Info for Monday's Lift of 470

MEC 470 is slated to be lifted on the morning of Monday, August 8, 2016.

People wishing to view the loading of 470 should plan to park elsewhere and walk to the viewing area. The Pan American Railroad parking lot will probably restricted to the use of employees only. The park where 470 is located will only be available to New England Steam Corporation workers, the cranes and trucks required to accomplish the move. Visitors vehicles are not permitted in the work area. There is no parking along College Avenue, per order of the police department. A portable toilet will be available to the workers and public. 

Rigging will begin once the cranes are positioned on Monday morning.

8/2/16 Work Session

To everyone's great joy, jacks placed under the smokebox hesitated a bit, then a parting line appeared and soon the whole boiler was off its supports. It went much more smoothly than we had thought it would, and was the apex in a heck of a lot of work going way back to last year in the winter! 

Around 1PM, Tom, Ron, Paul, Myron, placed a jack under the smokebox while Kerri and Dick took pictures. There was a little resistance, then a parting line, and the boiler raised about an inch off the cylinder saddle. We checked along the rest of the support and found the gap had occurred all along the frame. Kerri did an amazing job with her camera, and we recommend you check her Facebook blog to see them.

7/26/16 Work Session

An extremely productive day at the locomotive. Myron was able to save the furnace bearer plate in its entirety by burning out individual bolts. While the steel plate will be replaced, it is intact so a perfect copy can be made. This process involved work inside and outside the firebox. Myron was aided with help from Coll and our newest work crew member, James Noblini, a summer visitor from Massachusetts. James is not of an age where he can work directly on the locomotive, but he's policed a great deal of metal scraps from the surrounding area, and is a great tool handler. We're glad to have such a dedicated teen in our work force.

Using a jack and tools handed up to him by James, Myron was able to safely remove the stoker bearer casting, freeing the bearer plate from under.

Ron, Dick and James were able to safely remove the tender step castings from the tender frame, and get them labeled for storage. Not light work.

The CMO, concerned about overhead wire clearances above the tender, requested we cut down the coal slide. This was done carefully and placed inside the coal bunker for the move to Washington Junction. 

Another guest "torch man", John Webster, helped Myron and Ron with cutting the bolts which hold the cylinder steam delivery pipe collars.

470 Tender Drawings

These are accurate drawings, reflecting measurements and details taken directly from 470's tender. The drawings were custom made by member Keith Muldowney, who produced them for New England Steam Corporation. They may be reproduced for modeling but may not be copied for sale. Funding to rebuilding and refinish the tender frame, brake rigging and trucks, has been granted by the Mystic Railroad Society. A fund to replace the tender cistern (tank) and coal bunker is underway. The new tender will be an exact copy of the historic, built from the original pattern. Please contribute generously to help replace this essential part of the locomotive. Please label you contribution as being for the tender.

First Move

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the first major components of 470 were removed and moved to Washington Junction yard in Ellsworth, ME.

The cab was lifted onto the flatbed truck for moving to Washington Junction. The rear cab support plate will serve as a pattern for reproduction, as the original had two welds in it to begin with and an actual tear in 3/16 sheet metal. 

Next, the riggers cabled up the cross-compound pump, which weighs in at 1,400 pounds. Nothing was left to chance, and it was carried over to the truck and lowered. The pump will be rebuilt, hopefully in Maine, and hopefully as a donation or for the cost of parts alone.

The truck also carried several other huge castings from outside the firebox, and the booster pump. By 11:00 AM, most of the loading was completed, and the load was being re-adjusted. 

Most of this work has been completed with donated services and all of it by volunteers. The donations we receive are being used to purchase tools, acetylene and oxygen, and to pay for the moving of the boiler and frame, yet to come. We were recently saddled with an unexpected asbestos abatement fee, were it hadn't been removed by a crew in the 1980s. Still, today the locomotive is entirely clean, and done so to meet all safety requirements.

It will take about three weeks to get the movers and cranes in place. Expect the completion of 470's next trip to Washington Junction yard in the second week of August.

