It is currently Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:21 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 308 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 ... 21  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5022
artchase wrote:
And just to wet the whistle, our goal!


Art -

You guys are really doing a fantastic job. A quick question. The Alaska Railroad seemed to have a policy in the later steam era of moving the headlights of these 2-8-0's to the center of the smokebox. The other surviving Alaska Railroad, U.S. Army Consolidation (#556 in Anchorage), has this modification. Are you planning on doing the same with the 557? Just trying to find out, one way or the other. Thanks, and keep up the wonderful work.


Les


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The most recent status report is posted at http://alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/ ... index.html. Art made the long trip down from Fairbanks last Saturday to spend the day in the boiler. All it takes to overhaul a steam locomotive is a tremendous amount of work, outstanding in-kind support from businesses, and a lot of money!


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:52 pm
Posts: 91
Location: North Pole, Alaska
Hi Les, Hi Dick,

I believe the crew will mount the headlight up high, BUT, there is nothing that limits ths to being the only place that it can be. I think it will depend on the need, and sense the lamp was high 'and' centered on the smoke box, we have options and are still true to the historical record.

I have often smiled at the idea that a locomotive has to be one certian way to be right. But if you look at them in service, they were constantly being adjusted and modified to meet the railroads operational need. Will 557 ever be different than when she was in operations, yes. Will she be restored to what she was, yes. Will she operate like she did....no, Better! She will still look like 557 and unless you know every nut and bolt, you will never know. Just like other operating locomotives, she will recieve a vast amount of attention compared to her previous operational life.

Again, we are restoring a locomotive that is going to 'have' to earn her keep, maintain track speed, and not inhibit a modern railroad. Again, I am speaking for self and I support our leadership in their striving to restore 557. Im just the boiler rat...8).

Art


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I'm guessing that the light will remain where it was when the locomotive was removed from service, but I don't think it's been discussed. Some of the accessories such as bell, light, and generator seem to have moved around during the life of the various ARR S160 locomotives (550 class), probably depending on who was in charge at the time. It's interesting to compare the locomotives over time - http://www.alaskarails.org/pix/ARR-picts-old-steam.html. During their relatively short time on the ARR, there were at least three lettering schemes.

When I recently compared serial numbers between the specifications for ARR 551 through 554 and an original BLW side elevation drawing, I discovered that we have the correct erection print for that group of locomotives and probably for 555 through 558. When shipped, they had the single cylinder air pump, no pilot beam (just a plate), an American style coupler and pilot, light at the top of the smoke box, and generator in front of the stack. The air pump, pilot beam, headlight on some locomotives, and addition of second generator on some locomotives were all changes while in service. The ARR also added flangers which may have been the reason that both 556 and 557 have had the spreaders and front truck center pin guide between the front frame extensions replaced with castings.

I spent about a week going through ARR files in the Anchorage office of the National Archives and learned a few things about the ARR S160s. The ARR arranged to purchase eight S160s from the War Department. They had some reservations with this design, and probably would have purchased additional Mountains if war time material shortages hadn't been a problem. (Shortages of firebox plate delayed the 1942 delivery of a Mountain from BLW by several months.) It appears that the ARR S160s purchased new came from at least three BLW orders. Despite many published comments, most of the ARR S160s came directly to the ARR from BLW. The evidence suggests that none of the first eight ARR S160s were ever in Europe nor were operated elsewhere by USATC. At least four, and probably all eight, were adapted for U.S. use at the factory with generator, lights, pilot, coupler, power reverse and a second lubricator.

I suspect that the most of the other S160s that remained in the U.S. for use at Ft. Eustis were probably similarly equipped.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
To expand a bit on cast versus slab frames - S160s used both. There were several indications, such as some flame scarfing used to clean the castings and no visible cast lettering, that led us to believe we had flame cut frames. The final convincing came from the BLW bill of materials for the order under which 557 was built and from the frame drawings. The BOM says cast frames were used for 557, although a few locomotives in the same order were flame cut from slabs. The same drawings were used for both cast and flame cut frames and there are only three minor differences noted on the drawings. The most obvious and the only one for which a change would be required if cast and slab frames were swapped between two locomotives would be the need to replace one pair of fork style spring hangers with a pair that were made from flat bar.

I'm still collecting tender drawings, but I believe that S160s used both cast and fabricated frames. however, our locomotive doesn't have the original S160 tender. It has a similar, but shorter and 500 gallon lower water capacity tender from a USATC 0-6-0. Photos show both 557 and 556 using the smaller tender during at least part of the time while they were in service.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:37 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The August status update has been posted at http://www.alaskarails.org/pix/former-l ... index.html

Included in the report is a link to a news report carried on the local TV station.

Progress is hard to see for the casual observer. However, those doing the work know a lot of tedious sand blasting, needle scaling, and priming is being done. We are taking advantage of the final days of fall to do this dirty work before 557 moves back inside for the winter.

Special thanks go to NRHS and the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm Corridor Communities Association for recent grants to keep the restoration moving forward and to the many businesses which have made in-kind contributions of materials, services, and tools.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Our local newspaper, the Wasilla Frontiersman, published a nice article today featuring the volunteers working on the restoration. They are sort of hidden, but there are five photos.

http://www.frontiersman.com/valley_life ... ecda7.html


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The restoration of Engine 557 has reached another milestone. On Friday, September 26, we received our first inspection by the FRA. The inspection was completed with no exceptions taken for the boiler and firebox.

The report included the following comment, "The restoration of the ARR 557 to date is very impressive, being restored with quality and pride." In separate correspondence, the inspector stated, "You have a great team of volunteers that have solid technical and professional expertise which was apparent during our inspection."

