Sunday, January 29, 2012

SVRy Coach 20 Repairs...

In mid-September 2011 Sumpter Valley Railway coach number 20 the Em. Eccles Jones suffered minor draft gear damage while in service and was unavailable for the duration of the season. This 1883 vintage car is the last surviving clerestory car from the original railway and was built by the Union Pacific for service on the Utah & Northern Railway before being purchased by the Sumpter Valley in the 1890's. On January 15, 2012 volunteers removed the damaged coupler and platform beams from the "A" end of car. New beams arrived on Friday (January 27), and the coach should be back in service shortly, making the number 20 once again one of the oldest regularly operated passenger cars in America.

Coach number 20 in mid-September with the coupler and end beam removed. The car was moved into the shop shortly after this picture was taken in preparation for repairs to the undercarriage.

The new beams have been delivered and are laminated as opposed to being a solid piece of wood. In this particular application a laminate is generally superior to an individual piece of material. 

Eric Wunz notching the new beams to fit around undercarriage components. 

The coupler beams are in place. New through-bolts were constructed to replace the lag-bolts that had been used previously. The angled rod with threads on the end is one of the six truss rods that keep the car in tension and the platform tight. 

All the coupler and platform support beams are in place. Next up is the end beam and a new deck. Thanks to Eric Wunz, Jerry Huck, and Rick Gorden for carrying out the reassembly work. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SVRy Caboose 5...

Sumpter Valley Railway caboose number received a good deal of work in 2011. New roofwalks, new platform tension rods, and numerous minor repairs were topped off with a fresh coat of paint and lettering. Thanks to Jerry Huck, Taylor Rush, Steve Christy, Dan Robirds, Ben Titus, and Eric Wunz for completing the weekend rebuild on the number 5.

Caboose number 5 was built in the South Baker shops of the Sumpter Valley Railway in November of 1926. Used primarily in freight service for the majority of its career, the number 5 brought up the markers on the last mainline freight train in 1947. Sister car number 3 is also in the operable fleet of the Sumpter Valley Railroad and caboose number 6 survives in a private collection. 

Caboose number 5 in service on the original Sumpter Valley in the 1940's. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

At the Backshop...

The boiler is effectively stripped down now. All the jacketing, piping, and insulation have been removed from the exterior, and all the tubes have been removed from the interior in preparation for inspection and testing.

Eric Wunz ultrasound testing (UT) the thickness of the firebox sheets. 

Jerry Huck recording the UT information so that a new complete grid will be available on number 19. By comparing previous UT measurements with these new ones it is possible to determine which areas of the boiler showed thinning or other problems. 

Boiler interior on number 19 looking forward towards the smokebox. Overhead is the drypipe which directs steam to the cylinders. The shiny metal is the front tube sheet which supports the boiler tubes.

Number 19 boiler looking back towards the firebox. You can see all the staybolts that hold the firebox in place an allow for water to surround it. 

2011 Fall Foliage and Photographer's Weekend...

The 10th Annual Fall Foliage and Photographers Weekend was held on October 15 and 16, 2011. Though the weather was overcast, it allowed for photo stops at locations that are unusable in full sunlight. Good colors and steam effects made for a popular weekend.

The following images were provided by Martin Hansen who helped coordinate the weekends events. 

Taylor Rush and Eric Wunz make an adjustment to the cylinder packing while Dale Trongale keeps an eye on the fire.

Excavations at Bates...

A new campground and recreation area is going in at the former site of the huge Oregon Lumber Company mill at Bates. The project is requiring an awful lot of earth moving, and a large number of artifacts from the logging and railroad era were uncovered. The railroad was allowed to recover any artifacts we wanted for preservation. 

The Oregon Lumber Company mill at Bates in the late 1940's. 

Some of the old rails and ironwork that were used the same way that rebar is used today.

Darlington Iron Co. Lt. 81 - Steel. English rail. 

For more information on the history of the Darlington Iron Company, click HERE

 A huge tangle of rails, piping, cables, and unknown iron.

A door from an Edward Hines Lumber Co. company truck. This lumber company purchased the Oregon Lumber Company and exists to this day. 

A prize find is this fully complete Alliance coupler. It will be cleaned up and used on one of the original Sumpter Valley Railway freight cars being restored. 

Moonlight Special...

On Saturday August 13, 2011 the Sumpter Valley Railroad operated its first nighttime train in years, the Moonlight Special. The following description is from the event advertising...

Departing from the McEwen depot at 8:00 PM, passengers will be treated to a steam –powered twilight trip to Sumpter as the moon rises over the valley. After a complimentary cake and coffee dessert, the train will return under the light of a full moon and the glow of the stars. An added bonus will be the start of the Perseid Meteor showers, one of the most spectacular events on the annual cosmic calendar. The train will arrive back at the McEwen station shortly after 10:00 PM.

The train was well attended, and this event will be repeated in 2012. 

Tom Young and Eric Wunz wood up the Heisler while passengers await the evening departure.

Conductor Cindy Christy welcomes passengers aboard the Moonlight Special.

The train heads off into the gathering night.

Tree Trimming...

Taylor Rush and Eric Wunz spent an afternoon trimming trees up along the right-of-way. Not only does this help decrease fire danger, but also improves visibility and forest health.

New Depot Deck at McEwen...

Jesse Merritt and Jerry Huck removing the old deck at the McEwen depot.

The old deck has been removed, next out is the retaining wall.

The deck was poured in sections. When the track side was in place, various pieces of equipment from the collection were brought to the depot to double check clearances. Here diesel-electric number 720 has cleared the platform and is preparing to head back to the shop. This was the first time the locomotive had moved under its own power since it was purchased from Panama. There is still a lot of work to be done on it, but it has successfully passed an important mile mark.

Local contractor Dave DeRoest and his crew did an incredible job on the new concrete deck and ramp. The size of the deck was increased as well, and new approaches to the doors were poured to eliminate an old trip hazard. Funding for the new deck was provided through the generosity of the Leo Adler Community Fund, a long-standing local charity that has supported the railroad many times over the years.

The last remnants of the old deck have been loaded on flatcars and are ready to be hauled off. Number 110 still needs to be lettered, but is sporting its new yellow and black paint job. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Number 110 Returns to Service...

Jim Haase delivered the new transmission coupling for number 110. Plymouth long ago stopped supplying parts for this 1928 vintage locomotive so new pieces have to be made from scratch. 

The motor and transmission are back in place and running and the locomotive has been almost fully reassembled. With the major components in place it was time to do a few improvements as well. Jerry Huck is fabricating a new headlight bracket to accomodate the former Butte Anaconda & Pacific locomotive headlight that was rescued from a scrapyard and rebuilt for the 110.

Eric Wunz is busy needle scaling the number 110 in preparation for a new coat of paint. 

The old paint is mostly off at this stage, note the new headlight being test fitted.

A coat of primer before a fresh coat of yellow and black is applied. 

Jerry Huck is at the controls of the number 110 as it moves Heisler number 3 into the backshop at McEwen. Along with a new coat of paint, the number 110 now sports a new headlight, air-operated bell, horns, and even couplers. The couplers are a major safety improvement as they have relegated the old heavy drawbar to the parts pile.