Asbestos Abatement Work

These are pictures of the asbestos abatement crew's setup at 470 yesterday. These guys have to wear containment suits inside these greenhouses!

Turbo Generator Update

AC Electric Corporation has made some progress on 470's Sunbeam Turbo Generator! Here's the recently rewound armature, ready to have the commutator slits cut next week.

Touch-a-Train 2016 Success

Thanks to everyone that came out for our Touch-A-Train event on Saturday, June 11, 2016! We drew in 730 people/families, and we had outstanding help and support from Downeast Scenic Railroad. Governor's also gave us the usual fine support they always offer, and PERC Waste to Energy provided both the whistle and set-up for a really unique but popular chance for kids to experience something truly memorable. Whited Ford also loaned us a Peterbilt truck which was a big hit!

Tender Fund Donation Received

The fund to restore the tender of locomotive 470 received a boost with a donation of $2,500, courtesy of Mr. Andrew Jones, representing the Deupree Family Foundation. The Deupree Family Foundation has be a strong supporter of New England Steam since our first application, in 2014. Mr. Jones and other donors of $250 or more to the tender or boiler funds, will receive our new enameled pin bearing a likeness of 470 under her protective shelter, with the title "Restoration Supporter" beneath.

Touch-a-Train 2016


NESCo's "Touch-A-Train 2016" will be held in Ellsworth, ME at the Washington Junction railyard of the Downeast Scenic Railroad on Saturday, June 11, 2016 starting at 9:00 AM. This is a day for kids, grandparents, and parents to satisfy their inner train craving!

You can...
- Sit in a real diesel locomotive cab!
- Ride the caboose hop!
- Receive discounted fares for the Downeast Scenic Railroad afternoon train ride!
- Eat desserts from Governor's Restaurant!
- Ring Maine Central #470's bell and hear the whistle blow!
- Support the restoration of Maine Central #470 to operation!

There is free admission and plenty of free parking! We'll see you there!

Visit the Facebook page for this event!

Bill Green Visits #470

On April 21, 2016, Bill Green shot a long segment at 470. They interviewed several members of NESCo, as well as our friend Kerri Marion, proving that women can like steam locomotives as much as guys do! Bill and his cameraman were very interested and got right into the mix of what we were doing.

Bill's segment is available at this link, and some photos from his visit are below!

Door Dogs and a Turbo Generator

Peter Grant of Odd Duck Foundry has cast new dogs for 470's smokebox door. Behold, the first new parts cast for 470! These were bit warm (spelled "h-o-t") when he knocked them out of the sand, but they are new iron dogs to replace those broken units on her face. These are made from 100% genuine re-cycled radiator iron. These are a bit rough still, although the original from which the pattern was made appears in one photo.

Additionally, AC Electric Corporation has started the rehab on 470's Sunbeam Turbo Generator. Check out the photos of the disassembly by clicking here!

Tender Light Casting and T-Shirts

What do these two things have in common? Not much, other than they're both things that NESCo has been working on in the past month!

First, the tender light that was repaired by donation at Forrest Autobody last year was still missing its bezel ring. Bernie Perch, a master pattern maker who performs work for the likes of the WW&F and CNJ #113, has supplied NESCO with a new pattern for this ring. The first shot is of the only portion of the bezel that survived total destruction by vandals, and the only piece Bernie had to use as a guide. The large block upon which is sits is called "the follower", and it maintains the shape of the inner ring. Peter Grant at Old Duck Foundry will be casting this first original part of our locomotive.

Second, all sizes of both the "American Made" and "Keep Calm and Steam On" shirts are back in stock, as well as "470" logo baseball caps! Shirt price is $10 for members and $20 for non-members, while hats are $10 for members and $14 for non-members. Order from the NESCo website by clicking here!

470 Move Work List 2/16/2016

Indicates completed.
Indicates partially completed or in process.


