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 Post subject: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:40 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:36 pm
Posts: 139
Was $2.8 million really spent on a project that is returning in pieces? Was the Crown sheet problem found in the initial Ultra-sound? Was not 315 restored by volunteers in less than 10 years? No wonder Mr. Cessna wants to take a long hard look at the entire process.

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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:51 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:05 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Glad I rode her on the York, PA. runs in the 1980s. Doesn't look like I'll have another chance for quite a while.


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:41 pm 

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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
The cubic volume of machinery in 1361 is a great deal more than the narrow gauge 315, and the technology in 1361 is more advanced and complicated. Note the story quote that Canadian Pacific spent $3 mil. on their hudson.

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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:54 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1209
I would like to know more about the status of the project such as the cost impact of the newly discovered firebox problem, and the reason for the cut in funding. I would like to know whether the two issues are related or just happened to occur at the same time.

Also it would be interesting to learn whether the new firebox problem was an established defect that was not discovered until now, or if it is simply an established condtion that has suddenly become a defect because of a change in boiler regulations.

RTK


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:45 pm
Posts: 362
OK, I'll ask the question that's been eating at me since this came out. If this is in fact an "established defect", as it well may be, how far reaching can this be? I seem to recall other restorations of similar classes of locomotives that are on-going. (G5-s), etc.

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Rich O


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:06 am
Posts: 465
Location: NE PA
Please allow me to answer a few of the questions poised on this board. I have worked 4 years on this project and the last 6 months as the somewhat reluctant on site project leader. I do not know the amount of funds spent on this project. The crown sheet is not the issue at this time, rather it is the outer Belpaire roof sheet and its supporting staybolts that are in question. An ultra sound test does not find flawed enginnering, which is the underlying problem with the sheets and stays. The staybolt spacing (5 1/8 X 4 1/2) is too great for the thickness of the sheet even if it were new(the entire wrappper was only specified to be 3/8" when new). Even if the sheet thickness were increased the stresses on the crownstays would be in excess of those permitted by the FRA. The extent of the flawed engineering is not known completely (thus the cost of repairs is still unknown), thus the shutdown was necessary to allow for the engineering to catch up. The factor of safety of 4 requiredment has not changed since this boiler was built, the new 1999 regs have no bearing on this issue.

I would be curious to know if other organizations have discovered flawed engineering in their boilers when calculating their new form 4s? I would hope that by my making this public other groups would learn a valuable lesson from this project, do not assume it has to be okay because it ran that way for 50 years! We tried to come up with answers as to why this flawed engineering came about, but have not discovered a total answer. Lesson: Complete your boiler survey before even writing up a work scope. There are some other issues that are contributing reasons for the work to come to a halt.

The funding issue has been on going issue since late winter/ early spring and to the best of my knowledge was a seperate issue from the flawed enginnering issue.

I do not know on how this issue affects the other PRR locomotive restorations, but I suspect they may have similar issues, after all it was "The Standard Rairoad of the World".

Mike Tillger


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:51 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:06 pm
Posts: 314
Location: Altoona PA
Mike is the voice of what really went on with this locomotive over the last half-year. Nobody knows more about where we stand in this project than he does. Without Mike's integrity and leadership - as he says - somewhat reluctantly - we wouldnt even be in a position to be making the intelligent decisions we will be making to move the project forward again.

Mike didn't need to take the "supervisor" job back in December but did it for the sake of seeing the locomotive get moved towards completion. Under very trying circumstances - some of which still blocking the path of progress - he and the single most dedicated and talented crew that had been assembled during the life of the project were able to first make great progress and then identify the reasons why things had to change directions in order to do things right.

I hope everyone reads and understands Mike's explanation of where we are. It is dead-on accurate. Laying off this crew was the hardest decision we made to date and at the risk of sounding patronizing, I want to publicly commend everyone who was involved in the project but especially Walt Elvidge, Charlie Rice, Mike Adams, Joe "The Best Machinist Alive" Kadelak, and Mike Tillger for doing more with less than any group of guys I know. Any of you out there needing locomotive work done would do yourselves well to have any of these guys. Well done gentlemen.


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361...issues with other locomotives
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:49 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:41 pm
Posts: 814
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Mike,
I do know of one locomotive that had a similar issue. There is a Balwin built 2-8-2 that was built minus two of the front sheet braces. The lower was missing on one side and the upper on the other. The problem was found and two braces put in after some 80 or so years.
Guess those boys were out of that size that day and just fiured nobody would ever notice...


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:57 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 625
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
So is the aforementioned engineering flaw something that existed from when #1361 was first built, or is it a result of the later rebuilding attempts?


