Posts Tagged ‘restoration’

EBT No. 16 Expected to be First Steam Locomotive to Return to Revenue Service

December 13, 2020

The East Broad Top Railroad expects to have its first steam locomotive back in service sometime in 2021, but officials are not predicting yet when that will be.

The first locomotive that will be returned to revenue service will be No. 16, “sometime next year,” said Chief Mechanical Officer Dave Domitrovich in an interview with Trains magazine.

Officials said No. 16 is in better condition than No. 14, which has also been tabbed for restoration to operating condition.

No. 16 was overhauled during the 1950s and was never used in tourist train operation.

Thus it hasn’t experienced the wear and tear that Nos. 12, 14, 15 and 17 endured.

Domitrovich expects the return of No. 16 to steam to create excitement and interest in the railfan/railroad history community because it last operated in 1956.

EBT workers continue to work on Nos. 14, but it needs boiler work, including moderate minor sheet repair and replacement; new flues and tubes; and considerable running-gear work.

The drivers of No. 14 will be sent to the Strasburg Rail Road for reconditioning.

In the meantime, the EBT expects to operate a few diesel-powered excursions and is eyeing a return to scheduled service next May or June.

The historic narrow-gauge railroad in Pennsylvania was purchased in early 2020 by the non-profit EBT Foundation from the Kovalchick family, which in turn had rescued it from being scrapped in 1956.

The EBT operated as a tourist railroad between 1960 and 2011 before shutting down.

The property includes 27 miles of main line; yards, shops and headquarters; six Baldwin 2-8-2 steam locomotives; and passenger and freight rolling stock.

The EBT Foundation in tandem with the volunteer Friends of the East Broad Top group has been working to rebuild track, renovate a circa-1900 shop complex, and restore the rolling stock.

Scheduled service is expected to operate between Rockhill Furnace and the Colgate Grove picnic area, a distance of about four miles.

Long-range plans are to reopen the main line to Robertsdale and Woodvale. The EBT Foundation is studying reopening a long-abandoned mountainous branch line to offer scenic views.

Thus far track rehabilitation on Rockhill Furnace-Colgate Grove segment is about half done, with some 3,500 ties replaced out of a projected 6,500.

About half of the 18 switches in need of renewal have been completed, including a rare three-way stub switch at the south end of Rockhill Yard.

Other work that remains to be completed includes replacing the Runk Road bridge, which was damaged last spring when struck by an over-height logging truck that dented a beam and shoved the track off center.

The foundation also announced it has hired Jonathan Smith, 22, formerly with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, as a full-time sales and marketing representative.

Cincinnati Union Terminal Set to Reopen

November 14, 2018

A restoration of Cincinnati Union Terminal will wrap up this week when the 85-year-old art deco station reopens.

The $228 million restoration project took 30 months to complete after getting underway in July 2016.

The project was funded by a sales tax approved by Cincinnati and Hamilton County voters in 2014.

Amtrak’s Cardinal stops at the station and it is home to several museums.

The restoration effort involved rebuilding the structure down to its substructure and restoring the class murals in the rotunda to look the way that they did when the depot opened in 1933.

The neon-lined clock on the front of the building also was rehabilitated.

“This is a monumental achievement for our staff and volunteers and for the entire community” said Cody Hefner, a representative of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

“Everyone who works here, and really everyone in the community, has a story about Union Terminal, either as a train station or as a museum. So to be able to restore a place with such a personal connection, and to do so in such a grand, visible, breathtaking way, is really incredible.”

Amtrak moved its waiting room to an adjacent building during the restoration. It returned to CUT during the first week of November.

During the public reopening on Nov. 17, Hefner said projectors will be used to light the terminal’s exterior with different exhibits each evening.

A large Christmas train display, a tradition at CUT since 1946, will open to the public on Nov. 16.

Buffalo Terminal Restoration Getting Started

November 14, 2018

Developers have outlined their restoration plans for Buffalo Central Terminal, which will benefit from a $5 million state grant.

