Frisco 1522... for those that remember...

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Millhouse
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Frisco 1522... for those that remember...

Postby Millhouse » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:53 am

I can't actually remember what the reasoning was that this engine was put back into retirement. I just remember it was 2002 some time after the BNSF EAS in Texas. Wiki says 'due to high insurance costs and flue failures'.

Disclaimer: I'm not arguing at all that it should or should not have been retired. We all know this stuff happens, just curious on the details. I was just having a conversation with a friend, 1522 came up and I could not remember for the life of me. Anyone?

Mark D
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Re: Frisco 1522... for those that remember...

Postby Mark D » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:50 am

The 1522 became persona non grata with the BNSF. They were on a trip that I forget where to now, but I think Chicago. But on the way there they wanted to stop somewhere where there was a scale and they wanted to weigh their engine. BNSF said the track would not hold the steam engine. They disobeyed BNSF and went onto those tracks anyway and promptly had a nasty derailment. That fowled that track for several days, maybe a week or more.. I forget. They had to get Hulcher (spelling?) out there. Much damage was done to the 1522 and they tried to bill BNSF for the damages IIRC. Once it was back together it went back home and never ran again.

Some of this might be mistaken, but it is what I recall from reading at the time and from what I heard from people in the know.

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

John Bohon
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Re: Frisco 1522... for those that remember...

Postby John Bohon » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:01 pm

I think the group running 1522 looked at the reality of their situation and made the best move they could think of by retiring 1522. In the early 2000's opportunities to run excursions were getting fewer and fewer. NS was out of the steam business and would not even move anyone over their lines. UP was only running their own engines. BNSF was still a possibility for occasional trips but those were not enough to justify the expense of overhauling 1522. The new FRA steam rules were being transitioned in and 1522's number was coming up. That cost was going to be much more than in previous years. Insurance rates were going up as they always seem to be. Another big factor was the group did not own their own cars. That meant every trip required the expensive proposition of moving in cars from where ever they could find them. Last but possibly not least the members looked around and saw everyone was getting older and correctly wondered how long they could keep running.

The 1522 was a good engine but was also a plain bearing engine. They had a history of hot journals. By the end everything but the drivers were converted to roller bearings. Unfortunately they were having the same problems with the poor quality of grease available and occasionally the cake would just suddenly melt away after loosing lubrication. Now that could probably be corrected by converting to the Armstrong oilers being used by the likes of Southern 630 and 4501. As far as I know those were not available then.

All things considered they made the decision to put 1522 away in the best possible way they could to keep it in a condition where it could return to service if the opportunity ever came up. I think they came to the correct decision.

John Bohon


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