April will be a productive month on the #18 with two work parties. The first of which this update covers. It was an extremely productive weekend with perfect weather.
First up was the side rod installation. Although all the brasses were effectively done, we had to make numerous trips across hwy. 395 to our lathe for some final lateral adjustments and to press the brasses into the rods. To install them we simply greased the rails and used our winch to roll the locomotive in place and then a come-a-long to the wheel spoke pulled the pins into final adjustment. All in all they went on very nicely.
Jarrett and Scott spent most of the weekend on air plumbing. Thanks to their efforts we are about a days work away from putting air to the system and trying out the brakes. Jarrett deserves honorable mention for his work under the cab with the mile of piping crammed into a half mile of space. It looks better than when we found the locomotive and is more user friendly as well.
Meanwhile, Bob and Chris got down and dirty with the electrical system. They drew a schematic and ran most of the wires. Another couple days of work and there will be light.
We are now past the 90% completed mark on the entire restoration. There are really no new areas remaining to work on, just a handful to finish up and some final paint and cosmetics.