This was just my attempt to ease the pain caused by a more serious discussion a while back between myself and someone associated with the conversion of that K-37 to oil. We had a very serious disagreement(for him anyway) about the aesthetic quality of that effort. I'm a purist when it comes to preserving the unique look of locos that have been returned to use. I appreciate that the equation must contain economic and pragmatic variables (such as fire risks), and also appreciate that corporations are not well known for meticulous restorations as a way of insuring their continued existence. They needed this engine in Durango to appease public grumbling, and that's OK with me. However, after staring at photos and the existing examples of these engines for more than 40 years, I've developed what in my former line of work is called an ideogram, a sort of internal mental catalog of what something looks like, and this catalog then becomes how I judge the effects of my modeling and the faithfulness of other's efforts to reproduce the character of something from real life. For me, I can instantly spot such traits as the length of a cab roof extension or the use of certain devises to protect cab roof openings and so on. This is sort of a form of rivet counting, and some folks find it distasteful and annoying. Well, ok, but if we are talking about preservation work, we need to have standards.
I let it be known when this 37 was finally rolled out that I thought it's profile had been badly served by the oil tank projecting far above the tender's normal upper edge and that the rear slope in the cab and it's roof (whose origin I have never determined other than the equally noticable backward slope in the rear most running board suggesting some sort of damaging collision in the past) compounded the problem by leading the eye directly back to the offending tank top. In my mind, a true restoration of this loco could have been accomplished by other means that would have preserved the tender profile, and the cab tilt should have been corrected by whatever was needed to be fixed because I found no evidence of it's presence in photos from the engines working life. I was informed that the tank volume was determined by the amount of oil need for a round trip to Silverton. In response I suggested either trucking oil to Silverton to refuel as needed, or better yet, convert one of the old UTLX tank cars to serve as auxiliary tender. Such remedies were even prototypical on the Rio Grande for rotary water, and for other fuel on many of the big time standard guage roads such as the B&O and the N&W. The response I got to all this was pretty much out of line with what most of us would regard as appropriate for an aesthetic discussion. My origins and level of intelligence were called in question with little delicacy. Some of these folks just didn't seem to understand the difference between the label 'restoration' and the label 'modification'. Every year in museums all over the world some of the most exacting and demanding work imaginable is performed to turn old masterpieces back into what they started out as(restoration) once the procession of touch up artists had finished their mishandling of these irreplaceable works over the centuries(modification). The same goes for antique car restoration vs. customizing street rods. Theres plenty of room for both outlooks in this world.
I do believe that lovers of the narrow gauge contain no small number of nit pickers like myself in their ranks. I got a kick out of the one guy who expressed the opinion that he hoped that the D&S would simply restore the paint on these diesels to an authentic color and just add the road name in small letters under the cab windows. Seems like a pretty decent idea to me. Sorry for the length of this reply. It's just a replay of the old trash vs. treasure fable.
rom: Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 20, 2020 2:37 pm
Subject: Re: [HOn3] HOn3 PSC DL535 question
Lawrence, The oil tank is a drop in over the conventional Kż37 load area, Not sure what happens in the grate though if it was converted back to coal,