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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:34 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Some additional updates and accomplishments to add to Art's post -

Our thanks go to the Tom E. Dailey Foundation for a $2,000 grant towards the boiler overhaul.

The safety valves and whistle that Art photographed are actually non-functioning replicas. The crew fabricated them and they will be installed on sister locomotive ARR #556, which has been displayed in a park in Anchorage since about 1960. They disappeared from the locomotive many years ago.

Art didn't take credit for spending the day representing the Engine 557 Restoration Company at the Alaska Railroad open house in Fairbanks on May 9. A photo is attached. Thanks Art, and thanks to the Alaska Railroad for their hospitality.

Monthly updates are posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org. (And if you are tempted to support the restoration that can be accommodated there as well.)


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ARR open house 5-9-15JPG - reduced.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 1:23 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am
Posts: 21
I would like to add that the last photo of Arts collection on page 11 is of our hand brake assembly that is to be applied to the tender. It was manufactured from scratch by our volunteers exactly to the Baldwin prints for the USATC engines. In paint it is a very nice looking and operating piece. Our volunteers deserve every ounce of appreciation for the work they do.

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 6:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:38 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Port Hadlock, Washington
Her tender looks oversize to me ...... is it her original tender or a replacment?

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Skip Luke
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The tender is not original to the locomotive, but is a sister to the type of tender that it used for it's last ten years of operation on the Alaska Railroad. The original S160 tender had a 6,500 gallon water capacity and the locomotive burned coal. In about 1950 this tender was replaced by a tender that came from a USATC 0-6-0. The replacement was slightly shorter in length and slightly taller in height and carried 6,000 gallons of water. The replacement tender had a coal bunker. After becoming the sole surviving steam locomotive on the ARR the locomotive was converted to burn oil in about 1955. At that time, either an oil tank was installed into the tender or another 0-6-0 tender with an oil bunker was fitted (at least one oil burning USATC 0-6-0 had been operated by the railroad). When sold to Monte Holm in Moses Lake, the tender that went with the locomotive was one that came from the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad which had never been associated with this locomotive when it was in service with the ARR. When the locomotive returned to Alaska, we didn't retrieve the CR&NW tender. Instead, the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry donated an historically accurate ex-USATC 0-6-0 tender with oil bunker that had been used with one of their two Industrial Brownhoist locomotive cranes.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:38 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Port Hadlock, Washington
Thanks, Dick ..... it looked awfully tall to me .....

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Skip Luke
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 5:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The status report showing April's accomplishments is posted at http://alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/ ... index.html.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 6:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1887
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Why so much work to keep one locomotive in steam in 1955?

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Steven Harrod
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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1903
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
artchase wrote:
And last but still well on my mind...back and aching arm's. The old fire box will make a great trophy!

How about cutting portions up into hand-held-sized pieces to sell as part of the locomotive? It'd being in some revenue, no question...

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Lee Bishop


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
softwerkslex wrote:
Why so much work to keep one locomotive in steam in 1955?


Steven -

Good question. I wonder if the Alaska Railroad might have had an area prone to flooding in the past where a steam locomotive might have been a good back up piece of motive power. Perhaps someone familiar with the railroad might be able to tell us.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 2:09 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Quote:
I wonder if the Alaska Railroad might have had an area prone to flooding in the past
Correct. The ARR retained 557 to get trains through spring flooding of the Nenana and Tanana Rivers and for special excursions. One retired conductor told me about his experience with flooding and 557 in the late 1950s. The diesel handed off the train to the steam locomotive, which took it through the flooded area and passed it off to another diesel when clear of the flooding. When we removed the drivers we found that there was still glacial silt from the river in the bottoms of the journal cellars.
Quote:
How about cutting portions up into hand-held-sized pieces to sell as part of the locomotive?
We probably won't do that, but short lengths of the removed flues and tubes are popular sales items. The most popular are flues with "557" engraved into them with a CNC plasma cutter. A signed certificate of authenticity helps to sell them. Under a clear coat, they retain a "patina" of scale and soot from the final time the locomotive was operated. There are visible in this photo of our display at Anchorage's "Fur Rendezvous" winter carnival. http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... Morris.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 6:30 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Now sporting a new coat of paint, the drivers are done! Over a dozen volunteers removed many layers of old paint and grease, smoothed casting flash on the spokes, did a detailed inspection for cracks, and applied a couple of coats of primer. Machine work was contracted to Tennessee Valley Railroad where tires were turned and all bearing surfaces were cleaned up and burnished. Their discovery and correction of a couple of problems may put the drivers in the best shape they have been in since USATC 3523 rolled out of Baldwin's factory 70 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 6:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:52 am
Posts: 21
These represent a long hard saturady. Hot too for alaska, it was 75*.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
A new status report is posted at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:59 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 220
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Gary and Robert from Steam Services of America and 557 volunteers Jeff, Ron, Jerry, and Terry make some fine adjustments to the new door sheet as part of the process of getting it fitted and installed.


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Door Sheet Adjusters 2 - reduced.jpg
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Profiles in Persistence - reduced.jpg
Profiles in Persistence - reduced.jpg [ 83.99 KiB | Viewed 3523 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 38
Following up on the earlier post about the retention of a steam locomotive to deal with floods, there is actually a neat children's book about 557's sister engine, 556, rescuing a train during an ice jam on the Susitna. The 556 today resides in Delaney Park as a static display in Anchorage. IIRC, the 557 group was able to retrieve some working components from her in exchange for replicas.

Anyway, the book is called OL' 556 - Alaska's Mighty Steam Engine by Shannon Cartwright. My kids absolutely love this book.


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