The picture does not really do it justice !. I am not sure why but, close up, it is more brown than green.
The reality is that our water source is the wells under the property. We have a treatment plant to soften it but it does not attempt to remove everything. We had an assay recently which showed that it is perfectly fit for use and the softening is working. There is however quite a lot of iron in the source. That is the main factor in the color and the assessment is that it has no adverse effect on the boiler.
So not Chicago river water but an interesting color !.
Maybe I'm looking too far into the future for my own good, but besides the 1630 and the Shay, could you see IRM restoring any other Steam Locos to operating condition and if so, who would be the most likely candidate?
At present our absolute focus is on getting 1630 into regular and reliable service.
There are so many variables in the question that you pose that developing a sensible plan would be a time consuming exercise ..... that would be a diversion of resource that we cannot afford !.
It is absolutely expected that 1630 will be in service in 2014. Over winter the absolute priority will be to address any issues identified in steam testing and any test running we can do this year as well as painting, lagging etc. So it is not clear how much time will be available for other projects.
Work on 5 and 428 is progressed as resources are available beyond what can be employed on 1630.
Once we have steam in reliable operation we can start to think about what can logically be done next.
Nigel, After 1630 is operational, how long calendar-wise can she be operated until another teardown is required? Are you planning to have two engines available so that when one is in the shop the other can still operate? Ray
The period between inspections of this kind is either 1472 operating days or 15 years elapsed, whichever comes first.
This raises some painful trade offs for a museum operation like IRM. We do not have 1472 operating days in a 15 year period when we could justify the cost of running a steam engine and even less when we could justify two on one day.
So having two locomotives available at one time means that each will get less operating days and less return of the cost of the tear down. But if one develops a problem .......
No easy answers !
I would assume, from the presence of UP428 and the Shay in the shop, that (barring mechanical failure of the 1630 in service) one or the other of those two would be usable before 1630 requires its 15-year overhaul again. Nigel, correct me if I'm wrong, but since the 428's steam test 2 summers ago 'started the clock' on its 15 years, it is the most likely to be returned to service next.
Reasonable assumptions !.
The one thing that I would clarify is that it was not the steam test that started the clock on #428.
Her position is complex as her boiler was overhauled and tubed before the current regulations were in force. The exact start point for the 15 years (of which I am not aware) was not set just by the steam test.