Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:16 am

Today we hit a major milestone. We removed the drivers and lead truck. Other than the "ash pan" (it's an oil burner), these were the last of the big parts that need to be removed. Lacking a drop pit, we had to jack up the frame and boiler about three feet for the drivers to clear the frame and pedestal binder studs.

In the second photo the driver isn't getting ready to drop off of the rail and roll across the floor. If you look closely it's chocked.

We started just 10 months ago and have invested over 3,000 volunteer hours to bring the project to this point. We're all feeling pretty good today. :D

In a few days there will be photos and a video posted to the project web page linked from http://www.alaskarails.org/. If you feel moved to donate to a worthy cause, that's also on the web page.
Attachments
Cribbing in placer.jpg
Rolling out #4 driver (r).jpg
With last driver removed (r).jpg
Removed Drivers r.jpg
Last edited by Dick_Morris on Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:30 am

One of the interesting parts of the project is that it is sometimes like an archeological dig. While removing the front truck equalizer we found that the fulcrum under the boiler had considerable wear. Shown with the pin is one of the two crescent shaped pieces that had been placed in the holes to move the fulcrum pin back to the proper location. (The key to the left of the pin goes somewhere else.) There was little wear on the pin, which is about 2" diameter. Apparently it was replaced when the crescent shaped piece was applied.
Attachments
Equalizer fulcrum (r).jpg
Equalizer pin (r).jpg

Kimball McGinley
Posts: 757
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 2:13 pm
Location: Laguna Niguel CA

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Kimball McGinley » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:10 pm

Thats's ingenious. Is there a slot on the pin to hold the crescents?

What repair do you propose? Bore-out and be-bush the bracket, and new pin with no slot?

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:16 pm

No slot. The crescent just occupied the worn space with the bottom of it having the same radius as the pin. I suspect that the bracket will be removed, built up with weld, and rebored. I suspect that the pin might be modified to accept a grease gun and that it will be included when we make up a lubrication chart.

By the way, the slot visible in the pin is for a flat cotter key. Some of them were bent up from flat stock like a round cotter pin and some were made from two pieces of steel flat stock with a rivet in one end. I don't know which style this one was as I didn't remove it. All the spring hanger pins are similar - hex heads on one end and a place for a flat cotter key in the other.

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:26 am

This week ends a year since the permanent board of directors was seated and the first wrench was turned. As of the end of June we had invested over 4,300 volunteer hours in the project, 3,100 of them involved working on the locomotive, tools, and facility and 1,200 involved administration.

We have removed essentially everything that needs to be removed. We have now started refurbishing the parts and getting them ready to put the locomotive back together. The last major parts to be removed were the fire pan and the shaft and supports connecting the brake cylinder to the brake linkage. Many of the parts on the locomotive, including the brake hangers, frame cross-ties and brake shaft support bolts, and crossheads are tapered. For those that have to be removed we have several custom press tools which use a Port-a-power to do the pushing. The more stubborn pieces also require heat from a torch. A good number of them come loose with a resounding BANG, scaring the bejesus out of everyone close.

The front equalizer with the oblong holes pictured in an earlier post should be as good as new by the end of the week. A local machine shop has it and is donating the work to build up the missing material, line bore it, and press in bushings. The front truck equalizer arm and the associated cross-equalizer were also badly worn. Both have been built up by welding and reshaped to match the original drawing. There was over two inches of accumulated wear in the suspension supporting the lead truck. That may have been why when we received the locomotive one of the front driver bearings had been overheated and damaged - the front driver was taking a lot of the weight that should have been carried by the lead truck.

We have been working on the cab for several months. It seems like everyone who worked on the locomotive during the 20 years it was in service wanted to add something and had to cut a new hole to do it - often with a torch. All the extra holes have been welded up and a badly rusted strip of metal along the bottom edge has been replaced. The cab just came back from a company who donated sand blasting and applying a coat of primer - black on the outside and green inside. Soon we will be applying the oak custom milled tongue and groove ceiling, prefinished with a green stain and sealed, which was donated by a local millworks company.

