Who knows?. Clearly not in the near term.
The assessment of #26 is that she is mechanically pretty good but the firebox needs a great deal of work, which might well boil down to replacement. On the other hand she is near ideal for a long term IRM steam locomotive. Smaller than 1630 but plenty big enough for any normal train at IRM and non superheater so simpler and cheaper to maintain.
I would love to see her run but that would require donor funding of the boiler work so .................... ??
Really the steps that have been shown at times in the blog.
Each box casting is machined down to sound metal and will then be built up using steel plate and welding to repair wear and damage. The channels will then be machined to specified tolerances, new wear faces attached to the box (and back of wheel where necessary) then new wedges machined. The wheels will be turned to reprofile the tires and the axle can then be refitted to the locomotive.
If you are offering the $100,000 plus to do it !!
Roller bearing would require the design and fabrication of completely different axle boxes (maybe even frame modification as the bearing could be larger diameter).
In addition. Locomotive roller bearings have to be fitted to the axles inside the wheels. So every wheel would have to be pressed off the axle then pressed back after the bearing cages were fitted. Only a few places have such equipment and the service is far from cheap.
If someone had the money I can think of much better ways to use it !.
As I have tried to make clear as I decsribe our progress, there is not really a plan that links these activities.
Our absolute priority is to get 1630 running. If we see a short period when a suitable group of volunteers cannot be productively employed on 1630, rivetting 428's cab would be a good job to do. It not only tidies up 428 a bit but frees useful space in the shop.
It does not even use the same kit as rivetting 1630. The cab rivets are tiny in comparison so we would use a smaller furnace and tools.
So entirely a matter of having a few people, willing and able to take it on, available for a couple of weekends when they cannot work effectively on 1630.