Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotive restoration’

C&O 1309 Passes FRA Hydrostatic Test

June 9, 2018

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 has passed a Federal Railroad Administration hydrostatic test, but it remains unclear when its restoration will be completed.

Diversified Rail Services, the contractor doing the restoration work, distributed a photograph of a pressure gauge reading of 262 pounds per square inch, or 25 percent over the maximum allowable working pressure of 210 pounds.

Most of the restoration work is being done at the shops of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

The work had been suspended last year after the project exhausted its funding. In recent weeks some wheel work had been performed after private donations flowed in following the news of the suspension of restoration work.

At the time of work suspension, DRS estimated finishing the restoration would cost about $530,000.

The next step in restoration is to put back into place the locomotive’s grates and superheaters. That will allow for a test fire to be done.

Thus far the restoration of No. 1309 has cost $1.8 million, including at $800,000 provided by the state of Maryland.

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C&NW 175 Arriving at SRI in Pieces

June 8, 2018

It may be arriving in pieces, but former Chicago & North Western 4-6-0 No. 175 is making its way to its new home at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan.

The boiler of the R-1 class engine was delivered separately from the running gear on the journey by truck from the Mineral Range Railroad in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Altogether, the 175 was disassembled into four components of parts. The boiler had to be modified so that it would stay beneath the 45-ton load limit of the Mackinac Bridge.

The only other alternative to using the bridge would have been to use the carferry SS Badger between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan, or to truck the locomotive around Lake Michigan through Illinois and Indiana.

Permits would have been required for each state through which the boiler passed.

No. 175 was the last steam locomotive operated by the C&NW, pulling an excursion in 1957.

Built by the Schenectady Works in 1908, it spent much of its life working on C&NW lines in the Upper Peninsula. It is one of three R-1s still in existence.

SRI, which also owns Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225, plans to restore the 175 to operating condition at an estimated cost of $750,000.

Once operating, the 175 will be able to travel to places on the Great Lakes Central that are off limits to the larger No. 1225, including north of Cadillac, Michigan.

Levin Heading Effort to Restore PRR K4s

May 11, 2018

An effort to restore former Pennsylvania Railroad K4s 4-6-2 No. 1361 kicked off this week.

Bennett Levin, who owns a pair of PRR passenger diesels, is behind the effort to ramp up the restoration effort.

Speaking to the 50th anniversary convention of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Levin said the official state locomotive of Pennsylvania needs a new boiler and its axles must be converted to roller bearings.

Levin said new boiler would cost at least $1 million with the money coming from private sources.

Former Norfolk Southern CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman is reportedly helping to support the restoration.

“We believe there are financial partners out there to sustain the operation,” Levin said. “There is movement going forward.”

Levin said once the 1361 is restored that it will be used to pull a replica 1940s and 1950s Pennsy passengers train in Pennsylvania.

No. 1361 was displayed at Horseshoe Curve near Altoona between 1957 and 1985.

The locomotive was then restored to operating condition and pulled excursion trains before an axle problem sidelined it 1988.

Partial restoration was done at Steamtown and the East Broad Top shops in Orbisonia, Pennsylvania, but the locomotive has been in a state of disassembly for more than 20 years.

Some further work has been done on the boiler and other components in Altoona in recent years.

Levin acknowledged that the operating environment for historic equipment is “fragile.”

Amtrak canceled a special he had planned to operate to the PRRT&HS convention with his PRR E8A locomotives and passenger cars.

He said he will work for a legislative remedy to alleviate liability insurance issues that hinder excursion trains so that excursion operators no longer need Amtrak’s liability insurance to use freight railroad tracks.

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.

PRR Steam Locomotive Print Offered to Donors

April 26, 2018

A print featuring five historic Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives is being offered by The Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania as a fundraiser to help pay to stabilize five locomotives in the museum’s collection.

The print is a reproduction of a watercolor painting made by artist Peter Lerro Jr.

Depicted are M1b No. 6755, K4s No. 3750, L1s No. 520, H10s No. 7688, and B6sb No. 1670.

Those making a donation of $250 or more will receive a limited edition, signed and numbered reproduction of the painting, known as “Ready For The Roundhouse.”

The Friends group has $190,000 of the $250,000 needed to have the five locomotives media blasted, painted and repaired.

A form to be filled out in order to make a donation can be obtained at the museum’s website at http://www.rrmuseumpa.org or by calling 717-687-8628.

Rare Mileage Excursion set on R&N

March 2, 2018

An excursion to benefit steam locomotive restoration will run on May 5 on the Reading & Northern Railroad.

The Onieda Flyer will cover sections of the former Reading and Lehigh Valley railroads in a 96-mile round trip, traversing some segments that have not hosted a passenger train in more than 50 years.

The excursion train will leave R&N’s Port Clinton headquarters at 10 a.m. and return at 7 p.m.

Trip sponsor Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society said proceeds will benefit restoration of Boston & Main 4-6-2 No. 3713 in partnership with Steamtown National Historic Site.

