Southern Pacific #18 restoration – September 2014

With apologies from your webmasters for their lack of timely posts, we are finally able to provide you with a proper update.

We worked two weekends in September, the 13-14th and 20-21st. The first weekend was spent on a few fronts. First off was finalizing the shoes and wedges. In all, 3 shoes needed some adjusting. When set correctly the shoes, which are located ahead of each driver box between it and the frame, set the driver axles square with the frame and at the correct distances between axle centers. This is not a difficult job to shim them, if you have a pit. Since we don’t have a pit it took us all weekend and we finished up the following Saturday. With that job done we can finish installing the brake rigging and fuel lines.

The #18 under hydro at 225psi.

The #18 under hydro at 225psi.

Dave and Forrest working on capping the safety valves

Dave and Forrest working on capping the safety valves

Our newest member John works on seating in the donuts on the steam pipes

Our newest member John works on seating in the donuts on the steam pipes

The finished job

The finished job

Looking east from the future end of track.

Looking east from the future end of track.

ccrw birthday bash tickets 2014

We also spent some time getting things ready for the hydro the following weekend as well as re-seating the copper gasket on the right steam chest. Both of these jobs were completed and we came back Saturday the 20th ready to hydro.

When performing a hydro test to FRA requirements the boiler must be taken to 1 1/4 times maximum operating pressure. Since the #18 will operate at 180 psi, we must hydro the boiler to 225 psi. To get the boiler to this pressure we decided to use a normal pressure washer and plumb it through the blow-down. By adding a second valve off the pressure washer we could easily control the pressure right where we wanted it. The hydro went great! We are now ready to weld the flues on the firebox side and have scheduled to have the FRA in town to perform the official hydro test in the next month.

Aside from the hydro we were able to get both steam pipes re-installed in the smokebox. These pipes are big and heavy and have a cast iron donut on each end to seal them to the dry pipe and saddle. We wrestled with them for the better part of Sunday and finally got them in place and seated.

Over at the museum on Saturday; Forest, Bob and Rick were able to get the last of the ties moved out of the right of way. While there are still things to get rid of, we were able to have the surveyor out to do his work. Turns out the 600 feet of main line track will have a 3.14% grade, probably about what the #18 would have experience at some point on Mt. Montgomery.

Finally, please mark your calendars for our annual Birthday BBQ. October 18th in Independence, this is our biggest single fundraiser of the year. If you haven’t been before your missing out on the best trash can tri-tip anywhere around!

Southern Pacific #18 Restoration – August 2014

August has come and gone and your webmasters have found themselves behind on restoration updates. We had two work weekends in August, the 1st and 25th. Our time wad spent in a few  places, tightening up the boiler, doing the final shoe and wedge adjustments and more cleaning up at the museum yard. Of these jobs, the boiler – except for firebox flue welding – is almost totally complete and without leaks! We hope to have the FRA down in October to witness a final hydro test.

Aside from a more in depth web post, September should see the shoes and wedges completed and the vast majority of the museum yard cleaned. Finally, mark your calenders for the 18th of October for our annual BBQ fundraiser dinner at the Independence Legion hall.