Choo Choo time next week

Railfan General Discussion
NEW! - DIRECTLY POST YOUR RAILFAN PICTURES! For discussion and comments of any railroad related topic. No politics except as relates to railroading.

Moderators: othermoderator, moderator

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Mon May 22, 2017 1:08 pm

Will be running the North Dakota trips, Departing Twin Cities May 30 (subject to change) and return Sunday June 4.
I'll try to get some photo's and post them here, on this thread that I have just started.
What to expect is a lot of rainy and drab photo's based on the way the weather has been acting lately. I'll take photo's (If I get chances here and there) regardless of weather and light and post what I get.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

tom c
Conductor
Posts: 300
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: near the Windy City
Contact:

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby tom c » Tue May 23, 2017 10:17 am

good will be watching for ur trip report

Tom C.
tom_at_srclry_com
Lost somewhere in Michigan instead of Colorado!

Wowak
Conductor
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:47 pm
Location: Schuylkill Co., PA

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Wowak » Thu May 25, 2017 5:26 am

Sounds like a better weekend than we have planned. CNJ 113 will head about 7 miles down the line for public display at Schuylkill Haven next friday for a community event. A lot of work to sit and boil water all day, but we'll let a bunch of kids have a chance to climb up in the cab, so it's a good day for PR.
-Former Moderator

Kevin Gilliam
Conductor
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:29 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Kevin Gilliam » Thu May 25, 2017 9:24 am

Haven't checked in here recently. Will be out following (and riding the first trip) with you guys. Should be a fun trip.
Kevin

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Fri May 26, 2017 1:15 pm

Brian, I don't know anything about this CNJ 113. I bet others don't either. Can you tell more about it? It appears that it's running, not being dragged by a diesel, so my interest is piqued.
And boiling water when standing still really doesn't take much effort. eh, that's why I like the night shift! It's easy work. The only down side is I'm all alone, late at night, just me and the beast. So if anything goes wrong, it's all up to me to make it go right in whatever way possible.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

SOO2719
Conductor
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:18 pm
Interested in trains?: Yes

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby SOO2719 » Sat May 27, 2017 8:52 pm

Hi Mark. Any idea when the 261 might depart town on Tuesday?
Thanks.
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Sun May 28, 2017 1:13 pm

I don't know. Probably sometime in the morning. If I did know, then various things would combine to make a liar out of me. I would say probably before noon, but anything can happen.
Railroad equipment seems to move when all is ready all the way down the line, not when the clock says it's time to go.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Wowak
Conductor
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:47 pm
Location: Schuylkill Co., PA

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Wowak » Mon May 29, 2017 11:30 pm

Mark, you can check out our website at www.rrproject113.org, 113 is one of two remaining CNJ steam locomotives, it is operable and pulls occasional special trains on our host railroad the Reading and Northern. I've only been volunteering a little over a year, I moved back to PA after all the hard work was done, but I've learned quite a lot.
-Former Moderator

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:51 pm

I'm BAAACK!
But it's almost midnight on June 4. I'm tired. Just got home from the trip. Mid to late Monday, 6/5 I will post. We had a bit of a mishap, but nothing very serious but did cause one of our trips to be pulled by a RRVW diesel on Saturday, but by the time that trip got back we had the 261 ready to roll. More shortly.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Wowak
Conductor
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:47 pm
Location: Schuylkill Co., PA

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Wowak » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:34 am

I heard you had to replace a staybolt. Sounds like it was quite a feat to get it done as quickly as you did.

My weekend was fine, got to fire the 113 part of the light move on Friday, and got to throw a few scoops in #26 at Steamtown on Saturday.
-Former Moderator

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:36 pm

We did not have to replace a stay bolt. That story is what I want to tell here. It has gone out over the internet in a number of forms. Here is the straight and true information. We are a bit surprised ourselves that we were down, but then up and running in just a few hours.

What happened is below from the way I saw it myself;

We had a smooth run up to the city of Breckenridge last Monday afternoon, May 30, 2017. We overnighted there and headed up to the little North Dakota town of Davenport Tuesday. On Tuesday, (if I recall correctly) we ran one trip from there to Lisbon N.D.
We might have run two of them, but I think one.
Anyway, regardless, the trips we ran offered no place to turn the train, so we had a RRV&W use a Geep on the rear to lead us back to Davenport.

