Southern Pacific #18 – August/September 2023

It was a beautiful late summer weekend in the Owens Valley, on the heals of Hurricane Hilary (contributing to a rather full Owens Lake). We hade a large work crew that made some good work on a couple of projects.

First up on #18 the staybolt cap inspection continued on. All the remaining caps were removed, cleaned and staybolts inspected. Caps were reinstalled to the extent in which we had new or suitable gaskets to use. In addition to the cap inspection and some other miscellaneous tasks, the boiler was thoroughly washed and the grease cellar boxes on the drivers were removed for new grease to be installed. It was a hugely productive, and dirty, weekend for the locomotive crew.

While the #18 crew was progressing the wood working crew was making headway on the other side of the shop. Work on the boxcar was primarily focused on the cutting of the new end sill and its subsequent reinstallation. Prior to the sill going in, we removed the end wall along with the later, 1940’s tongue and groove paneling, in preparation for its restoration and reinstallation. More hardware was also removed as we prepare to build the new draft timbers out of white oak.

And lastly, we finished up a little project in honor of one of our deceased supporters, Bob Kredel. The wheel bench was made out of an authentic SPNG wheel set that had been graciously donated by the Midwest Central Railroad. The bench is a reminder of how important all of our member’s are, and how much we appreciate them! Until next time, cheers!

Southern Pacific #18 – June-July 2023

After getting #18 back to Independence in April we took a little break from things prior to getting into the staybolt cap inspection. When #18 was trucked back we took the opportunity to move it to the south shop track and moved boxcar #1C to the north track along with the tender. This arrangement will make things much easier to work on for both the locomotive and boxcar.

A great group of folks turned out the first weekend in June for work and were able to strip down the cab to a point that will allow the cap inspection to commence.

In addition to the locomotive work, we have also taken delivery of all the siding and roof materials for the boxcar. Having that material puts about ninety percent of what we need to finish the car on hand.

And lastly, our old Model T truck, from the Natural Soda Products in Keeler is once again up and running thanks to the boys from the Orange County Model T club. We have a few things to still finish, like putting the bed back on, but its about done. The plan is to keep its historic patina and use it in the Fourth of July parade. More on that in the next post.

As always, thanks for the support!