Discussion in 'Non Disney Photos / Mobile Phone Photos' started by mSummers, Sep 7, 2010.
these are so clear and sharp I feel like I am ; there
Great shots again!!!!!
Here's a couple more shots. ; Since the clouds moved in after lunch, I decided to get some shots some of the exhibits and since the machine shop was open, I took a couple of photos in there as well.
Here's an interesting exhibit. ; They took the Spang, Chalfant & Co. #8 and cut her open so that you could see how everything works. ; They even color coded it to make it easier to understand; Yellow is fire or exhaust gas, blue is water, white is steam and red is where they made a cut:
Here's the boiler for the Baldwin Locomotive Works #26. ; This yard switcher has been in the shop since 1999 and they hope to have her finished sometime next year. ; 11 years is a long time for a locomotive to be in the shop, but with a shrinking budget causing them to have a smaller staff combined with a few surprises including a bent frame, projects tend to take a long time.
Here's a shot inside the firebox looking at the rear flue sheet. ; Each hole in that sheet gets a flue or tube which carries the hot exhaust gases from the firebox, through the boiler where it heats the water and then to the smokebox where it exits the locomotive through the stack.
Here's a shot from the front of the boiler looking back at the rear flue sheet. ; You can see some of the pipes going into the steam dome at the top. ; Also all of the metal rods around the flue sheet are staybolts. ; Staybolts are used to keep the pressure inside the boiler from crushing the firebox and are one of the reasons that steam locomotives are so maintenance intensive. ; The staybolts are under a lot of stress every time the boiler is heated and cooled. ; Eventually the bolt breaks. ; FRA rules allow a locomotive to be operated with a very small number of broken bolts.[nb]I think 4 is the maximum, you can't have two broken next to each other and you can only have so many broken within a certain square footage of the boiler.[/nb] ; According to the ranger that I talked to, after you let the boiler cool completely and drain all the water, it takes 8 hours to replace one broken staybolt because you have to drill out the broken bolt, build the metal back up, re-drill and thread the hole and then install the new staybolt.
And here's the Boston & Maine #3713 which is next in line for shop time after the BLW #26 is complete. ; The large hole in the top of the boiler is there because they had to remove most of the firebox and the top sheet of the boiler because of problems with the metal in those areas. ; The metal pipe stacked to the left of the locomotive are all of the flues that have to be replaced in the boiler during the restoration process.
More to come...
Great shots, and even better lesson, thanks!
what an awesome set of shots! and great information! I had no idea these trains are so maintenance intensive.
great shots, I love the black and whites. like howie said, they are so sharp, it feels like I am there
I'm not sure what to think about #8. ; It's a fantastic educational exhibit, and I'd love to spend an hour or two studying it. ; On the other hand, cutting up a perfectly good historical artifact that could have been preserved intact just doesn't seem right.
Yeah, I have mixed feelings about that one too. ; Although I guess it is better to be a little cut up but well cared for than stuffed, mounted and rusting away... or worse yet, scrapped.
Yeah, the amount of work involved is amazing. ; I knew that they are maintenance intensive, but you really don't appreciate it until you see one torn apart with pieces scattered across the shop in various stages of repair. ; Seeing that really makes you realize how incredibly lucky we are to have the ones that we have in operable condition. ; Going back to my staybolt example, in the picture of the firebox above, every one of the flat round things inside the firebox is a staybolt. ; Multiply all of those by 8 hours and you get a sense of the amount of time required to do what seems like a small task.
Unfortunately restoring them is only going to get harder as time goes on. ; As government rules get more and more stringent, the restoration costs will only go up. ; The Friends of the 261 are restoring the Milwaukee Road #261 and have projected the cost to be $250,000 and that's for an engine that has been in operation recently and that they've already restored once. ; So, they've learned from their mistakes the first time around. ; The Boston & Maine #3713 in the picture above hasn't been operated in a very long time. ; They have a fund raising goal of $2.1 million to bring it back into service, partly because it needs so much firebox and boiler work. ;
Another problem that they are going to run into in the future is the availability of replacement parts. ; For many of the operable steam locomotives, there are other engines of the same model in museums or in parks that can be used for donor parts. ; In fact the Union Pacific Railroad has at least one donor engine in their Cheyenne Roundhouse that they use to keep the #844 running. ; As they run out of replacement parts that can easily be refurbished they're going to have to make more and more parts from scratch. ; While they already make some parts from scratch now, things like new wheels or cylinders would be very expensive to cast from scratch.
The final problem that I see is the loss of first hand knowledge of how to restore some of these locomotives. ; Locomotives of the same type as those that are already restored and running are relatively safe because the shops that maintain them now will be able to pass on that knowledge. ; But, up until now anyone who wanted to restore a locomotive that was going to be the only operating example of it's type have been able to call on the firsthand knowledge of the people who maintained them when they were used for real railroading. ; These guys are especially helpful because while there are blueprints for some locomotives scattered across the country in various museum collections, there are no assembly manuals, so they are able to provide important information on the proper re-assembly techniques, etc. ; While the right person with enough mechanical knowledge could eventually figure anything out, it is much easier to pick up a phone and ask. ; The problem is that the guys who possess that firsthand knowledge are all in their 80's or older.
Anyway, I'll step off my soapbox now... ; I'll have a couple more pictures tomorrow.
Time for the final set of pictures. ; In addition to the crew photo that was taken earlier in the morning, they staff at Steamtown had two more small but unannounced tributes planned. ; First, they brought the 2317 onto the turntable and explained to everyone that it was her last day of operation and talked a little about the history of the engine. ; Then after taking her back out into the yard to drop the fire, the brought her back onto the turntable and did a complete 360Ã‚Â° spin before lining her up with her stall in the roundhouse. ; Which brings us back to the first picture I showed you:
As they moved her off the turntable for the last time, the engineer blew a very mournful sounding whistle before entering the roundhouse. ; Here we see the conductor watching her position relative to the smoke jack and signaling the engineer to keep moving forward:
After putting all of the locomotives back into the roundhouse for the day we found the park superintendent, Kip Hagen talking to two of his engineers near the roundhouse doors in perfect light. ; The sunlight entering through the doors is illuminating the smoke from the locomotive that just entered the roundhouse:
I was busy taking pictures of the locomotives and would have missed that last shot if a friend of mine hadn't pointed it out to me. ; A minute later the smoke had cleared and the shot was gone. ; Anyway, that's all I've got for Steamtown. ; I hope you all enjoyed them.
I enjoyed them all Michael. Looking forward to the next set especially of ones with snow
Great job on these!! Loved the series!!
Michael, they were all great! ; I just love trains, wished I had a place to see them more easily. ; Thanks for sharing!
Awesome! I love trains.
I won't promise any snow just yet, but I do have a 4 day, 3 railroad photo charter weekend coming up in October. ;
i really like your black & white work, very much in the style of mr link
Wonderful photos of what looks to have been both a fun and bittersweet day.
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