The Main Line

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by LC, Apr 22, 2001.

  1. LC

    LC Member

    Thought I would post this and try and keep a running account as to the progress of the work being done prior to our departure, which is three weeks from yesterday.
    Much work is done, draw bars have been hammer tested, there are two, each weighing in at around 2500 lbs.
    The auger is still out being re-surfaced and a few areas that were bent put back into shape. Tender is of course disconnected from locomotive.
    We have repaired the stoker motor, between that and the auger being repaired we hope to avoid the blockages in the pot we had last year. Often times the auger would jam and we would have to fight it out with coal jamed up, and clinkers where they don't belong, blocking the flow of coal. This in turn will cause a fire in the pot and down into the stoker area, often not found untill a clinker has formed. (not good).
    This locomotive was hand fired untill 1943, considering in uses 120 lbs of coal and 110 gallons of water per mile, someone on the fireman's side had his work cut out for him.
    Other projects include re-doing the grease cakes on the drive axels. We shimed the tender so it is now level again. All gauges and both water glasses have been tested and replaced. Lead trucks have been redone and adjusted. When I left yesterday we had started to fill the boiler with water, 5500 gallons of it.
    We removed eight warped grates in the fire box. Part of the ash pan is removed on the foward corner, fireman's side. I took several pictures of this, will most likely never be able to look up from the bottom of the firebox with grates removed again.(hope not anyway). The angle of the shots is unique, hope to share them here provided they turn out. From that angle you can see the pot and the inside of the butterfly doors.
    Air pump has been serviced, both lubricators are back on and tested.
    Should have a further post on this in a few days.
  2. George

    George Member

    This is GREAT!! [​IMG]

    How fast can you go safely and with what kind of load?

  3. LC

    LC Member

    George, we run track speed, or a max of 55 mph. Seems everything runs a lot better if we hold to around 50mph.
    weight on drivers -working order is
    223,000 lbs.
    Total weight engine and tender - working order is 493,100 lbs.
    Tractive is 53,940 lbs.
    The longest passenger train so far was 21 cars long and it didn't seem as though the locomotive was working that hard.
    Superheater is an Elesco type A.
    We are rated at around and very close to 3,000 H.P.
    Hope this helps,
  4. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Hi Lance
    I forget, what type of Loco?? (I believe you mentioned in an earlier post, but can't remember when/where. And where are you, by the way? I'd love to ride that train sometime!
    Bye now
  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Lance,
    Got room for a little un on your trip,love to come along, pity I am in the UK. Maybe sometime. Have a lot orf fun on the way, and a safe journey.
  6. George

    George Member


    Sounds like you've got a healthy mainliner there. How old is it and do you know what the size of the grate area is?

  7. LC

    LC Member

    George, here is some more information for you and the those also interested.
    Locomotive built Alco locomotive works 1913 Sch. N.Y.
    Grate area is 63.26 sq ft
    heating surface fire box is 249 sq ft
    heating surface flues is 3667 sq ft
    heating surface total is 3916 sq ft
    heating surface superheater equiv. is 1246sq ft
    boiler pressure 170 lbs.
    the grates are round hole rocking type.
    The locomotive is and has been a good runner
    ever since it's "re-build" several years ago.

    The question has been asked where it is, type and numbers etc.
    I'm sorry but to release that now is not possible. We never release our moves.

    However, if I was a railfan and wanted to ride a steam excursion on a 60 mile trip I would be in Burlington Wi. on the weekend of
    May 18th-20th. Also somewhere on the web, and I really don't remember where, someone does have part of the trip listed correctly

    One thing to remember here guys, and I'm not being "smart" about this or meaning to sound off, I'm a railfan too, but please remember that railfans are their own worst enemies. It's too bad, because a lot of good people get that "label" from the actions of a very few. We have had to actually remove people from the center of the track because the signal had already been given to move the train, and these fools just have to have one more picture.

    Sometimes you will see them running across tracks without even so much as looking. So no matter where we are, me too, please remember:
    "safety is not just a job it's a lifestyle".
    I don't know how to say it any better than that.
    It's so important!!

  8. George

    George Member

    Right you are, Lance!

    And the pathetic thing is that after these "Foamers" almost cause an accident or nearly get themselves killed, all they have for the experience is a roll of blurry pictures and thumb shots!

    I did steam excursion work in the past with a locomotive so long that if a jerk were standing right in front of the locomotive, the crew couldn't even see him! Most of these idiots are totally unaware of the dimensions involved, and that they cannot be seen! These events unfortunately keep local law enforcement people busy running after scores of people who shouldn't be allowed out of the house.

  9. Voice

    Voice Member

    Talking about railfans, I remember when the Freedom Train made its passage through my home town--a small town of about 350 people. This was ex-SP GS-4 4449, and I don't know where everyone came from, but people just would NOT get off the tracks!! It was running at a slow walking pace--I know because I was walking along the tracks, about 10 feet away with a tape recorder. Because of the tracks not being clear, I did get some real good recordings of the steam whistle!!
  10. George

    George Member

    I did some work on that run when they had the T-1 because of clearance restrictions. I remember people acting like that.