We completed all the boiler ultrasound measurements - I believe the final count was over 3,000 of them. The engineer has looked at all the data and most of the boiler is in good shape. However, the firebox needs extensive repairs and the firebox stays, flues and tubes all need to be replaced. Our locomotive has the earlier of two boiler designs for this class of locomotive. In the later design the firebox crown and side sheet were slightly thicker material. The later design also had a number of flexible stays where the earlier boiler had rigid stays. One of the Ft. Eustis locomotives of this design had the boiler rebuilt in the 1950s and at that time additional rigid stays were replaced with flexible stays. Where possible, we will be incorporating the upgrades.

Drivers look good and the tires appear to be nearly new. Unfortunately, many years of sitting caused some minor pitting on the journals and one journal was damaged when it was over heated. The drivers will be taking a trip to the Lower 48 to a shop that can turn and roller burnish the journals. A decision was made when the locomotive was designed to forgo Babbitt liners in the driver journal boxes and use bronze. This was done to save time and money in light of the intended use of these locomotives. We are looking into upgrading the journals to Babbitt lined.

A task to be taken up soon is to rebuild the Pyle-National K-240 turbo generator. Does anyone have any experience rebuilding one or have tech data? We have the 1945 ICS text on headlights that has a bit of information on generators and a cut-away drawing with the parts names identified for the K-240.

We have had considerable success in collecting technical information and drawings. (This has been one of my pet projects and I have spent a couple of hundred hours looking for, obtaining, identifying, and arranging drawings into a user friendly filing system.) Between the Lima collections at CSRM and the Allen County Historical Society, the Baldwin collection at the Pennsylvania State Archives, and another collection of Baldwin drawings for the S-160s which had been poorly copied onto microfilm, it looks like we will have most of the drawings. We were also able to obtain about 450 pages of engineers' hand written notes from Allen County, including original stress calculations on the boiler and components such as rods, axles, and wheels. We have obtained almost the entire set of boiler drawings. An interesting finding from the engineering notes was that much of the design work and many of the components were adapted from a War Department 2-8-2 for which the production was cancelled before the complete run was done. Many of the components which had already been made but which had become surplus because of the cancellation were incorporated into the first orders for the S-160 2-8-0s.

We continue to add to our collection of tools used to overhaul the locomotive. Through the generosity of a couple of our supporters we just received and are in the process of setting up and getting tooling for a used Birmingham vertical milling machine with a 49" table.

One has to have an immense respect for the people who designed these things. All this work was pre-CAD and pre-computer. I took particular note of the amount of work that went into weight and suspension calculations and design and into determining how to balance all the rotating and reciprocating parts. A substantial part of the engineering data was related to these two areas. Just the indexes of all the parts used on a locomotive and subsequent changes must have taken a tremendous amount of work.

In addition to doing some hands on work and working with drawings, much of my volunteer time this year has been dedicated to the administrative functions of the corporation. If anyone is considering taking on this type of project, don't underestimate the administrative workload. I think we were all blind sided by the amount of work that doesn't involve working on the locomotive. Book keeping and bill paying, obtaining non-profit status with the IRS, preparing income tax returns, public relations and fund raising, reports for grantors, and documenting volunteer hours all take considerable time. Essentially all of the work done to date has been done by volunteers, but a full 25% of the hours spent have involved administration.

Below is a photo of one of our volunteers applying journal protection prior to cleaning and sand blasting the wheel centers so they can be inspected for cracks and defects. (Photo courtesy of Stewart Sterling.)

For more photos and information on the project see http://alaskarails.org/, particularly the "restore" button in the No. 557 Info section.
Attachments
Ron applies bearing protectors - reduced.jpg

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:23 am

Monte rose from rags to riches. His business, Moses Lake Steel, survives, now being operated by his son. Piles of his self-published autobiography went begging for buyers at the auction. Folks who turned up their noses at it didn't know what they were missing. He was an amazing man. Rather than ask House of Poverty visitors for donations to support it, he gave them money and candy.
Orrin - You might like to know that several months ago we decided to follow Monte's practice and keep a supply of Werther's Original Caramels on hand so we can give one to each guest to the engine house.

