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NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/22/21 12:00 p.m.

Everrett Railroad actually has a second steam locomotive on their roster, Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad #38, a 1927 Baldwin-built 2-8-0 and the last surviving H&BTM steam locomotive. #38 has been out of service for years though and is undergoing a restoration "as time and resources permit" and "there is no deadline or schedule for completion of the work."

The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain (not related in any way to the East Broad Top Railroad) was planned to provide a rail link from Huntingdon to Bedford, and to provide a competitive alternate route to local coal producers to break the B&O's monopoly on coal that was being shipped from the Cumberland area. Similar to Bath & Hammondsport #11, the #38 was the last new steam locomotive purchased by the H&BTM. The H&BTM began it's decline in the '20s when the PRR's Bedford Division stole most of it's traffic, the Broad Top Mountain coal fields began to play out, the construction bonds reached maturity, and the railroad made a number of ill-advised equipment purchases and right-of-way improvements. It operated it's last passenger train in '53, and filed for abandonment in 1954. Dr. Stanley Groman was in the process of getting his Rail City museum going in Sandy Pond and paid a visit to the H&BTM to purchase a steam locomotive, and the day he arrived they were in the process of cutting up the locomotives, with only #38 untouched as it was being used to dismantle the line. He purchased it and shipped it up north to Sandy Pond, and the #38 actually made history when it hauled an excursion on the New York Central's Watertown line from Syracuse, NY to Lacona, NY, making it the last steam-powered passenger train in NY on the NYC, as well as the last steam train to depart the NYC's Syracuse station. 

On arrival at Rail City, it was determined that the Consolidation was too heavy for the 1.5 miles of track that Groman had laid on the museum property and so the #38 was relegated to static display and the good doctor purchased Bath & Hammondsport #11. Yes, H&BTM #38 and B&H #11 have been on the same roster once before. Rail City sold #38 off in 1968 to the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville. They had the Erie-Lackawanna overhaul it at Hornell, and its original tender, which leaked badly, was scrapped (no clue what the new tender is from). In '76, the LA&L got out of the excursion business and it was sold to Sloan Cornell, who moved it down to the Gettysburg Railroad. When Sloan Cornell moved on to the Knox & Kane Railroad in 1982, he took the #28 with him, thus sparing it the abuse and neglect that a lot of Gettysburg Railroad equipment suffered. #38 was taken out of service in 1989 when the K&KRR imported a Chinese SY-class Mikado. #38 was under restoration to operation but in '03 the Kinzua Viaduct was damaged by a tornado and the state of PA couldn't afford to repair it, taking away the K&K's major draw, and in '06, the K&K ceased all operation, followed by both the H&BTM #38 and Chinese SY being damaged by arsons in a  roundhouse fire in '08.

#38 was then sold to Everrett Railroad, rejoining former Rail City roster mate B& #11.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/22/21 3:06 p.m.

Everett #11 sure is a charming little thing.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/22/21 3:08 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/22/21 3:12 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/22/21 3:14 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/22/21 4:04 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/24/21 9:36 a.m.

Seems like there is something big about to happen with PRR K4s #1361. Things are building towards some sort of announcement. 

Yesterday, the Railroader's Memorial Museum page on Facebook posted a photo of #1361 being placed on display after retirement with the caption"We don't know about you, but we woke up all nostalgic." They also updated their cover photo and FMW Solutions, the company performing the current #1361 restoration (and who restored FEC #148 and is working on NC&StL #576 and ACL #1504) commented "Something Big Is Coming."

The PRR K4 1361 page on Facebook, which has not made a post since June of 2019(!) then shared this photo as well, as well as updating their cover photo. Interesting to see a page that hasn't been active in 2 years suddenly make two separate changes.

Also yesterday, FWM Solutions posted a photo of the clock in front of the museum with the caption "We hear it’s a good time to be in Altoona…"

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/24/21 2:55 p.m.

Again, from the Railroader Memorial Museum today: "Stay tuned for a special announcement from the Railroaders Memorial Museum! You will not want to miss it. #RailroadCity #SpiritofAltoona"

If N&W #611 is called the "Spirit of Roanoke", it would make sense to call #1361 the "Spirit of Altoona". If I had to take a guess, its something to do with the construction of the all-new boiler and firebox. Either they're beginning construction, or it's construction has been completed.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/24/21 3:52 p.m.

Some people are bemoaning the construction of a new boiler, as it's removal of the "historical fabric", but #1361 is going to be a runner. #3750 on display at the RR Museum of PA can be the numbers-matching all-original display piece. If they repaired the #1361's boiler and firebox, it would most likely always be her Achilles heel. While bearing/axle trouble was what knocked #1361 out of operation back in '87 after less than two year's operation, its been issues with the boiler and firebox that have kept her out of service. Some do point out that new-construction boilers also have a somewhat spotty record (Tornado's broke literal hundreds of staybolts the first year, NSW #3801's was so wrong that they ended up repairing the old boiler and reinstalling it, both of Texas State RR's engines are out of operation due to new boilers that were constructed completely wrong)

From my understanding, when it was being restored after the hot journal/cracked axle debacle, the decision was made to go through the boiler and firebox more thoroughly. Rather than consult with a pressure systems engineer, the decision was made to replace any boiler plating and firebox sheeting that was below 80% specified thickness. On one side, they were replacing a lot of segments that didn't necessarily require replacement, since they had more than sufficient thickness, and thus were ending up with a lot of patches and welds that are potential leaks and failure points, as well as spending a lot of extra money. On the other side, PRR did not give any corrosion allowance for some pieces like the crown sheet of firebox, so while it was over 80% thickness, it actually still required replacement. The other issue was that they were using a blueprint from the 1940s, when the PRR strangely removed a lot of the staybolts and washers from the crownsheet, without a corresponding increase in crown sheet thickness or other firebox changes.

