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"Banging on a 2900"

CMO Status Report – 07/31/2021

August 02, 2021

By now I suppose everyone is aware of our steam-up and the roll of 2926 on 7/24-25/2021.

The 2926 rolled proudly up and down our short spur track to the delight of all those able to attend.

We could have done this several months ago, but I made it known I wouldn't entertain another steam-up until all those that could be on site to see the 2926 move for the first time since 1953.

July 1st, Covid restrictions were lifted for NM so we immediately began making plans to steam by the end of the month. As a precautionary step we filled the boiler with compressed air and moved the 2926 several times to check the systems.

Then came a hydro pressure test which revealed a few problem areas which were fixed and then re-hydroed to 363 PSI which cleared the way for the steam move.

I need to acknowledge and thank our professional engineer, Mathew Casford from Austin, TX, who is also our Chief Operating Officer. Along with Alex Gillman, our fireman from the 3751 crew and a second fireman from the Cumbres and Toltec, Austin Goodwin. Secondly I want to thank all the current and past volunteers who have invested their time and money restoring this locomotive.

Over the past week, I have received many emails congratulating me on bringing back the 2926 to life. Let it be known that it wasn't just me that deserves all the alcolades, more so the honor belongs to the workers; the boots on the ground that made it all happen!

We need to thank the many businesses near and far who have either donated materials or sold them at a greatly reduced price. Their generosity helped pave the way for the successful restoration.

Last, but not least, we need to give a heartfelt thank you to many donors who have sent in thousands of dollars to keep the restoration going from year to year. We used all these gifts wisely as our annual audit shows that out of every dollar donated over 90% of those funds went into the restoration.

Yes, there is work yet to be done and hurdles to jump, but as we have done for the past 19 years of laboring we will persist.

In closing, volunteers, give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of what you have accomplished, and as always . . .

Keep on Steamin',
Rick Kirby