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 Post subject: UP Open House at Cheyenne Steam Shop, 5/16/2015
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 11:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:51 pm
Posts: 125
I went on the shop tour. Busses picked up visitors in front of the repurposed Cheyenne depot and took visitors to the shop. After signing releases, visitors were welcome to walk around most of the shop. Machine tool area was cordoned off. On display were the 844 and the 4014. The 4-8-4 was available for broadside photos, minus its fourth driver set. The Big Boy was sandwiched in, only front views were available. You could walk up a ramp on the diesel era platform next to the locomotive and look in the cab through a side window.

Two young men who were part of the shop crew were answering questions. On display were various small parts and some tooling. Included was a portion of a flexible staybolt showing rather severe corrosion to my eye.

I asked what the schedule for restoration was. In order, 844, then 4014, and finally 3985. I asked about the timeline. One fellow told me that some optimists thought the 844 would be back in service for a few trips "late this year". My sense was the guy I was talking to thought 2016 was more likely. I noted that there were new flexible staybolts installed. He did say the money is already allocated for the restoration of the 4014.

Years ago, when I was wearing a green suit compliments of Uncle Sam, I walked through the roundhouse. At the time there were three non-operational steamers in the building. 833, a sister 4-8-4 was a parts source and still is. There was also a 2-10-2, and a 4-6-0 which my dim memory recalls having won a prize at some exposition when it was new. They and the 3985 are in a physically separate segment of the roundhouse. I inquired about the 3985. I was told that "someone" not further defined, had drilled some additional holes in one of the boiler courses which had not been "engineered". This unsanctioned work was going to require replacement of the boiler course. The guy I talked to said the engine after being returned to service had a history of breaking staybolts. His opinion was the locomotive would need heavy work and that was why it was at the bottom of the list .

The shop tour drew quite a crowd. One large bus and two smaller transit buses were in constant rotation between the depot and the shop.

Alex Huff


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