Welding Research and Test Milling

Work on Chicago & North Western No. 1385’s running gear has recently passed a milestone. After several months of disassembly and inspection work, the first evidence of the constructive phase on the running gear work has arrived.

As seen in the below photos and linked photo album, a new set of pins and bushings were milled at SPEC Machine for use in the 1385’s spring rigging. A locomotive’s spring rigging consists of a series of springs, spring hangers, equalizers, spring saddles, and other components that protect the locomotive and the rail from damaging shock, like the suspension on an automobile. These first few pieces are test items being sent to a facility to be hardened to the American Locomotive Company specifications. The hardening process can cause the parts to change slightly in size, so this small sampling of test pieces will go through the complete process first before additional pieces are milled.

View the full album: Milling New Pins & Bushings

The 1385 Task Force has also recently been working with Jayson Schaller in preparation of welding tasks. Schaller is a welding expert and educator. He was first introduced to the 1385 Task Force during the museum members’ 1385 open house on April 5. Among Schaller’s talents is research and writing welding procedures.

Metallurgy has changed over time, meaning welding practices commonly known and used today are not necessarily the best practice when working on something as old as C&NW 1385’s frame. Shortly after the 1385 open house, Schaller began researching welding procedures specific to the type of steel in the 1385’s frame. His findings were turned into a report presented to the restoration team. The report will serve as the procedure guide for repairing cracks found in the engine frame so as to get the best strength and life span out of the work being completed. The 1385 team will also be tapping Schaller’s expertise for other areas of welding repair, including the driving boxes.

Jeyson Schaller and Steve Roudebush

Jeyson Schaller (left) and SPEC Machine’s Steve Roudebush (right) discuss the welding research. Brian Allen photo.

More photos available on Brian Allen’s Flickr album.

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