Kudos to Chief Mechanical Officer Jeff Debroeck, Robert Franzen of Steam Services of America, and over 25 volunteers who are responsible for bringing us to this point in the restoration.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:54 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I can report some excellent news and a productive summer.

The news is that the Atwood Foundation, a local foundation established for the benefit of the people of Anchorage, Alaska, has awarded $50,000 to support the restoration. All $50,000 will be matched by and will nearly exhaust a $350,000 challenge grant which was awarded in mid-2012 by Alaska's Rasmuson Foundation.

The Engine 557 frame, boiler shell, and cylinder assembly has been slid back into the engine house for the winter, just beating the first snow flurries of the year. In addition to what has previously been reported, the cylinder block, most of the frame, the tender frame and trucks, and boiler interior have all been subjected to several hundred hours of scraping, needle scaling, sand blasting, and painting. Paint was high temperature primer, epoxy primer, or Apexior 1, as appropriate.

The very generous contribution from the Atwood Foundation took us close to meeting the original cost estimated for the restoration. Unfortunately, the condition of the original firebox and need for it to be condemned and totally replaced set us back a number of months and upwards of $400,000. Our fund raising team is pursuing a number of sources of additional funds. Contributions are gratefully accepted!


Attachments:
Boiler interior cleaned and painted (3).jpg
Boiler interior cleaned and painted (3).jpg [ 62.7 KiB | Viewed 2805 times ]
Cylinder block and frame.jpg
Cylinder block and frame.jpg [ 92.03 KiB | Viewed 2805 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:41 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8396
Location: Baltimore, MD
Interesting question:
As I understood it, the wartime 2-8-0s were somewhat rushed in assembly.

If the firebox is being replaced, is it being replaced as close to original as possible (the historian's argument), or will the opportunity be taken to explore improved design/construction (the operational argument)?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 271
I am no expert, but I did read that the S160s were built with very thin fireboxes, needing an overhaul after only about 60 days of heavy use. Also, what kind of excursion service will she enter, will it be across the entire Alaskan system, or a certain area? Congrats to all the guys working on her!


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I too have heard the stories that the boilers for this locomotive design were in some way substandard, but can now refute it. The quotes below are from the the BLW specifications for Alaska Railroad locomotives 551 through 554. With minor differences in a few internal components, boilers for the War Department Consolidations, including 551 through 557 and all but the last locomotives to the design built by all three manufacturers were to the same design and used the same ALCO drawings. I have verified this through a review of the drawings and drawing indexes for the order covering 557, the first BLW order, and Lima's drawing index. I have read but haven't been able to document that the boiler for the final locomotives produced to this design included modifications from the original design.
Quote:
"Boiler built to comply in all respects with the A.S.M.E. Boiler Code, except that the shell shall have factor of safety of 4."

Quote:
Each boiler shall be tested in conformance with A.S.M.E. locomotive Boiler Code. Any leaks developing may be calked, but the test shall be repeated until all leaks are stopped. After A.S.M.E. tests the boiler shall be fired and the pressure raised to 245 pounds per square inch, and shall be steam-tight at this pressure. After steam test the boiler shall be blown down and allowed to stand until it is cooled. It shall then be refilled with water about 150 degrees F. and the pressure raised to 245 pounds by firing. The boiler shall remain steam tight until thoroughly cooled down.

Quote:
Made of plates of homogeneous basic steel for a pressure of 225 lbs. per square inch, and tested with steam to at least 20 lbs. per square inch above the boiler pressure, and with hot water to one-third above the boiler pressure.


We understand that the last locomotives to this design used 7/16" plate in the crown and side sheets. To give us a bit more of a safety factor and more of an allowance for future wear, the replacement crown and side sheets will be 7/16".

The Alaska Railroad's marketing plan is to operate from Anchorage to Portage, where there is a wye, and return. About a 100 mile round trip alongside some spectacular scenery. We expect that a water supply will be set up at Portage. Other, special excursions are also in the cards. One that is likely is for at least some of the annual excursions from Anchorage to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer to be pulled by 557. Another possibility is an occasional excursion north from Anchorage to Wasilla, turning the train on a new wye a few miles north of Wasilla.

There will be some additional logistics to take the locomotive farther afield to deal with water and fuel. The details for this type of trip haven't been worked out.

While we are trying to maintain the original fiber and appearance close to original, 557 is going to have to earn a living, run at track speed, and not get in the way of other passenger and freight traffic being pulled by locomotives that are 65 years younger. We will make several improvements to improve reliability, decrease maintenance, and meet current practices and requirements. Examples are the boiler upgrades and use of roller bearings on the lead and tender trucks.


Last edited by Dick_Morris on Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1102
Location: South Carolina
Dick_Morris wrote:
While we are trying to maintain the original fiber and appearance close to original, 557 is going to have to earn a living, run at track speed, and not get in the way of other passenger and freight traffic being pulled by locomotives that are 65 years younger. We will make several improvements to improve reliability, decrease maintenance, and meet current practices and requirements. Examples the boiler upgrades and use of roller bearings on the lead and tender trucks.


One thing you didn't mention improving is the locomotive's performance. This article about modifications to another S-160 may be of interest to you:

http://5at.co.uk/index.php/news/44/269/ ... haust.html

_________________
Hugh Odom
The Ultimate Steam Page
http://www.trainweb.org/tusp


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 464
Dick, thank you for posting the update and photos.

What coating was used on the boiler interior? Apexior, or something else?

Image

_________________
--
Chris Webster


Online
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 221
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
We saw the Lempor conversion, but decided not to pursue it.

Boiler interior is Apexior 1.


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 308 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 ... 21  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 6-18003, Bing [Bot], Bowmore, Chris Webster, CTA4453, Google [Bot], MD Ramsey and 39 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: