I got a question... Uh I now the museum has another Crane that is still steam power and is stored somewhere behind Barn 9 and it was being restored during the earlier years of the museum but was stopped and never finished? Are there plans to restore that crane as well so we can have two different types of Operating Cranes both Diesel and Steam
#1 Matthew Gustafson on 2013-04-30 20:56
Matthew, Yes the steam wrecker is there not far from 6323. Plans to restore - not at present. As with many other pieces, availability of resources or a bunch of money to fund it. The parts are there. It would be a nice piece to see running, particularly in tandem with 6323. Snag with any piece of steam equipment these days is the boiler strip and inspection every 15 years. You have the investment of time and money for that even for a piece that you may only use a few times each year. So probably not a high priority unless a team wanted to devote the time to it ... as Mark has done with 6323. Nigel
#1.1 Nigel Bennett on 2013-05-01 16:55
I remember the steam wrecker running when I visited the museum as a kid. Would be great to see it run again, but I understand the 15 year commitment. It seems unlikely that any museum could sustain more than 4 or 5 engines in rotation. Are there plans to complete the restoration of the 0-4-0 engine Tom Schnider started years ago? If not, what engine do you feel would be next after the 428 is done? Thank you so much for your time and dedication to documenting the progress of the steam department. I look forward to each post you write.
#1.1.1 Doug Maywald on 2013-05-02 11:43
Doug, There is no doubt that the current regulations are a game changer. While we would all love to see a line of locos in steam at an event this would mean a very poor return on the time and effort of doing the 15 year tear down / examine / rebuild. I love to visit the UK lines that have 5 - 10 operable locos .... but they have a 7 day service for a good part of the year and a significant service all year round, which we could never justify. What is next?. I am glad to say that is not my call. Thankfully, I am not the curator !!. It is really to be made once 1630 is running. Provided she is running reliably we really do not urgently need another main service loco so something like the Shay, that is economical and can provide different visitor experience, may be a good option. Nigel
# Nigel Bennett on 2013-05-02 14:35
What ever happened to the 0-4-0's restoration? once the main 3 are done I'd donate as muc hmoney as I can to make sure 26 is the next engine in line.
# Hyde Seybold on 2013-05-05 13:33
The 0-4-0 needs quite a lot of work, particularly on some of the platework like the tank. If rebuilt it would be useful primarily for demonstrations. So fairly far down the list unless a group with some significant skills wanted to make it a project. #26 you highlight the key requirement. She would be a near ideal locomotive to provide regular service steam for the museum. We believe she is in good mechanical condition. However, the more you dig at the firebox, the worse it looks. It is questionable if it is within the available volunteer capability. Now if we could gather funds to cover a commercial rebuild of the boiler ......... Nigel
# Nigel Bennett on 2013-05-05 14:35
Thanks for the update! I still don't understand why Commonwealth #5 was removed from service. Do you know why?
# hyde seybold on 2013-05-08 18:40
I was not around at the time. General discussion suggests that it was "pretty marginal" in a number of areas. Nigel
# Nigel Bennett on 2013-05-15 21:28
I like the Shay. Compared to now, I would consider it a good situation if IRM only had one or two steam locomotives in operating shape at any time, with the next locomotive ready for service by the time the current one or two exceed regulations. Then by the time that happens maybe something in worse shape can be worked on while the previous ones would at least still look good and have a place to be displayed indoors. How many times can something like 1630 be torn apart?
#2 Chris on 2013-05-03 21:33
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