1. Clean up tender journals and brasses
2. Disconnect tender truck safety chains
3. Disconnect tender brake rigging
4. Remove buffer wedge
5. Remove drawbar pin
6. Disconnect stoker
7. Move tender back to allow separation

8. Cut slope in coal bunker for height clearance


1. Clean cinders out of smokebox 
2. Remove bolts from cylinder saddle
3. Remove bolts from 1st waist bearer
4. Remove bolts from front furnace bearer
5. Remove bolts from rear furnace bearer
6. Make locating plates for rear furnace bearer
7. Remove headlight
8. Remove generator
9. Remove safety valves
10. Remove smokebox netting

11. Disconnect reverse gear to valve gear link
12. Disconnect air lines between boiler and frame
13. Disconnect lubricator lines between boiler and frame
14. Make support brackets for ashpan
15. Remove corner pieces from ashpan

Prepare Cab for Removal

1. Label all valves on backhead and photograph
2. Disconnect valve connections from main turret
3. Remove shaft connecting reverse quadrant to reverse gear
4. Label, photograph and remove pipe from turret to feedwater control valve
5. Label, photograph and remove pipe from stoker engine control underneath cab

After Asbestos is Abated

1. Remove admission pipes
2. Feedwater heater pipes
3. Booster piping
4. Air pump
5. Feedwater heater pump

470 Gets a Home

NESCo is pleased to announce the purchase of the arch-tarp building to house locomotive 470. The structure is being constructed by Tarp-Rite Incorp., of Woodstock, New Brunswick. It will provide the first all weather shelter for the locomotive in over six decades. The arch-tarp building is designed to withstand Maine snow and wind loads, and will sit upon re-purposed cargo containers. This structure was fully underwritten with a grant from the Samuel Freeman Foundation. Additional funds will provide a servicing trench and drop-pit. The structure will be cooperatively used to service Downeast Scenic Railroad locomotive and cars as required.

2015 NESCo Recap

What has your support brought forth in 2015? Let's recall it together:

  • We purchased 470!
  • Your gifts, along with a 2014 gift from the Tom Daily Foundation, not only paid for 470, but secured contracts to lift and move the locomotive.
  • The tender and locomotive were separated and the tender rolled on her own wheels for the first time since 1970.
  • Grants from Deupree Family Foundation and the Samuel Freeman Foundation have made the purchase of an enclosed shop facility a reality. 470 will be undercover for the first time since 1954.
  • The Jacobs Family Foundation, has initiated a fund to rebuild 470's tender.
  • Governor's Restaurants have fed work crews both in Waterville and Ellsworth!
  • Forrest Autobody of Winterport, refinished the severely vandalized tender backup light!
  • The family of Joseph Vaughn family donated a previously unknown movie of 470's last run, along with a remarkable collection of historic timetables and ephemera for sale.
  • "The 470 Club" allowed use of its photo-negative library.
  • Individuals, too many to list them all, have contributed personal memorabilia, written articles, and marshaled their expertise to document 470's history and career. Special recognition to Bernard Perch, Ben Jankowski, Kerri Marion, and Keith Muldowney.
  • Downeast Scenic Railroad has provided us with storage facilities and a place to call "home".
  • Friends at Kennebec Rental, Furbush-Roberts printing, W.S. Emerson Co., Governor's Restaurants, A.C. Electric, Odd Duck Foundry, Penobscot Energy Reclamation, Dysart's Trucking, Central Maine and Quebec Railroad, Darling's Automotive, High Ball Graphics, Gifford's Ice Cream, the Maine Eastern Railroad, Cianbro Corporation, "Hot Shots Photo" - Ms. Jessie Drezner, Bangor Neon, N.H. Bragg, Broadway Limited Trains, and the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railroad have made our accomplishments to date possible.
  • Memorial gifts have been received from Maine-3-Railers, the Fogg family, and the Stickney family.

As 2016 approaches, we continue to take advantage of this unusual weather to prepared 470 to be moved in the summer. We are disengaging pipes, removing appliances, labeling, color coding, photographing, and storing piping and parts. These efforts will continue through the season until winter conditions make us "take a break".

Check out some newly-unearthed photos of #470's last run on June 13, 1954!

NESCo Purchases Maine Central #470

NESCo’s purchase of 470 has been completed! 

