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.
Jason Reiman, D&R #9 Project Lead