Southern Pacific #18 update – May 2019

Its been a busy month so apologies for the late update on the #18’s repairs. But without further delay….

Piston pattern and new castings

The process to create the new pistons started with a drawing on Autocad. Once drawn and dimensions checked against the original, the drawing was forwarded to Horizon metals in Utah, they handle most all of the D&SNG patterns and castings, where they created a pattern and the subsequent castings. The new pieces were received back about 4 weeks later and are currently in the machining process with piston rings being made.

As for the piston rods, they were sent, along with both cross heads, to Stathi Papas in Antonito, CO. Since it was found there was a slight bend in the right piston rod due to the piston damage it needed remade, the left was made new due to the difficulties associated with removing the old piston off of the rod, basically it was easier to just make two rather than spend the time saving the one old one. As this is written one rod is completed with the second in progress. Finally the cylinder head was manufactured by Aztec Machine, they regularly work with the D&SNG on various projects.

So to sum it up, machine work is underway and within the next couple weeks we hope to reassemble everything. Once completed, the engine will once again perform duties on work trains to break it in. Dates for the cancelled trips will be announce in the near future once all repairs are completed, so stay tuned, and as always THANK YOU for you support!