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"Banging on a 2900"

TW3 (That Was the Week That Was) – 01/22/22

January 27, 2022

I haven’t sent out a TW3 for a while mostly because we have been doing, for the most part, the same jobs every session. That being said it has been insulation, jacketing and electrical systems, and tool car work.

Much attention has been focused on the Positive Train Control (PTC) system. Since our in-house PTC equipment was developed and installed on the UP Big Boy, it has garnered the attention of several regulatory organizations.

John H. in CA designed the system and has had several successful meetings with the FRA, Amtrak and local metro lines. The system goes under the name of Leap TC. The volunteers of the 2926 have installed it on the engine and have been testing the equipment successfully.

Since our steam-up and power move last July, we developed a punch list of several items, one being the whistle. It just didn’t quite sound correct. It was removed and sent to a rebuilder named Rizzoli Locomotive Works, LLC in CA. The whistle has been returned and reinstalled.

Over the years in the park from 1956 to 2000, the engine was subjected to the abuses of substituting as kids monkey bars. Several control rods were bent including the blower control rod, the throttle control and the power reverse rod. Our group has either replaced them or nearing completing replacement of the rods.

We also had a small leak at the throttle packing gland. That assembly has been removed, cleaned and readied to be reinstalled.

While all this is going on we are in contact with NMDOT to get the 8th Street grade crossing replaced. It may be as old as 1937. When we repaired our restoration site siding track there were date nails removed that were from 1937. All the ties were for the most part rotted.

We’re also on the hook for the inbound siding from the mainline to our siding to Class II to insure it will handle the weight of the engine and tender.

Since our steam-up and move last July, we had an increase in the number of visitors. This is good, but it pulls some of our workers away from their projects to give the tours. I am asking all members who, don’t necessarily want to work on the engine and live close by, to volunteer to give tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We will have a guide sheet to help each person along giving the tour.

Work on the tool car is progressing quite well. Volunteers have been installing metal sheets replacing rusted ones under the car’s underside.

All six doors were designed, fabricated and installed from scratch in-house. Rusted door jambs have been repaired and new thresholds installed. Various areas in the floor have been replaced or repaired.

Weld repairs on the frame have been completed and awaiting Amtrak approval.

480V corner brackets have been fabricated and welded in place.

An 85kw generator has been hung underneath the car. Support brackets were welded and cross-braced for reinforcement.

Next up will be installing the 480V pass-through wire looms.

We have added a third work day to finish up the jacketing and electrical projects by early spring. We don’t open for visitors on that day.

Lastly, we have had a change of two officers on the Board of Directors. Our new President is a long-time member and past Vice President. Bob DeGroft has agreed to serve in that position until the next election period this year. The Treasurer is also a long-time member and past Treasurer, John Gibbons. He’s serving now and agreed to serve until the next election this year. Thanks go out to both of these men for their service, both past and present.

Until next time.

Keep on Steamin',
Rick Kirby