As an update to our members, New England Steam has prepared an illustrated recap of Maine Central steam locomotive 470’s restoration progress to date. Take a look below!
New England Steam Corp. will be at the Amherst Train Show January 26 & 27th, at The Big E in the The Better Living Center, next to Downeast Scenic Railroad.
We have the new "470 Restoration", as well as the "American Made" shirt. Have your children ring the bell, become a new or renewed member, talk directly to the Board Members and get your questions answered.
We look forward to meeting you!
Make the donation that funds our progress!
New England Steam is a tax deductible 501c3 organization.
Mr. Leon Martin (of Tulsa, Oklahoma) has donated a beautiful, brand new needle scaler, which arrived in Maine on December 17th. NESCo will need to purchase some hoses and safety gear in order to use it, but it's a greatly appreciated and really neat gift!
The William John Walsh model of Maine Central 467 is currently on display at the Bangor Public Library. Mr. Walsh was born in Houlton, but lived in Bangor, and rode one of the final steam excursions in the early 1950's. He was man who both knew and loved steam locomotives, and wanted to do something significant when the steam whistles were silenced. The Walsh family has contributed a photograph of the builder. Pictured here as well is Al Jenkins, who carefully restored the model to its glory today, depicting 467 as she appeared on her final run with the Massachusetts Railway Enthusiasts. 467 was scrapped immediately after the excursion in 1952. The model can be viewed on the second floor, and is kept behind glass.
467's younger sister, Maine Central 470, is presently being restored at the New England Steam Corporation shops in Hancock, ME.
While we still have a few in stock (mostly 2XL and 3XL), we are phasing out the "Keep Calm and Steam On" shirts, at least for the foreseeable future. We are still stocking the gray "Built American" shirts, with the builders plate on the back.
This new design ("Steaming Back History") reflects the progress we've had with moving forward on the restoration of Maine Central 470, and in particular, the tender restoration. The new shirt is available in small, medium, large, and X-Large right now. A few 2XL and 3XL's are being ordered. The cost is $10 for NESCO members, $20 for non-members, and $6.70 Flat Rate Priority mailing.
Shirts and our embroidered baseball caps will be available at the Brewer Train Show and Springfield Train Show.
A few photos from our October 20th work session in Ellsworth!
Leverett Fernald and Dick Glueck met the UMO Mechanical Engineering team on Monday, October 8th to deliver the cross compound pump for their assessment. The delivery went without a hitch, and the pump is now safely indoors on a pallet and cart.
The enthusiasm of these young people was overwhelming. They had started research and found a 500 page Westinghouse document, detailing every part of the pump, and had already began to study it. They started making comments about the best way to approach opening the pump, photo documenting all of it, removing corroded nuts, saving all salvageable parts, replacing those which could not be safely re-used.
At this time, they seem to have a meticulous approach to solving the issues that may face them. Leverett was able to discuss "machinist talk" with the team and there seemed no lack of understanding. These guys are good!
If you shop online with Amazon, please note that New England Steam Corporation is registered with the Amazon Smile campaign. When you go online, please go to Amazon Smile, and register your account with New England Steam Corporation as the beneficiary. Each yearly quarter, 470 will receive a check from Amazon as a donation from their earnings. It costs nothing to register and the donations will help finance restoration of Maine Central 470. https://smile.amazon.com
On Saturday, October 6th, we had the services of retired Cianbro crane man Al Rollins once more. Several of our people rigged up the tender frame to Al's satisfaction and we got underway. The whole lift took about three hours, which was much quicker than the tender body. Everything went well, and the trucks are now ready to be moved indoors for rebuilding.
Structural Engineer Ron Kief of Cianbro also visited with us to inspect the tender tank and offer advice about the rebuild. Ron got the full tour and left later in the day, enthusiastic about everything we're doing. A big "thank you" to Ron!
Brian Hebert made the l-o-n-g trip up from NH to help with the work load. Also present were Bob Mueller, Ron Jenkins, Dick Glueck, Kerri Merion, Jim Armstrong, and later in the day, Alex Fogg.
Kerri made us lunch, bringing up a crock pot for spaghetti in meat sauce, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and the best two-layer chocolate cake with peanut butter icing we've ever had!
Later in the afternoon, we loaded the cross-compound pump (1,700 pounds) into the bed of Leverett's truck for delivery to the UMO engineering shops. The rebuild team is anxious to see what they've bitten off. We think with guidance from Jason Lamontagne and their professors, the pump will be in good hands.
Alex and Jim stayed a little later to further scrape residual paint from last weekend's work.
With the frame on the ground, we have completed one of the final goals for 2018. The next thing will be to roll the tender trucks indoors.
October is the best time to join or renew your active participation in New England Steam Corporation and the restoration of Maine Central #470. Members get regular informational updates as well as historic information in our journal, "The Booster." The restoration continues to make strides inside NESCo’s new all-weather building. Your donations, contributions, and funding make it run smoothly and without long gaps while we purchase supplies. Active membership means you are personally taking part in the restoration of this iconic treasure of American railroading. Join using PayPal or by sending a check with your membership information, to New England Steam Corp., P.O. Box 302, Winterport, ME 04496. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.
Steve French (of SKF Detailing) visited Ellsworth on September 23rd to create a fully detailed set of drawings of 470’s tender. These drawings will be used to cut the new sheet metal needed to fabricate a new tender.
...begins with two chain falls and a hydraulic ram. Bob DeWachter, Paul van Steenberghe, and Leverett Fernald applied tension to the main driver counterweights, and put them under tension. Steel plates formed a resistance for the ram. 50 tons of ram pressure was applied to the crossheads and slowly, punctuated by creaking and occasional snaps, things started to move.