The 89-year-old art deco facility hasn’t served passengers since the late 1970s and last housed railroad offices in the 1980s

The abandoned 17-story structure long has been a symbol of urban decay, but now the future is starting to look bright even if officials caution that restoration is expected to cost $100 million.

Plans include making a portion of the depot into a museum that will expand and preserve the station’s legacy.

Mark Lewandowski, director for Central Terminal Restoration Corporation, said most of the grant money will be spent on new glass and lights for the main concourse.

Some funding will also be allocated to restoring the former Gateway Restaurant.

Most of the old glass in the concourse has been victimized by neglect and vandalism.

The arch windows at each end of the concourse include several four-foot square sections of 4-inch thick glass used as walkways between the windows.

Workers are also recreating the light fixtures in an effort to return the concourse to its 1929 appearance.

Much of the rest of the terminal is in poor condition. The only work it has received has included cleaning and weather proofing.

Steamtown May Restore CN 2-8-2

September 18, 2018

Steamtown National Historic Site is eyeing a former Canadian National steam locomotive as its next restoration project.

Superintendent Deborah Conway told Trains magazine that CN 2-8-2 No. 3377 is a “likely candidate” for restoration.

However, the park’s shop first plans to finish its restoration work of Boston & Maine 4-6-2 Pacific-type No. 3713.

No. 3377 was built by the Canadian Locomotive Company in 1919 and is nearly identical to Steamtown’s other CN 2-8-2, No. 3254, which was taken out of service in 2012.

No. 3254 had a high profile at Steamtown throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but park officials think No. 3377 might be in better condition than No. 3254.

“A condition assessment is needed to fully determine a course of action but overall staff feels that No. 3254 is pretty worn out,” Conway said.

In the meantime, Steamtown has awarded to the Strasburg Rail Road a contract to build the firebox of No. 3713.

Michigan Steamer Being Cosmetically Restored

April 28, 2018

A 19th century steam locomotive in Port Huron, Michigan, has been moved in preparation for a cosmetic restoration

The D.B. Harrington, a 2-4-0 built in 1878 by Porter, Bell & Company, has been in storage since 1992.

The locomotive was built for the 3-foot gauge Port Huron & Northwestern Railway, which used it to haul freight to Sand Beach (now Harbor Beach), and Port Austin, Michigan.

After restoration, the Harrington will be displayed along the Port Huron waterfront.

The restoration of the engine is being done by Streamline Historic Services at St. Clair County Community College. The tender will be rebuilt by Gemini Industries in Dover, Ohio.

Funding for the restoration is coming from a $25,000 grant from Canadian National’s community impact program and another grant via the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Donations toward the restoration costs can be made at www.stclairfoundation.org.

Works Continues on Restoring C&O 1309

June 27, 2017

Trains magazine reported on Monday that workers have begun installing the tubes into Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad shops.

The magazine said other work included workers applying firebox patches and conducting laser scans of the frame.

The locomotive is expected to return to operation later this year although no firm date has been set for its first public excursion.

Once operational, No. 1309 will be among the largest operating steam locomotives in the United States.

Grand Rapids Crossing Tower Being Preserved

September 29, 2016

A tower that once guarded a grade crossing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be restored.

MichiganThe more than 100-year-old Bridge Street Tower once protected the Pennsylvania and Pere Marquette railroads.

Built around 1910, the tower stood 50 feet high and operators worked in it on 12-hour shifts.

The tower is a throwback to an era when flagmen or tower operators protected railroad crossings before the advent of grade crossing gates and flashing signals.

The tower sits on property that was purchased by Charlie Secchia, of SIBSCO LLC.

Secchia was quoted by Trains magazine as saying that he is not a rail fan, but loves history and restoration.

“If we don’t preserve things for kids, they don’t know history,” Secchia said.

Currently, the top of the structure is being restored. Warped and deteriorated pine paneling and window frames are being replaced by treated lumber.

Secchia said he will have the structure painted gray with light green trim, which is how it appeared under Penn Central ownership.

Once rebuilt, the structure will be placed back on its original steel supports at Bridge Street and Seward Avenue.