In case you have not heard the news, Maine Central 470, "Mascot of Maine", and a project you very definitely have played a part in, was moved from the park display in Waterville, to Washington Junction yard of the Downeast Scenic Railroad, between August 8-9, 2016. On Wednesday, August 10th, we re-railed 470 onto live track once again. Thank you for your generosity, guidance, and encouragement, during this undertaking.
The tender was re-railed and ceremonially coupled to DESR #1055, ex-Portland Terminal. We ran it slowly up the track and back, wearing away rust from the tender wheels, then coupled it to a flatcar with the pony truck, ash pan, and booster truck, to move it into the yard. The boiler will remain on the truck bed while it is stripped bare for inspection and the frame is being rebuilt.
The frame waited for unloading while one crane remained on the road. After the second crane arrived, the lift master and crane crews did their magic, placing 470 back on active track. A jammed journal or equalizer bar has kept the rear driver elevated. We are very much aware of the potential energy stored in the leaf springs, so we're treating it with respect. Note the center driver journal is still open.
During a sudden cloud burst, the drivers backed the 470 boiler into the yard and put her to bed. She's home and safe.
Last big surprise. We opened the booster truck for a quick examination and found it to be in pristine condition, with no rust or deterioration, and the oil appearing to be good. It's a great way to end the day.
WABI Television came out and did yet another story on the project. These people have been generous in their coverage, and it helps get the word out! The story can be found here: http://wabi.tv/2016/08/10/steam-locomotive-470-arrives-in-hancock/
We are going to take a short respite from work crews and catch our breath. Our next undertaking will be to arrange the parts in the yard, remove the drive rods, polish the driver axle bearings. We want to remove the rods so we are able to move 470 if it's required. Come visit New England Steam Corporation workers when you are in the Ellsworth-Mount Desert Island-Acadia National Park region. Also, ride the Downeast Scenic Railroad when you visit!
The priority for the fall season is to grade the land surrounding track 7, bring together $15,000 to construct a reinforced concrete drop it, and erect the Tarp-Rite shop building. The building is being delivered this week. The building and containers are covered by the Samuel Freeman Foundation grant. The pit requires additional funding. If donations continue to come in as hoped, we will look at having the drop/inspection pit cast before winter, then move on erecting the building.
With these objectives met, we will meet the goals of the Mystic Valley Railway Society grant to restore the tender frame, deck, trucks, and brakes, all of which are in good condition. In the interim, we continue to seek funds to replace 470's tender tank and coal bunker with a faithfully executed replica. This is a pretty heavy set of goals, but we'll take each in turn. With your continued support and interest in reviving this beautiful Pacific class locomotive, we feel sure we'll complete each stage.
Please consider being part of that funding effort, and look forward to hearing more news in the near future. If your membership has lapsed over the last year, please consider renewing it. You are New England Steam Corporation.
Check out the New England Steam Corporation's and Kerri Marion's wonderful Maine Central 470 Restoration Facebook pages.