Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotive restoration’

EBT 16 May Steam This Year

August 22, 2021

East Broad Top Railroad officials won’t say when its first steam locomotive will be restored to operating condition, but indicated it could be this year.

The locomotive, Baldwin-built 2-8-2 No. 16, continues to progress with work completed on its air tanks, dynamo, piping, two air pumps, two Hancock Inspirator injectors, new ceramic insulation, and new boiler jacketing.

Trains magazine reported on its website on Saturday that the tender tank for No. 16 was returned to Curry Rail Services for additional work.

EBT workers are rehabilitating passenger cars at the rate of one car every week or two.

Workers also are seeking to finish rebuilding the track in a quarter-mile section to enable trains to reach Colgate Grove, the traditional northern terminus for trains between 1961 and 2011.

The work includes replacing ties, improving drainage, and clearing brush on an S-curve north of Runk Road Bridge.

Testing of C&O 1309 Expected Soon

July 17, 2021

The former dome car Ocean View is how operating on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

Testing of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 is expected to begin soon at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

The last Baldwin steam engine built for domestic use needed new firebrick for its firebox before testing can begin. Delivery of the firebrick has been delayed due to supply and labor shortages.

In the meantime, the WMSR has begun using in revenue service a full-length dome car built in 1955 for the Great Northern.

The Ocean View was Amtrak’s last dome car. The passenger carrier retired the car in 2019. It began operating on WMSR trains Cumberland and Frostburg earlier this month.

The car has been repainted into the red and while “circus” colors of the Western Maryland.

Also operating on the WMSR are an open-air car and privately owned cars Pacific Trail and Overland Trail.

Ocean View was purchased and renovated by a partnership between Rail Excursion Management and PAXRAIL.

It is believed to be the first dome car to use WM rails other than one or two documented detours of Baltimore & Ohio passenger trains..

PRR 1361 Restoration Set to Begin

July 12, 2021

Work is expected to begin soon on a $2.6 million restoration of former Pennsylvania Railroad 4-6-2 No. 1361.

The project is being overseen by the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The K-4 engine had been on static display for 28 years at Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona.

Restoration work to operating condition began in 1985 in Altoona and the 1361 pulled a 90-mile roundtrip excursion in April 1987 on the Nittany & Bald Eagle railroad, a former PRR branch.

The locomotive’s excursion life was cut short in late 1988 when an axle overheated during its return to Altoona.

Attempts to repair it failed and the locomotive spent time in the 1990s and early 2000s at Steamtown National Historic Site. It was supposed to be restored there but that work was never completed.

In 2007 No. 1361 returned to Altoona where it has languished ever since although some progress has been made at times toward restoring the K4 back to operating condition.

The objective of the latest restoration project is to return the locomotive to its early 1950s appearance when it operated in New Jersey commuter service.

Once the 1361 is operational, it will operate in various locations throughout Pennsylvania.

Museum officials said they have relationships with railroads, other museums, and tourist operations in the state and beyond.

“The goal is to employ those relationships to allow the K4 to visit those locations as a roaming ambassador to railroad history,” said Davidson Ward, president of FMW Solutions, which is working with the museum to restore the 1361.

 “Assuming fundraising is consistent and productive, we estimate three to four years. As with any restoration, however, this is always subject to change,” he said about when the K4 might be up and running.

The 1361 was built in Altoona and was one of 425 locomotives in its class. It was retired by the Pennsy in 1956.

AOS Crews Working on Restoration Projects

July 4, 2021

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum recently issued its summer 2021 report, which showed that the workforce has been busy with numerous restoration projects.

One of those is working on the boiler of former McCloud/Yreka Western 2-8-2 No. 19.

Workers removed scaling from the boiler and measured and inspected it.

The preliminary data shows the boiler to be in good condition.

Work also continued on restoration of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy coach 705, which was built in 1920. A fellow commuter Burlington commuter coach, No. 704 also underwent repairs, including all new sub flooring that will be covered with new tile so that it retains its original look.

