Before getting into the May work weekend we are saddened to report that Larry Peckham, one of our biggest supporters, suddenly passed away on May 1. Aside from his interest in the #18 – which he remembered being put into Dehy park in 1955 – Larry was a big 4 wheel drive enthusiast. He was a lifelong bachelor and had been a resident of Independence for the final 67 years of his life. Aside from being at every work party as our “Safety officer” Larry had contributed over half of the money spent to date on the restoration. Larry’s smile and presence will be greatly missed. Larry was 72 at the time of his passing. A memorial and work party will be held in his honor on June 28th.
As for the work weekend over the 9-10th of May…. During the process of getting the spring rigging laced up, we realized two things that we had missed: The #2-3 springs were completely different from left to right, and the coil springs located behind the #3 driver were also all different sizes.
To remedy this issue we jacked the rear of the locomotive up slightly and removed the coil springs as well as the right rear leaf spring and are having all new made. While the weight is off the engine we also took the time to even up the spring saddles to compensate for the change in crown brass thicknesses. With the new springs installed this should really make the #18 sit and ride nicely.
In addition to the spring work, Scott and Bob spent some time installing the brake rigging and new brake shoes. Both the #1 and #2 brake beams and four shoes are installed and ready for the brake rods and #3 brake beam to go together next time. As far as running gear goes, things are really flying together despite the setback of the coil springs.
Meanwhile up in the smoke box the copper ferrals were all installed and the flues are ready for rolling on the next work days! While we will be taking most of June off we will be hitting the work hard in July and August so stay tuned.