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 Post subject: SP / T&NO 786 (Austin Steam Train Assoc.)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:57 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 487
Just happened to look at the Austin Steam Train Association website and found this status with a recent date. They talk about "Spring" work, so maybe some of this report is a bit dated?



Needless to say, many hours have been spent during the Spring in behind the scenes work in measuring and producing drawings for correct machining of the driving boxes. A tip of the hat to our volunteers Greg Duepner and John Mandell who have been working with Strasburg to get this fairly complex task accomplished.

The bearing boxes (2 per axle) ride on the axle journals and support the entire weight of the locomotive. They are cast steel, machined and fitted with a “crown brass” (actually a special bronze). Babbitt metal is formed on the sides for a thrust bearing. New bearing boxes had been cast a few years ago, but it was determined they were too thin to be used. So, Strasburg Rail Road arranged for new castings, machined them beautifully and installed the crown brasses and babbitt thrust faces. An excellent job, on-schedule and on-budget! Strasburg RR has been a real pleasure to deal with.

The cylinder heads, front and back for each cylinder, had been cast new and machined in Muscle Shoals, AL. It was discovered that the diameter of shoulder (the part of the head that is inserted into the cylinder bore) was left too large by about 1/16″ so it could not be assembled. We contracted with a large machine shop in Taylor, TX (Babco) to machine the diameter of the shoulder down to the proper, accurate size (26.220″). This will allow the heads to be assembled and bolted on for a hydrostatic pressure test, to be done at a later time.

  • Also, the trailing truck, now with the new bushing welded in, has been flipped to its normal position and painting is complete.
  • Trailing truck pivot has been aligned and tack welded into the support strap and will be attached to the frame with tapered bolts.
  • Essentially, all the wheel restoration work is complete.
  • Pilot has been painted and is on display at the passenger platform until it can be installed on the frame.
  • Remaining parts inventoried, springs and rigging laid out in the yard.
  • Appliances such as the turbine, power reverse, cold water pump for the feedwater heater, cross compound air pump, air jacks and air motors for the reamers have been lubricated and operated as part of our periodic maintenance program.
  • Periodic cleaning and coating the rods with a moisture resistant coating which has held up well considering all the rain we have received in the Spring months.
  • Tested fit of the face on the smoke box for hinge hole drilling.


Next up on the restoration list will be:

  • Installing the studs on the new cylinder saddle, fitting the new valve and piston head castings, blanking off the exhaust ports and running a hydro test on the cylinder saddle.
  • Begin drilling and tapping holes for remaining studs on the lower half of the smoke box as well as installation of the lower hinge so the face can be permanently mounted on the smoke box.
  • Spot re-priming and painting the frame.
  • Fabricate oil cellars on the driving boxes so we can mount the boxes on the axles.


There’s much appeal to the return of 786 to active, steaming life, whether it’s the importance of preserving her as an artifact of American railroading’s high-water mark, or just the irresistible sights, sounds and smells of a moving steam locomotive. If you want to be a part of getting her back in steam, we would be most appreciative of your time and talents, your financial support or both.

To donate to the restoration of the 786, please click HERE.

To volunteer on our restoration team, please email us at

 Post subject: Re: SP / T&NO 786 (Austin Steam Train Assoc.)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:01 pm
Posts: 15
Long process. I helped with removal of the jacket back in 2001 while stationed at Ft. Hood. It would be great to see it live again.

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