4449 Deschutes Excursion

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4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Fitz » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:00 pm

I just returned home from a great steam excursion from Portland, OR to Bend, OR and return, over two days. We, all 500 of us, stayed overnight in Bend on Saturday after the outbound segment, then returned Sunday. Paying passengers contributed to the 1472 day/15 year overhaul which 4449 will undergo in 2013. The last time I rode one of the Bend trips, I didn't really know the territory, and really goofed up my photo ops at Willow Creek trestle near Madras, OR. Not this time. The shots we got there made this whole trip worthwhile. It was called the Deschutes Special because after running east on the Fallbridge sub through the Columbia River Gorge to Wishram, WA, on the BNSF, it crossed the Columbia there and entered the old "Oregon Trunk" line which snakes along the Deschutes River to Bend and beyond. All in all it is a very scenic trip at any time of the year. This one was really enjoyable, mainly due to the great group of people who were together in the Plaza Santa Fe dome car, many of whom had never met each other, but the cameraderie was great. We shared a lot of rail stories and jokes. On the train were folks from New Zealand, Great Britain, Virginia, Maine, Canada and other places. The '49 just seems to draw the railfans, and did again, as there were an army of chasers and pacers. Here is one of my shots on the Willow Creek trestle.
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49bend089.jpg
4449, Willow Creek trestle, October 2012
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby BurlingtonJohn » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:06 am

Excellent shot Fitz! Was thinking of you all this weekend, sure wish I could have been there.

Regards,
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Kevin Gilliam » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:36 pm

Stop that. You're making me jealous.

Looks like you had fun out there!
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Fitz » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks, guys. Here is a feeble attempt at "artsy" trying to frame the engine, turning on a left curve at the end of the Columbia Crossing bridge, in the Plaza Santa Fe window and the bridge structure. This trip was too much fun.
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49bend040.jpg
4449 framed in bridge structure
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby SOO2719 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Aw come on now, there is no such thing as too much fun! :D
Seriously, the 4449 is going into overhaul in 2013? Whoa. I didn't know it was time for her to be shopped.
Richard "Tony" Held

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http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Fitz » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:58 pm

Yup, she was last shopped in 1998, so she will be out of time in June, 2013. If I am still on this earth I want to help, especially with the ultrasound testing of the boiler shell. Mark, or anyone else who has experience at this, I need help.
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Mark D » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:57 pm

Hi Fitz
Sorry, I've been out of town for a few days. Didn't see this thread 'till now. Not sure how I can help you, though... What's up?
Mark D.
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Fitz » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:43 pm

Mark, have you ever participated in the boiler thickness ultrasound testing? I learned from Doyle on this past trip that the crew can perform this testing. 4449 will go down next year for the same 15 year cycle that 261 just went through. Do you know who did the ultrasound stuff on 261? I want to volunteer to do it on 4449, as I have used all kinds of electronic test equipment in the aviation years. I'm sure I could do this with minimal education, plus getting the right test equipment.
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Re: 4449 Deschutes Excursion

Postby Mark D » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:55 am

Our crew did it. Steve rents the ultrasound tester. I wasn't involved in the UT this time, but some years back he did one just because he wanted to know. It's not difficult, except you do need to know how to properly use the UT unit or you can get some pretty erroneous readings. It does take a lot of time, though. You have to make a grid over the entire boiler shell and inside the firebox. The 4449 has syphon tubes, unlike the circulator tubes on 261, but I'd bet that those need to also be UT'd. A UT measurement of the shell thickness must be taken within each square of the grid. I don't recall exactly, but I believe the grid squares are 6" squares. Might be less. My memory doesn't go back that far... Only to about the last week or so. I spent the weekend and Monday and Tuesday with my son at a dynamometer dyno-ing a couple engines. One a 565 inch big block Chev (Brodix block and Dart heads) 15:1 compression engine for a bracket racer drag car which gave us a peak HP of 1030 hp at 7600 RPM and something like 776 ft/lbs torque at around 6000 rpm. It will run in a '86 Firebird.
But my memory has forgotten the RPM of the torque already. Never could remember numbers for long. In my shop, I can remember a measurement of, say, .0035" for about 1.0035 seconds before I forget it and have to take the measurement again. So don't believe me much on any numbers I give.
However, the thinnest part measured will be what determines what is done next with regards to the boiler shell or firebox walls.
It's easier to do with the flexible bolt caps all removed, and there will be a staybolt inspection anyway, so the caps might as well be removed first.
What I've said above is more than I actually know, but it should give you an idea of what's going to happen.
Staybolt caps can be a real PITA. Especially the ones on the bottom. Many will probably have to be replaced, as they will be rusted thin and will leak when replaced. Some will have bad threads. All will need new copper gaskets. The staybolts themselves are less of a problem, but some will probably be bad and need replacing. Not a huge deal there, just grind off any seal welds on the inside, heat the surrounding area a bit with a torch and have someone on the outside unscrew it with the proper tool. Using an improper tool will damage the slot in the bolt and make it more difficult to remove.
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