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Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
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Author:  557 mechanic [ Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

As Dick has noted there will be a number of improvements made to the engine as we progress along, all with an eye towards squeeking every once of tractive effort out 557 as possible and improve reliability. "I have a dream-" as the phrase goes, the conquering of the "loop" at the Tunnel district, a 10-14* curve that travels 340* around in a circle at a gradient of 3%. It would be nice to handle that unaided, not saying its going to happen, but it would be spectacular to watch the attempt. So we make the obvious changes, known to work like roller bearings were we can, 7/16 fire box, additional flexible stays, making sure all the drivers are very close to the same diameter and so on. Exteriorly most of these changes will hardly even be noticeable. Now the lempor exhaust- history says these engines were very powerfull for thier size and I have come across nothing yet to dispute that. The 5820 looks like they are having a good experience with thier Lempor experiment but appears to still be in the testing phase for now. What needs to be understood is that the 5820 is a coal burner, 557 is an oil burner and despite being near sisters will behave differently. All acounts are that 557 and her alaskan kin behaved very well in her present configuration and so will go back into service with the exhaust she was born with. No experimentation this time around. There is such a thing as making too manny changes all at once and then you lose the ability to track what either went wrong or went right. Besides the money that would be dumped into a Lempor exhaust is needed for other more critical repairs, If it aint broke, don't fix it. After her first season we can evaluate the performance and make changes that appear smart.

Maybe some day I can post a picture of 557 looking back on the loop with several coaches in mid February with a spectacular display of steam as only can be captured in sub freezing temperatures. Ahhh.....gives a person goose bumps :)

I will try to get back more often but as you can tell we have been a bit busy.

Jeff

Author:  Heavenrich [ Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

557 mechanic wrote:

....

Maybe some day I can post a picture of 557 looking back on the loop with several coaches in mid February with a spectacular display of steam as only can be captured in sub freezing temperatures. Ahhh.....gives a person goose bumps :)

I will try to get back more often but as you can tell we have been a bit busy.

Jeff


but will there be enough light that time of year to even get photos? <lol>

how about midnight photo run by on the Fourth of July or even better on Father's Day when at least snowshoes wouldn't be needed.

Thanks for the update and keep us posted.

Bob H

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

We continue to be successful on the public relations front. The Alaska Dispatch News, the State's largest newspaper, sent a photographer out a few days ago and has posted a nice slide show on their web page at http://www.adn.com/slideshow/photos-res ... motive-557. Several of the photos were run on the front page of yesterday's paper, occupying a full 25% of the space.

If you are following the status reports, a new one is posted at http://alaskarails.org./pix/former-loco ... index.html.

Author:  Kenny L [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Thanks for continuing to share the progress and share the website, I hadn't seen that yet. I think this image speaks volumes. http://alaskarails.org./pix/former-loco/557/restore/progress-reports/2014_08_15/memories.jpg

Author:  CO 2666 [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Im sure something has already been said about this earlier on in this thread but just out of curiosity, what ever happened to the tender 557 was paired with back when it was in Washington (Was painted for MON-ROAD RAILROAD)? Was it donated to a museum, scrapped, what?

Thanks,
/Andrew

Author:  Richard Glueck [ Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Most marvelous update in pictures. Well done, and a nice "goad" for the rest of us in a similar situation. Thank you keeping us all informed.

Author:  artchase [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Work has been getting in the way of my time on the restoration work, but the crew is doing some awesome work. Here are a few more update photos. And a big thank you to

Thanks to Stewart Sterliing for some of these photos... He's our official camera guy!

Art

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Author:  artchase [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Some additional shots....

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File comment: Oh the joy of sand blasting....
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Author:  artchase [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

A few more...

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File comment: She's back inside for winter work.
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Author:  artchase [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

And a couple more....

Answer to the tender question while she was in Moses Lake. Last I heard the tender is still there. I will try and get an update as to the status of the equipment that was still at Monty's property.

Art

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Author:  JJG Koopmans [ Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

557 mechanic wrote:
....Now the lempor exhaust- history says these engines were very powerfull for thier size and I have come across nothing yet to dispute that. The 5820 looks like they are having a good experience with thier Lempor experiment but appears to still be in the testing phase for now. What needs to be understood is that the 5820 is a coal burner, 557 is an oil burner and despite being near sisters will behave differently. All acounts are that 557 and her alaskan kin behaved very well in her present configuration and so will go back into service with the exhaust she was born with. No experimentation this time around. .....
Jeff


Next best to a Lempor is just a multiple exhaust orifice as your Mr Everett Young of Illinois University showed already in 1933. The major difference between a coal and an oil burner is the systematic lack of combustion air, meaning that the orifice in most cases is smaller than that of the coal burner. So if you want a locomotive without excessive smoke and proper power I would give the present front-end some second thoughts, after all we understand it slightly better than 60 years ago!
Kind regards
Jos Koopmans

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Happy birthday, #557!

ARR #557 was delivered on November 2, 1944. Tip a cold one to help us celebrate her 70th birthday. Gifts to help with her makeover are welcome!

We have learned that her delivery closed an era for the Alaska Railroad. We found a document verifying that #557 was the last new steam locomotive that the railroad purchased. Although five more S160s were later added to the roster, these were obtained by transfer of surplus material from the War Department and at least one of them saw time in Europe. At $58,072.53, #557 was cheaper than 551 through 554 which were obtained 15 months earlier at a unit cost of $60,837.10 plus an additional $1,239.60 for conversion to ARR specifications by installation of a generator, electric lights, power reverse, bell, pilot, and U.S. style couplers.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

October's 557 status update has been posted at http://alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/ ... index.html

Among the photos is one showing how we move a wheel-less locomotive into the "engine house" for the winter - our donated loader with both bucket and forks has been worth its weight in gold. We will really appreciate it this winter when the first major snow storm buries our parking area.

Another photo shows the set of new tubes and flues waiting to be shipped north. We expect them to arrive in about three weeks thanks to an in-kind donation of the shipping from Lynden Transport. It's may take some creativity to find enough room for them in the "engine house."

We now have an easier-to-remember web address that goes directly the 557 portion of John's Alaska Railroad web page. The new address is 557.alaskarails.org

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The Engine 557 Restoration Company has reached a milestone in its fiscal standing - it has finally been designated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Prior to this all grant requests and funds had to be processed through a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation with whom we had an operating agreement.

The new status is the result of many hours of work by volunteers and pro bono assistance by a legal firm to prepare the application, followed by a six-month wait for the IRS to notify us that the request was successful. We can now be more agile and aggressive in raising funds and redirect some former fundraising expenses directly to the restoration.

To break in the new 501(c)(3) we have arranged for a limited amount of special challenge funding, available for only a short time. For every dollar contributed, four dollars will go towards the restoration. Details can be found at the new, easier to remember URL - http://www.557.alaskarails.org.

Author:  artchase [ Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Thought you ight enjoy an update of the 557's progress. The loco was brought back inside and work continues on the peices and parts that get little noise but will be big in the reassembly process. Work this last weekend was on the brake rigging, building up pins on the equalizer bars and laying things out. New brass was applied to the power reverse guide and will be milled in the shop here. Work began on the superheater tubes. The fire box front and rear sheets are back and the side sheets are soon to join. Then the next major hurdle will be the installation of the firebox.

Fund raising has been going well and the matching funds are making this project move along well.

We appreciate all the interest and hope these photos will give and idea of the work.

Thanks
Art and crew.

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File comment: Art working on equalizer rod pins.
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