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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:39 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The July status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

A lubrication system terminal check valve has been cleaned and inspected and is now back on the shelf, ready for the pressure to be set before installation.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Something I wanted to share -

We had surprise visitors to the Engine House late Monday afternoon after everyone but Patrick Durand was gone for the day. A team from the Federal Railroad Administration, including their northwestern steam locomotive specialist stopped by to review the progress of 557's boiler restoration. Their comments from the "Description" block of the official Inspection Report includes a comment to the ARRC -

"Conducted unannounced site visit and progress inspection of Steam Locomotive #557 at the Wasilla engine house. The condition of 557 and the quality of repairs appear to be of exceptional quality and the attention to detail is outstanding."

(I don't have a photo of the FRA visit, but here is one from eight years ago this month when the 557 was moved from Anchorage to Wasilla to begin her expected two-year long restoration.)


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File comment: Eight years ago this month, 557 made her move to Wasilla where she was optimistically projected to be starting a two-year restoration.
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:53 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 256
That is interesting you are making brass brake shoes. Not sure I have ever heard of that before. I hope you leave them unpainted and shine them up for the first run.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:27 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Not bronze brake shoes, bronze shoes that are part of the shoes and wedges that provide the sliding surface and some adjustment for wear where the driver journal boxes slide in the frame pedestals so the axles can move up and down over track roughness.


Last edited by Dick_Morris on Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:33 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:36 pm
Posts: 29
Dick_Morris wrote:
"Conducted unannounced site visit and progress inspection of Steam Locomotive #557 at the Wasilla engine house. The condition of 557 and the quality of repairs appear to be of exceptional quality and the attention to detail is outstanding."


Any day you can get a surprise inspection from any government agency and get a comment like THAT from the inspector is a good day. Congratulations to everyone involved for passing with flying colors!


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The latest Engine 557 status report is linked at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html. There are also links to the status reports chronicling our first eight years of the restoration.


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File comment: Rebuilt rods, with new bushings, are being treated to prevent rust before they go back on the shelf.
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:31 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The newest Engine 557 status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

When we started disassembly, a number of suspension issues turned up. All the bushings were badly worn, there were broken spring leaves and a broken coil spring, and an oak block was wedged above the front right front journal box to prevent its movement. The front frame extension was bent upward, a bit higher on one side than the other. One result of the frame damage was that the guide for the front truck was worn lopsided. With the boring and sleeving of the guide, this final suspension issue is now corrected.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
We are pleased to announce that five donors have pledged $50,000 in matching challenges to kick off the Engine 557 Restoration Company's 2020 fund raising drive. We appreciate your consideration of support of Alaska Railroad #557's return to operation. Go to http://www.557.alaskarails.org/support/donate.html for contact information.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:10 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The newest status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

I missed announcing the posting of last month's report. It is at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

In the photo, a main rod and a side rod are being trial fitted to check the bearing fit. The drivers' treads and all journal surfaces were overhauled at Tennessee Valley Railroad several years ago. Volunteer Jeff DeBroeck machined new rod bushings in-house and and oversaw their fitting in the rods. Overhauled journal boxes are being overhauled by a contractor in the Lower 48 states and we expect their shipment back to Alaska this month. After seven years on blocks 557 will be back on her wheels early next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1315
Is that a regular box fan blowing on one of the bushings, does that have something to do with making the bushing fit? The short sleeves look like it is summer there when the photo was taken. LOL, I probably wouldn't trust that sawhorse and wood block.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The photo was taken last month. You don't overhaul a steam locomotive in Alaska if you aren't tough!

The saw horses were made for us by a local fabricator and are more than up to the task. Here is a better photo taken when we were cleaning and polishing the rods about eight years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:04 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 404
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
A special December status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

Trial fitting the hand rails and new piping gives the crew a sense of accomplishment!


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Great to see another update on this locomotive. You guys are doing a terrific job!

I like the angle of that picture that you posted, as you can really see how everything appears to have been designed for limited vertical clearances. Neat to see.

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Jim Evans


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