Southern Pacific #18 update – February 2022

What a busy weekend in Independence! A larger than average group got together and made huge strides with the track and locomotive.

On Saturday, track work was primarily focused on the switch assembly for the Klusmire extension. Gauging, bending, and adjusting points and finally it was functional. Still to come before its entirely completed are some brand new 14 foot switch ties to handle the switch stand and a guard rail.

Saturday’s locomotive work consisted of a heroic effort by Scott and one of our newest Volunteers, Marco, in installing the new delivery pipe sealing donut and the new nozzle. Not a job for the faint of heart. Outside the smokebox, other locomotive work included installing the new dynamo, extensive firing handle and valve work, and reinstalling the 3/4 knuckle and pocket.

If that’s not enough, we got our Ford tractor back up and running, and repaired a long standing leak in the water line for the museum.

Sunday was another productive day and focus was mainly on the track to the museum. Everyone got rolling and we were able to get the track sections connected up, the crossing filled in, and about one-third of the spikes driven. A ceremonial first run was taken by switcher #11 to wrap up the day. A bit more ballast, and some more spikes and our track will be effectively completed.

A HUGE thanks to everyone that attended, we look forward to it!