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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 551
QJdriver - I appreciate you taking the time to answer some of my questions about your project. This is the type of thread that makes RYPN worthwhile. Best of luck to you. I am looking forward to seeing Audrey in steam. Yours appears to be a privately-funded project and so I do not want to pry. That said, I've always enjoyed your articles and posts and have a high regard for your smarts. You mentioned that this has been five years in the planning so, if you could post some observations on your project management and why it works so well, what you'd do differently, and what past experiences (without throwing turds) led you to do things a certain way, that would be a good lesson for those who may be considering or are starting out in a restoration. It would certainly be a welcome change from some of the other now-deleted nonsense that has been posted lately. Thank you. Have a great weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 642
Location: Byers, Colorado
Robert and Dave --- You fellas can be sure that if I'm wrong, I'll be the first to admit it here, and you two will be the first ones that I ask for help. But, let's not overthink it --- Porter had built thousands of tank engines before they got around to Audrey. Do you really think they would have stayed in business if their locomotives couldn't steam well enough to do a day's work ? The first time I fired up an engine (by myself, no babysitter) was a Porter Forney, a third Audrey's size, but with the same front end arrangement. I had no fan over the stack, or source of compressed air, and I laid a fire on her grates like the boy scouts build a campfire, then splashed it with diesel. I tossed a kitchen match in there, and WHUMP, it lit front to back, side to side, corner to corner, instantly. A three foot tall stack with a 30" tall petticoat was all she needed to draft JUST FINE. In an hour there was steam coming from her vent valve, and in a couple more hours there was chugalug coming out the stack. THEN, I could use the blower, too....

Scranton Yard, much as I appreciate the compliments, I'm not sure what I can offer that is of any use, but I'll try. Your suggestion to not throw turds is a good place to start. Let being nice be your plan A. If you have to get nasty, at least you tried to be nice. I'd much rather make the mistake of being nice to somebody who deserves less, than to err on the side of being rude to somebody who deserves better. And, if you really have to say something nasty to somebody, be man enough to say it to his face, NOT behind his back, or by splattering it all over the internet.

First off, I don't suggest that ANYBODY follow in my footsteps. It's been a rough slog for one thing, but the good experiences I had when I was little are no longer possible besides that. The first time I drove a locomotive, I had to stand on the engineer's seat so I could see out the window. When I was 14, it was an NdeM 4-8-4. I suggest that my young friend Cody Muse is a better person to ask, because he has figured out how to belong in railroading in the present day. He is way ahead of where I was at his age.

Yes, my project is privately financed, 100% by me. Again, I wouldn't wish what I had to go through on anybody, and folks are sick of hearing how all my problems are somebody else's fault, even though it turned out to be TRUE after all. Then, there is also the fact that I have never had any success working with museums, groups, consortiums, societies, etc. NOW, I get that we NEED museums, tourist lines, etc. It's just that my advice is worthless. If I could get anything done through that system, well Whooopeee we would have had NdeM 3028 running long ago.

So, what have I done right ??? Good question. I see that three things are necessary for a successful restoration project:

1) You have to have a clear title to whatever you want to work on. I'd love to see NdeM 3028 get fixed up, but I have a much better chance with a little teakettle that I can put a wrench on and make decisions for. For somebody like me, a Fairmont motor car is a better choice than a friggin locomotiove, I only got involved because Audrey was an orphan with a very dim future, and she needed a sucker to take responsibility for her RIGHT NOW. One last thing, do all your negotiations to purchase or lease any equipment IN TOTAL SECRET. DO NOT TELL A SOUL, that way nobody can screw things up for you !!!

2) Which brings up the next point, you have to have the money to make your BS fly. Simple as that. I spent five years worrying 24/7 about where I would get it, or trying to find somebody who would give Audrey a better future than I could. I didn't start calling around for bids until I had "enough" to cover the whole job. I can tell you that 30 years ago you could have revived a big engine for what a little dinky costs today, and I can tell you that Audrey isn't big enough to ever earn her keep or pay back her overhaul costs. But that doesn't matter to me.

3) Just having an engine, and having money to throw around isn't enough. Just look at how many projects have flushed millions down the drain before reaching their goal, or else without EVER reaching it. LEARN THE BUSINESS ON SOMEBODY ELSE'S DIME. Otherwise you won't know what things should cost, or how long they should take, or when somebody else is either BSing you, or just plain doesn't know what they are doing/talking about.

You can be sure that the contractors on this job are all paying their employees a decent wage, and giving me my money's worth. All you can do is look at the track record of anybody that you consider dealing with, and then call around to see who gives you a good bid, and who treats you right. Best of luck to all, and everybody take care and WORK SAFE.

Oh yea. WEAR YOUR SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND FOLLOW THE SAFETY RULES. If I had been wearing knee pads when I had my accident in Guatemala (killer bees, etc) I would have two good legs today, and I wouldn't have to hire out all the work on my engine. TEN DOLLAR KNEE PADS.