Seats have been removed and will be inspected. Exterior work to be preformed includes repairs of rusted areas in the vestibules, and exterior body work.

Former Morehead & North Fork/Southern Railway 0-6-0 No. 12 received new canvas side and back cab curtains, which are used to protect the crew from inclement weather.

The locomotives has been fired up a few times this year for special events and will be used with more of the 2021 special events that are being planned.

More information about these restoration projects is available at the AOS website.

FMW To Help with PRR 1361 Restoration

June 25, 2021

An Altoona railroad museum has hired a consulting firm to help with the restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad K4 No. 1361.

The announcement on Thursday by the Railroaders Memorial Museum said FMW Solutions will lead the effort to restore the 4-6-2 steam locomotive to operating condition.

FMW, which is based in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, recently helped with the restoration of U.S. Sugar 4-6-2 No. 148 in Florida and is working on the restoration of Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 4-8-4 No. 576.

The cost of restoring the 1361 has been put at $2.6 million and the Altoona museum said fundraising efforts are being led by board chairman and former Norfolk Southern CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman. 

The 1361 was built at the Altoona Works in 1918 and ran until 1956 when it was placed on static display at Horseshoe Curve.

It was restored to operating condition in the late 1980s before being sidelined with mechanical problems after two years of operation.

Since then the locomotive resided for a time at Steamtown National Historic Site but plans to restore it there collapsed and the engine was delivered to Altoona in pieces.

Although some restoration work has been performed since then in Altoona on the tender and other locomotive components, little progress has been made. 

The museum hired FMW in 2019 to conduct a detailed inspection of the locomotive. That assessment has been reviewed and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. 

Steamtown’s Big Boy Goes on Static Display

May 6, 2021

A Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive has returned to static display following a two-year cosmetic restoration at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The museum is home to 4-8-8-4 No. 4012 and has located it near the park entrance.

The display site highlights the engine’s articulation because it is on a section of curved track.

No. 4012 is one of 25 Big Boys built UP between 1941 and 1944 and used primarily in Wyoming and Utah.

Eight Big Boys has survived and are at museums throughout the Southwest, Midwest, and West. No. 4014 was restored by UP to operating condition in 2019.

The restoration of No. 4012 included replacement of rusted parts, remediation of hazardous materials, and repainting the locomotive to UP specifications.

There is a timer-controlled illumination of the headlight, numberboards, and marker lights.

In conjunction with National Train Day on May 8 Steamtown plans to display Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 759, Grand Trunk Western 4-8-2 No. 6039, and Groveton Paper Works 2-4-2T No. 7.

Rebuilding WMSR 734 Seen as Years Away

April 24, 2021

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad said it plans to stabilize and evaluate its 2-8-0 steam locomotive No. 734, but has no plans to resume operations with it.

 “Our new mechanical team has found accounts and inspection forms that indicate the locomotive was performing well below peak efficiency during her final years in service,” officials said.

“The locomotive was often pushed far beyond its normal operating capabilities, which has resulted in extreme wear and tear of many key components, particularly the running gear.”

WMSR forces have in the past couple years been focused largely on restoring former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309, which was steamed up earlier this year and is expected to begin revenue service this summer.

No. 734 is a “Consolidation” type built by Baldwin in 1916 for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming as No. 18 and later had roster number 34.

It was retired by the LS&I in the early 1960s and ran on another tourist railroad and sat on static display at Illinois Railway Museum.

WMSR restored the 734 in the early 1990s and it was featured in many photo charters over the years. The locomotive last operated in 2016.

WMSR officials said the 734 is in extremely worn mechanical condition and will need a lengthy and expensive overhaul.

“If undertaken, it would also mean a significant investment in a locomotive that no longer meets the daily needs of the railroad, though this does not remove the possibility of 734 operating on the lighter, off-season trains and as stand-by power for 1309,” officials said.

The officials said the WMSR cannot commit to rebuilding the 734 until it determine the cost and scope of the needed work.