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:02 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 535
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
I've often wondered why parts, even very large parts could not be swapped out with sister #3750 at the PRR Museum. Reading the above may have answered that question?

I might assume that if the 3750 were ever to be restored it would require the same exact forbidding repairs to the Belpaire roof sheet, and even more so, the replacement and addition of extra staybolts?

Regarding 1361's future - I've heard people call to return it to static display despite years of work and millions of dollars, both private and public which sounds insane, especially at this stage of the project - just how much (ballpark) would the above repairs cost? I am guessing the restoration is way past the half way point after that dollar amount is added?

Thanks to the group that had "done more with less", and everyone involved as it should never be forgotten that everyone's intention and hardwork involved the same goal.

/Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:15 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
Question for Mike Tillger:

Quote:
The staybolt spacing (5 1/8 X 4 1/2) is too great for the thickness of the sheet even if it were new(the entire wrappper was only specified to be 3/8" when new). Even if the sheet thickness were increased the stresses on the crownstays would be in excess of those permitted by the FRA.


What is the corresponding staybolt pitch on the crownsheet?

M Austin


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:20 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1597
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
I would join in to thank Mike Tilger and his crew for their hard work and dedication towards the goal of returning this iconic engine to service.
As an interested long term observer of this endeavour I must say that from my perspective it has been a classic real life example of the old adage..."a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing".... From the beginning, the fundamental problem here has been a series of project "managers" (not the on the shop floor guy-the upstairs guy) who have made a series of very hard to understand decisions that have sealed this final outcome. Some of those critical decisions defy either common sense or common logic.
I would hope that if the decision is taken to make another attempt at returning her to service, that the effort be put under the authority of a project manager with an established successfull track record of mainline steam restorations and EVERYONE else is kept STRICTLY out of it!!!
IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:57 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1224
Location: Strasburg, PA
Mike Tillger wrote:
I would be curious to know if other organizations have discovered flawed engineering in their boilers when calculating their new form 4s?


We have done Form 4 calculations on dozens of boilers over the years. Finding flawed engineering from the builder or from subsequent modifications by the railroad are so common, it is almost a red flag when we don’t find them. The flaws found are usually of a relatively minor nature (if there is such a thing, perhaps relatively easy to repair nature would be more accurate), such as an overloaded brace that needs to be replaced with a larger size, or a steam dome lid that is too thin, but they do exist in a majority of boilers.

davew833 wrote:
So is the aforementioned engineering flaw something that existed from when #1361 was first built, or is it a result of the later rebuilding attempts?


PRR made a design change in the 1940's that weakened the roof sheet. Combine that with zero corrosion allowance in the original design.

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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:57 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8301
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
I would hope that if the decision is taken to make another attempt at returning her to service, that the effort be put under the authority of a project manager with an established successfull track record of mainline steam restorations and EVERYONE else is kept STRICTLY out of it!!!


Though I may agree with your premise, what would happen if, just to hypothesize, said manager comes back with the following statement:

"It would be cheaper and more cost effective to build a new K4s out of scratch, using corrected engineering and modern upgrades to techniques, than to attempt to reverse and correct both the flawed engineering of the original design and the various mis-repairs and deterioration of what is now truly a basket case beyond redemption. It was a bold effort, but in hindsight it should never have been taken in the first place, let alone this far."

How will that look to all those folks who were hyped up about their hometown steamer? About it representing the craftsmanship of their city, "Official State Steam Locomotive," blah blah blah?

All of this keenly looks like the guy that puts $60K and ten years into restoring a car that ends up being worth only $20K on the market. That's fine when it's someone's private money, but then someone had to go and get the bright idea to throw government money at this........

Trust me, I still wear my 1361 belt buckle proudly, and I'm glad I got to see her steam and run. But I can't help but think what an albatross the current museum/project administrations have inherited..........


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 Post subject: Re: K4 #1361
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2067
Location: Northern Illinois
Mike Tillger wrote:
Please allow me to answer a few of the questions poised on this board...


Mike Tillger



Thank you for a very clear and concise explanation of the current state of affairs, but it leaves me with a question. Previously we have had posted an account by a Mr. Joe Michaels, who apparently did the engineering on a roof sheet repair. Am I correct that this is the very same sheet that is the problem now? I was originally going to ask how this could still be a problem if the FRA had already approved the repair, when it dawned on me that very likely Mr. Michaels had only been retained to engineer the patch, and designed a solution that retained its original design strength without delving into the question of whether such strength would be adequate to ensure the certification of the entire job. Am I interpreting the facts correctly here?

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