Brasses, Bolts, and More

To start this post is some photographs and videos taken earlier this year but never posted until now. These document some of the work that was performed at Hercules Precision, LLC in Baraboo on C&NW 1385’s crown brasses and driving boxes.

A driving box is a box-shaped casting which is fitted to slide vertically in the pedestals of the locomotive frame. The driving boxes hold a brass that rests on the journal of the driving axle. The weight of the boiler, locomotive frame, and the cylinders rests upon the driving boxes, with the exception of the weight that is carried by the 1385’s leading truck.

Inspections revealed one crown brass out of the six required replacement. The remaining five had a good amount of service life remaining.

Photos and video courtesy Donald Blausey, Hercules Precision, LLC.



In more recent photos, taken June 17, 2015 at SPEC Machine, the finished driving boxes can be seen being installed into the frame pedestals. Additional photos show holes continuing to be reamed for the many custom tapered bolts being created and installed as the frame and it’s components are reassembled.

Also of note in the photos is the new footplate that has been installed. The original was found to have a significant crack (see March 30, 2014 post). The drawbar, which connects to the tender and thereby the rest of the train, is attached to the footplate. Given the heavy stresses these parts are placed under, it was determined that for safety reasons, it was best to replace the footplate entirely rather than attempt repair of the original casting.

Photos courtesy Brian Allen.


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