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"Banging on a 2900"

Work Session Status Week Ending 06/23/2018

June 23, 2018

Much has taken place since my last work report as I was waiting to provide some good news.

The summer solstice has come and gone, the days will be getting shorter and lower temperatures. Yeah, right!

Most of you are aware of the locomotive's rear truck derailing as it passed over the inspection pit. Plans were made and materials purchased to insure the pit walls would be stable for the heavy weight and load of the D8 Cat's side booms which were scheduled to arrive this past Monday, June 18th.

Volunteers worked in the rain on the prior Saturday installing the necessary shoring of the pit walls.

The D8 Cats arrived as expected with a full crew from Hulcher Professional Services. After much jockeying around both side booms were in place to begin the lift. The job proved to be more daunting​ than expected, but finally the 2926 was on stable track so Lurch could move it west to allow the D8's to exit the property.

One day off and back to work on Wednesday removing the pit shoring. All the metal shoring materials were graciously loaned, at no cost, from Territorial Scaffold, Inc., which was returned on Wednesday. Thanks to Don Mac. for arranging that for us!

Workers immediately began grinding off the welds supporting the large 14" H beam and it's still attached piece of track. The final welds, which were inaccessible with a grinder, were torched off this past Saturday.

"Big Bird" (the overhead crane) was moved over the beams, rigged, and the section was lifted and removed away from the pit. More finish grinding was done to clean up the beam supports.

The new H beam was lifted and set in place by, once again, Big Bird.

After the beam was tack welded in place full welding began. The west end welding is almost complete.

New reinforcing gusset plates were cut and weld bevels ground at all mating surfaces.

Other plans are in the works for further reinforcement of the beams and rail.

Now a search is on for a merchandise store to replace the one we had to remove to enable the D8's to move about.

Many donations have come in to offset this major expense to our budget. As of this writing we are far away from procuring enough funds for what we will need to get the site back to normal. If you can, please help us with a tax deductible donation as soon as you can. Every dollar helps. Thanks to all those who have already donated.

Elsewhere on site the normal work continues with jacketing, flue sand box assembly work and radial buffer adjustments.

July 4th falls on our regular Wednesday work session. Dr. Mike says he will open the gate for anyone who wishes to provide tours to any visitors that may come in. Someone will need to be there to run the credit card machine just in case. I don't plan for it to be a normal work session.

There was a camera found at the site. If you are missing one please contact us at to describe it.

Lastly, kudos to our volunteers who worked in the heat and rain preparing the site for the rerailing of the locomotive, and also removing the shoring equipment the following Wednesday. All work was done in a professional manner and safely, as no one was injured.

It's been really hot lately and Wednesday is expected to be over 100 degrees. Need to stay hydrated and wear your sunscreen, and as always . . .

Keep on Steamin',
Rick Kirby, CMO