C&NW 1385 Open House Planned for February 21-22, 2015

You’re invited to an open house showcasing the progress on Chicago & North Western No. 1385. Join us to see the latest accomplishments in person!

The open house is taking place at SPEC Machine, 7175 Riles Road, Middleton, Wis.

The open house takes place February 21-22nd at Spec Machine at 7175 Riles Road, Middleton, Wis. The hours are as follows:

Saturday, Feb. 21st – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 22nd – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We hope to see you there!

Frame Painting Complete

The painting of Chicago & North Western #1385’s frame was completed on Saturday, Jan. 3rd. Pete Deets, one of the 1385 Task Force members had this to say:

Words fail me as THANK YOU doesn’t seem to be near enough. We had 2 fantastic days of volunteer-ism, productive work and lots of fun. In that time we applied 2 basecoats and one topcoat of paint on the 1385’s frame. At the risk of leaving someone out I can say we had the help of Bobbie, Clayton, Ed, 2 Mikes, 2 Jeff’s, 2 Al’s,, Kayla, Steve, Dick, Gary, Dylan, Robert, Larry, Brian, Ron & Kyle. Tom from Grote’s [Howard Grote & Sons] was a great tutor and easy taskmaster. Believe it or not we have put something permanently back on the 1385!

Plans for more volunteer sessions are in the works.

Photos can’t do justice to all the work completed in the past year of cleaning, scraping, engineering, welding, milling new parts, painting, and so on, but the below before-and-after photos are a nice reminder of the progress made. At the time of the first photo on January 11, 2014, the 1385’s running gear had just recently arrived at SPEC Machine and was in the process of being dissassembled.

As the second photo shows, the frame now features two coats of primer and a new glossy black topcoat. There are also many spring-rigging parts already painted to match.

CNW 1385 unpainted frame

Frame of C&NW 1385’s frame as it was one year ago (Jan. 11, 2014). Brian Allen photo.

CNW 1385 painted frame

Frame of C&NW 1385 one year later (Jan. 4, 2015) after cleaning, repairs, and repainting. Brian Allen photo.

Additional photos of the finished paint job are available on photographer Brian Allen’s Flickr photo album.

New Year Begins with a Splash (of Paint)

The rebuild of the Chicago & North Western steam locomotive is in full swing as of the start of 2015. There are a number of sub-projects at various stages of progression all happening simultaneously involving the frame, driving boxes, wheels, cab and boiler. This post will cover the frame, but additional posts covering other aspects will be posted in the following days and weeks.

Painting of the frame began on January 2, 2015 and is continuing on January 3rd as this post is being written. Mid-Continent volunteers were joined by Tom Hartling of Howard Grote & Sons, a Madison-area company specializing in protective coatings. Howard Grote & Sons volunteered to provide Mid-Continent with Hartling’s expertise in mixing and applying the epoxy primer and urethane topcoat paint used (Carbothane 134 for those interested).

Work started at about 7 AM on Friday the 2nd, with the first of two coats of primer, the first being black in color. After a break for lunch, the second coat, gray in color, was applied with work mostly wrapping up by 4:30 PM. Application of the topcoat was left for Saturday January 3rd.

Work on Friday went quickly thanks to an enthusiastic response by volunteers. Mid-Continent volunteers joining in on Friday were: Mike Wahl, Pete Deets, Ron Kokemuller, Jeff Huttenburg, Bobbie Wagner, Kyle Gherke, Robert Hasheider, Mike Laabs, Larry Stanley, Rich Gruber, Brian Allen, Al Joyce, and Jeffrey Lentz. These MCRM members were also joined by Steve Roudebush (of SPEC Machine), Kayla Roudebush, and Clayton Hendrickson.

Nearly 100 additional photos of the January 2nd workday are available on photographer Brian Allen’s Flickr photo album. The video below is a one-minute timelapse showing the roughly three hours of work adding the second coat of primer.



Volunteers Help Ready C&NW 1385’s Frame for Painting in the New Year

Mid-Continent Railway Museum volunteers remained in the holiday giving spirit as they descended on SPEC Machine’s location near Middleton, WI on December 27, 2014 to give their time to help get the locomotive frame ready for painting. MCRM members Nancy Kaney and Richard Gruber took photos of the work session.

Following the work day, Pete Deets of Mid-Contient’s C&NW 1385 Task Force wrote in a message to MCRM members, “THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! We had a fantastic day filled with success cleaning the frame in anticipation of paint. Let me gratefully say thanks to Bobbie, Nancy, Dick, Ken, Kyle, Gary, Ron, Jim, Richard, Guy & Ed.”

Painting of the frame is scheduled to begin on the morning of January 2, 2015 and last one to two days.

Weld Repairs and Additional Progress at SPEC Machine

Work on the restoration of Mid-Continent’s ex-C&NW R-1 class ALCO locomotive, No. 1385, has quietly progressed through the summer months at SPEC Machine near Middleton, Wisconsin. Project photographer Brian Allen stopped by SPEC Machine’s shop on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 to provide some views of the recent efforts.

The photos catalog the extensive weld repairs completed on the locomotive’s frame over the summer (see July 1 post for additional details).

On the day of the visit, work and discussion was centered on the spring rigging equalizers. A locomotive’s spring rigging distributes the weight of the locomotive over the various wheels. Without equalizers, even small undulations in track elevation could cause substantial variations in how much weight is being supported by a given wheel. Such large variations would cause undue stresses to both locomotive and rail.

In this series of photos, you’ll also see some components in fresh, glossy black paint. After months of stripping away layers of old paint and rust from the locomotive’s parts to reveal the condition of the underlying metal, seeing fresh paint being reapplied is a welcome sight!