Second Reconstruction of the Mongrel 2-6-0 "Emma"

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Andy R
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Second Reconstruction of the Mongrel 2-6-0 "Emma"

Post by Andy R » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:18 pm

Lots of times folks have wondered "Whatever happened to such-and such locomotive?"
Too often the locos disappear, but others get modified almost enough (I did say almost) so that the original builder might not recognize it.
So this is a little sting to document (probably incompletely) the history of one such locomotive.
Here's a picture of the current and almost ready-for-testing version of a 7.5-inch gauge Mogul.
Starboard side:
IMG_4152.JPG
and Port Side:
IMG_4153.JPG

Andy R
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: So. Calif.

My introduction to "Emma"

Post by Andy R » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:26 pm

My few friends know that my primary interest is 3.5-inch gauge, so what the heck was my rationale for buying a 7.5-inch gauge monster?

Well...
An electrical engineer, Gordon Bachlund, with whom I had worked for several years retired, talking about getting his locomotive "Emma" back on the tracks. He called one day to ask about people who rebuild locos as a sideline or principal business and I recommended a few. But Gordon apparently balked at the cost of the proposed services. He called me again and offered the loco for what seemed at the time to be a bargain. Let's talk.

Talk and talk, and eventually some cash resulted in three truckloads of stuff coming home with me in 2008 or so. Maybe it was 2007.

Oh did I mention that the locomotive had been disassembled for at least the previous 14 years?

Andy R
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Location: So. Calif.

Pieces and Parts for "Emma"

Post by Andy R » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:41 pm

As Gordon explained to me at that time (and as I dimly recall), he had initially had a friend "help" with the clank-clank-clank of the rods. That friend and Gordon had disassembled the locomotive and the rod ends were welded to fill the bearing holes. Ugh. All of the piping had been cut, and parts were not identified.

There was little documentation; just some photos. No problem. It looks like an Allen Mogul. "I'll get drawings", is what I thought. But looking at Allen moguls at LALS, RLS and OCME I found little in common. Of importance was the Walschaerts (instead of Stephenson) valve gear, and a "pot" type oil burner. Oh and a Vanderbilt tender.

Gordon had purchased the loco from the original builder's widow, so I couldn't get any first-hand info, but Sam Calderwood at LALS discovered that the builder had written an article about the loco. For those of you who have libraries, read "A Mogul named "Mongrel" from the BILDWAN Locomotive Works by H.A. "Dutch" Boysen." In the article Dutch explained about some of the unique features of his mogul, including the Walschaerts valve gear, the pot burner and Briggs boiler, and the use of unusual components for things like the smokebox face (brake disc and lamp base) and the domes (pipe fittings). And Dutch called his first loco "Emma" not this one. Gordon called her "Emma" and I continue to do so. She is a lady.

Andy R
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: So. Calif.

Approaching the first Reconstruction

Post by Andy R » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:50 pm

So no dice on drawings - The first task was milling the rods and inserting new bushings ... easy-peasy as Jack B would say.

Then it was figuring out the valve gear. The drivers and portside of the valve gear were still assembled to the frame, so reassembly of the starboard side was by copy and "eyeball". Timing was done following David Lazarus' advice, and Viola! It ran on air.

Lucky for me Dutch followed the Allen style split smokebox, and I was able to figure out the piping in the smokebox.
IMG_0315.jpg
That's a smokebox throttle in the photo.

What a mess … You might figure that I assumed that reassembly would be easy. More to follow on that.

Andy R
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Location: So. Calif.

Adventures in Piping: First Reconstruction

Post by Andy R » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:07 pm

Gordon had made some modifications to Emma.
He changed the lettering from "Unique Pacific" No. 2 to the Tonopah and Goldfield No 58. The T&G never had a standard gauge mogul, and none numbered 58, but it's a nice "What If" and I stuck with it.
He changed the solid disc wheels on the tender trucks to spoke wheels.
He added brakes to the tender. They were busted up in a derailment and lucky-for-me I was able to purchase parts from the original vendor.
He had purchased some Superscale components including check valves and safety valves. All these were nice.
So I got out my checkbook and invested in more Superscale valves, and a pair of Howard Gorin's blowdown valves too. Now this is getting expensive!
And because I was without plans, I re-piped Emma in my own style:
IMG_0657.jpg
In retrospect it left a lot to be desired, but I was in a hurry to get Emma on the rails.
Next up is the big surprise with the tender.