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Sammy KIng


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5939
Sammy -

Words of wisdom! Thanks.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 551
Qjdriver - Thanks for the great post in response to my questions. Posts such as yours, in which you drew on your experience to lay out some practical suggestions, are what makes RYPN a great place. I've had enough of the "RYPN is dead", "rail preservation is dead", hearing peoples' personal political opinions, and all the name calling. Please keep posting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 642
Location: Byers, Colorado
You know, I could have gotten to the point faster by just saying that luck has something to do with success. Little Audrey must have been born under a lucky star to begin with. Then, it took a whole cluster of miracles for me to find her and keep her out of harm's way long enough to raise the dough. Me actually coming up with the cash was the latest miracle...

Neil Peart (drummer/lyricist for the Canadian band RUSH) defined luck as "When preparation meets opportunity".

This project came about because of RyPN. I first saw Audrey here, then Les Beckman gave up two months of his life to make the purchase happen. Tommy Gears, Mike Pannel, Cody Muse, and JC McHugh all joined the crusade via RyPN…

Audrey LIVES !!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4297
Location: Maine
Sammy, it's great to see you share credit where it's due. That's class!

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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2471
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
The McHugh Locomotive shop is humming with activity as work continues on the train that wouldn't die. We are nearing the end of the needle scaling and metal cleaning. Work has been started on the spring rigging. The spring rigging is in need of all new pins which are being made in house. These pins are the first new parts machined for Audrey in 60 or more years. Work on the eccentric straps is finished and they set aside for later. The oil cellars are also set aside. She was converted to oil sometime during her time at Coronet Phosphate.

Audrey is an example of a locomotive that was not only used, but used up. Probably not the worst candidate for restoration but in my estimation in the bottom 10%. Her owner, Sammy, is a man with a kind heart and a vision for her. Check back here to keep up with her progress.

Tom Gears
Project Lead
The Train that Wouldn't Die


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Audrey Eccentrics.jpeg
Audrey Eccentrics.jpeg [ 37.32 KiB | Viewed 737 times ]
Audrey Pins Lathe.jpg
Audrey Pins Lathe.jpg [ 55.17 KiB | Viewed 737 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 642
Location: Byers, Colorado
Bottom 10% ??? Gee, I dunno. What if she was 300 tons of trouble, instead of only 30 ???

Dick, much as I like to hear nice things said about me, I'm afraid that I often don't live up to it. Specifically, the only shot we have of Audrey in service is the rear 3/4 color view that has appeared several times in our publicity and discussion threads, and which was made available to us without royalties or copyright restrictions by the famous Florida rail historian, KEITH ARDINGER. The only thing he asked was that it be credited to the "Collection of Keith Ardinger", which we have thus far consistantly neglected to do.

I will try to have this corrected ASAP, and I publicly apologize to Mr. Ardinger for our mishandling of this matter.

When Tommy said "converted to oil", he meant the driving boxes have been changed over to wet cellars. Audrey was built as an oil burner, of course. And how about that JC McHugh ??? Audrey and I are both lucky as can be to have them take this job on.

It couldn't happen to a nicer locomotive....

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Sammy KIng


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:14 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1506
On the other hand, 90% used up implies only 10% concern over 'preserving historic fabric'! (I am not serious, but it had to be said somehow...)

I believe the New Zealanders started with worse, and look what they accomplished. This is another in the same vein.

The concern I have with drafting is the contrapositive to Sammy's point: you can bet that most industrial locomotives weren't carefully maintained for good, or even satisfactory drafting, so long as they could be flogged into doing the work. I'm quite sure Porter's did the cost-effective best they could at proportioning the draft -- and maybe they were inspired in their proportions and long-term construction integrity. We'll certainly know when the work is done, and the point is that 'no matter what' Audrey will wind up with a proper set of lungs on her.

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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 642
Location: Byers, Colorado
Awhile back, I nominated the gentleman in New Zealand for a preservation gold medal. The job he did ALONE, with no money, railroad work experience, or a shop to work in, while raising a family and holding down a FULL TIME JOB is so far beyond us, that he can't even be from the same planet as us. He even repaired the original boiler. He will most likely never be equaled.

Robert, we are indeed altering quite a bit of Audrey's "original fabric", but we're not changing her design very much. We ARE fixing stuff right, so that somebody forty years from now won't have to worry about patching up any corners we cut. Those little Porters are TOUGH, and I can assure you that Audrey still has plenty of fight left in her. I'm betting on her.... and to all a Good Night.

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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2471
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Today the boiler of Sammy King's former Coronet Phosphate No. 6 left the McHugh shop for the boiler vendor, Boilersmith Ltd. in Canada. A set of CAD drawings have been made by the vendor but the boiler will also be onsite to check and verify measurements.
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If you need to ship something to Canada there is a customs process, I'd be happy to share what I've learned with anyone -- just let me know.

Tom Gears


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:01 pm
Posts: 131
Tom,

Thank you for the updates. It's great to see the progress they are making in a short period of time.

Is Boilersmith making a new boiler?

Roger


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2471
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Yes, she will have a new FRA/ASME boiler.

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Wilmington, DE

Maybe it won't work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever.


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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2363
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Will the new boiler be constructed with flanged corner firebox and wrapper sheets? Threaded or welded staybolts?

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: The Train that Wouldn't Die
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 642
Location: Byers, Colorado
Welded staybolts. Flat tube sheets and door sheet, flanged throat sheet and backhead.

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Sammy KIng


Last edited by QJdriver on Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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