    Even when the police diddle their sirens and you're bellowing at the cattle with a bullhorn, it seems that everyone thinks they're the exception to the rules. They just don't want to comprehend that you don't bring these things to a sudden grinding halt on command like an auto.

    I don't think this will ever change. What's a real blast is watching some jerk get arrested and they become indignant with the authorities as if a God given mission is being violated.

  11. LC

    LC Member

    On a run a couple of years ago, we had stopped and let the passengers off at a county park where they were going to have lunch.
    While they are doing that, we took the train down the line a couple of miles and did a "Y" for the return trip.
    Got back to the park on time with all going well. I had dropped the steps down on the second car, and when the train came to a stop I got off, looked ahead towards the locomotive and a little girl, perhaps seven years old, with parents behind her, reached on to the track to pick up a coin that she had placed there so the train would run over it, At that moment the slack let loose and she almost lost her hand. She didn't get hurt, she pulled back just in time.
    I will never forget how I stood there, helpless to do anything. I think that perhaps God had sent an angel, and that the angel was between the child and her parents. I don't have any other explanation , since her hand was almost under the wheel when the car rolled back towards her.
  12. George

    George Member

    Lance, that's truly a miracle that she still has her hand. Just as strange, the coin was still on the rail where she had placed it! I remember putting a nickle on the rail on the CN, and even with the train moving barely 40 MPH, it took my sister and I a good fifteen minutes walking along the tracks to find the flattened coin! I tried the same thing with pennies on the NE Corridor in Elizabeth and Metuchen, New Jersey. With the speeds there, I never found the coins!

    Back to the real choo-choo.....When you light the fire, what do you use at first? On NKP Berkshire 759, they used scrap wood and kerosene to start. As the fire got going, then coal was thrown in on top. It took a good 24 hours to get that giant up to pressure to do anything. How do you guys do it on yours?

  13. LC

    LC Member

    Hi guys, not a whole lot to report. Grease cakes are in place on all four axles. We are plugging the stay bolt holes in the firebax, all 1100 or so of them.
    Union Pacifc pulled seven GP38s & 39s in as a 7unit power lash- up.. The sand track where they were parked is close to the roundhouse, took several pictures. Don't often see that much power in one hookup.
    Should start to fire up this Thursday if all goes well.

    [This message has been edited by LC (edited 04-30-2001).]
  14. LC

    LC Member

    George, we light this one off the same way, seems like it takes for ever to begin to see any pressure at all, then after several hours things slowley come to life, the marker lights will begin to glow, etc.
    When it reaches around 50-60 lbs., then it takes another "forever" to get to 125. From there a couple of more hours.
    I'd guess it takes at least 12 hours to get it up.
    The big thing is to bring them up slow, and let them die out slow.
    At night we "bank" it usually between 9-10pm and in the morning it takes a couple of hours anyway to get up to operating temp.
  15. LC

    LC Member

    George, just a note. We have found that with the weight on the drivers the coins
    tend to stay in one place, provided we
    are under 15 mph.
    Where she was the locomotive was almost to
    a stop, had perhaps 200 ft to it's stop
    point so the passengers could re-board.
  16. LC

    LC Member

    Another busy week, a lot of welding on the fireman's side, down under and along side the ash pan where metal had to be removed
    for needed repairs. New shaker grates are in.
    Locomotive and tender are now together, auger replaced, and we moved the unit out under air pressure to the turntable and it is now facing locomotive out in the roundhouse.
    Some more welding and painting to do and should be lighting the fires by Thursday. The steam dome is now back on.
    Will test run on the sand track, and be moving out on Sat.
    More later,
  17. LC

    LC Member

    Well the locomotive is ready to go, hot and running well.
    It was with deep regret that I am going to miss this trip due to family problems that just occured. I will be in contact with the crew off and on.
    I will post something Sat. a.m..

    [This message has been edited by LC (edited 05-11-2001).]
  18. George

    George Member


    I'm really sorry you're off the trip, and I hope everything works out before the next excursion.

    Chin up, and keep the boiler hot. Season's just a startin!

  19. LC

    LC Member

    Here I sit at my P.C., knowing full well I should be some place else.
    Soo Line #1003 is preparing to leave as I write this. We are based out of the U.P.,(former C&NW), roundhouse in Altoona Wi.
    The locomotive is heading for Burlington Wi., and will be pulling excursions next weekend.
    Will keep track of her as much as I can.
    May they have a safe trip, and may the good Lord place his blessings on the locomotive and her crew.
    #1003 Steam Crew

    [This message has been edited by LC (edited 05-12-2001).]
  20. LC

    LC Member

    after a few "minor" adjustments in the first few miles #1003 ran very well. She is spending the day at shops, and will travel to Burlington Wi. tomorrow. She will be on display, under steam, the 17th&18th.

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