July 11, 2017
It has been a while since I wrote a TW3, mostly due to the many photos available on our website and Facebook. After all you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words!”
Anyway, there needs to be a written account of activities from time to time.
Our air brake crew is still fine-tuning our 26L airbrake system as they go through an orchestrated set of procedures to eventually provide the 2926 a reliable braking system.
Small piping is still being refabricated and installed. Many of these smaller pipes were ravaged by the elements over some 60 years of outdoor display in a park. Other pipes are being installed that were never required at the time the engine was built back in 1944.
Several of our crew members had to disassemble the fuel oil outlet piping on the tender to replace a defective 2″ fuel oil valve despite the time spent trying to recondition it.
We also installed an oil temperature gauge on the front of the tender. The gauge is mounted at eye level while the temperature bulb is installed down lower closer to the outlet valve.
Our ex-superheater crew has been installing air brake piping to the rear of the tender on both sides. Doing so requires the fabrication of brackets to secure the pipes. We are using the heavy press with heavy collets to make these brackets. Then the welder steps in to permanently affix those brackets to the tender.
The electrical crew soldiers on as new technologies and materials take the place of the old and wasted parts.
Last Saturday, 7/8, workers spent about 9 1/2 hours on site performing the finishing touches in preparation for the official FRA hydro test and internal boiler inspection.
Monday, 7/10, in the presence of our FRA inspector, we filled the boiler with water and gradually raised the pressure to 125% of maximum working pressure. Our inspector, along with our staybolt whisperer, Scott A.,entered the firebox and began tapping all the 3,400 plus staybolts. Our past President Frank G. also assisted to finish up. At the end of the day the boiler was drained and the manway at the top of the boiler was removed to allow the boiler to dry over night.
Tuesday, under the watchful eye of the FRA inspector, Scott A. entered the boiler to check all the braces and their condition. His well-being was monitored by our rescue expert Bill Mc. and assisted by George D. Tuesday was a shorter day so all were home by noon.
The inspection report arrived on my iPad early afternoon with a thumbs up and no exceptions. Another milestone was achieved for the 2926 restoration.
Now on to superheater bundle installation and firebrick.
Other individuals taking part the past two extra days of work besides myself were Dave V., Ron T., our Safety Officer Jon S. and our President, Dr. Mike H. Thanks to all of you for committing the extra time and to all those who have worked over the last decade and a half that made this day possible.
Photos will be forthcoming and each will have a thousand words.
Hope to see everyone at the site to keep up the tremendous work ahead, and as always . . .
Keep on Steamin’,
Rick Kirby, CMO