New England Steam Corporation is prepping the big Pacific for a move to take place sometime in the next year. "When" will be determined by the alignment of donated services and continued growth of the capital fund. Recent foundation awards and the generous response of the railfan community. Maine retailers have also supplied tools, equipment, and lubricants.
Over the past few weeks, volunteers have met at the locomotive to begin applying rust penetrant and oils, in this case, a mixture of acetone and automatic transmission fluid. Two weeks ago, we began by applying it with brushes to every surface that should move. Yesterday, the effectiveness was only too clear. The rods have opened, there is some "little" movement, and we could began loosening up the joints. A rental office in Waterville donated use of a power washer and Pan Am allowed us to use their spigot to give 470 its first cleaning in sixty years. A three man team spent four hours washing out debris, broken glass, and probably a thousand pounds of ballast from the frame, ash pan, and every tight space where it could accrue. Some material was bagged for removal.
After the washing, a second team arrived and reapplied rust breaker lubricant. They got into crevices which were painted shut and filled with matter only two weeks before. Several journal boxes had been filled with storm water and generous helpings of stone ballast. Drain holes were drilled and the water piddled out. Workers went in with gloved hands and scooped out the stones. The bearings will be inspected, cleaned, and re-lubed. The holes will be tapped and plugged. Eventually donated roller bearings will replace the friction surfaces, but maintained to appear as historically shown.
New England Steam Corporation is very careful with donated funds, but we wanted to show supporters that progress is being made and we are in the "positive column" with regard to restoration. The lubrication program will continue indefinitely as prepping for removal from the park.
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