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 Post subject: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:05 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 85
Here are a few items going on around the Grand Canyon Railway Shops.
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4128 & 4124 by shop.jpg
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Our newest locomotive acquisitions, #4124 and #4128, have been pulling trains regularly. Both of these F-40’s were acquired from New Jersey Transit in 2016 and were placed in service this past winter.
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Fire Hose.jpg
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It’s been a dry winter, and we’re expecting a rough fire season. Here is one of our portable fire fighting rigs. These were purchased many years ago but never placed into service. Our Vehicle Team is checking out the system for proper operation.
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4960 Nitrogen.jpg
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4960 ran the train to the Canyon this past Saturday. As part of our water treatment program, it receives a nitrogen blanket between runs. It’s next scheduled outing is April 21st. So on Monday, we will hook it up to a circulation heater to start warming up the water. By Thursday, it will be around 200 degrees. Then we will light a fire, bring it up to operating pressure, and check all the systems prior to it’s run on Saturday.
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Bright Angel Sink.jpg
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Our first class car, “Bright Angel”, will be getting a new sink arrangement in the bar area. The current basin was only used for ice storage. Attendants have requested a hand washing sink in the bar area, as the bathrooms are at the other end of the car. So, water lines have to be run the length of the car and a new water heater installed. The ice tub will be reduced in size to add the additional sink on the right, which will require some amount of custom stainless steel fabrication.
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4128 seats.jpg
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It seems that people in New Jersey are taller than those in Arizona, or they’re just used to ‘low riders’. The seats on 4124 and 4128 sit lower than those on our other locomotives, so the bases are being modified for added height adjustment.
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Yavapai Paint.jpg
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Because our Budd Stainless Steel Car fleet has varying histories, the cars all have a myriad of dents, designs, and surface conditions. Several years ago, it was decided that the fleet needed as much of a uniform look as possible. Instead of polishing each car to try and return them to their original luster, we have instituted a painting program. One by one, the cars come into the shop to have dents repaired and a coat of silver paint applied. The Yavapai is the last car in the fleet that needs this treatment. We have a 6 week window to get this done, as tickets are booked for Memorial Day weekend. As one of our two ADA compliant 1st class cars, it runs daily during our busy season. It also recently had a 150kw undercar generator installed.
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29 L-2 box.jpg
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Probably our most interesting project in the shop is the replacement of the crown brass on #29’s L-2 driver. After overheating on 2 consecutive trips, It was decided that it’s time had come. The original material had several surface cracks present. In the photo, the old brass has been pressed out, and the box is being positioned on the horizontal boring mill for measurement.
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29 #2 Driver.jpg
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Here is the #2 axle for #29. The left hand journal was hand polished and is ready for reassembly after the box is complete. Both journals were turned last year at an outside shop and are in fairly good shape.
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Ballast Train.jpg
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We just finished a busy 4 week Spring Break Schedule. During that time we ran 2 passenger trains to the Canyon each day, each one averaging 12 cars and 2 locomotives. Now that things are quieting down, it’s time to run some ballast trains. Here, the work train heads out of the yard to pick up rock from a line side quarry at MP 17. Rock will be distributed at various points along the RR. Ballast trains are scheduled for 4 days this week, with many more slated for later in the year.


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:17 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 989
Can you provide a brief synopsis of the specific water treatment regimen and startup/cooldown procedures you are using? These look to be candidates for Becky's 'best practices' manual...

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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 700
Location: MA
Were the NJT units made into "F40FH"s as well? Also are you useing the HEP from the NJT units. For those not familiar Amtrak f40ph Randy ATP off the prime mover requiring it to always be revving at Max Speed. A lot of the NJT units installed the separate caterpillar powered head and power generator by extending the rear of the locomotive body over the back porch so the prime mover but only need to move as fast as a corresponding throttle position.


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5202
hadder -

Very nice picture and comments report. Glad to see the work being done on #29. My only Grand Canyon run was behind that 2-8-0 unassisted (no diesel helper) so have a warm spot in my heart for her.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 643
Thanks for the updates and pictures. Does the former LS&I #29 get out very often? Again thank you. Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 218
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Interesting post Eric, thanks. Good to see all that going on.


