January 2, 2018
As the New Year begins I was reminiscing about all the many accomplishments our crew has performed and the remarkable milestones achieved over the last year.
Many of our supporters who watch our progress weekly remember these reports at the time they were reported. For those rail fans this abbreviated list will be old news, but for others it may be a bit of a revelation to them.
Space here doesn’t lend itself well to mentioning all the remarkable work that our volunteers have accomplished, but the highlights are well worth restating.
The early winter brought the beginning of cab work related to various gauges and controls. It also saw the time consuming task of fabricating and fitting jacketing which is ongoing at the present time. The old wasted jacketing serves as templates to aid the fabricators of the new parts.
2017 was the year the 26L brake equipment began and completed with a myriad of hoses, components and handmade brackets.
The throttle valves were inspected and reconditioned as necessary.
The signal foam meter was refurbished and awaits the connections to the foam rods.
Our boiler pressure gauge was overhauled complete with custom 2926 faceplates.
With both dynamos mounted, new steam and drain lines were fabricated and installed.
The machine shop continued its wizardry as they turned out one after another tool or gadget for the workers to perform various jobs.
Flexible lubrication lines were also installed in various places on the chassis.
2017 saw the end of superheater fabrication and then hydrostatic testing. More than a year’s worth of hard work comes to an end.
As all the mechanical work progresses the electrical gurus begin designing the electron maps and diagrams. Various parts have been ordered and have begun to arrive.
The stack lifter was adjusted, tested and set atop the smoke box.
Another arduous task was the beginning of the From 4 documentation and providing several finished copies to the FRA.
Another milestone completed in July was the long awaited official boiler hydro test overseen by our FRA area inspector.
In early March the MU box locations were identified on the tender. Later on in the year the boxes were mounted, conduit ran and filled with 27 conductor wires. The connections to each box were completed and tested.
New number board frames were fabricated and installed on the locomotive. Presently electrical work for the internal lighting is being worked on.
The remaining cab window frames were fabricated, stained and glazed. They were then installed along with padded arm rests.
In the beginning of June the repaint of the tender started. Once it was completed numbers and letters were hand painted in the proper Railroad font.
Installing of superheater bundles began in the middle of July. Various lifting devices and alterations of the small crane made the job much easier. 58 bundles in all were installed.
The blast pipe was removed to facilitate the installation of the last lower superheater bundles. The old bolts securing it were very stubborn, but eventually they all gave up and were removed. New ones were manufactured. A remote camera was used to look down each of the canals. It was good we did because rocks and debris were found and removed. Evidently they got there while the engine was stored in the park and individuals with cerebral supremacy tossed these items down the stack.
August 18th saw the last superheater bundle installed and tested. Also, by mid-August all the fire brick in the firebox was installed. A fine job indeed, done by professionals.
Work began in the fall to design and build a foundry and forms to recondition the brass overlay of the radial buffer plate. Furnace building and test pours are ongoing as of this writing.
Since all the pressure testing had been done all three of the 3 ½ “ safety valves were installed along with the saturated steam lines from the steam dome to the turret.
The stack lifter was installed, piped and tested.
Smokebox insulation has begun as the newly painted jacketing arrives.
As with every year we held an open house for the public to see the progress that has taken place over the last 12 months. Fun was had by all even us tired old volunteers (and young).
The year wound down with the internal cleaning of the safety circulators via a special rotary cleaning device. A local plumbing contractor volunteered to use his sewer video equipment to survey the results and all is good to go.
As I said at the beginning, there were too many small projects that went on this past year, but all are important. Currently we are installing small bore control and drain piping fore and aft of the engine. Electrical lines are being installed needed for the imminent steam up. Be patient as we will inform everyone via my reports, our website and Facebook.
I wish to thank all who have donated to this project, not just this year, but for the past 15 years as well. Those of you who follow this restoration, but have not yet become a member; please join us to help with the tremendous expense of a project of this size.
There are nearly ten thousand visits and likes to our website, but we don’t have 10,000 members. So if at all possible make a tax deductible donation of any amount. We are also promoting another GoFundMe campaign for our much needed tool car. That is how, in part, we constructed the engine house. A link to our official site is www.2926.us where you can see all the available ways to support the restoration.
Until next time . . .
Keep on Steamin’,
Rick Kirby, CMO