January 3, 2020
Happy New Year to all!
We are still installing insulation and jacketing, electrical wiring and components. The forge crew continue pouring parts for the Cumbres & Toltec RR.
Unfortunately we have had to spend many volunteer hours fortifying our restoration site putting up more razor wire and removing access points from our neighbors. Undesirables have, on several occasions in the past couple of weeks, entered our area avoiding the detection systems and destroying parts of it.
With this writing I wanted to look back at this year’s accomplishments. As time goes by we sometimes forget what has been completed. At the end of this there will be a link to a magazine article which appeared in the NM Magazine.
Many of you are most likely wondering about the progress of the tool car in Ohio. The short answer is it is about ready to roll west. All the the major repairs needed to have it worthy to travel the rails have been completed. Small items remain, hoses and such. Bob D. and I have been in contact with BNSF and Norfolk Southern to arrange shipping to Albuquerque, which won’t be cheap.
The Christmas cards have gone out with the invitation to renew your membership, so if you haven’t done so please do as soon as possible so you won’t be behind. Also if you can afford some extra to help defray the tool car shipping expense it would be much appreciated. We hope to have it on site sometime in January.
As 2019 began we were raising funds casting tender badges from brass. It had been decided only 100 would be cast and numbered, all of which have been sold and the molds destroyed. Thanks to all who purchased one to help us out.
New upgraded sight glass valves were installed.
Many jacketing panels were fabricated and installed. Almost all the panels have been fabricated and painted.
A fold-up pilot’s chair was engineered, fabricated and installed behind the engineer’s seat.
The draw bars were magnafluxed and stress relieved. The tender was then coupled to the engine for the first time since it was brought to our site. Oil, water and steam pipes were then connected.
A new generator and electrical control cabinet for the tool car was procured and both reside in one of our transportainers. It will provide the power for the screw compressor during cold engine start-ups and any other power needs.
A small generator was procured and mounted aft under the fireman’s side. It will provide power for the 12 volt battery mounted nearby.
The root valve was completely rebuilt after it failed during the first steam-up.
In the middle of May we celebrated the 75th birthday of the 2926 locomotive. Local news outlets put the word out and a large crowd of visitors attended. We served cake, ice cream cones and snow cones.
During our hydro’s we have had reccurring leaks on the main steam valve on the fountain, otherwise known as the turret, the whole assembly was disconnected and sent to a local machine shop to be reconditioned. New threads were cut and a new valve bonnet was manufactured to fit the new threads. Many thanks go out to McClintic Machine Shop for doing this intricate machine work.
The fountain was reinstalled with no more leaks visible.
The track leading into our site was in bad shape and was rebuilt to handle the weight of the loaded 2926 locomotive. Thanks to all who donated the funds to help finance the track upgrade.
An MU control box was designed and fabricated from scratch by John H. in California. It is a wonderful piece of craftsmanship and completes the MU system back to the end of the tender.
Another problem we encountered was the three rebuilt safety valves. During our steam-up in August the valves released too soon at 265 lbs. No adjustment would correct the problem. After a review by the company who manufactured the internal springs, it was determined the company did not properly manufacture the springs. Three new springs were made to replace the defective ones.
In September, both steam cylinder valves were pre-lubricated and installed. The drifting valves were also installed.
We also built an on board boiler water sample station complete with a boiler water cooler. We cleared out the end of one of the transportainers and converted it to a boiler water chemical storage and test area complete with heat and air conditioning.
The last week in September we hosted our annual open house. More than 2000 visitors came to see the shiny black 2926, have a hot dog and enjoy the live music and the various attractions.
A major milestone was achieved in October as we performed another steam-up to operating pressures. The safety valves were set while the FRA Representative looked on. The resulting report was a thumbs up by the FRA Rep.
This recap is a snap shot of work performed this past year. Many miscellaneous projects occurred that haven’t been mentioned, but none the less important.
Thanks to all the generous donations and vendors who helped us out this past year. We could never have been able to do this project without the dedicated volunteers and generous companies and rail fans donating their dollars.
On the horizon we expect the 2926 to begin rolling on it’s own sometime in the spring. Stay tuned!!!
There will be a Yearly Safety Refresher on January 11th at Local 412, 510 San Pedro SE (SE corner of Zuni and San Pedro) at 8:00 a.m. It will be short so we can get back down to the site for a late opening.
ABQ will be hosting the RPCA Convention and they will be on our site from time to time during the dates of January 16-20th. We welcome them to ABQ.
Hope to see all at the site, and as always . . .
Keep on Steamin’,
Rick & Gail Kirby, CMO & Secretary
Click HERE to check out the article on 2926 in the January 2020 edition of New Mexico Magazine.