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 85
Overmod wrote:
Can you provide a brief synopsis of the specific water treatment regimen and startup/cooldown procedures you are using? These look to be candidates for Becky's 'best practices' manual...


We use a chemical system that starts with DEHA for an oxygen scavenger. Our source water varies. When available, we use collected precipitation. If not available, the city municipal water system gets it's water from either surface lakes or wells, and the water quality can vary greatly. All water sources are run through a sand filter and ion exchange water softener. Chemical analysis on the boiler and tender are conducted after each run, and dosages varied based upon the results.

Typically, the Monday before a Saturday operation, we hook the boiler up to a 480V circulation pump and pre-heater. It takes water from the blowdown and returns it through the boiler check. It will raise the temperature about 2-4 degrees an hour, and is thermostatically controlled. By Thursday morning, the water temperature is around 190 degrees. The fire is lit, and we have water boiling in about 30 minutes. The pressure is brought up slowly, around 1 lb. per minute, until full operating pressure is reached. The boiler is secured for the night until 4:00am Saturday morning, when it has about 25 psi left. It's fired up again and ready by 8:00 am. After the run, the boiler is again secured.

Monday, when the boiler is cooled down to about 10 psi or less, we hook up the nitrogen to fill the vacuum space after the steam has condensed. We fill enough nitrogen to have the pressure gauge rise about 5 psi. Once a week, we replenish the nitrogen to reach a gauge pressure of about 10 psi, until the next operating day.


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 85
RCD wrote:
Were the NJT units made into "F40FH"s as well? Also are you useing the HEP from the NJT units. For those not familiar Amtrak f40ph Randy ATP off the prime mover requiring it to always be revving at Max Speed. A lot of the NJT units installed the separate caterpillar powered head and power generator by extending the rear of the locomotive body over the back porch so the prime mover but only need to move as fast as a corresponding throttle position.


Our NJT units have the separate Caterpillar diesel in the rear for HEP. These are functional and used regularly, although they are quite loud. It seems that there was not much effort put into noise reduction. One of our upcoming projects is to add sound insulation to the interior walls of the HEP compartment.

Eric


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:01 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3842
Location: Maine
What is the status of the FPA4's?
What about CB&Q 4960?

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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:22 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1684
Location: Pottstown,Pa.


Thanks Eric for a very interesting report. Sure nice to see steam still having a place in that operation. I had the pleasure of being a guest engineer a few years back running the 4960 and it was a real pleasure seeing what a professional operation it is.

Best wishes for a great 2018 season. Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:24 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 379
Eric,

Now that you are dumping ballast, does GCR have their own tie and surfacing equipment or do you sub that out?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 588
Eric

Thanks for the update. I see there are now eight active ballast cars now instead of five. Also are the fire packs different from the ones that Sam Imbleau used to use?

Robby


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:29 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 160
Eric,

The new power looks great. I'm going to be visiting Flagstaff sometime in the fall for a wedding so I'll be sure to swing by for a visit. Would love to see everything that's changed since I moved out in '14.


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:58 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 85
Richard Glueck wrote:
What is the status of the FPA4's?
What about CB&Q 4960?


Of the 5 FPA-4's that were in serviceable condition, 3 are in long term storage. 6773 & 6871 are in Williams, and 6776 is on display at Grand Canyon. #6793 & #6860 are in operation, and are typically used as trailing units behind the F-40's. Occasionally, we have need for 6 operable locomotives on a given day, and 5 F-40's is not enough.

4960 is in operable service, and has made 3 runs to the Canyon in 2018. It's next scheduled outing is this Saturday, April 21st, in celebration of Earth Day.


Quote:
Now that you are dumping ballast, does GCR have their own tie and surfacing equipment or do you sub that out?]


We have a ballast regulator and small tamper, which we use for small jobs. We contract out each summer for larger surfacing and alignment jobs. The goal is to have the ballast dumped (and ties changed) before they arrive.

Quote:
Also are the fire packs different from the ones that Sam Imbleau used to use?


Robbie, these fire packs were purchased around 2009.


Eric


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 Post subject: Re: The latest from Grand Canyon Railway
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:02 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 274
What are the plans for 29 when it comes due for the 1,472 in a few years?


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