The story goes back to 1970, while 470 was being towed up from Waterville yard to be placed on display by the College Avenue bridge. The locomotive was rolling freely then locked up solidly. After greasing the rails, Maine Central shoved the bound up locomotive onto its display. 470 sat in that condition for forty-six years while sand, dust, and rain water further locked up the parts. Before New England Steam Corp. even existed, Leverett Fernald would occasionally oil the engine in the park. When NESCO took over the locomotive, an intense program of lubrication and cleaning was begun. The oiling, the cleaning with putty knife blades, finally paid off.
470's cylinders have been opened and oiled. Dick Glueck describes them as looking like gun barrels, gray and smooth, devoid of knick or gouges. Again, heavy lubrication has been applied to the interior of the steam cylinders. What we don't know (yet) is what's on the back side of each piston. When 470 locked up in 1970, it did so in what may have been the worst position. The rods are against the driver centers and the valves are blocking the passing of a fiber-optic cable. The back sides may be full of gravel and sand or smooth as the forward portions. This will remain a mystery for a few more weeks.
Today we got a movement of 1mm and were thrilled. More oil and cleaning, and Bob pressurized the pump. Paul tightened tension on the chain falls and we saw the crosshead slowly slide forward. By the time we knocked off in the afternoon, the crossheads on both sides had slid about two inches - That's quite trip after 50 years of being rigidly locked. Leverett aptly compared it to the Tin Man, from "The Wizard of Oz". Bet 470 felt good after that short stretch!
In other work, Dick and Alex Fogg continued to removed old paint from the drivers and rods. In the photos, you'll see the original red primer from 1924 has been exposed. As the layers of paint peel off, so does most of the graffiti which visitors scratched into the finish over 62 years.
Each driver will been inspected for possible cracks or other damage before eventually being turned. Along with the paint comes pounds of railroad grime and hardened grease. Underneath, we're finding numbers, both cast and stamped into the steel. All of it has meaning, whether they indicate service dates or to which locomotive the part originally was assigned. One old spoke repair has been located, but no other damage from her service years. As for the rods, a tap with a ball-peen hammer results in a bright "ting", indicating the rod is solid and probably in great condition.
There will be weeks more of paint scraping and loosening up the drivers, but thus far, we are, in fact, moving forward.
We were able to remove the tender tank on July 28. Big thank you to Al Rollins for coming out on a Saturday and operating the crane for us.
The lift went perfectly and thanks to prep the night before from Ron Jenkins and Bob DeWachter, was completed before noon. The only hitch was the removal of the valve for the injector while the tank was in the air. Bob made quick work of the nuts and the valve is currently in storage awaiting restoration.
The tank is currently sitting on cribbing in Washington Junction waiting documentation in order for a replica to be built. Unfortunately the corrosion was too severe for the original tank, so it has to be replaced. Hardware will be reused from the current tender.
The paintings were made to support the 470 restoration, and give life to the locomotive's capabilities. David Tutwiler is recognized for his highly detailed locomotive paintings, and is a regular participant at railroad shows around the nation. His gallery and the availability of his work can be seen at TutwilerFineArt.com These paintings will be on display in the Acadia Invitational Part II exhibition, opening June 1st at the Argosy Gallery in Bar Harbor ME.
The Samuel Freeman Foundation Trustees have chosen New England Steam Corporation's tender rebuild project as recipient of a grant of $50,000! The Freeman Foundation would like to see this funding figure matched to bring the total to bear on getting 470 a "new, old tender"! We say " a new, old tender", because new steel will be fabricated using the original as a template. The assembly process will use hot riveting, the historical technique used by American Locomotive Works in 1924.
On Tuesday, March 27th, a team of thirteen volunteers and our contractor's crew, pulled the tarp covering over the steel arches of the New England Steam Corporation shop. This structure effectively gives us a dry, all-weather work area measuring 60 feet by 120 feet. 5,280 sq. feet will be open area, including the boiler and the extended track on which 470 will stand. Once the sea of mud is dried and stable, the boiler will be moved indoors. One of the first projects this season will be to construct panel track, and to pull the frame and driver gear indoors. Electrifying the shop will be the next major addition. The track will be temporary as we are still planning to install a drop pit.
The tender fund has grown to approximately $17,000, while we wait for answers from potential granting agencies. "Thank you", to everyone who donated and continue to help build the tender fund. Once the $100,000 goal is met, the tender will go out for complete rebuilding. Donations can be made using PayPal or by mailing a check to our Winterport address.
A locomotive cannot operate without a tender, and 470's tender body is corroded beyond renewal. A complete replacement is required. The body will be taken apart to form templates make CAD diagrams. A new riveted tender body, historically accurate and reproduced in must the same way as in 1924, will be created. Essentially, 470 will receive " a new, old tender". Original hardware, including coal bunker doors, the stoker motor, grab irons, steps, and ladder, will all be incorporated in the new body.
$16,000 is presently being held on account in the tender fund. We need to raise a total of $100,000 to complete this critical work. A Maine contractor has been identified to undertake this job, which will employ Maine steel workers for half a year. The funds you donate will stay in the local economy, doing even more good. The tender is big, it's essential, and what a showpiece it will be on completion.
In 2016, The Mystic Valley Railway Society granted $6,200 to strip hazardous paint from the tender frame. These funds have also purchased undercoating and finish paint for the frame and trucks. This summer, a shop truck will be used to remove the original tender trucks in turn, while each is disassembled, cleaned, painted, greased and reassembled. The brake gear will be rebuilt in a similar manner.
Donations in any amount, to help rebuild the 470 tender, can be given here through our PayPal (under "GET INVOLVED"), or mailed to: New England Steam Corp., P.O. Box 302, Winterport, Maine 04496. If a check is mailed, please indicate it is for the tender rebuild.