clearly identify walking tours.
8. Pick up the garbage, wash down the hand sink, replace paper towels and empty toilet paper rolls.
Not everyone can run the trains or the speeders or the dozer but everyone can pick up, clean up, straighten up and set up to make the museum an attractive destination.
I am proud of this organization and pleased with the progress that the museum continues to make, and I look forward to the year of 1392!