Saginaw Timber
Company No. 2
Restoration Journal

steam locomotives number 2, number 1385, and number 1

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Year: 2014 2013 2012 2011

Saginaw Timber Co. No. 2: 2011 Year in Review

Dec. 31, 2011

With the excitement surrounding the resumption of restoration work on the Chicago & North Western #1385, it is easy to overlook the work that is quietly taking place on the Saginaw Timber Company #2. The locomotive, which is privately owned by Mid-Continent member Skip Lichter, has been leased to Mid-Continent throughout its many years of operation at the museum. As restoration has taken place, the locomotive has resided just outside the south doors of the engine house. The restoration, which has been led by Skip, has made slow but steady progress as he continues to work on it himself on a nearly daily basis with occasional help from volunteers when available.

The #2's boiler as it appeared outside the Mid-Continent engine house on July 10, 2010, shortly after its arrival back from Milwaukee Boiler. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

The frame and wheels of the #2 are protected by a tarp as work progresses on installing appliances onto the boiler, sitting just to the left. Oct. 2, 2010. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

One of the last activities on the #2 reported was the shipment of its driving wheels to a facility in Milwaukee for machining. The machining would return the wheels to the proper profiles. Three of the four sets of drivers only required machining. The fourth set of drivers was found to have a defect on the axle and would require replacement. Fortunately, an excess axle was already on hand which was originally ordered for the C&NW 1385 but was found to be unnecessary after all and had been in storage for years. This axle will have the two existing driving wheels mounted to it. To save on costs, an agreement was reached with the contractor that would have them complete the work only when they were short on other projects.

A set of drivers is loaded for shipment to a Milwaukee area machine shop for profiling. Dec. 30, 2010. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

While driving wheels were away and the weather was still cold, work by Skip continued on the driving rods, eccentrics, eccentric straps, and related pieces. Once the weather warmed in 2011, additional repairs were able to resume on the frame and pilot wheels. This would continue through the summer and fall of 2011. A tarp placed over the frame allowed work to proceed even during inclement weather.

A driving box belonging to the Saginaw #2 undergoes machining at the Mid-Continent machine shop. Feb. 24, 2011. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

A driving box belonging to the Saginaw #2 undergoes machining at the Mid-Continent machine shop. Feb. 24, 2011. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

Freshly applied Babbitt is seen on an eccentric strap. Feb. 24, 2011. Jeffrey Lentz photo

Polished rods and linkages await reinstallation. Feb. 24, 2011. Jeffrey Lentz photo

The freshly painted trailing truck was worked on previously but required revisiting after submersion in flood waters in 2008. Feb. 24, 2011. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

A volunteer assiss with the reinstallation of appliances to the boiler. May 5, 2011. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

Sitting a few feet away from the frame, the boiler saw many of its appliances reinstalled over the course of the summer. Reassembly of the boiler reached the point at which tests were able to be performed, including a hydro test conducted for Federal Railroad Administration officials during late summer. The boiler is now largely done except for some remaining fitting out of pipes and other accessories. It is primarily waiting on warm weather to complete a successful hydro test.

Autumn 2011 saw many of the appliances reinstalled onto the Saginaw #2's boiler, including its sand and steam dome dome and steam dome cover as well as the smokebox door, making the boiler begin to once again look like a locomotive. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

Side view of the Saginaw #2 boiler progress. Jeffrey Lentz photo.

As colder temperatures again set in, work again turned to what could be accomplished in the slightly warmer confines of the machine shop. To date, this has meant more machining of the driving boxes and new brasses for proper fit. Work also continues on the spring rigging, brake lever hangers, etc. These time-consuming steps are slowly giving way as the locomotive moves closer to the reassembly stage when the wheels, frame, and boiler can once again be joined.

A brass belonging to the Saginaw #2 is machined in the Mid-Continent machine shop to fit the driving boxes. Jeffrey Lentz photo

As mentioned earlier, the agreement made for machining the wheels called for them to only be worked on during periods when other work is not available for the contractor. Unfortunately for the #2, demands on the contractor’s time were much higher than expected in 2011. After the better part of a year sitting in waiting in the Milwaukee shop, three of the four wheelsets have finally been completed. Delivery to Mid-Continent is expected soon. The fourth wheelset, the one requiring a new axle, has not yet been completed.

It is also undetermined at this stage on how restoration will proceed with the tender. Numerous problems exist with the tender as identified in the August 2010 issue of the Mid-Continent Railway Gazette. In contrast to the C&NW 1385 restoration, the #2’s tender is being left as the final stage of the #2’s restoration process.


Wheels Shipped to Milwaukee

March 9, 2011

A short steam status update: the Saginaw Timber Co. #2 wheels were recently shipped from Mid-Continent to a shop in Milwaukee. There they will be profiled and a new axle installed on one of the wheelsets.


Year: 2014 2013 2012 2011

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Saginaw Timber
Company No. 2
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