Building Construction Update 12/12/2017

Complete Construction of Houlton, Maine, expects to begin erecting the Arch-Tarp shop building beginning Monday, December 18th. New England Steam personnel will be prepping the site for winter construction as necessary. It is our hope to build panel track to extend track 7, indoors during January.  Weather permitting, most of 470's assembly will be brought indoors once the track is completed. The individual containers will be modified and put to use once the building is enclosed. Two generous private donations will make it possible to purchase and install mechanical doors for the structure.

Membership Renewal

Dear Friends and Members:

We are trying to move all our annual membership notice reminders to a single time of year.  Many of you have already begun to update your memberships for 2018.  This makes it easier for us to maintain current records and gets everyone onto the same calendar year. 

As members, you have been receiving issues of "The Booster" (another issue coming out in a week) and our regular newsletter  WE NEED YOU AND WANT YOU TO STAY A PART OF THE RESTORATION OF MAINE CENTRAL 470.  In 2017, you've seen the shop building coming together, several significant parts of the locomotive being restored, and some terrific interaction with an excited public.  There are bigger things coming in 2018!

Please consider joining of renewing your annual membership for 2018 by either using Paypal on our website, or by mailing a check to New England Steam Corporation, P.O. Box 302, Winterport, Maine 04496.  

We will be back at "The Big E" in Springfield, this January, and you can renew or rejoin there as well.  By renewing now, we can update the membership and you won't get "bugged" again in the 2018 year! 

Thanks for your continued support.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Richard Glueck

Building Construction

The construction of the building has started! These photos were taken over a period of a few weeks to allow for the concrete to set. Soon the roof and doors will be installed!

Tender Restoration, Part 1

After lots of planning and work, we have finally started! We would like to thank Mystic Valley Railway Society for kickstarting the restoration by funding paint, primer, stripper, as well as supplies, and tools to remove the paint!

Cylinder Cock Restoration

After Touch-a-Train, there was a mini work day on the locomotive. Bob DeWachter removed the cylinder cocks, linkage, and actuators for refurbishment and restoration. These photos document their restoration.

While there was some pitting on the valves, they were all salvageable and are ready to be put back on the locomotive!

Touch-a-Train 2017

Touch-a-Train 2017, at Washington Junction Yard (Railroad Siding Road, Hancock, Maine) is Saturday, June 10th.  If you are in the area, touring in Acadia, or just need an excuse to come visit the 470, please join in.  The event begins at 09:00 and will run until about 1PM, when a special train of the Downeast Scenic Railroad will leave the yard.  Remember, Maine Central 470 made it's final revenue run 63 years ago, that following week!

  • See 470 in it's new home.
  • See the preparation for the shop erection in progress.
  • Climb aboard Downeast Scenic's Diesel locomotives.
  • Blow the whistle and ring the bell!
  • Ride Downeast Scenic's restored Reading caboose!
  • Take chance on two outstanding H-O scale Maine Central locomotives, courtesy of Bowser Trains!
  • Talk with the New England Steam Corporation directors and get you questions answered, first hand!

Have a great time with railroad  and historic preservationists.  No cost to attend, explore, and watch your children's faces light up!


Containers Arrive for Building

The delivery started around 08:30 and lasted until 4.  The containers are a mixed bag, but all certainly solid for our purposes. They will all have different purposes. Some could be offices or living spaces, the others are will be usedfor storage and shop areas.

In some shots, you might be able to make out the marked locations of where the concrete sono-tubes will be cast.  You can see Leverett Fernald and Ron Jenkins measuring the boxes to determine in the distances of the concrete supports match the containers, which they do.

Turbo Generator Balancing

President Richard Glueck and Volunteer Al Jenkins visited AC Electric to watch them balance the restored armature. All that is left for the generator is recasting the covers, powder coating, and assembly.

Pop Goes the Bezel

PERC finished machining the replacement tender backup light bezel ring, cast by Peter Grant. While it should have matched up exactly, they found it necessary to pull out the original brass pins and replace them with bolts, which isn't historical, but the ring fits very well. We need to get or fabricate tabs to hold in the headlight glass, then Peter will cast a replacement latch handle and service door. This should be done in the next week or two. 

To recap: The can body of the backup lamp was restored by Forrest Autobody of Winterport. Casting pattern was made by Bernie Perch of Minersville, Penn., using the remaining 4 inch fragment of the original bezel. Odd Duck Foundry of Orrington, cast the iron bezel ring with about five attempts that failed, but from which he perfected a technique. We got one! Penobscot Energy Recovery Corporation (PERC) also in Orrington, milled the bezel so it fits the can body.

MEC 470 Merchandise Available

There are seven of the 2017 "470 Calendars" remaining. If you want one, please let us know by emailing immediately. The calendars are $15 + $5 priority mail shipping. These are the last of the calendars!

