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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:41 pm
Posts: 814
Location: Bowling Green, KY
John E. Rimmasch wrote:
if I were in the shoes of ARR I would hang a sign on the cab noting the locomotive as non-compliant, I would hydro test the locomotive, with the jacket off. I would finish a good UT examination to be safe and sure and I would indeed test fire the locomotive. I would not haul a car with it, nor would I cross a public crossing or navigable waterway. I can assure you that every aspect of the locomotive will function. I can assure you that the locomotive would run great and other than the front truck tram issue....there is little to be done.



And in the instance where due diligence inspections are followed short of removing the tubes...... Steam testing performed to "check it out", I doubt a locked thread would be created....

I second the wish of good luck to the Alaskan Railroad!

Cheers, Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:38 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am
Posts: 21
FYI for any interested, 557 is being restored by a non-profit corporation. Engine 557 Restoration Company (E557RC).
Disassembly progresses at our "engine house", the old Kenai supply building in Wasilla, AK. The engine was moved there on an Alaska west express heavy haul lowboy as an in kind donation by parent company Lynden Transportation from the Anchorage shops at ARR. She was jioned there by her tender, a USATC tender donated by the Alaska museum of transportation and industry.
The work can be followed at http://www.alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/557/index.html

This is E557RC's official web site created by board member John Combs. A very large thank you goes out to the Alaska Railroad for facilitating the move from Washington and its continuing support. Jim and Vic Jansen are owed a debt of gratitude for purchasing the engine and starting the ball rolling to this present state.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Minneapolis, MN
The FRA requires removal of enough tubes and flues to perfom an adequate internal inspection of the boiler. Does this mean, for this locomotive, that ALL the tubes and flues will be removed? We know that they have very few hours on them, so is there a plan to carefully remove and safe end these or will all new tubes be purchased? It would be a shame to discard perfectly servicable items?


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:47 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 8:36 am
Posts: 159
The part 230 reqires that ALL tubes be removed for a 1472 return to service inspection, so I would guess that all the rubes are going to be pulled, and once the tubes are cut out, it is almost impossible to re-use them. The only tubes that there is ever an exception for are the superheater tubes.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
IF the tubes, having been removed, are in good condition and you have the pedigree for them in hand, they can be cut down, ends annealed, and installed in a locomotive with a shorter boiler between tube sheets. Alternatively, safe ended, annealed, and reinstalled.....but 2" tube material must become fairly costly before it is economically more feasable to do the safe end and reinstallation procedure rather than replacement. I did read a while back about an automated tube welder that could change that equasion, maybe somebody here can say more about that.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am
Posts: 21
All the tubes and flues will be removed as required by FRA. This engine started life as a coal burner and spent considerable time as such, was then converted to oil. Evidence revealing itself on disassembly indicates that she has had extensive time in service and is due the attention now being paid to her. 557 is a good candidate for restoration, but a paint job and a trip thru speedy lube won't cut it.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:17 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
How does this:

"There is something to remember about the 557. It is, in my honest opinion, the last NEW steam locomotive in the United States. The records that we have indicate less than 5000 miles of use. It was used as a training model for the Army. There have been about four boiler repairs made......simply for the sake of making repairs for training. The side rod brass, tires, pins, piping and appliances.....brand new! If we did not have the 49CFR Part 230 rules, I would have fired the locomotive up and run it to Wheeler. It would have done fine!"

....align with the most recent comments by 557 mechanic that "she has extensive time in service and is due the attention now being paid"?

Seems to be a divergence of opinion here. Just curious.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:47 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am
Posts: 21
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Howard P. wrote:
How does this:


Seems to be a divergence of opinion here. Just curious.

Howard P.


I'm glad you posted that Howard.

I was going to but figured I'd see how it panned out.

But, yeah, big difference in view points.



Hey now, don't walk into a cafeteria and yell food fight :)


Maybe not so much a difference of opinion as a difference in perspective?

We here in alaska have access to whats left of the records and if you visit alaskarails.org you can find pictures of 557 in work train service dumping rip rap in Whittier, she was used to wade trains thru high water during floods in Nenana where the diesels would not tolerate. In her current state of disassembly we have access to areas that Wasatch could not get to in thier limited inspection. Any one with steam operation or restoration experience will tell you that the story isn't told until the last flake of scale falls off.

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Even after the scale is gone you run across some more interesting things. I've seen some things show up in the middle of machining a part.......

There's a series of choices you have to strategise through: how much of the remaining margin of use before failure is left in each part or assembly, and how can you best address the different amounts of wear in each for the most rational operating and service plan? This takes into consideration such things as access (once the wheels are dropped for hubliners do you turn the somewhat worn treads or let them ride for now) financial (we can't afford to fix the leaks in the tank now but we'll let it ride iuntil the next scheduled seasonal shutdown) anticipated longevity (the air compressor was overhauled just after she was set aside and not used, so we'll test it and go with it instead of overhauling it along with the rest of the appliances) and anticipated servive requirements (yeah, the treads are worn but not condemnable and should get us through this season, but we're budgeting for overhauling the spring rigging and shoes and wedges next seasonal shutdown so we'll let them wear further for now and do it all at once). There are more - figure it out for your own project.

