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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:42 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
July was a very productive month for the Alaska Railroad 557 restoration crew and it finished off with $12,500 in corporate and foundation grants. For details, see the latest status report at http://www.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: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The newest 557 status report has just been published at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

Included are a couple of photos provided by Joe Alutius, now of Eagle River, Alaska, shown here firing an S160 at Ft. Eustis. He was part of the engine crew on the next-to-last S160 steam operation there.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The new status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

A photographer from the Alaska Dispatch News made one of his periodic visits and posted a photo essay at https://www.adn.com/slideshow/alaska-li ... -railroad/

For anyone who is interested in the 3-foot gauge Wild Goose Railroad Class A Climax owned by the late Keith Christenson, the locomotive is for sale. Contact information and a pre-disassembly photo are included in the 557 status report. The Climax is located about 60 miles from Anchorage, Alaska.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 655
Curious as to what or how you are refurbishing the seats on a 4" valve? I have 3 sets of of steam valve seating tool kits but none go near that large. Some are flat and some are tapered. So are there larger seating tools available or do you make your own? Or lap them with a compound? Just curious as 4" is a pretty big valve and I have never attempted anything like this. Always fascinated by the progress in AK.

The details of what you have found with your front truck is interesting. Helping on a 4 wheeler that is kind of scary. Some of this stuff has indeed not had an easy life. Or was it no maintenance or lube? Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:30 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I don't do much of the hands-on work, I'm pretty sure we made our own tool for the valve seat. My recollection is that we used a steel lap that was guided by its OD being a close fit into hole bored into the turret.

The problems with the front truck are partly due to not being lubricated properly, partly 250,000 miles of use, partly the result of some sort of incident that bent the truck and part of the front frame extension. Extra weight on the front deck from a bigger compressor and a flanger and heavier deck casting applied by the ARR may have also contributed. I went through the ARR archives and found a record where it ran over a speeder around 1950, but that was the only accident report that that might explain the damage to the front end.

In the photo, the pin on the right is the fulcrum for the equalizer to the front truck. The hole in the equalizer had a similar amount of wear. There was also a broken spring leaf on the front axle, "repaired" with an oak block above the journal box. All contributed to taking the load off of the front truck. (The other part in the photo is for the turret stop valve.)


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 655
Once again thanks for taking the time for my endless questions. What one finds when tearing into these things is mind boggling at times. Sometimes the wear and tear is consistent with just being plain worn out. Other times the wear and tear and repairs are an interesting history between lack of maintenance and accident/incidents which may or may not of been recorded. Having ran cranes and mobile cranes, trucks and other machines one does not always report incidents that might of happened. For who might notice another scrape in the paint or gouge in a weldment, bent ICC bumper on your trailer? If you can hide the incident and avoid getting written up or fired. People often don't report things like a little derailment or bent trailer bumper. Of course there are many reasons why one should report "little" mishaps but in the real world not every mistake gets reported. And some mistakes are not without consequences, like broken parts or bent frames. Don't shoot the messenger as in real life this is often the way it is. Not condoning it but it is the way it is. A working stiff can get punished or don't ask and don't tell. Again thanks for the updates and such. Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5392
Location: southeastern USA
For a long time working on clapped out shortline and industrial power, i thought the spring rigging was installed with crankshafts for pins. Found numerous bolts with the same features........

A guide for a lapping tool made to suit the valve seat can be made to fit snugly into the bonnet, with a hole bored for the shaft of the tool. The secret is not to let it get cut more than it takes a bit of lapping to make it tight again.

_________________
"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Long-time 557 supporter Jim Jansen has upped the ante for our annual fund raiser by committing to a $20,000 challenge grant. This is in addition to Dick Morris' $5,000 challenge.

Jim's challenge became effective on November 27. To those who already donated to the fund raiser, thank you, your contributions have received a *double* match.

There is still money available for the rare opportunity of having your contribution matched twice. For example, donate $333.33 today and you will bring 557 $1,000 closer to operation.

Instructions for making on-line, mailed, or in-person contributions are at http://557.alaskarails.org/support/donate.html.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Our 2017 funding drive was successful beyond all expectations. We now have another $60,000 banked to return ARR 557 to operation. Thanks go to all the contributors for this awe inspiring response.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:12 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The December, 2017 status report is posted. http://557.alaskarails.org/, "status reports," and 12/17 will take you there via the updated project web page.

Rod, our tireless volunteer welder has nearly finished the sockets for the new flexible stays.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The January status update has been posted to http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/prog ... index.html

Project Manager Pat Durand added this announcement of another milestone in returning 557 to service, "As I write this note, Rod Hansen is applying the pre heat to the outer wrapper of the fire box in preparation for doing the finish weld on the last 10 flexible stay-bolt sleeves. Rod will have done all 480 units by the end of the day."


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:43 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
A new status report is posted at http://www.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 Apr 26, 2018 5:10 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 241
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
A new status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

We are in the process of saving three cars from the scrapper as a start on a passenger fleet. Former Alaska Railroad coach #88, combine #43, and power car P-5 were acquired by the railroad after WWII and converted for passenger service. In the 1980s they were acquired by the Air Force and converted for use as a mobile command post. (As an aside, several in our group have previous history with these cars. When I was in the Air Force my organization on Elmendorf AFB was responsible for installing and maintaining the communications equipment and another of our volunteers was involved with modifying the cars when he was with the Elmendorf Civil Engineering unit. A third worked on them when they were in passenger service on the ARR.) The coach and combine were originally hospital cars and the power car was a troop kitchen. There is more information on them in the status report. All three are typical of the type of cars that the ARR used in the early 1950s while 557 was still in service.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 655
Thanks for the updates. Always enjoy hearing/seeing the progress your making up there. Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 481
Great find. A few annoying questions: Can the power car be reused as such easily, or did the vandals wreck it? Do you guys have storage around your shop to work on the cars? I read back through the old status reports, I see you may get access to a branch that has been out of service for a while, would you be able to store equipment there? Thanks in advance for indulging me.


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