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"Banging on a 2900"

Work Session Status Week Ending 08/20/2016

August 23, 2016

It appears our volunteers have once again persevered through another hot summer. Our 100 degree days, in all likelihood, are behind us.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so go to our website,, for an in depth overview of the work being performed.

The work is being concentrated on the 26L brake system as the various components are being plumbed.

Other work is being performed on the lubrication systems, cleaning lines and tightening connections.

Cab equipment is being installed now that we have a safe and secure engine house for the locomotive.

We are currently doing hydro testing on the superheaters and preparations are being made to simultaneously test two bundles.

The electrical contractors have, for the most part, finished all the electrical work we had requested for the engine house along with providing the power needed to operate the large rotary compressor donated by Intel several years ago. It will be used for cold starting the engine.

Preparations are being made to move the compressor from storage along with the freshly painted air storage tanks to their designated areas of use.

From time to time workers are needed to work on projects other than the locomotive mostly pertaining to the maintenance of the premises and equipment. The following is a typical report of such work performed on our steam pressure washer provided by Kurt O.

The Alkota hot water pressure washer is now operational. There were two critical issues:
  1. the pump motor started, but the pump would not draw water; and

  2. the oil burner would not ignite.

It was determined the pump seals had dried out, and the burner nozzle and screen were badly fouled.

A third problem was a leaky inner tube on one tire, which actually matters given the thing weighs over 400 lbs.

The issues have been corrected, and the key operational components were cleaned, lubricated, resealed, retightened etc.

Kudos to Candy and Ron Ivey, the Alkota distributor in Los Lunas. Ron generously shared undocumented diagnostic techniques and remedies that expedited resolution. They plan to visit the loco on Wednesday, August 24 between 10a – 12p. I asked them to bring with them 5 gallons of his favorite degreaser solution for purchase, which is the least we can do in thanks.

Open issues: 1) soap hoses are brittle due to UV exposure; and 2) the burner cap is missing, exposing interior coils to weather.

Thanks to Kurt for his hard work around the site lately and working extra days if needed.

Hope to see everyone at the site this week, and as always . . .

Keep on Steamin',
Rick Kirby, CMO