Thanks for the updates, Nigel - it's fantastic to see all of the work that's going into the 1630. I did have one question; what is the purpose of the "IRYM" stencils on the cab? I recall these appeared about a year before the engine went out of service in 2004, but to my knowledge nothing else has ever been lettered IRYM for operation on our railroad. Just curious; thanks!
As the IRM operates a demonstration railroad, it must have its own reporting marks just like the Class 1 and shortline railroads. "IRYM" is the reporting mark for the Illinois Railway Museum. I am not 100% sure about the FRA regulation, but I think anything which is intended to operate on our demonstration railroad (and certainly on anything which is operated outside the grounds, like the equipment rented for the filming of movies like "Flags of our Fathers") has to display IRYM marks, however inconspicuously.
And there you have the core of the "discussion". Views differ on whether the marking is required on the demonstration line.
Any trips off site would be very rare and could be accommodated by "stick ons".
I have seen on How It's Made, surfaces with recessed reliefs such as the gauge are often manufactured by stamping the relief, painting the entire surface with some kind of heavy duty powder coat, and then squeegeeing a thinned paint of a different color over the surface so it settles in the relief indents. The paint has to be thin enough to easily wipe off the excess.
There does seem to be options that involve removing, stripping, and blasting the gauge face plate. If the squeegee color filling method is unworkable, there are lacquer fill-in paint sticks or paint syringes made for this kind of application but they might be meant more for coloring unpainted materials (easy to polish the excess). Whatever fill paint is used would have to be easy to wipe or buff off of a durable base coat selected to make this easy without being damaged or stained. This could be better left to a specialized professional who can restore things like car gauges, or someone might be able to get in touch with a steam gauge expert through preservation channels.
Another option could be having a reproduction face plate screen printed, even if it only has the functional data. There is some utility importance in having an easy to read gauge.
Looks like she's coming together nicely!
After 1630 is done and moved out of the shop, what engine will move in for work? The Shay and 428 stay, obviously.
What about GN&A 26? It's sitting behind the drop pit every time I'm at IRM.
A big question with a lot of different and strongly held opinions!.
#26 is a favorite of mine and I want to see the Shay mobile so that she can at least be moved from where she is under cover. The issue with the #26 is that she needs a lot of firebox work. Probably beyond our current in-house capability.