Now available! Poster-size (24"x36") copies of the original American Locomotive Works print of 469 & 470 are now available. These first appeared in Mainline Modeler magazine. Rights to the content were granted to the C&OT&HS, who have granted NESCO permission to reproduce them for sale. Copies are $25 +$5 shipping. The prints are sharp enough to read details; perfect for live steam modelers! 470 finished service with some modifications, but these depict "as delivered" in 1924.

Also available! Something beautiful and almost unique! We have been given three of the chevron style and two of the rectangular plates, all etched in stainless steel, recognizing a donors participation in the restoration of the 470! Each plate is $25 + $5 shipping and handling. You can pay by PayPal or by check at our postal address. This is a nice way to post your support alongside you model layout, in your train room, or elsewhere. The supply is limited, so if you want one, please email your intent to order!

Some other unique NESCO items will be announced soon!

A Light and a Lift

An early Christmas present for the 470! Peter Grant (Odd Duck Foundry) used the patterns made by Bernard Perch (Project 113) to cast this replacement bezel ring for 470's tender backup light. Peter found a flask capable of holding the pattern and put supports across it. Earlier attempts could not support the weight of the sand, and fell out before casting could occur. This time he scored a good molding and with the application of scrap radiator, plumbing and Chevy manifold, he got the desired result. With the reconditioned backup light, services donated by Forrest Autobody (Winterport), the pattern from Mr. Perch (Minersville, Pa.), and casting by Odd Duck Foundry (Orrington, Maine), a piece of 470 has been replaced! 

Additionally, our CMO Leverett Fernald was able to negotiate donation of a used crane, in good condition, from Shawmut Equipment. This will be capable of lifting the tender, and frankly, most of the things for which we will need heavy lift capability. He is presently working out delivery to Washington Jct,, but the potential power to solve a number of lift problems is more than welcomed!

Rails in Waterville

On 9/22/16, Collie and Myron are shown removing fish plates and bolts from the display rails. Pretty ingenious too, using an adjustable wrench and a pipe to gain leverage, plus a couple shots of WD-40. Ron is shown removing rail anchors, using a spike puller and a sledge. While Ron and Myron raised rail, Collie and Dick whacked out the tie plates using hammers. Afterward, the four of them loaded the materials in Myron's truck for removal and re-use or scrap. It was amazing how dissolved the steel was where coal dust had settled under and alongside these heavy pieces of steel. The rails which once supported 470 on display, will now be used along the inspection and drop pit in her new home in Hancock.

$7,000 Donation

Directors of the Jacobs Family Foundation stopped by on Saturday morning and received a full tour of the 470 and the layout of the shop building and pit. After consideration of the outlined work schedule and transparency of the project, the foundation granted NESCO a donation of $7,000 towards construction of the pit. Combined with prospective funding and smaller donations which arrive regularly, we hope to have the pit cast during the early fall season. Additional funds will be used to erect the building which is presently on site. 

Donors can earmark their tax-deductible gifts to fund the tender restoration, the shop erection, or the boiler fund. 

The 470 Restoration is noted in the October issue of Railfan & Railroad Magazine (page 15), as well as the NRHS bulletin.

Tarp-Rite Building Delivered

The Tarp-Rite building has been delivered!

Once the locomotive's suspension and rods are free and the drop pit has been built, we will tackle its construction.

Thanks to Pleasant River Lumber for bringing their loader over to unload the trusses for us.

What's Next?

What's next for New England Steam Corporation and 470? We're taking a short break after three years of regular and intense labor to prep and move the 470. In a few weeks we'll start again. The drive rods must come off so 470 can easily be moved from Track 7. We wish to install a service and drop pit then reinstall the rail. After the pit goes in, the land will be graded and the Arch-Tarp shop building will be installed. Of course we would like to have this completed by year's end, however "we move at the speed of money."  Starting this fall, the tender trucks will be removed, disassembled, cleaned, checked for any issues, primed, painted, greased, and completed. The tender frame will be stripped of old paint, and like the trucks, completely renewed. That leaves the tender tank and coal bunker. This requires a complete replacement, although original handrails, grab irons, doors, and stoker motor will be reapplied. The tender is a big ticket item, and this is where your club or historical organization can play a significant role by donating funds specifically to the tender fund. This is major accomplishment on which we can get together and complete before 2018. Please consider making this your individual or group's charitable donation project. 

Maine Central 470 is in open view at Washington Junction yard, easily seen and photographed from the Downeast Rail Trail parking facility. If you are planning a trip to Mount Desert Island, please stop by the Downeast Scenic Railroad, ride the train and say "hello" to your locomotive, "The Mascot of Maine."

MEC 470 is Moved from Waterville to Ellsworth

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:

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.


The site team, ready for the lift in Waterville. Back Row Standing (L-R): Myron Moody, Bill Alexander, Bob DeWachter, Ron Jenkins, Joe Foley, Paul van Steenberghe, Leverett Fernald, Peter Violette. Front Row Kneeling (L-R): Collie Moody, Richard Glueck, Tom Audet. Missing: Al Jenkins, Shawn Melvin, Dale Lehoux. (Photo by Kerri Marion)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016