So the state of Pennsylvania spent something like $3 million on the restoration of #1361 and then still had a boiler and firebox that no FRA inspector would rubber stamp. Former Pa. State Representative Rick Geist was the big booster who was able to get multiple infusions of taxpayer monies while this was being totally bungled by the 2 culprits at the ARRM in Altoona, and rumor is that one of the main ingredients in Geist's losing his last race for re-election was his association with what became this well-publicized boondoggle that burned through nearly $3 million in taxpayer funds and produced a basket case comprised of a thousand spread-out pieces.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/24/21 3:55 p.m.

From FMW Solutions: "Today seems like a good day to roll up your sleeves and get some work done. Tune in at 5PM Eastern to learn what we've been up to" with this classic picture.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
6/24/21 10:44 p.m.

Love me some K4 Pacifics. Good looking machines, those...

 

Well, while we are waiting for announcements on #1361, how about some critter love? More specifically, Plymouth ML-8 switchers! It's like a Ford tractor, but on rails!!!

Plymouth Critter!!!

 

Sidewayze
Sidewayze Reader
6/25/21 8:34 a.m.

Took this shot at the Jasper railyard a few days ago.

It's a busy place, with traffic going through from all over Canada to and from the western ports at Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

The Jasper yard is a crew change point.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/21 9:20 a.m.

In reply to Sidewayze :

Beautiful shot with the mountains for a backdrop!

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 9:24 a.m.

Well, the announcement was a little underwhelming. Basically it was just the announcement that they plan to restore with Wick Moorman and E. Bennett Levin in charge of the restoration, and FMW Solutions handling the actual restoration. Wick Moorman is the former CEO of Norfolk Southern and Amtrak, spearheaded NS's 21st Century Steam program and is on the board for the East Broad Top Railroad revival. E. Bennett Levin is the head of Juniata Terminal Company and owner of the two PRR E8s that ran excursions until recently, also on the board for the EBTRR.  And FMW Solutions recently restored FEC #148, one of the biggest basket cases around, and is in the process of restoring NC&StL #576 and ACL #1405.

I say underwhelming, just because in the right circles, the fact that Levin and Moorman were planning to return #1361 to operation has been known since 2018, but there was never a formal announcement that this was happening. So it was just reconfirmation of mostly known facts.

Now, there were a few interesting bits. One was the involvement of FMW Solutions. Another was this line "FMW has determined that much of the boiler’s firebox will need to be replaced with new steel. FMW’s findings and repair procedures have been reviewed and accepted by the FRA. The repairs will allow the original Belpaire boiler design to be preserved while being brought up to contemporary safety standards." So it sounds like they are going to use the original boiler, just with a revised design. The price tag was also an eye-opener: an additional $2.6 million. It had $3 million sunk into it from 1989-2010, so they're going to be $5.6 million into this thing. For reference, UP #4014 was a $6 million overhaul. There will also be a conversion to roller bearings all around using a blueprint for a proposal that Timken drafted for the PRR in the '30s but was never implemented. No word on if it will be PTC-compliant.

One question I'm left wondering is: Where will it run? PTC compliance is a sticking point for steam locomotives and other vintage equipment and without it, Class 1s won't allow it on their rails. Hence why N&W #611 is spending her summer at Strasburg, instead of out on the NS rails. Bennett Levin also parked his pair of PRR E8s due to lack of PTC compliance. The museum at Altoona doesn't have any track of their own to speak of. Maybe Everret Railroad, since the manager is also on the #1361 board and the Everret is pretty close by in Hollidaysburg. I could also see it maybe paying a visit to Steamtown or Strasburg or Lehigh Gorge Scenic/Reading & Northern.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 11:42 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 11:43 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 11:50 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 11:50 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 11:51 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 11:53 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/25/21 12:48 p.m.

Now, if only the other K4, #3750, could get some love. The PRR actually wanted to put #1737, the very first K4, in the Northumberland Collection, but found that it was too severely deteriorated from sitting in dead lines for years. So they instead set aside #3750, which was also historically significant for hauling Warren G Harding's campaign train and his funeral train a few years later.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/21 6:53 a.m.

Abandoned trestle built in 1929.  - -  Saskatchewan.

 

 

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/21 6:56 a.m.

Carved from a single walnut tree stump in under a year -1953.  Capping off a 40 year career in carving.

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
6/27/21 4:33 p.m.

Behind the scenes of building of new Siemens Amtrak locomotive:

https://youtu.be/eHMCbgrzSkU

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/27/21 5:13 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

We knew some people back in IL with an old trestle on their property. I think it's mostly just the upright posts now, but I remember it being nearly complete minus fails when I was a kid. 

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