Posts Tagged ‘Hesston Steam Museum’

Hesston Museum Test Fires 2-6-0

October 5, 2018

The Hesston Steam Museum recently test fired the 3-foot gauge Porter 2-6-0 No. 2 that it is restoring.

The Indiana-based group is bringing back to life a 1911 locomotive that had been heavily damaged by a May 1985 fire.

The fire also damaged Shay No. 7 and destroyed several narrow gauge Rio Grande freight cars.

The restoration of the Mogul type locomotive has included the rebuilding or replacement of most of the engine’s parts.

This included installation of new boiler and turret, and fabricating a new larger tender frame and superstructure new brake rigging.

“The 2 was like building a new locomotive,” said Ted Rita, the museum’s director and general manager.

“Everything was modified in the field so really the only things left from the original build was the frame, wheelsets and, engines,” he said. “We’ve set her up for ease of maintenance and will be economical for us to operate for years to come.

“Once we complete our steam tests and shake down runs it will be our primary motive power and will insure we can run steam every weekend for our guests. We’ll then roll her into our maintenance schedule with our other operational locomotives. ”

No. 2 was built for the United Fruit Company and worked at a banana plantation in Guatemala. It was retired in the early 1950s.

By 1961, the locomotive had become derelict, but was saved from scrap by Elliott Donnelley. It was eventually repaired by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy shops in Clyde, Illinois, in Chicago where its running gear was repaired.

The Hesston museum used No. 2 on its two-mile railroad whose 5.5 percent grades and tight curves resemble a logging railroad.

The museum plans additional tests on No. 2 this fall and hopes to have it operational by next spring when a planned rebranding of the museum is expected to be implemented.

That will include a new name that will better reflect a 1929 theme and the museum’s geographical location.

ITM Scrambles to Move, Scrap Artifacts

July 6, 2018

Facing a July 12 deadline to vacate its home in Noblesville, Indiana, the Indiana Transportation Museum was working feverishly this week to move some of it collection and scrap other items.

The Hesston Steam Museum, Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation and Age of Steam Roundhouse were at the museum site to remove some items.

The Kentucky group has agreed to house Nickel Plate Road 2-8-2 No. 587 in Ravenna, Kentucky

The Hesston group was taking possession of Indianapolis Power & Light 0-4-0 fireless cooker No. 1, which was then taken to its 155-acre site near La Porte, Indiana, where Hesston operates a small narrow-gauge steam railroad.

The Age of Steam Roundhouse was seeking to acquire 14 pieces of rolling stock for its facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Trains magazine reported on Friday that former Cedar Rapids & Iowa City motor 55, homebuilt by Detroit United Railways in 1915, and former Louisville & Nashville heavyweight diner Cross Keys, built by American Car & Foundry in 1930, have been saved.

At least one diesel locomotive, a Milwaukee Road SW1, and several traction cars, were reported to have been scrapped.

Whatever museum artifacts that are saved must be removed from the site by truck.

ITM has said that it plans to re-establish itself in Logansport in north central Indiana.