Perfect day to work on prepping a big locomotive for restoration!
Leverett, Peter Violette, Peter Grant, Shawn Melvin, Bill Alexander, Joe Foley, and myself, worked from 9AM until around 4PM, turning nuts and bolts that haven't turned in over 60 years. This was major grount work, but, oh the rewards! The program of lubricating the moving surfaces over the past six months paid major dividends, and while a few objects required major encouragement to finally move, we opened just about everything we attacked. To use a well worn phrase of the past, "What we didn't find was better than what we did find", but we didn't find anything really bad to begin! Of special note, the eccentric rods are loose and we can remove them once the locomotive is rolled. The valve chests and the engineer's side cylinder, of which we worried quite a bit, were glassy smooth on the inside, with only a few pebbles and dead mouse carcass inside the cylinder. They still bore grease. If they prove to still be round, we may have dodged yet another bullet. We still have to open the fireman's side cylinder. We were able to remove the journal boxes from the heavy booster truck, to inspect the bearings. These boxes weigh about 100 pounds each, so they required some persuasion to pull out.
Our heavy-lift engineer, Joe Foley, took careful measurements and data to perfect his plan to lift the tender from the site by crane. Joe also collected data for the locomotive move, later this year.
Peter Violette opened the cover of the feedwater heater pump and discovered the turbine to turn freely, be rust free and in beautiful condition.
A common question is, "When are you going to move it?" The best answer is, we are moving it this year. To be more specific, the tender will lift out first, perhaps in July or August, but possibly in June, assuming the crane and low-boy truck equipment is available -and- assuming the ground is dry enough to support such heavy weight. Right now the park is a sea of mud and residual snow. Moving the locomotive will come later, since it is heavier and it requires far more attention. We hope/plan to have it out no later than November.
Problems of today- Separating the tender and locomotive is going to be a problem. There is a steel wedge between the two, placed there by the railroad to take up slack. That wedge is not cooperating, even under the authority of a sledge hammer. The wedge must be pulled in order to remove the drawbar pin that links the pulling power of the locomotive to the train.