Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mystery solved

A few weeks ago Maynard went around the shop asking if anybody knew what the back of the tender looked like in operation. With the cistern done, it was time to apply the hardware, but the only problem was that when the Rio Grande donated the 223 to Salt Lake City, much of the metal that was used daily was removed, presumably to repair other locomotives still in operation. The rear coupler does not have a coupler cut bar, and Maynard wanted to know exactly what was on the rear platform.

Just yesterday, a question was asked about the reason for two air hoses on the rear of tenders of the D&RGW C-class locomotives at the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum. The answer is that one is for the brakes, and the other for the operation of the snow flangers during the winter. Jerry Day, who wrote an article about the 223 in the RGM&HS' Prospector, in answer to the question, posted a picture he found of the 223 at the Colorado Railroad Museum, and lo and behold, there was the rear of the tender, clearly sporting two air hoses and a coupler cut bar. Plus, a toolbox that we didn't even know existed!

Now, that leaves us with some more projects for the tender: a toolbox, cut bar, and applying the second air line. The flanger line is currently in one of the museum's box cars for storage; when the tender was disassembled almost 20 years ago, Maynard was confused about the second line and thought that Salt Lake had stuck it on there just for fun, so he left if off of the restoration plans.

Here is a copy of the picture. Mr. Day says that there was no indication of location or date when he found it:

February Meeting notes

For those who were not in attendance at the February GSR&LHS meeting last night, or will not receive the meeting's minutes in the next newsletter, here is a quick recap of what was discussed.

The upcoming Hostlers Model Railroad Festival weighed heavily on the discussion, since this is the biggest event that the chapter participates in each year, the festival being held at the Union Station. We will have the shop open for tours on Saturday and hopefully Sunday. The Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society has asked for a private tour on Friday, and it is rumored that the 223 will appear in a future issue of the Prospector...

The Hospital Car and RPO car will be open for tours as well. This will be a good show, so if anybody is in close proximity to visit please do so, and be sure to stop by the shop.

Joshua Bernhard told about two newspaper articles that he found in regards to the 223. One dates from 1890, when the 223 was nine years old, and tells the details of a previously unknown wreck that occurred just outside of Colorado Springs. The other, from Leadville, Colorado, and dated 1893, records the 223 being in that city at the time.

Our guest speaker was Tom Hudson, a concept artist and graphic designer who has done work on many famous roller coasters around the world. He also did the graphics for video games. Tom is working with the Union Station Foundation to create a series of murals to go in the blanked-out window arches in the old Postal Terminal building that is now the Browning Theatre. He has completed the conceptual art, which is based on the Train of Tomorrow and specifically the Moon Glow, which is in the museum's collection. He is now waiting for the foundation to find the funds to complete the project. The chapter received the idea warmly and all are in agreement that this project will be a good improvement for the station.

Tom also presented an idea that he came up with soon after he met with the chapter for the first time during one of our worksessions a few weeks ago. He suggests that he model the Moon Glow and other pieces of equipment in the museum's collection in hi-res 3-D, which will help in selling the idea of the restoration of the pieces to donors and supporters.

Monday, February 13, 2012

History: February 13th, 1923

89 years ago today - February 13th - the second Ogden Union Station burned to the ground in a fiery blaze started by an unatended iron in a the apartment of a porter. Because of this fire, the current station was built.

Several members of the Conductor's Association have recognized that next year is the 90th anniversary of the fire, and the year after that the 90th anniversary of the opening of the current station. Thus, they are tossing around ideas for a year-long celebration of the events starting in February 2013 and ending on the week of the anniversary of the opening ceremony.

Suggested ideas include a "burning party" (no buildings will be harmed, of course), a special exhibit of photographs of the fire and construction, and an addition to the station website. These are all preliminary ideas, of course, and need further development. We do not know whether or not this will actually happen, but planning is still beginning.

In other news, UP 2001 left this morning, presumably to be reunited with UP 2002 and sent back into regular service.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Visiting Locomotive

Yesterday (January 6) Union Pacific dropped off a little surprise at the museum. While Dan Harbeke, UP's public relations manager for Utah, had told us of its impending arrival at the January chapter meeting, nobody knew when the Olympic Torch Relay locomotives would come.

This year marks ten years since the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and Salt Lake is holding a sort of celebration to commemorate the event. UP has been very cooperative in the proceedings, and brought the matching set (UP 2001 and 2002) to the Roper shops to be cleaned up. UP 2001 is now on Track 1 in Ogden, and UP 2002 is parked at the Salt Lake UTA Frontrunner station.

The Utah State Railroad Museum is home to the Torch Car, which was rebuilt from the 1998 Winter Olympics torch car, and is painted to match the locomotives. Right now it is in the Eccles Rail Center, out of sight from the 2001, but the next time UP's local switching crew visits the grain elevators to the south of the museum they will pull the car out and couple it to the locomotive for a temporary display.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Preparing Patterns

Of the two wishbone steam pipes, one was in good shape. The other, not so much. The bolt flange on both ends was damaged by rust from the wet ash that sat in the smokebox for so long. A local foundry in Salt Lake City volunteered to repair it, but in the process trashed the whole thing (too much heat on a cast iron part doesn't work so well). So, the only option is to make a new one.

A while ago the Colorado Railroad Museum approached the chapter about collaborating. It seems that their Rio Grande consolidation - No. 318 - needed some similar work. Unfortunately the dimensions were slightly different between the two locomotives, which was not surprising since the 318 is larger than the 223.

Thus, the big project in Ogden right now is new steam pipes. With work on the tender winding down, attention is now being redirected to the locomotive itself. One of our volunteers, Carl, has experience in patternmaking and is painstakingly measuring the interior of the smokebox, as well as the original pipes, to create entirely new patterns for entirely new pipes.

With enough cash, the new steam pipes will be cast and installed. Of course, that is the operating word: cash.

Other minor projects involving the 223 right now include remaking the cab deck, forming the cylinder sheathing, and scraping the old paint and grease from the frame. The bolts fastening the smokebox to the saddle have been removed as well, and hopefully we can find a contractor that will refurbish the boiler.