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Second Reconstruction of the Mongrel 2-6-0 "Emma"

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:05 am

Looks to me like you have a freelance mogul that used Little Engines switcher drive wheel castings, and possibly Allen Models Cylinder and crosshead castings, or something like that. I like it... I Reaaalllly like it! In fact, one of these days I'm going to build myself a free-lance Consolidation using the Allen cylinders, baker valve gear, some 7" diameter square counterweight drivers that I'm going to get cast (eventually), and a 9" boiler that tapers to an 8" boiler in the front. Pretty similar to what you have there except about 8 or 9 inches longer with one more set of drive wheels, and the main driver being the 3rd set. It will be a good bit larger than the Allen catalog consolidation, which is absolutely beautiful, but is pretty small for a consolidation.

Kitbashes are very interesting to me... I like seeing what someone built using parts intended for something else, and items scrounged and adapted to make their locomotive. Personally, I find a kitbash like this more interesting than someone's build of a locomotive where they are trying to make an exact scale model of a particular prototype. Can't wait to see what came next.

Berkman
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Re: Second Reconstruction of the Mongrel 2-6-0 "Emma"

Post by Berkman » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:11 pm

Or you could build a 2-8-0 with LE 0-6-0 cylinders, 7 inch drivers, boiler as you described, baker VG then a wide firebox that sits over the wheels. Would require a raised smokebox. Similar to SOU 630 proportions.

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Second Reconstruction of the Mongrel 2-6-0 "Emma"

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:37 pm

I already have a 2-10-0 that is built using all LE 0-4-0/0-6-0 parts. I know that they make a really nice size consolidation too, and several have been built by kitbashers. I was thinking something a little bit different, slightly older type, maybe having been upgraded at some point with better valve gear and a larger tender. It would be sort of like what the N&W did with their M class and W class locomotives. But in either case, it would be a decent size 'general purpose' locomotive, of a type that most railroads had by the dozens or even hundreds.

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Doug_Edwards
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Re: Second Reconstruction of the Mongrel 2-6-0 "Emma"

Post by Doug_Edwards » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:21 pm

Dutch made his own driver pattern and had them cast locally. Iirc, they were a whopping $25 a piece. He went with a 57" driver both since the UP Consols had 57, and that he wanted more chugs per revolution. The middle driver was blind to get around his 25' radius.

Regards,

Doug
http://www.precisionlocomotivecastings.com/
Building a 70 ton Willamette in 1.6"
Building a 80 ton Climax in 1.6"

"Aim to improve!"
"Mine is not to question why, mine is just to tool and die"

Andy R
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Location: So. Calif.

Drivers and other heavy stuff

Post by Andy R » Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:29 pm

Dutch did write that he obtained Allen Models Cylinders, but the crossheads are fabricated and use no castings.
Doug is correct about the drivers, they are 7 inches and Dutch made the patterns himself. They resulted in really nice castings and I wonder what happened to them. The pilot truck wheels were originally intended for a Climax.

It appears that Dutch may have been influenced by Gene Allen or Bob Harpur regarding the frame, because there are striking similarities, except that it is all steel. This is a really heavy mogul. The smokebox is steel. The stack is steel. The cab is steel. The footplate/deck is steel. The pilot beam is solid steel. The pilot deck is steel. The Johnson bar and its supports are steel. About the only aluminum (saying this because there's lots of aluminum in a Gene Allen mogul) are the steps between the pilot deck and the walkways (which, of course, are solid steel). Traction has not been a problem (but I'm getting ahead of the story.)

Andy R
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: So. Calif.

Tender Water Tank Surprise

Post by Andy R » Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:43 pm

I was happy with the progress of re-assembly of "Emma" until I happened to look inside the water tank with a flashlight. What's all that brown stuff? The tank was full of rust.
Here's a photo of it cut apart:
inside water tank.jpg
You can see the problem. The coating only covered about 20% of the tank.
This is the underside of the oil tank:
oil tank after separation.jpg

The corrosion is particularly severe where nobody prior to borescopes could inspect.
Dutch even included slosh baffles. These were T-shaped and fit in brackets welded to the inside of the tank. Perhaps he originally intended to coat them first, but they were severely corroded.
second baffle plates.jpg

Andy R
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: So. Calif.

Solving the Tank Corrosion

Post by Andy R » Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:54 pm

Lucky for me a parent of a player on my daughter's Little League team had a powder coating business in Santa Ana, California, and he bead-blasted and powder coated the tank components for a very reasonable price.

Here's the water tank:
IMG_1479.jpg
And here's the oil tank.
IMG_1481.jpg
I had drilled holes to allow connection of the two tanks via a brass blocks with brass bolts, and they were sealed with black silicone. I know silicone is not supposed to be used for water retaining, but the amount of time that this is full of water is negligible.

Next are some of the finishing touches.

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