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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:52 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
We have added a "new" tool to our collection. A 16" Cincinnati Shaper. This type of large industrial machine tool isn't readily available in Alaska and we are pleased with the donation. It's just what we need for some of the operations on our driving boxes.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:27 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The most recent 557 status report is posted at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/prog ... index.html.

Here, our Case loader is being used to move a set of drivers. They are going into secure storage space provided courtesy of the Alaska Railroad Corporation. It's nice to be able to reclaim the floor space in our Engine House. The Case has been invaluable for jobs like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:47 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The newest status report is posted at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/prog ... index.html.

During 1962 flooding in Nenanna, a diesel would pass the train to 557, which would "ferry" it through the flooded area so it could be picked up by another diesel. This was 557's last operation before being retired. One of our restoration tasks when the drivers were pulled was to chip out and remove the mud and glacial silt from the journals.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:45 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:38 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Hi Dick,

I am curious, were the angled number boards on the smoke box an Alaskan Railroad standard feature, or just standard to #557? The photo of 556 shows the locomotive without them

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I can't say what the practice was for number boards. On the S160s they were likely added in the Alaska Railroad shops. We do know about the number at the top of the smoke box of the S160s that we use for our logo - one of our volunteer's dad made them for the S160s when he worked for the ARR in the 1940s.

A look at the steam roster photos on John's Alaska Railroad web page (alaskarails.org) might give insight. I can say that it wasn't unusual for locomotives of the same class to have differences. Over time and on different locomotives I have noticed S160 with the bells in three locations, generators in different locations (and when radios were fitted, a second generator was added), some S160 tenders were replaced with USATC 0-6-0 tenders, and some coil spring tender trucks were replaced with leaf spring trucks. One change that happened quickly and universally was the replacement of the single cylinder air compressor on the smoke box front with a cross-compound compressor on the front deck. About half of the S160s had the cab widened. (557 is narrow, 556 is wide.) Even the whistles were different. The original single chime whistles were replaced with chime whistles, probably from locomotives that were being retired when the S160s arrived. There were at least half a dozen lettering schemes applied during the ten years or so that the S160s operated regularly.


Last edited by Dick_Morris on Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:08 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
A new status report has been posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

As we get closer to having an operating locomotive, we are working on firming up arrangements for a place to operate. Due to PTC, length of the trip, and ARR traffic issues, we have had to pursue options other than the initially envisioned 50 mile regular excursions from Anchorage to Portage. We now have a permit from the Alaska Railroad Corporation for what can be charitably called a "little used" section of their track in Palmer, shown in these photos taken last spring. We are also working with the City of Palmer for permitted use of a city owned spur to the their airport which hasn't seen traffic for a number of years. The spur was constructed only about 35 years ago and can be made serviceable with only limited work. There are additional details in the report.


Attachments:
trees reduced.jpg
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short-section - reduced.jpg
short-section - reduced.jpg [ 67.36 KiB | Viewed 2475 times ]


Last edited by Dick_Morris on Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 599
Thanks for the updates and as always wish your crew continued success in "the process".

Particularly like the pics of working on the Duff Norton air jacks. We have 4 of those at Mid Continent and they are used more often than people think for both coach and locomotive work. One of the four jacks is temperamental and often needs coaxing while the other three work slick. I have identical one in my shop, lost the others at auction as they went pretty high. The one thing I did with mine is plug the air coupling to keep not only the dirt out but rodents who will crawl inside and make a nest that will gum up the works when you hook it up to air. Never had mc/mine jacks apart yet. The owner of the Polson #2 has and he had to clean one or two of them up to get them to function properly. When using outside in the snow on the Polson #2 we had one that got kind of stiff. We built a little fire under it to help loosen the grease up. A couple pcs of oily burning rags and some kindling and she loosened up and we got it to cooperate. I won't leave mine outside. These jacks are the most valuable of tools to have around. Again thanks for the updates. And that is some very nice welding on those flexi sleeves. Small radius like that can make the welder a contortionist of sorts, working your way around it. No undercut, very nice welding.

Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
John, Thanks. We're pretty proud of the quality of our workmanship and what we have been able to accomplish a few thousand miles from any of the other steam restoration activities.

The jacks are some of the surplus tools the Alaska Railroad has given in support of the project and the big diesel and electric compressors to drive them were contributions from other firms. We used four of the Duff-Nortons to lift the locomotive when we removed the drivers and front truck.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:52 pm
Posts: 91
Location: North Pole, Alaska
More little things keep adding up. Last weekends work


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File comment: Hard to believe we started in 2012 with nothing but a loco, and two pieces of panel track.
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File comment: Shop 2.
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File comment: Main roads are looking ready!
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:03 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:52 pm
Posts: 91
Location: North Pole, Alaska
And a few more.


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File comment: Fireman's.
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File comment: Engineers side.
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File comment: Brake stand ready.
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IMG_8983.JPG [ 61.97 KiB | Viewed 1800 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:04 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:52 pm
Posts: 91
Location: North Pole, Alaska
The last for this update.


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File comment: Flexies starting to add up.
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File comment: Flexies everywhere.
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:20 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The status report for February's activities is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html

After replacing all of the conduit, fittings, and wire, there were smiles all around when our ace electricians tested the newly wired tender.


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Tender lights reduced.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:58 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:52 pm
Posts: 91
Location: North Pole, Alaska
ARR big sister 556 was tagged this last week in Anchorage. There is a story about here in the Alaska Daily News here at this link.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-c ... ti-vandal/

Bummer, a lot of work was put into getting her looking like she did.

Art


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File comment: 556 in Anchorage park.
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage has had an affection for ARR 556 for over 50 years. Three generations of kids have climbed all over it and their good memories have had a significant positive effect in garnering support for the restoration of ARR 557.

The good news is that an 18-year old is in jail today, charged with felony criminal mischief. Two local companies have offered to donate labor and paint to repair the damage when weather permits. Thanks goes to the Anchorage PD for their quick work and to the local business community for their support.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3669
Location: Maine
Good for all the authorities who caught the vandal and are seeing to appropriate punishment.

What kind of shape is this locomotive in? Deteriorated? Rusted out? Fair to good?

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