Come join Fletch and his crew this weekend at North Freedom for a volunteer session on the Dardanelle & Russellville #9. We will be doing some small house cleaning items, and then wrapping her up for winter hibernation. The current start time is 10 am, and as usual, we will meet at the south end of Mid-Continent’s Car Shop.
This weekend is also Fletcher’s 11th birthday. So if you see him around the museum, please wish him a happy birthday.
Although there was no official volunteer session for the #9 in August, Fletcher and I made up for our absence last month with a run to Westfield, WI.
It was there, at the DW Sawmill that we picked up some beautiful white oak timbers that will eventually be used to rebuild the #9’s pilot, and the running boards that once flanked her boiler.
We thought this was going to be a cakewalk, but we learned otherwise as we ran into many small obstacles. Nothing horrible, just the standard rain, traffic, time, poor directions, unplanned fuel stops, and the shocking reminder that the Amish do not take credit (lol). But Fletch and I rolled with the punches and delivered the timbers to the museum late on Saturday. Many thanks to Jeff Huttenburg for sticking around at the end of his long day to help us out. After our long day we had to get home, but we took a couple of minutes to run over to Coach Shed #1 and set our eyes for the first time on that tender, with her fresh, new, and beautiful coat of paint. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop on down to check it out, and keep your eyes out for our next volunteer session.
July 30 – August 2, 2022; I have no idea who Wayne Dyer is, but he once said “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” And if you look at the #9 now, this could not be more true. For four days (Saturday, July 30 to Tuesday, August 2) our hard-working crew transformed the coal tender of the D&R #9 to something that is almost unrecognizable to us younger folk. But, I have to imagine for those that knew the #9 in its younger years, it will bring back great memories of its heyday.
The work began on Saturday by dragging the tender out of Coach Shed #1. Once the journal boxes were prepped to keep sand out, the rest of the day was spent blasting the old paint off. The blasting continued for over 5 hours until the heat became too uncomfortable, and the tender was shoved back into the coach shed to prevent dew from accumulating on the bare metal.
Sunday saw the completion of sandblasting operations, and once complete, the tender was blown off and shoved back in the coach shed where she was wiped down with a solvent to clean off any impurities.
Monday saw the first primer and base go on the tender. The boys worked hard together in a symphony of moving ladders, running supplies, and keeping the paint flowing. They also worked late, and by 7 pm, they had applied 2 coats of base on almost 80% of the tender, but the intense heat prevented them from completing it. For a 3rd night, the tender was put away in the coach shed.
Tuesday was the final day of work, and the boys started early to beat the heat. The tender was rolled out once again, and the last coat of base was applied to the west side of the tender. With all base coats complete, the crew switched over to the application of a clear coat and had that done in 2 hours. Once complete, the tender was once again shoved back into the Coach Shed, roped off, and all tools and equipment were picked up. The crew tied up at 5 pm for the last time on this job.
With the wrap-up on Tuesday evening, the D&R #9 tender has its first coat of fresh/new paint in what we believe to be over 30 years. And it looks great. With a total of 38 working hours from start to finish, I want to send a heartfelt thank you to the following members for their time and hard work that made this part of our restoration such a huge success: Mike Laabs, Jeff Haertlein, Frank Fisher, John “JT” Titus, his friend Andrew Cervenka, Jay Slinde, Richard Colby, Ed Ripp, Kevin Pickar, Elena Burdick (16 years old), and everyone else that was there to help. A special thanks to Chris Burdick for his time, services, equipment, skill, and materials that were the foundation for getting this job done. And special thanks to Steve Pahl for leading the way on the ground. None of this would have been possible without all these amazing volunteers. With that, we will keep charging forward with this restoration. Thanks for following along, and we are looking forward to our next step.
Fletch’s crew will be holding an EXCITING volunteer session on the D&R #9 this Saturday, July 30. If the weather holds, we are hoping to get that first coat of paint on the #9’s tender. Start time will be 10 AM at the south end of Coach Shed #1. If the weather changes, or we run into some unforeseen circumstance where we cant paint the tender, we will shift back over to the locomotive and continue to work on the many tasks over there.
I am sad to report that Fletcher and I will be out of town this weekend, so we won’t be able to attend. But we will have an able-bodied crew on the ground, led by Steve Pahl. Hope you can make it. – Jason Reiman
Fletch and his crew got together on a Very Hot day this last Monday. We took our normal precautions with frequent breaks under our awning, and drinking lots of water. Even with that, the sun felt like it was hovering 2 feet over our heads – LOL. But we pushed through and had a dirty, but great work session.
While we wait for the tender to get painted, we decided to start focused work on the Locomotive cab. We used grinders to get down to bare metal on half the cab roof, and some walls of the cab interior. Once the rust and old paint were removed, we applied a good quality, red metal primer. We hope this coat will provide a good level of protection on the metal skin until it gets some paint. Fletch did a lot of work inside the cab, while the rest of the crew worked on top of the cab. Now I have a better understanding of the phrase, “like a cat on a hot tin roof”.
We also got a look at the mahogany cab windows and doors that received a coat of primer from the restoration department’s last work session. They look great, and many thanks to Owen Hughes for his work. Finally, many thanks to Steve Pahl and Jay Slinde for all their help last Monday.
Once we identify our next work session, we will let you all know. Hope to see you there. – Jason Reiman