On Thursday, November 5, 2015, officials of the New England Steam Corporation completed its purchase obligation to the city of Waterville, Maine, turning over a check for the full purchase price of $25,000 to the City Manager. There was a great deal of media coverage by television and radio networks, and further coverage in the Bangor Daily News and Waterville Morning Sentinel

With this transaction completed, work crews will begin lightening the locomotive for the impending move to Washington Junction on the Downeast Scenic Railroad. This will include freeing the boiler from the chassis, removing the cross-compound pump, and dismantling other large parts on the engine. One of the most awaited items will be the cutting of the drawbar pin, allowing the separation of the locomotive from its tender. 

So wait - I thought the tender was going to be moved this fall? It was, but reassessment of the loads to be moved over the roads has necessitated securing larger cranes and a different tactic for carrying the 470 to her new home. While we have several plans engineered and available for moving the tender and locomotive, it became obvious that rigging the heavy-lift cranes should only be done once. In that manner, work crews only have to be present and set up once in Waterville and once in Hancock. Chief Mechanical Officer Leverett Fernald and Supervising Engineer Joe Foley, Jr., feel the move can take place once the ground is hard and dry in the late spring or summer of 2016. Again, these are estimates and hinge on the safe use of the moving equipment. According to the contract between NESCO and Waterville, a window of 12 months is open for safe removal of the locomotive from the date of purchase. We certainly are going to beat that time limitation. 

So 470 goes to Washington Junction. Then what? Two separate organizations, the Deupree Family Foundation and the Samuel Freeman Foundation, have donated $10,000 and $51,400 (respectively) toward the construction of an indoor shop on Track 7 in the Washington Junction yard. An enclosed shop, based on the design created by University of Maine Civil Engineering students, will be in place to welcome our new patient. An arch-tarp structure, designed for heavy wind and snow loads, will sit atop repurposed cargo containers with drainage rock under them. A drop pit will be added as well. The chassis and tender will sit on rails, while the boiler will be on a mobile truck-carrier. The whole locomotive will be mobile. 

What gets repaired first? Most likely the tender. The frame, brake rigging, and trucks under the tender are appear to be in very good condition. The tender cistern and coal bunker are too far gone to serve as anything other than a pattern. Since 470 can't operate without a tender, and since a tender is a significant and fairly straight-forward project, that's where we are going to start. We have submitted several grant applications to purchase new tender steel at this time. By having those funds on hand, we can start that portion of the restoration in late 2016. Our colleagues at the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railroad have offered us use of their riveting jaws. We hope at least a portion of the restored tender will reflect the traditional railroad shop fabrication technique. 

New England Steam Corporation members are responsible for the purchase and the further restoration of Maine Central 470. The corporation itself is a custodial body for our priceless treasure. Be proud of what we have accomplished together and revel in where we are going. 

Photos are courtesy of Kerri Marion, an independent history blogger in the Waterville area.

Shop Building Grants Received

The Board of New England Steam Corporation wishes to announce that they NESCo is the recipient of two grants to construct an all-weather shop facility at Washington Junction, Maine, on the tracks of the Downeast Scenic Railroad. 

A grant of $10,000 has been awarded by the Deupree Family Foundation, and a grant of $51,400 has been awarded by the Samuel Freeman Foundation. These generous awards will be used to construct a 50' x 100' arch-tarp structure, which will be seated upon re-purposed cargo containers, on a footing of crushed stone.

This structure is based upon a design suggested and developed by senior Civil Engineering students of the University of Maine. It is expandable in the future, if deemed necessary. The student design was a capstone project which culminated in the awarding of their engineering degrees. 

The arch-tarp structure will be ordered from Tarp-Rite company of Woodstock, New Brunswick, and is designed to withstand wind and snow loads commonly sustained in the Maine winters. The cargo containers will provide individual shop and storage spaces, as well as a library and office for New England Steam Corporation. 

Volunteers of the Downeast Scenic Railroad prepared the track 7 siding to receive locomotive 470 over the summer, with new ties and track leveling. The shop building will be shared with DESR to perform maintenance on an "as needed" basis. This structure will be the first indoor facility to house locomotive 470, since 1954.