Monday, December 14, 2015

Be a part of history

The title of this entry was the catch phrase of the old sign that used to announce the 223 restoration project at the Ogden Union Station. The sign succumbed to weather and old age long ago, but the slogan still means the same. Even if you can't come down and offer a hand to the project, here is an opportunity to contribute to the goal of completing the restoration to operation by May 10, 2019.

Yes, that date is real. Our goal is to have the 223 under steam in time for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. To meet it, though, there is that age-old problem that plagues any volunteer project: finances. But we're not asking for anything big, just what you are willing to offer via crowdfunding on Gofundme.

Within a few days of setting up the fundraiser, we received a contribution from a Mr. Harvey, who has his own little part of history: one of his ancestors was superintendent of the Grant Locomotive Works, the company that built the 223, and he has taken a special interest in this project. You too can take part.

Please look at the page, watch the video, donate, and share!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Two private locomotives on display

About two years ago, Dynamic Rail Preservation was unable to keep their two Amtrak locomotives, F40PHR 231 and SDP40F 644, at a facility in Oregon. An agreement was made with the Union Station Foundation, and the two locomotives were moved and are now on display at the Utah State Railroad Museum. Dynarail (the official nickname of the group) offers restoration services to the museum in return for the storage space; for example, Chris Fussell, one of the founders, recently repainted the nose of Southern Pacific SD45 number 7435 with the assistance of a grant from the National Railway Historical Society. Here are some photos of Dynarail's locomotives on Track 2:

Plans are to repaint both locomotives in their original paint. The 231 had been photographed at the Ogden Union Station when in service, so it has a unique Utah tie that makes it relevant to the museum. More information can be found at Dynarail's website:

And here are some before-and-after pictures of Mr. Fussell's work on the 7435. The bloody nose is no longer pink:

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Train of Tomorrow

Recently found on Youtube is this promotional film about General Motors' experimental Train of Tomorrow. The Utah State Railroad Museum owns the last remaining car from this train, the Moon Glow observation-lounge (which features prominently in the video), although restoration will be long in coming due to the complicated and expensive nature of the car. However, enjoy these views of what our grandparents thought the future of mass transportation would be like.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 24th 2015 Worksession

After years of attempts and hours of speculation as to the cause of its immobility, today the boiler was finally separated from the frame. This was a triumph for everyone involved because without the help of a crane, the project would not have been able to move forward otherwise.
The space between smokebox and saddle can be seen here.

Jacks were set up on either side of the boiler, the swing hangers and steam saddle bolts removed, and pressure applied. As the boiler lifted, grease was smeared in the crack to keep it from locking up again and prevent further rusting. The boiler was raised about 1/8 inch, inspected, then dropped again until a proper cradle can be prepared.

Two interesting observations were made due to this: One, of the four swing hangers, not one of them is identical to another. Maynard Morris, a retired nuclear engineer, was baffled at this, observing that "one would think that if you want something this big to move, you'd want everything to be the same size." If they were each made differently to compensate for an imbalance of weight, or simply because of the make-do nature of later shop repairs on the Baldwin branch, is to be determined. Two, the smokebox bottom is completely rusted out and will have to be remade, but that is a simple feat compared to completely construction a tender tank from scratch.
Steve Jones, chapter president, greases the gap between the smokebox and the saddle.
The bubble level shows the movement of the jacks. The jack on the left rose a bit faster than the one on the right, resulting in an imbalance for a few moments.
The 223 with jacks in place. With further preparation the boiler will be moved to the cradle on the right so the running gear can be moved to the shop.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

223 update: cab hardware

The project has reached the point where major progress depends on bigger tools. The largest aspect is removing the boiler from the frame to access the running gear - and that requires a crane. However, a cradle for the boiler is already being prepared and the shop rearranged to allow the entrance of the wheels when the time comes.

The stacks of ties to the right of the 223 are the beginnings of the boiler cradle.

The numberplates have been attached to the cab, and all hardware installed; there are only a few finishing touches left, such as the stenciled crew instructions on the doors.

The engineer's seat, which folds down.
Notice the knife switch. The white bar on the lower left holds the front doors open.

There have been big changes with the Utah State Railroad Museum as well, which will require a separate post.