Sustainable steam programs don't make everything like new every time you shut down, but plan for sensibly connected work to be done when required, and using up the margin you have purchased before investing in new margin.

Of course, it might be interesting to start with "like new" as a beginning benchmark here.....only those with their hands on it know what's best in their particular circumstances.

Pretty soon I'm going to be looking at a hulk so worn out it will be necessary to make it like new again.....something I've not found it sensible to do previously in more than 25 years in the business. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

dave

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Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:15 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 2:51 pm
Posts: 37
As we all know that it is impossible to know everything that needs to be done to a locomotive until it is broken down and everything assessed. But with that much unknown knowledge, a statement like that should not be made.

I'll put it like this, if you had your mechanic look at a car before you bought it, and he told you it was in almost pristine condition. But then when you buy it and put it into the shop you find out its needs massive amounts of work just to get it going, would you not question the knowledge and ability of your mechanic?


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am
Posts: 21
I have an update to any that are interested. UT's are done and it looks as if the firebox will be replaced in its entirety. Fire box flue sheet is badly fractured in multiple locations. Some exterior wastage that will need to be replaced. Spring rigging is shot. Brake rigging will need bored and bushed. #1 driver crown brass beat out and scorched, other drivers not to bad. This is just a qiuck note, there is a lot more to do.Image


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:24 pm
Posts: 442
Location: Scranton, PA
557 mechanic... I hope you don't mind, but I put your photo through my photobucket account, so it is a bit easier to see the entire photo.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:31 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
"There is something to remember about the 557. It is, in my honest opinion, the last NEW steam locomotive in the United States. The records that we have indicate less than 5000 miles of use. It was used as a training model for the Army. There have been about four boiler repairs made......simply for the sake of making repairs for training. The side rod brass, tires, pins, piping and appliances.....brand new! If we did not have the 49CFR Part 230 rules, I would have fired the locomotive up and run it to Wheeler. It would have done fine!"


How far would ARR 557 gotten towards Wheeler (from wherever 557 was), based on what is now being found by the restoration crew? Shot firebox, bad bearings and a few other things; sure does not sound very good to me.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1057
Location: Pacific, MO
I would be a bit nervous jacking under the front of the firebox and smokebox. Maybe it's just me.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:10 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 965
Location: Leicester, MA.
I find this revelation on the firebox interesting to say the least... If 557 had as much care as it did as a training engine, you would imagine the firebox to be in better shape. While that is the thought, obviously that isn't the case now. However, the tubeplate fractures appear to have been a cronic problem that presented itself when the S160s were getting broken in on the London and North Eastern Railway. This article on the LNER encyclopedia explains the class details;

http://www.lner.info/locos/O/s160.shtml

But just to point out that some of the issues highlighted with 557's disassemble, I yield the floor to this section of the article;

Quote:
The S160s worked a lot of heavy goods traffic, but they had a high failure rate due to hot axleboxes, tubeplate fractures, and leaking firebox arch tubes. The hot axleboxes were directly due to the austerity measure of having grease lubricators on the axleboxes.

The S160s were powerful and free-steaming locomotives, but their braking was poor when compared to British standards. A steam brake was used for the locomotive, but was woefully insufficient due to the long distance from the driver's valve and the brake cylinder.

The S160s did suffer one major flaw. The roof stay bolts on the firebox would heat and tend to fail due to metal fatigue, if there was low water above the crown of the firebox. Poor boiler wash-outs would result in a build up of scale in the crown. This all contributed to a weakening of the firebox crown, and eventual collapse. In a space of ten months, three UK S160s suffered a collapse of the firebox crown. The first collapse was GWR's No. 2403 in November 1943, and killed the fireman. This was rebuilt using the boiler and cab from No. 1688 (broken frames). The second explosion was No. 2363 on 12th January 1944, whilst hauling an Ipswich to Whitemoor goods train past Thurston. The engineman was injured, and the fireman was forced off the footplate by the explosion. The third explosion occurred in South Harrow tunnel on 30th August 1944 when No. 1707 was working a goods train from Neasden to Woodford. The third explosion was not investigated fully due to the fact that the S160s were being handed back to the US Army, although No. 1707 was eventually rebuilt.


Obviously the firebox failures of three engines shows that at least those three engines had some defects, to say the least. But the discovery of damaged bearings, cracks in the tube plate and damage to the firebox (while annoying in the sense that the whole restoration timeline just got longer) wasn't unheard of with members of the class while in service. I have to agree with Howard, but 557 doesn't sound to be in as good of a shape as was originally hoped...

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