They indicated that review would not be completed until after the 2021 operating season and is likely to require a fundraising campaign.

Nonetheless WMSR officials expect that it will be a few years before overhaul work on the 734 begins in earnest.

The railroad plans to resume operations on May 29 after being shut down since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AOS Forces Busy Over Winter, New Tours Planned for Summer

April 10, 2021

The shop forces at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum have spent the winter working to restore former McCloud River Railroad /Yreka Western 2-8-2 No. 19.

In a report, AOS said the locomotive has been undergoing heavy repairs for quite some time that have involved taking the locomotive apart and repairing  or replacing worn out parts.

AOS said the overhaul of No. 19 will include a boiler inspection and rebuild that is expected to extend the locomotive’s life for another 15 years.

The boiler has been stripped of such external appliances as piping, jacketing and insulation, and its large flues and smaller tubes have been removed.

In addition to working on the boiler, workers have been inspecting and repairing running gear parts and components, including valve, main and side rods and their bearings.

Repairs have been made to the locomotive’s piping, spring rigging and brake rigging, and the electrical system has been rewired.

Other locomotives that received attention from the shop included former Southern Railway/Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 No. 12,

Last month No. 12 passed its Federal Railroad Administration annual inspection, including a required hydrostatic test of its boiler.

Former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy commuter coach No. 705 received minor mechanical repairs and a cosmetic make-over.

Built in 1920, the car will have its original CB&Q road number of 7158 restored when the final exterior painting occurs.

AOS said its tour season will begin on May 1 and extend through Nov. 20.

New this year is a three-hour Founder’s Tour, which provides a three-hour, behind-the-scenes exploration that will highlight the life, locomotives and legacy of AOS founder Jerry Joe Jacobson.

Also new this year is a special exhibit titled “Tools of the Trade” that will feature original artifacts and tools used by railroad shop workers.

Family-oriented events that have been added to this year’s schedule include a series of special 45-minute events most of which will begin every Saturday at 1 p.m.

The first of these family events, titled  “Story Book and Explore,” is scheduled for June 10 at 1 p.m., and will feature a museum volunteer reading aloud from Watty Piper’s classic children’s book, The Little Engine That Could.

The shorter Saturday afternoon family tours will include a presentation about how steam locomotives operate.

Participants will also get to see how a locomotive is turned on the roundhouse turntable and touring the back shop.

 “Railroad Heritage Career Day” on July 8 at 1 p.m. will involve visiting stations located throughout the museum to learn about old-time railroad workers, their tools and their skilled trades as engineers, machinists, blacksmiths and Carmen.

Climax Locomotive Returns to Corry

October 19, 2020

A Climax-geared steam locomotive built in Corry, Pennsylvania, in 1902 has arrived back in that city.

Locomotive A-313 arrived recently inside a shipping container from Alaska. Plans are to reassemble the locomotive and restore it to operating condition in the city that built more than 1,000 Climax locomotives between 1888 and 1928.

The container containing the 15-ton locomotive was shipped by barge to Seattle and then moved by truck across the country.

Because of the container’s high profile it had a take a circuitous route at times and obtain permits from the 10 states through which it traveled.

The engine will be displayed by the nonprofit group Corry RAILS (Rail And Industrial Legacy Society).

There are 21 Climax locomotives in existence with three known to be operational.

They include one at Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia (1919, Class C-1551), one at the White Mountain Central Railroad in New Hampshire (1920, Class B-1603), and one in Australia (1928, Class B-1694).

ASR Sells Car to Raise Money for Steam Restoration

October 15, 2020

To help raise money for the restoration of a Reading steam locomotive, American Steam Railroad has sold former Frisco business car No. 1100 to Allied Rail Corporation of Ludlow, Kentucky.

ASR is restoring in a former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland Reading 4-8-4 No. 2100.

The Frisco business car was built around the dawn of the 20th century and was once named Arkansas.

It served the Frisco, formerly known as the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, until the late 1950s.

The car had been donated to ASR several years ago and the group said restoring it is not part of its current business plan.