On the way down to Lisbon, we crossed a diamond where the C.P. and RRVW intersect. It has a 10 mph speed restriction. We crossed it both ways at about 5 mph.
No problems, just slow to be careful.
Up in the cab nobody heard or felt anything weird.
After arriving at Davenport, at some point in time one of the crew noticed a broken sander pipe. Two others were also discovered to have been bent and broken off. This is 1" schedule 80 pipe.
This was repaired some time before the next trip in the morning on Thursday. This damage could have only come from that diamond, which has high points that can catch low hanging objects.

I was on the engine all night that night. I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. All was well. My son came down from Fargo to BS in the cab for a while, he was mostly interested in what I do. He's been in the cab before, but not while it was hot and I was working.... if you can call it that.
In the morning I was relieved by the road crew. I did the 'soft' grease on the engine and went to the crew car to clean up. Somewhere along the line I heard Steve commenting, "It's bad. We're going to have to drop the fire.... he went on.
I didn't know what he was talking about, so I asked another on the crew and he told me there was a broken stay bolt, or SOMETHING.
I walked up to the engine and noticed a white cloud of vapor emanating from the bottom of the area of the combustion chamber, which is part of and adjacent to the firebox. Of course, it is covered with jacketing and insulation so we cannot see what is actually going on in there. But it wasn't too bad so we ran our next trip at a slightly reduced pressure.
Arriving back at Davenport there was a noticeable increase in flow.

With our second trip completed, we decided we'd better get going back to Breckenridge before we can't go. Down there is the only place where we might find the stuff we thought we'd need to fix this issue. We definitely were NOT going to operate on BNSF back to our shop with it in this condition, and we also had two excursions to pull out of Breckenridge, the first being an Employee Appreciation Special. Those poor souls were condemned to ride behind one of their own diesel engines. Oh how exciting!

Well, nothing we could do about that. We HAD to fix our engine and that was what we did. When you are short of time and under pressure, you tend to think of ways to make it take less time to git 'er dun.

When we reached Breckenridge, it was blowing out even more vapor with hot water running down off the bottom of this part of the boiler.
One of our crew started the theory that we really do NOT have to drop the fire and drain the boiler before working on it. All we needed to do was let the fire die, run the injector to fill the boiler with water until the pressure is so low that the injector won't inject anymore.
We did just that. During this time one of the crew also removed the jacket band that loosens up the two adjacent sheets of jacket. Fiberglass insulation was ripped out and we all saw what the problem was. It was as plain as the nose on your face. You cannot miss it.

Remember those broken sander pipes?

I thought you might.

Well, it turns out that once the jacket was cleared away, there is this 1" pipe that runs about 1/8 of an inch away from one flexible stay. It had this funny looking shiny dent in it. This dent matches up well with a shiny spot on the sleeve of that flexible stay where all the water was coming from. The sleeve was cracked for something over half of its circumference. The water and steam was blowing out from that crack.

Everyone went to get some sleep, with a plan of action in their heads.
In the morning they found what they needed at some place in town, I wasn't in on this part. I actually got some sleep that night.
But I was up in the morning, that's for sure. I wanted to know what was going on.

We happen to have, on our crew, a very highly skilled welder who recently retired from Northern States Power where he did boiler repair work on their massive steam bombs.
He knows his (stuff)
No, he didn't weld the crack. That crack had split open and the sleeve and cap were out of alighment with the rest of the caps and sleeves.

What was done was this;
They found some sort of magical mysterious stuff that they could use to keep the water that was now running out so the welder guy could have a decent area to weld. A large round piece of some sort of pipe was welded around the broken stay sleeve. After that, (or before - I'm not sure on this) it was also sealed on the place where the cap would be on a normal flexible stay. It is big enough to encircle the entire broken sleeve and cap and old the water inside the boiler.
That welding required a GOOD stick welder and the RRV&W came through. They brought in a pickup truck with tools and a good welder.
Around this time the guys working on it were 100% sure we would run the afternoon train. I saw the coal in the tender was a bit low and the fireman couldn't possibly reach it with his scoop, so I went up there and cut coal for an hour or so. Somewhere in there someone yelled up at me to go in the cab and lay in a carpet of coal on top of the ash on the grates. So I started shoveling that coal which I had just finished shoving forward in the tender. I got a nice layer, went to get some water, came back and found someone had piled a bunch of old pallet wood in the cab.
I laid that out, a pile on either side of the fire door, and it was lit with a couple of fusee's

It didn't take long for that wood to get some coal burning and before long I was scooping coal almost constantly.

