Mid-July 2015 C&NW 1385 Update

Although updates have been a bit sparse of late, activity on the Chicago & North Western #1385 has continued forging ahead. The work completed in the last few months is not the kind that make great headlines, yet all of it is equally important toward achieving an operational 1385. Without further delay, here is the latest:

  • The driving boxes, shoes, wedges and hub liners are all now complete, save any modifications needed for grease or oil lubrication and any adjustments found necessary at final assembly of installing the drivers into the frame.
  • The footplate has been fitted, holes reamed, and tapered bolts installed to hold it place.
  • The locomotive’s spring rigging has been fully rebuilt. It is being installed onto the frame and will be stored in place unless it proves to be in the way of other work.
  • Most recently, work has begun on the machining and renewal of the connecting rods and bushings.

Other tasks coming up in the near future (In no particular order) include:

  • Rebuilding of the front truck.  The wheels on the front truck are currently being assessed as to whether they can simply be re-profiled and still offer adequate service life, or whether replacement is necessary.
  • Renewal and machining of the valve cages.
  • Cleaning/polishing of the finished rods.
  • Boring of the cylinders.
  • Cleaning and test fitting of the valve gear to determine wear and repairs needed.

The 1385’s new boiler is nearing the end of the engineering review phase and is expected to enter the build phase within the next several months. The boiler will be discussed further in a future post.

Photos provided by Brian Allen. View full album at https://www.flickr.com/photos/7777754@N08/sets/72157655692852722

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Parts Loaded and Ready for Transport

On Saturday, March 21, volunteers answered the call seeking help with loading various stored parts of the Chicago & North Western #1385 steam locomotive in anticipation of delivering them to SPEC Machine in Middleton where work is taking place to bring the locomotive back into operation.

From 1385 Task Force member Pete Deets:

“Another great day! I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everybody who lent a hand: Brian, Mike, Mike, Richard, Kyle, Fred, Kathy, Steve & Moore Space. We had such fun getting a load on the trailer we will be planning an unloading party as well. The date has not yet been set but will be within a month. We were even able to put in some time taking measurements from the old boiler to try to clear up some of the differences between the drawings and the actual vessel. Thanks again to all because your time is truly appreciated and valuable to the Museum.”

An announcement of the next volunteer opportunity to help with unloading the trailer will be made here and on our Facebook page when the time and date is known.

All photos courtesy Fred and Kathy Vergenz.

 

Boiler Lift

This is what C&NW #1385 looks like without it’s 30,000 lb. 1907 boiler. The boiler took a while to get off but eventually made it to the track vacated by Saginaw Timber No. 2’s boiler earlier today. Thanks goes to all the volunteers with the projects today! The removal of the boiler from Chicago & North Western No. 1385 will allow better access to the running gear as well as the boiler for upcoming repairs.

A video of last week’s boiler lift at Mid-Continent has now been posted to the museum’s official YouTube channel.

Photos courtesy of Richard Colby. YouTube video courtesy of Randy Long.

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Boiler Lift to Proceed Tomorrow

Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s steam restoration progress continues in a very noticeable way tomorrow (Oct. 17) with a crane coming to the museum to lift parts of two steam locomotives.

First, Saginaw Timber Company No. 2’s boiler will be lifted on to the frame/running gear. This comes after successful early tests of the running gear in the preceding weeks. Reassembly and further testing will continue in the coming months.

Next, the boiler (along with smokebox and firebox) from C&NW No. 1385 will be removed from its frame/running gear. The boiler will be set down in the space next to the Engine House being vacated by No. 2’s boiler.

This move marks a transition in the C&NW 1385 project from focusing on rebuilding the tender (which will be completed in the coming weeks) to working on the locomotive itself. The separation of the boiler from the frame/running gear will allow easier access to parts for restoration work and reverse engineering of replacement parts as the project moves forward.

Annotated C&NW 1385

C&NW 1385 with major components labeled. Photo by Jeffrey Lentz.

Upcoming Work Session May 25-26, 2012

A C&NW 1385 steam locomotive restoration work session has been announced for May 25th and 26th. That is the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. One of the individuals leading the work that day, Al Joyce reports:

“We are continuing to take measurements for the studs and other points on the boiler. Again I could use some younger members to go to the harder to get to places. The train rides will be running, so you can be seen by thousands, well maybe many, working on a STEAM ENGINE. You will attain hero status in the publics’ eye.

We are in fact getting to the parts of the boiler that are some of the hardest to measure. Any and all help will be gladly accepted. If you can help, please stop by.”

No advanced sign-up, prior volunteer experience or great knowledge of steam locomotives is necessary. What is necessary is gloves and clothing you don’t mind getting dirty. Al and the other regular volunteers are happy to share their knowledge of steam locomotives with first time volunteers.