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RGS #20

November 27, 2017 04:37AM avatar
I suppose it seems that #20 has fallen off the radar. Yes and no. I haven't posted in quite a while because we are in a phase of the project where progress is very difficult to depict in words or pictures. It's the fussy stage where all the pieces/parts are being finished up for the final assembly. Here is where we stand at the moment:

Drivers are installed.

Equalizing is close to being installed.

Lead truck still needs the center plate portion machined to install on the cylinder block.

Engines are about half done. We have the new piston rings, valves are done, valve yoke need to be machined, crosshead guides need to be made, and piston rods need final machining after bump marks are established.

Ash pan needs final modification and installation.

Brake rigging has been assessed, recalculated, and awaits machining prior to installation.

Side rods are finished except for brasses. Main rods have been straightened, stress relieved, and await machining and brasses.

Lots of miscellaneous adjustments and tweaks have yet to be done.

The fact of the matter is that this has been the most challenging project I have ever been involved with. In the beginning, we erroneously assumed a certain state of repair since the locomotive ran right up to the end of the RGS, along with paperwork that indicated nothing unusual. Of course, there were the anecdotal tales of hiding #20 from the ICC inspectors that would indicate some serious issues, though not too much was found that would have been evident to an inspector. I suspect these stories had something to do with leaks on the boiler and piping which could have been significant, though probably not dangerous. Regardless, this has been quite the project.

The budget continued to climb throughout the project and it was apparent very early on that much volunteer labor would be needed to complete the less technical aspects. For the most part, this labor has been unavailable other than the time I have put in on the project.

Currently, the project will need more funding to complete and we have slowed a bit until that can be hopefully obtained.

All that being said, when I look at projects over my 50 years in the business, this one is a bargain considering the scope of work. Similarly sized locomotive projects we have done and others have done to which I have been privy to costs would have hit at least $3 million in the "normal" marketplace.

One of the aspects making this project somewhat different is the attempt to retain as much original material in the restoration as possible. For instance, the driving rods. Early evaluation indicated that these should be replaced for myriad reasons. Replacement would have been cheaper, but the detriment to the artifact would have been significant. As with everything else on the locomotive, the rods are not a "matched set" to say the least, and their unique character is quite obvious to even the most casual observer. This is just one example of many where we are attempting to have our cake and eat it too, by bringing the locomotive back to life in as close to original (1951) condition as safety and operational necessity will allow.

I could go on and on, however I will leave you with this photo of the pressure gage on the first full hydrostatic test of the boiler at one and a half times operating pressure. This test revealed far fewer leaks than we anticipated - it is a riveted boiler, and we now are awaiting the Authorized Inspector's arrival for the official hydro and stamping of the boiler.
20171122 First Hydro 1 MB.jpg
Subject Author Posted

RGS #20 Attachments

Linn W. Moedinger November 27, 2017 04:37AM

Re: RGS #20

Mike November 27, 2017 04:49AM

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tomc November 27, 2017 05:24AM

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KevinM November 27, 2017 08:48AM

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Linn W. Moedinger November 27, 2017 10:14AM

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SR_Krause November 27, 2017 06:39PM

Re: RGS #20

Linn W. Moedinger November 27, 2017 10:07AM

Re: RGS #20

SR_Krause November 27, 2017 06:32PM

Re: RGS #20

Samart November 27, 2017 11:35AM

Re: RGS #20

MD Ramsey November 27, 2017 02:38PM

Re: RGS #20

Jim Armstrong November 27, 2017 03:21PM

Re: RGS #20

Linn W. Moedinger November 30, 2017 09:33AM

Re: RGS #20

Dave Vollmer November 30, 2017 11:02AM

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