Since the boiler itself was still at about 200 degrees, with water inside the very same, little if any harm was done to the boiler. It took what seemed to be an eternity before the gauge pointer was off the peg, but once I saw it rise off that peg I was sure we'd be going soon.
I just kept feeding coal as it wanted it, talking with visitors at the same time.

As the earlier train pulled in, my pressure was at 210 and climbing slowly. Plenty to operate a train. We ran the trip.

The next morning we left to go back to the Twin Cities. We had a very uneventful and easy run back home. We were all happy to be back. That whole ordeal put stress on everyone and we were all pretty tired by yesterday late afternoon.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Fitz
Conductor
Posts: 861
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Waldport, OR, USA
Contact:

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Fitz » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:18 pm

Mark, thanks for the true scoop (pun intended). Sounds like good old steam railroad American ingenuity, that fix. You guys will do anything necessary to meet your schedules. Nice work by the entire crew.
Image

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:28 pm

And here come the first of the photo's
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 007 (resized).jpg

What I got when I arrived at the 261 shop Monday night around 10 PM. Also, the rest of it at about the same time below:
Attachments
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 009 (resized).jpg
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:50 pm

Could have put more up there but I screwed up and decided to start another reply. Easier.
You're all going to learn more about North Dakota than the choo choo.


Here is entering some huge metropolis, whistle blasting;

261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 055 (resized).jpg


I wonder if I can put more on this page if I'm placing them all in line. I'll soon find out.
Ok, if this works there's a photo of our train as it appears from the tool car somewhere nearby.
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 073 (resized).jpg


What you see above is the speedometer drive. (recording speedometer) where the #4 E side driver turns the smaller wheel. I was TRYING to get a shot of the area of the fault we had, but the light was so bright outside that I could not see anything on the liquid crystal display on the camera. It just looked black.
In any case, you can see the area and it shows part of the pipe I was talking about.

Let's see if I can get another one in here... Nope, didn't work.
Go to next frame for your viewing pleasure.
Attachments
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 024 (resized).jpg
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo Choo time next week

Postby Mark D » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:22 pm

In the last picture above you can just make out a former CB&Q Vista dome. A Budd built stainless creation. I forget the name it carried, but the only input I had on the restoration of that car that made any real difference was to drill the mounting holes, clean up burrs and fit those stainless steel signboards to the sides of the car. However, it was our team at the 261 shop who created a gorgeous interior inside a car that had been so badly vandalized that most people would just scrap it. It belongs to the Lake Superior Transportation Museum (I think that's the name of it) and they asked us to do a restoration on it. Not only does it look nice, but the trucks are now good, two new air conditioning units, new heat, all new electrical and lighting and probably more that I don't even know about.
We were allowed to take it on its first run after this restoration to service. Good thing, because once it goes back to Duluth, if something isn't right it's a lot easier for us to fix it when it's already at the shop.

Below are a few more photo's. I was going to try to put them all in line, but I screwed up too much. (Hint - My wife is talking to me in the background and my train of thought is interrupted every few seconds) Yes, I will blame her, not myself.

So here is something that I don't know yet what it will be.
Attachments
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 045 (resized).jpg
Inside the tool car, looking from (on this train) the tool end is at the far end from where I took the photo. There are a few roomettes on this end. Mine is about an inch down the corridor from that wall switch and on that same side too. There is a laundry sink to the right of that switch, which turns on the light. This car was once an army hospital car. Seldom, if ever, used. Is still at least partly the same as then. Has a great air conditioner, but who the hell needs an air conditioner in a car where the bag doors are always open?
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 059 (resized).jpg
Here's an old freight house or depot or combo that has seen better days. Should be restored, IMO.
261 EXCURSIONS N D  JUNE 1 TO 5 2017 035 (resized).jpg
Oh, here is more education about North Dakota! It is somewhat flat. They say farmers use the ground as a billiard table.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests