WHY WERE THE WHEELS/ DRIVERS REMOVED?
Were they worn?, Did they need new tires,? Also I am curious when you estimate (your best guess or target date)when U.P. 428 might be finished ? You already did a sucessful boiler test last year, yes?
I am not a member of the Steam department and cannot speak for them, but I thought readers here would still like to see some images and comments on the work going on.
Here is what I do know. The bearings on at least the rear set of drivers are badly worn and the back of the wheelsets were rubbing on the rivet heads at the bottom of the firebox. That area hangs low and is between that rear set of drivers and side to side lateral wear was beginning to present a real problem.
So it is probably smart to correct and repair the problem area now that we have the ability to drop those drivers in a single day. I cannot say the extent or the time needed for the repairs, and of course as we proceed on the 1630 and Shay work, all those tasks compete for time with the same workforce.
The Steam Department chooses not to post or participate in these BLOGS but perhaps we can coax a more complete answer from one of them.
Hi. I just saw on the web site that there will be no steamers run for this season. I am very surprised and disappointed as I am sure many others are. Can you tell me the reason for this unusual occurrence? I don't know if you are the one to ask this but if you don't wish to reply, maybe you can refer me to someone else. Thank you. Lon W.
I get into trouble all the time posting news photos on site progress. I am not the one to reply about the steam problems but since they choose not to communicate via our main website, I will stick my neck out.
There was every intention of running steam this year. The tender had been coaled and a final hydrostatic test was made. At that point a crack appeared in the lower inside firebox area - something new and unanticipated - this area had passed prior testing.
SO - - you cannot compromise safety when running a steam program. Plans for repairs are underway, but will not be complete before the remaining tube time on the 1630 runs out.
I cannot speculate or should I predict any next steps, but the crew is there and working every weekend.
428's wheelsets are being removed because of known issues with the axleboxes, shoes, wedges, and hub liners. Two of the four wheelsets have been removed. After the required work is completed on these wheelsets, axle boxes, shoes, and wedges, they will be installed, and the other pair of wheelsets and associated axle boxes, shoes wedges will get the same treatment.
There is evidence that 428 has the same sort of "excess lateral motion" problem which 1630 suffered. This problem was the primary reason 1630 has been out of service. Presumably the 428 problem will be resolved using the same sorts of methods which have been used on 1630.
Casual inspection of 428's tires on the removed drivers says that the existing tires are probably ok but it is not clear if the treads/flanges will need to be re-profiled.
A steam test was performed on 428s boiler in Fall of 2009, I believe.
In my opinion, no steam locomotive is ever "finished". I believe that 428 will be run when everything is ready, and not any sooner. Do not expect 428 to run in the near future. I cannot be more specific than that.
Steam Department Volunteer
That is just NOT how things work. We do not have any decision making power to "have" the UP support this. And while it WAS a UP engine, now it certainly not IS a UP engine.
Our shop has the skill sets, tooling, and commitment to do this, and short of a massive infusion of funds, it will take time to do correctly and carefully.
What I am referring it to is its lettering. Licensing while in use. That way you won't be convicted of stealing, turning into a lawsuit. and you get the idea.
REPLY - I am not aware of any of those problems concerning UP and rail preservation. RK
AGAIN, I am not the spokesman for the Steam Department, but will try to reply with some details that I know of.
I was personally a witness to the hydro test on the 26, and we were all amazed that the boiler held a fairly high pressure. But it could not be considered a good boiler! The staybolts have all been removed, and I THINK the interior firebox sheets will have to replaced before installing new staybolts. No question that all the tubes need to be replaced. ALL THAT before addressing any issues with the injectors, running gear, etc, so it is not a project for the fainthearted or a short term quick fix.
The 101 was removed from service due to a bad pony truck and wheels, then the smokebox was found to be really bad, needing to be fabricated and replaced. And of course new tubes, staybolts inspected, running gear, etc. Another long term effort.
The 0-6-0 has run at IRM many years ago, but not an ideal engine for our service with no pony or trailing trucks. This will mean wheel work with any sort of mileage logged, and a continuing wear issue. Tube time has long since run out. It is farther down the list.
It is still hoped that the 26 will one day be restored and operating at IRM. The reality is that the three active locomotive projects more than consume all our available resource at this time. Splitting of the forces to start work on yet another project will only delay all of them.
At various times, the 101 was fired using recycled oil, but I am not aware that would prevent a future restoration.