Work on Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s Chicago & North Western #1385 locomotive during the month of May has consisted of stay installation, stay installation, and more stay installation. With over 900 staybolts to be applied, this process represents one of the more time-intensive portions of the new boiler production. Each weld must be made with great care and precision to avoid leaks and ensure proper strength when the boiler is under operating pressure.
Continental Fabricator’s Tom G. peered into the belly of the beast on May 29th to take these photos of stay installation progress on the inside of 1385’s firebox.
View of the interior of the 1385’s firebox on the fireman’s side. May 29, 2019. Photo courtesy Continental Fabricators.
View of the interior of the 1385’s firebox looking toward the front of the boiler. May 29, 2019. Photo courtesy Continental Fabricators.
View of the interior of the 1385’s firebox on the engineer’s side. May 29, 2019. Photo courtesy Continental Fabricators.
Here are the latest photos of C&NW #1385’s new boiler, courtesy of Continental Fabricators in St. Louis. The photos were taken on May 20, 2019.
The backhead stays are all installed and they are currently completing welding on them.
The right and left side sheet stays are progressing as well.
The large horizontal braces that were previously attached to the outsides of the side sheets and backhead are now being removed as progress continues. The braces were installed temporarily to prevent warping from the heat generated during welding.
The throat sheet – the sheet that connects the firebox to the bottom of the boiler barrel – has all of its rigid stays installed and is in the process of welding.
Continental Fabricators’ Tom G. supplied Mid-Continent Railway Museum with another new photo and a brief progress update on April 29th. Continental Fabricators is the shop hired to construct a brand new welded boiler for Mid-Continent’s Chicago & North Western #1385 steam locomotive.
“Most of the backhead stays are fit as of this morning and they are beginning to weld. Stays in the sidesheets will be fit this week. The barrel is 60% welded.”
View of 1385 boiler backhead with most stays installed and ready for welding. The backhead is the portion of the boiler that extends into the locomotive cab. The large round hole in the center is where coal is shoveled into the firebox. Photo courtesy Continental Fabricators.
Tom G. of Continental Fabricators kindly supplied Mid-Continent Railway Museum with this photo of C&NW 1385’s boiler. The photo was taken on April 17, 2019, and shows the boiler barrel in position as it is readied to be joined to the firebox. Work on the boiler is taking place at the Continental Fabricator’s shop in St. Louis, Missouri. When completed, the boiler will be delivered to Wisconsin and be set on the C&NW 1385’s overhauled frame.