Southern Pacific #18 – May & June 2015

Engineers injector and plumbing.

Engineers injector and plumbing.

Engineers side overflow and suction pipes going back on.

Engineers side overflow and suction pipes going back on.

Engineers side branch pipe, jacketing was completed since this photo.

Engineers side branch pipe, jacketing was completed since this photo.

Sand dome valve location, with valves removed.

Sand dome valve location, with valves removed.

Sand dome valve covers, note repair on right cover.

Sand dome valve covers, note repair on right cover.

The old door comes down.

The old door comes down.

Rich takes away the old door and we all hope never to see it again.

Rich takes away the old door and we all hope never to see it again.

The new door installed.

The new door installed.

The last weekend in May saw the finishing up some ongoing projects. First was the installation of the injector branch, suction and overflow pipes. These 2″ diameter pipes all are integral to the function of the locomotive and bring water to the injectors from the tender and ultimately from the injector to the boiler. These pipes will likely need to be removed once more to facilitate the installation of the remaining jacketing, but by installing them now we can not only steam test the locomotive but also will have them fitted and ready to quickly remove and re-install.

Another accomplishment over the weekend was the completion of the jacketing all the way back to the wrapper sheet with the exception of one boiler band. Forrest and everyone that worked on this project over the past weeks did a great job, but no one took pictures of the completed jacket!

The last locomotive work of the weekend was the disassembly and cleaning of the sander valves. There was plenty of evidence of past repairs. We should be able to finish up on the sander repairs the next go around and have the sand dome back together.

Outside the locomotive on the tent was the big door project. For those that don’t know, the roll up door that we installed three years ago on the tent has been the bane of our existence and has regularly taken a pry bar and 3 people to open. All of us have looked forward to the day we could get rid of it. That day finally arrived. The new door is 14 feet tall and will allow the locomotive to fully roll out of the tent and was ordered specifically with the intention to use it with our new building once constructed. It works great on the tent and we are all excited to have it. With our previously built panel track and the new door, the #18 will be able to come completely out of the tent for the first time!

As for work outside the park; we have started on the rod brasses, once complete the rods will be ready to install! We have also finally acquired replacements for our un-repairable air gauge and air brake feed valve, thank you to the Colorado RR Museum for helping us with those acquisitions.

Finally, over at the museum grounds we will be having a geotechnical survey conducted very soon, which along with our site plans will allow the county to issue our dirt work permits and let us have the building pad constructed. We are all very excited to finally see some dirt turned on the #18’s new home and hope it will begin to happen in July.

Southern Pacific #18 restoration – April 2015

Smoke box with baffels

Smoke box with baffles

Marty and Randy installing the front end components

Marty and Randy installing the front end components

The front is on once again

The front is on once again

Dave and Bob guide the locomotive out

Dave and Bob guide the locomotive out

Work in April was more of the same on the #18, jacketing, smoke box, and plumbing.

The smoke box was the big push. The first thing was to manufacture and install the baffles. We first cleaned up the old studs on the tube sheet and made two angle iron brackets to bolt above the tube holes. Then, using the 1/4″ plate Forrest had previously roughed into size, we cut the plate into three pieces and bolted it to the new brackets. Finally we made a lower bracket that spanned the width of the smoke box. It took two of us with long arms to reach the lower bolts and tighten them up. With baffles in, Marty began to manufacture a blower ring. Because the original single pipe angled upwards providing the blower was in poor shape, we decided to make a blower ring. A blower ring is effectively a circle of pipe that goes around the exhaust nozzle with – in this application – four small holes directed towards a center point in the exhaust. This is a common thing on locomotives and a big improvement over the single pipe. After all the internal smoke box work was complete we installed the smoke box door and frame. Official videographer Ed did a short fill of its installation which can be viewed here.

The only problem is the smoke tack is too tall

The only problem is the smoke stack is too tall for the tent.

Almost all the way out

Almost all the way out

Guiding the dome into place

Guiding the dome into place

While all the smoke box work was going on, it was time to put our new snap track into service and bring the engine out to install the sand dome and air pump. Because of the height of the stack and tent door we couldn’t bring the engine all the way out – this is in process of being remedied with a new door. As in the past, the locomotive easily rolled out, farther than it’s been to date. With the stack almost against the tent door we had enough room to set both the sand dome and air pump. As we had also found in the past, there is a very slight down hill grade and combined with the freshly rebuilt running gear, a half dozen guys can push the engine back inside the tent without too much trouble.

Now for the air pump

Now for the air pump

Sand dome base in place

Sand dome base in place

With the sand dome in place, Forrest and Doug spent the rest of the weekend continuing on the jacketing. By quitting time on Sunday the jacketing was starting to really look good. One or two more work weekends should have it complete, except of course for the cab portion.

The final weekends project was to continue to manufacture all of the in cab lube lines and connections, most of which we were able to complete. All of these will ultimately come back out, but at least there will not be any issue doing the final assembly.

Once again it was a productive weekend and we are one step closer to having steam!

The air pump is back on

The air pump is back on

Forrest and Doug continue the jacket work

Forrest and Doug continue the jacket work

The jacketing at the end of the weekend

The jacketing at the end of the weekend

Cab plumbing with new brass lines

Cab plumbing with new brass lines