Repair Work Continues on B&LE No. 643

In an update posted to its website the Age of Steam Roundhouse said it continues to study how to move former Bessemer & Lake Erie No. 643 from its current location in Pennsylvania to Sugarcreek.

AOS said winter weather and the holidays slowed the movement of the locomotive’s running gear and boiler.

The update said staff continue to work with local and state authorities for use of highways but the use of railroad flat cars is also being evaluated.

“Labor and cost are driving factors in this decision making,” the update said.

AOS staff also have inspected the tender of the 643 and made some repairs.

This included removing from the coal bunker and stoker auger system old coal, scaled rust and other debris.

Workers painted the tender with a rust preventive primer and finish coated with gloss black.

Upper elements of the tender that were removed to lower the height for road travel have been put back into place.

The brakeman’s cabin was repaired during the removal process. Workers removed rusted rusted areas in the well area in which it sits.

The cabin was repainted and then was re-bolted to the tender deck.

The eight washout plugs in the bottom of the tender cistern were removed and the water compartment is currently having scale removed. Workings are also flushing out of loose scale and flaked rust.

The update said the tender journals looked very well maintained but were cleaned and oiled.

Eventually, the tender body will be sandblasted to grey metal and repainted with high quality industrial paint.

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