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Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32533
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Author:  artchase [ Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

A little closer view...

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Author:  artchase [ Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

So for a short up date. We make continual constant advancements on the restoration of 557. The crew and leadership are focused and we can't say when, but we can she will return to the rails soon. Many grateful thanks go out to the crew at Steam Services of America for the work they are doing.

The boiler shell has completed sand blasting and awaits final inspection. We will soon be putting things back together again. Many of the appliances have already been rebuilt and will soon be placed back in their proper place.

There is a lot of love for this little engine going on. If you can, and feel inclined, please visit our progress page at http://alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/557/index.html and if you want to help, there is info there.

Art

Author:  artchase [ Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Just another shot of Steam Services of America's work.

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Author:  artchase [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Work continues on ARR 557. This last weekend crews were working a few specific areas that will get things ready for the second half of the project, adding everything back together. Robert Franzen was in town looking at the work accomplished in stripping the boiler down and the sand blasting work that was accomplished. The barrel and firebox end have been cleaned, and additional parts from various smaller projects have been repaired, sand blaster and painted.
We also completed the stripping down of major components on the tender, lifted and removed the trucks that are being rebuilt. Enjoy the photos and if you can help or offer support, we appreciate it.

Art

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Author:  artchase [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Some additional photos

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Author:  artchase [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Last batch.

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Author:  John Risley [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Bravo! Thank you for the details and pictures. Hats off to the crews and leadership.

Regards, John.

Author:  artchase [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Here are a few additional update photos from this last weekends work. I can't tell you how happy I am to share what has been 22 months of work for the 557 crew.

Here you see the accumulation of progress on the boiler interior. There are a lot of man hours put into this locomotive and we all care about her a lot. These are the shots from inside the barrel and the firebox end. Soon, we will truly be on the positive side of the restoration efforts.

Thank you for all the kind words from the RYPN followers.

Art. aka 'the boiler rat'

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Author:  artchase [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

And just to wet the whistle, our goal!

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Author:  bpetit [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

In terms of mechanical soundness, how has the rust and deterioration affected the parts?

Author:  artchase [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

So far, we have not encountered anything outside what forty years of wear and tear have shown. There where a lot of things that needed good solid rebuilding. Many of the critical items are in very good shape. The boiler and firebox need the usual attention after the long rest. The scale and rust on the interior of the boiler barrel where a little more than what was expected and I spent a few days removing hundreds of pounds of scale from the belly. ( oh the luck of being a skinny guy ). Many larger issues have only been found since we made the descission to take her to the frame and back. Pumps, power reverser, rods, bearings etc all showed the normal wear and tear.

As we have shared before. We are making this engine road worthy in every aspect. We are going to be expected to be able to hold track speed with our trains ...reliably... And with confidence from the railroad that we will not delay any operations. Period. So this is the driving force as to the depth of our rebuild.

Here's a nice comment from Steve Barry's blog... Thanks Steve.

http://blog.railroadphotographer.com/20 ... m.html?m=1

Art

Author:  steamfan765 [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

any idea when its supposed to be back operation?

Author:  artchase [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Officially when she is fully ready and totally road worthy.

Unofficial, if we can keep getting there, and the crew continues the most amazing work possible, wouldn't a spring steam be a great way to come out of break up!

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

When will it run again? When it's ready, like the "official" answer says!

I'm impressed with the speed that seems apparent in this restoration. Unless something turns up, I would say she could be ready inside of two years, perhaps inside of one. Just don't quote me, remember how often things can and do go wrong!

One thing that stands out is that it looks like this locomotive has a bar main frame--and a cast tender frame. That's an interesting combination. I can understand the bar frame--this would have kept weight down, and be easy to repair in primitive conditions--but the cast tender frame, well, that's something that was probably paid extra for.

Author:  artchase [ Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

At first we thought so to, but I promise you, she is a cast frame. We where puzzled at first because of the design and look of all the frame sections, but as we began peeling the years of paint and grim off, we found a frame that was cast and "cleaned up" with some rough tough methods. It appeared to be cast and cleaned with flame cutting. Maybe it was a process far different from most standards, maybe a really rough pattern . Here's a couple pics from last winter as we where in the beginning of the project.

I have also seen various manufacture markings on the loco, she had parts from many of the builders. These war babies were a combination of parts, made fast, effective and with a purpose to win the war. And then be cast aside. That they actually made it many years after, and served the railroad well is a testament to the design.

And one last thing on when. I just want you all to know, we are all volunteers. We have a consultant who has been with us from the beginning. There is a group of us traveling from all over the state ( hundreds of miles....often) to make this happen and they are bringing their skills, abilities and desire to bring 557 back to life. We have had an amazing out pouring from the community to make this happen and the spirit of the Last Frontier lives in this project. There's a lot of very funny informational sources about Alaskans out there, but those helping on this project are the real deal. We are friends and we love this 'Gypsy Rose'.

Thanks for the interest.

Art

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