Dear Members: A few words here to keep you in the official loop of what's happening with 470.
No less than three moving plans have been proposed, subject to scrutiny, and dissected in detail. We had originally proposed moving the locomotive as a complete item. After reviewing load limitations and clearances with our carrier, our engineers have decided to move the locomotive in two pieces, with the boiler moving on one truck and the frame, wheels, and mechanism on another. In preparation, 470 was weighed at the park, using specially developed equipment which measures back-pressure and provides a figure. The tender weighs 40 tons, and the locomotive weighs 120 tons! Discussion of separating the boiler and frame was undertaken with several consulting parties, including Steam Operations Corporation, the agency which has recently restored Norfolk & Western 611. It was decided this new approach would require far more effort, but in the long run, was a better plan.
470's boiler will sit on a loaned trailer bed alongside the frame, which will be on Track 7, at Washington Jct. Both will be under the cover of the Arch-Tarp structure which is being developed right now. Both pieces will be mobile and can be moved if required. The tender frame will likewise, be on the rails, indoors.
Three grants have been applied for the funding of the Arch-Tarp building. One grant has been answered in the amount of $10,000, another $1,000 has been donated by an individual, and two grant applications remain to be answered. Assembly of the structure by a large volunteer service group has been under development, making the shop structure a matter of purchase and assembly. We would like to further the matching of the $10,000 grant, so companies and individual can make donations specifically for the shop by specifying them as such. Crushed rock for the base is something we can use immediately.
Since 470's tender an absolute necessity, it will be the first part of the locomotive to receive attention at the new shop. A grant to purchase new 1/4" steel plate has been submitted. Of course, no grant is guaranteed to be funded, but this is our current line of thinking. We believe the frame, brake rigging, and trucks are all in good condition. Each of these will be disassembled, cleaned, repaired where required, then primed, painted, and reassembled. What remains of the tender cistern and coal bunker is only useable as a pattern for replacement. A few items such as the coal bunker doors, ladder, stoker motor, and restored headlight will be reapplied. We are looking for a skilled volunteer to do CAD work in developing a precise mechanical drawing of the tender cistern and bunker. Our colleagues at WW&F Ry. have offered us use of their power riveters to rebuild the tender in the manner of the original work, and helping us maintain the historic character of 470.
The tender will be moved this fall, in a matter of weeks. The locomotive will be disassembled and loosened as much as is possible, while the weather allows us to work safely. We have until December 28th, 2016 to move the locomotive, but plan to have it at Washington Jct. before summer of 2016.
A brief note of thanks to Ms. Kerri Marion, who, as a Waterville area historian, maintains a wonderful Facebook page regarding 470. As we have moved forward, Kerri has patiently followed us and kept an accurate record of our work.
Official answers to your questions are always available through our website or our Facebook page. NESCo will have tables at the Brewer Train Show in November, and at "The Big E" in Springfield, Mass., in January.