Southern Pacific #18 – January 2024

Happy 2024 to everyone! Your humble part-time webmaster would like to apologize for a lack of new website content in the later part of 2023, rest assured we have not been inactive and plan to hopefully get back to providing more regular posts.

Looking into 2024’s crystal ball, we have a few goals we are looking to accomplish. First and foremost of those is to wrap up our maintenance of #18 and hold a public steam up in Independence in late summer 2024. Believe it or not, it will be our first public steam up in Independence of #18 since prior to covid. Along with wrapping up work on #18, we will be making a big push on the boxcar 1C restoration with the goal to have it at least three-quarters complete by year end. Lastly, we will be working with our friends at the Eastern California Museum on some long range plans on outdoor improvements to the museum grounds and interpretive signage. To get started on everything, our first work weekend will be held in Independence over the last weekend of January. Hope to see you there and we all look forward to a prosperous and productive 2024!

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!