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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:  Dick_Morris [ Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

We are extremely pleased to announce the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust's award of a $30,000 grant to the Engine 557 Restoration Company, for the purpose of building the capacity of the organization.

The grant will be used for strategic planning, including updating our Business Plan, and to compile a punch list of tactical action items needed to prepare the organization for the transition from primarily conducting locomotive restoration to building the capability to provide passenger operations.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The latest status report is posted at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/prog ... index.html

We finished nine days last Saturday manning a booth in the Alaska Railroad Depot as part of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous' winter carnival "Great Train Show." Two model railroad clubs bring out large HO, HOn3, and N gauge layouts once a year and they are visited by several thousand people. There are events and displays all around the city and the last day of "Rondy" is the ceremonial start of the Iditarod sled dog race which starts about two blocks from the depot, so we get visitors from around the U.S. and quite a few from outside of the U.S. We have found this to be an excellent way to build awareness and support for the 557 restoration and it also brings in some money from donations and the sale of pins, books, and hats.

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Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

A link to the newest restoration status report is at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

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Author:  Dick_Morris [ Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Help! We need to borrow or buy a 1 1/8" right hand neckdown style boiler stud tap for a single hole.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Thu May 16, 2019 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The most recent status update is available at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/prog ... index.html

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Author:  kew [ Thu May 16, 2019 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Should he be wearing some hearing protection?

Edit: Actually I think he's wearing some; those little ear plugs. Sorry about that.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

After spending countless hours over the last few years working towards the overhaul of the worn out suspension on 557, we just received four new leaf spring packs, the last of the major parts needed to return the suspension to factory specs.

The locomotive has the suspension divided into two independent sections. The front has four leaf spring packs and two sets of nested coil springs. The front portion of the suspension is equalized with the lead truck, which also has four sets of nested coil springs. As received, one of the coil springs in the front portion of the main suspension was broken and the right front journal was supported solid to the frame with an oak block. We inspected the four front leaf springs and found no broken leaves and the measured capacity of all four was fairly close. New custom coil springs were obtained and many new bushings and pins were manufactured to returned the components of the front portion to match the factory drawings.

The rear portion of the suspension received the same overhaul of the bushings and pins, but the rear leaf springs presented a problem. Only one of the four spring packs was usable. As can be seen in the photo, the others appear to have been cobbled together from parts from other locomotives which were adapted to fit 557. All three had broken or cracked leaves. When comparing the four spring packs, the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the others" came to mind.

We contacted a half dozen spring manufactures in the U.S. and Canada (including those suggested by others in previous RYPN posts). All we contacted either weren't interested or couldn't obtain the 7/16" thick material called for in the drawings. We then contacted Peter Best in the U.K. whose USATC #2253 is a sister to ARR 557 and is within weeks of returning to operation after an overhaul. He recommended Owen Springs in the U.K., who had overhauled/manufactured all of the leaf springs for 2253. After a several month wait for their turn in the manufacturing queue and sea voyages from the U.K. to Germany, Seattle, and then to Anchorage, we got a call last week from the shipper telling us the springs were available for pick up.

More on the saga of of our leaf springs, including what it cost us to ship them from the U.K. to Anchorage, is in the "557 Restoration Company" Facebook page.

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Author:  softwerkslex [ Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

I bet those were expensive.

Author:  softwerkslex [ Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Say, the design on the new springs does appear to be different than the old springs. Can you comment on that?

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Quote:
Say, the design on the new springs does appear to be different than the old springs.

There are several possible reasons.
1. It appears that at least a couple of the old springs were built up from spring leaves recycled from other locomotives.
2. Over 2000 of these locomotives were built over about four years. There were many changes made during the course of their construction, including to the springs.
3. For at least some of their production, Baldwin used their own spring design. It was interchangeable with the "standard" ALCO design, but had blunt leaf ends instead of clipped ends.

The new ones were manufactured to an ALCO drawing that we provided.

See our FB post for an approximate cost.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The latest status report can be reached at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html. Among the accomplishments in June, the original tender trucks, now overhauled with new wheels, axles, springs, brake shoes, and refitted with roller bearings, have been put back under the tender, leaving only a few minor details before the tender is fully ready for service.

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File comment: On a hot (for Wasilla, Alaska) 84 degree June 29, 557 poked her nose out the door for the first time in quite a while so the boiler shell could be sand blasted and painted.
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Author:  John Risley [ Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Another very well done and informative progress report. Really enjoyed the video from Owen Springs. Cobbling spring sets back together using springs from used sets is common repair. Hopefully the new springs correct all the wear and tear. Keep up the great work. Regards, John.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The newest status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

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Author:  Dick_Morris [ Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

What better way to keep the community involved that to invite them to a birthday party? According to her builder's plate, Engine 557 was born in September, 1944, making her 75 years old this month. About 120 people of all ages stopped by to wish her well. Here, President/Project Manager Pat Durand makes a photo appearance with volunteer Joan T. while Joan cuts the birthday cake.

The September status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

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Author:  Dick_Morris [ Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

August was a very busy and productive month for the Engine 557 restoration. Test fitting the accessories on the backhead is just one of the accomplishments chronicled in the the most recent status report. It, and previous reports can be reached at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

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