C&NW 1385’s Mud Ring Test Fitting Planned, Superheater Flues Readied

With Gary Bensman’s (of Diversified Rail Services) flanging of various boiler and firebox components complete, Brett Morley of Performance Engineering and the 1385 Task Force now have the dimensions needed to move forward with the updates to the SolidWorks 3D model needed to finalize the boiler design.  Waiting to get actual dimensions was important to ensure that what we build not only fits to locomotive, but also meets the requirements Continental Fabricators has in order to get everything to fit together.  The finished sheets from Gary look amazing. [Sorry, no new photos available at this time.]

We are back onto the task of laying out the stay bolts and other purchased items. Continental Fabricators (located in St. Louis) is preparing the mud ring at the moment. They will ship it to SPEC Machine (in Middleton, WI) as soon as it is complete.  We expect that to happen within the next week or so.  Once at SPEC, we will test fit the mud ring to the frame and make sure all fits as designed.  As soon as we have completed the test fit and made sure everything is aligned, the mud ring will be shipped back to Continental for final assembly.

Traveling along with the mud ring will be a total of 26 superheater flues, each 5″ in diameter and weighing nearly 200 lbs. a piece. The new superheater flues were fabricated and flanged previously and have been stored at Mid-Continent since 2010. These were loaded onto a trailer last week by Steve and Tyler Roudebush and taken to SPEC Machine to await transportation to Continental Fabricators where they will be installed as part of the boiler’s final assembly.

C&NW 1385’s superheater flues. This image was taken in 2010 when the flues were being placed into storage. In early May 2017 they were removed from storage and will soon be installed into 1385’s new boiler.

May is proving to be a very busy month for the 1385.  Years of careful research, analysis, engineering, review, and fundraising have led to this point where the new boiler is finally coming together. After the boiler is assembled by Continental Fabricators, it will be shipped to SPEC Machine this summer and set on the locomotive frame. At the same time as the boiler arrival, the locomotive frame/running gear will be moved from its current shop bay into a recently constructed addition to SPEC Machine’s facility designed specifically with the 1385’s needs in mind. The new addition can better accommodate the full height of the locomotive and will allow reassembly of the 1385 to continue unimpeded until it is ready for delivery to Mid-Continent.

To make a donation in support of completing the C&NW 1385’s rebuild, please consider visiting our Donation page.

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