Wisconsin State Journal reporter Barry Adams dropped in for a visit to SPEC Machine late last week to see what was new on the Chicago & North Western No. 1385’s restoration since his last visit to see Mid-Continent’s flagship steam locomotive one year ago. You can read the full Wisconsin State Journal article and view the numerous photos at Madison.com.
A few highlights from the article:
- Steel for the new boiler will be cut this week (February 20, 2017) at Continental Fabricators in St. Louis.
- Additional steel will be cut and shipped to Tennessee Valley Railway Museum where the new firebox is to be crafted.
- The firebox will be delivered to Continental Fabricators in St. Louis, Missouri, attached to the boiler, then shipped to SPEC Machine in Middleton, Wisconsin where it will join the running gear and cab for final assembly.
- Arrival of the finished boiler is now expected for June 2017.
- This is the most costly phase of the locomotive’s restoration. The new boiler and firebox will cost roughly $700,000. (Please consider visiting our donation page!)
- SPEC Machine is building a 1,500 square foot expansion to their shop to facilitate final assembly of the 1385 on-site.
- Other upcoming projects at SPEC Machine include refurbishing brakes, installing pistons, rehabbing the superheater header, refurbishing the sand dome, and the many other parts that are yet to be installed.
- Mid-Continent’s goal is to have No. 1385 fully assembled and returned to the rails in 2018.