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 Post subject: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:12 pm
Posts: 12
I've been searching online for status on Heber Valley RR steam locomotives 618 and 75, but haven't seen any recent updates. Does anyone know the status of either of them, and how close they are to returning to service? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 635
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I was in Heber a couple of weeks ago. I didn't talk to anyone, but one of the doors to the shop was open and they were both inside. #75 is still fully disassembled and nowhere near completion. #618 was only partially visible but has been in the same spot for a couple of years. There's been no local announcements about any upcoming return to steam in the near future.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2502
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
davew833 wrote:
I was in Heber a couple of weeks ago. I didn't talk to anyone, but one of the doors to the shop was open and they were both inside. #75 is still fully disassembled and nowhere near completion. #618 was only partially visible but has been in the same spot for a couple of years. There's been no local announcements about any upcoming return to steam in the near future.


To infer nothing has happened to 618 because it's been "sitting in the same spot" is not a good way to judge progress. You have to look at the details. Quite a lot of work has gone into the 618 over the past few years, and when I was up there last Friday, I noticed it. What I've noticed (and it's probably nowhere near a complete list of what's been done):

drivers have new tires
driver boxes rebuilt
all of the running gear rebuilt
superheater units cleaned, tested and repaired if necessary
tender trucks completely rebuilt
leading truck is being rebuilt, including turning the wheelset
conversion to oil firing in progress.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 635
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I'm glad to hear of the progress on #618. I wasn't inferring that no work had been done-- I'm sure that it has. I wasn't invited into the shop to inspect the work, so I was just commenting that I couldn't see anything except that the locomotive was in the same spot inside the shop that it had been on previous recent visits.

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David Wilkinson
KSL TV, Salt Lake City, UT


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:28 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2502
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
davew833 wrote:
I'm glad to hear of the progress on #618. I wasn't inferring that no work had been done-- I'm sure that it has. I wasn't invited into the shop to inspect the work, so I was just commenting that I couldn't see anything except that the locomotive was in the same spot inside the shop that it had been on previous recent visits.


I am being sent a list of all of the work that has been performed on 618 and when I receive it, I will post it. From what I've seen so far, it's quite impressive.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:07 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Utah
The best source for information about any project is the people behind the project.

Having unintentionally caused a firefight about Heber Valley myself, my advice is never ask this board anything about that line. Contact somebody with the railroad directly and they will give you honest information.

I will say that the 618 is progressing and the railroad's staff are doing everything possible to restore it.

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Josh B.
The official D&RGW 223 website


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 652
Anybody know the builder's number for this crane?

American 40 tons Diesel Electric
US Air Force #C-282 McClellan AFB, CA
California State RR Museum Sacramento, CA 01-94
Heber Valley RR #C-282 2008
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMH3 ... rane_C_282


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:12 pm
Posts: 12
I called The Heber Valley RR and spoke to a ticket agent. She said they hope to have steam running again sometime next year (2018), provided they continue to get the funding they need. Given the nature of steam locomotive restorations, that sounds like it's certain to be unlikely. Time will tell.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2502
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
That's a fairly unreasonable inference you make there based on the conversation. Work has progressed greatly on 618 since it was brought into the shop in late 2013 (I think) or 2014. A 2018 return to service date is feasible, considering the progress made and the work performed.

Here's a partial list of the work that has gone into 618:

-New cab floor;
-New cab rear waist sheet;
-New frame bolts;
-Rear tube sheet knuckle patch;
-All side rods remachined on print distances and corrected center to center;
-Side knuckle pin holes machined;
-All new knuckle pins;
-Driver centers all turned to a uniform size (The UP used shims to hold on the old tires, and the 8 driver centers were 8 different sizes);
-Over 100 lbs of welding rod put into the driver centers to repair cracks;
-All crank pins remachined for correct quarter;
-New driver tires;
-All axle centers remachined (three of which were damaged from an unknown impact);
-Left main crankpin replaced; and
-Tender trucks rebuilt, new wheels ans springs, welded repairs to truck frames.

This is a partial list, I'll post the rest as I get the info, I've been busy this week and was busy last week.

The vast majority of this work has been undertaken by just two full time members of the shop staff, in addition to doing all of the mechanical work necessary to keep the railroad operable, along with assistance from volunteers on the weekends.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:12 pm
Posts: 12
That's an impressive amount of work you've completed there. As someone who's familiar with steam locomotive restoration, I know that 99 times out of 100, it takes longer than originally estimated. That is in no way a judgement about your operation or any other organization involved in such a great undertaking.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:09 am
Posts: 59
Has there been any recent news/updates about the Heber Valley Railroad's steam locomotives?

Does anyone have an idea of when we might be able to expect either #618 or #75 to return to operation, and do they have any plans to work on their "newly" acquired 0-6-0 #300?

I'm just curious.

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Chris H.

- Diesels are boxcars with an engine, but steam is an iron horse.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2502
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
SteamEnthusiast4000 wrote:
Has there been any recent news/updates about the Heber Valley Railroad's steam locomotives?

Does anyone have an idea of when we might be able to expect either #618 or #75 to return to operation, and do they have any plans to work on their "newly" acquired 0-6-0 #300?

I'm just curious.


Work has started on 618’s tender. It was reported at the last board meeting that the baffles have been removed. A contractor will soon sand blast the tank interior so repair work can commence. Once complete, the baffles will go back in and the tender will be complete. Work has also progressed on the locomotive itself recently, including fitting up a new fire door. 618 will be finished before 75. Heber only has five full time employees, and many volunteers who work on 618 in addition to keeping the railroad running. There are also a lot of projects going on, like the construction of a new 30,000 square foot building to store passenger equipment securely.

300 is a cosmetic project only. Some volunteers were needle scaling it.

Heber hauled over 110,000 people last year, so things are good and moving forward.

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David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


Last edited by wilkinsd on Thu May 17, 2018 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1328
Location: Strasburg, PA
wilkinsd wrote:
Heber hauled over 110,000 people last year, so things are good and moving forward.

Wow! Back when I knew the place, 65,000 was considered a good year.

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C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Heber Valley RR steam locomotives
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 11:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2502
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Kelly Anderson wrote:
wilkinsd wrote:
Heber hauled over 110,000 people last year, so things are good and moving forward.

Wow! Back when I knew the place, 65,000 was considered a good year.


It's rather impressive. The current Executive Director, Mark Nelson, has been very good at marketing the railroad to the general public. Mike Manwiller and his mechanical staff works very hard keeping the railroad running and reliable. Refunding tickets due to a mechanical failure, once a common occurrence before 2004 are now a distant memory. It's a neat operation to see and be involved with.

While a lot of the local foamers and railfans bemoan the lack of steam, the fact of the matter is that things like increased ridership help put the railroad on a solid financial footing, so things like steam are sustainable in the long run.

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David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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