User avatar
John_S
Posts: 709
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:21 pm
Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by John_S » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:37 pm

Looking great, Dick! Such a massive undertaking I applaud you all whom are working on this project.

Just made a donation in your name. Keep up the hard work!

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:40 am

Thanks! Every dollar is matched by a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. Be assured that we will put it to good use.

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:00 am

There was over two inches of accumulated wear in the suspension supporting the lead truck.
Correction - the accumulated wear in the suspension supporting the lead truck was over FIVE inches.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on drawings - inventorying what we have found so far, adding the file names of the electronic images so items can be found, annotating the Lima and Baldwin card indexes to show which drawings we have, and checking the list of drawings for this design that the California State Railroad Museum has in their collection to order other drawings that we need.

A few interesting things have shown up. For most of the locomotives to this design there was no generator or electrical system, all the lights burned kerosene. There was also no bell. The draft gear used hooks and turnbuckles on the European system. There was no power reverse, just a Johnson bar. Later drawings are for a screw reverse version. The Alaska Railroad installed a pilot, U.S. style coupler, power reverse, bell, and electrical system. On some of their 12 locomotives to this design, but not ours, they widened the cab by 2-3 feet.

For anyone following the project, there is a new status report at http://alaskarails.org/pix/former-loco/ ... index.html.

marshall5
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:20 am
Location: Isle of Man & Boise

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by marshall5 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:30 pm

Hi Dick, I've been following your project with great interest having been lucky enough to see S160's at work. Currently there are 8 S160's in the UK, one, USATC 6046 is running and another four (2253,3276,5197 & 5280) have run here but are now under or awaiting overhaul. The remaining 3 are collections of parts. I don't know if you've seen the little book 'Over Here the story of the S160' which was written in 1980 to raise funds for ex Polish # 5280 - it has several first hand accounts of running them in Britain during WW2 including the firebox collapses. R. Tourret wrote ' United States Army Transportation Corps locomotives' which has a lot of info and WW2 photos (ISBN 0-905878-01-9) and is, I think, still in print.
The attached photo of an S160 shows how much the Chinese altered their S160's changing them to left hand drive with power reverse and widened cab amongst other things.
In your rebuild blog it shows the arch tubes being cut out of the firebox due to the loco being converted to oil firing. I always thought that arch tubes also acted like thermic siphons and assisted in water circulation so I was just wondering why it was necessary to remove them? This isn't a criticism, just curious, you guys are doing a great job. Regards Ray.
Attachments
book cover.jpg
exUSATC S160 at Fushun mine Jan 1985.jpg

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2296
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by Dick_Morris » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:42 pm

Ray,

I'm aware of the book "Over Here" but haven't looked at a copy. Your note prompted me to put it on order.

I understand that during the Korean War, the S-160s fought on both sides. One of the stranger modification I've seen was the fitting of smoke deflectors ("elephant ears").

We understand that the arch tubes were a problem area in these boilers as they were subject to cracking. Not fitting them when we install the new firebox is one of the decisions we have made to improve reliability. We have an early boiler, but the boiler design was revised in 1944 and we intend to incorporate some of the changes in the areas requiring rebuild such as slightly thicker material in the firebox. We also plan to replace a number of the rigid stays with flexible stays. This is also to decrease potential maintenance requirements and increase longevity.

marshall5
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:20 am
Location: Isle of Man & Boise

Re: Steam railroading to return to Alaska!

Post by marshall5 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Thanks for that - I didn't realize you were replacing the firebox. I'm sure increasing the thickness and improving the staying is a wise move. Due to the post war loco shortage the Italian State Rlys ran their S160's for longer than the other Western European countries and, according to Tourret, increased the plate thickness to 12mm when they fitted new fireboxes. Whilst the primary cause of the crown collapses was low water investigations suggested that the fairly coarse pitch of the crown stays meant that as few as 5 threads were engaged in the 3/8" firebox plate and the stays ripped through the overheated crown. Keep up the good work. Ray.

Post Reply