The chapter wants to raise $225,000 this year for the restoration efforts. No. 3713 is set to return to service at Steamtown in 2020, after 62 years on static display.

Among the branches to be covered during the excursion are the former Reading Company Little Schuylkill and Catawissa branches, and parts of the Lehigh Valley’s New Boston and Hazleton branches via Onieda and Morea junctions.

Motive power will be two of R&N’s recently acquired MP15 diesel switcher locomotives, painted in a Reading-inspired green and yellow scheme. Three photo runbys are planned.

Tickets are $99 for adults and $69 for kids 12 and under. A Subway boxed lunch can be ordered as an option.

More information and tickets are available at http://www.laurellinesspecials.org, project3713.com or contact excursion co-chairperson Norm Barrett at 570-575-5320 or email him at nyowfan@msn.com

Thief Steals Parts for C&O 1309

February 14, 2018

Restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 suffered another setback when thieves stole parts for the 2-6-6-2 locomotive from the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. Also taken were parts for passenger cars.

WMSR Executive Director John Garner said he learned of the theft when local salvage yards reported receiving locomotive and passenger car parts.

Police believe the thefts were made by a former shop employee, but no charges have yet been filed.

“These irreplaceable artifacts are property that was entrusted to our care for preservation and for the education and enjoyment of the public,” Garner said in a statement. “Employees with access to the Western Maryland Scenic’s collection of railroad equipment and parts are trusted guardians who must not abuse their positions for personal gain.”

Among the stolen items were rare light fixtures and brass hardware from Western Maryland Railroad office car 204, bronze bearings and wear plates from No. 1309, and miscellaneous locomotive and passenger car parts.

Garner said the person suspected of the theft “had access to a wide array of WMSR’s collection of parts and artifacts,”

He said the tourist railroad will review its security and storage procedures and make changes.

Garner expects criminal charges in connection with the theft to to be filed in West Virginia in the coming days.

As for the restoration of No. 1309, Garner said it continues to move forward as funding becomes available.

A direct mail campaign netted $30,000 that will be used to pay for work to the drivers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that will be performed under the direction of Gary Bensman’s Diversified Rail Services using specialized steam locomotive wheel machines located at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Soule Shop.

Maryland Lawmaker Wants County to Provide Funding to Finish Restoration of C&O 1309

January 30, 2018

A Maryland legislator wants Allegany County to provide $530,000 to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to enable it to finish restoration of former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 to operating condition.

State Senator Wayne Norman said the county “needs to put some money into it  . . . I think the county needs to take a lien, then get it finished.”

He has proposed that the county pay the funding from a “rainy day fund” that has a $26 million balance.

The county owns the right of way used by the WMSR between Cumberland and Frostburg, Maryland.

Norman is reported to be a supporter of the tourist railroad and has made frequent visits there.

As he sees it, “once that thing is up and running, it will bring people here from Europe and Asia. There’s nothing else like it in America, so people will come and see it.”

The state budget being proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan would allocate $250,000 to the WMSR for operating expenses, the same as what the state provided last year. Allegany County annually provides $140,000 for operations.

The funding for operations is used for infrastructure and equipment maintenance.

However, news reports in Maryland said that legislators from western Maryland are not supportive of further government funding of the 1309 restoration, saying that other county agencies are waiting for their turn to receive government grants.

T1 Trust Buys Boiler Courses

January 30, 2018

The Pennsylvania Railroad T1 Steam Locomotive Trust recently announced that it purchased the first and second boiler courses of new-build 4-4-4-4 No. 5550.

The order was placed with Continental Fabricators of St. Louis. In a news release the T1 Trust described the acquisition as a major milestone because the boiler courses represent the largest parts yet built for the streamlined duplex locomotive.

The two sections are more than 93 inches in diameter and nearly 12-feet long. The boiler code steel is 1-inch thick and weighs more than 12,000 pounds.

All welds will be x-rayed to ensure perfect seams. The sections will include wash-out plugs and openings for water delivery.

The T1 trust is seeking to raise the $25,000 to complete the third and final cylindrical boiler section. The goal is to have donations pledged by April 15. If so the trust said it can have 25,000-pounds of boiler complete by summer 2018.

AOS Has Another Steamer on the Property

January 26, 2018

Another locomotive has been added to the roster at the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.

The museum said it has moved Columbus & Southern Ohio Electric Company No. 2. to the museum by truck from Sharon, Pennsylvania.

It is the 20th steam locomotive in the collection. The Heisler-built 0-4-0F had been on display in Pennsylvania between a restaurant and a train station.

The restaurant has since closed and the property owners want to raze the building that housed it.

“We’ve been looking for a ‘fireless cooker’ steam locomotive to add to our collection,” said Tim Sposato, AOS chief mechanical officer in a statement. “We were fortunate to locate and obtain one that was in our own backyard. That saved us a lot of money in loading and transportation costs.”

The locomotive was built in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1940. It was designed for use in an industrial setting and filled with steam from a stationary boiler about every eight hours.

AOS said it will cosmetically restore No. 2. A sister locomotive, No. 1, is owned by the Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association in Youngstown.