Southern Pacific #18 restoration – January 2015

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Scott and Rick look over the newly installed, cab and dynamo brackets.

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The firing valve and plumbing starts to go back on.

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Forrest holds the highly technical “bar napkin” drawing in front of the first roughed in baffle plate.

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The temporarily fitted cab flooring

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The redneck rod brass press is ready to go to work.

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Pressing out like butter.

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Rick is ready for the next rod.

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All pressed out and ready for new brass.

January 17-18 was our first 2015 work session. Refreshed and ready for some more fun, a small group of the guys made some good headway.

First up was to finish up bolting the cab down, and do some more adjusting the new lube lines and air lines to the sanders and bell. With those complete a trip to the museum was in order to bring back more pieces to the locomotive. Things like the dynamo base were reinstalled, the fuel valve and lines were put back in place and the new cab floor was brought out of storage to check to make sure it fits, although its not quite ready for permanent installation. The new boiler jacketing was also brought over and sorted out to make sure it is ready to go (sorry no photos).

Meanwhile, with a highly technical drawing in hand, Forrest began roughing in the new set of baffles for the smokebox. Baffles help to retain the gasses in the smoke box before they exit the smokestack and help improve steaming efficiency. As found in the park, the #18 did not have any baffles, only a petticoat pipe, but there was evidence that it did at one time have a “master mechanic” front end. After some consideration we decided to remanufacture a set of baffles in line with what it would have originally had. While they won’t be finished and installed until the steam pipes are permanently installed, Forrest’s work got us off and running.

Finally, after most of the jobs on the list were wrapped up, all the side rods were loaded onto the forklift and driven across the street (literally) to Dave’s shop where the old rod brasses could be pressed out. Thanks to our redneck rod brass press, all the brasses came out without much trouble. New brasses will be manufacture in the coming months.

Next up in February we will have the official FRA post hydro interior inspection, which will be the final FRA visit prior to the locomotive being steam tested. We also plan to have the smokebox back together and start reinstalling the firebrick in the firebox. Lastly, the boiler insulation should be applied to the boiler barrel. Along with all that, we are prepping up to get some dirt work done for track over at our new museum home.

February and on into spring should be an exciting time for the #18 project. As always, thanks for your on going support!