On this cold and rainy Friday we are so thankful for the nice and dry steam shop! It’s been a great few weeks with lots of cleaning and “de-rustification” happening! Noticeable changes are beginning to become evident with the look of 1702! Brian and Marshal have been doing a bit of welding work on the flue sheet. Making sure the holes are cleaned up and ready for the flues and fire tubes. We welcomed our new steam mechanic Joe to the team! This week he has been working on removing rust from the reverse gears. He is tediously taking small parts from the engine and working on them piece by piece. The side rods and the main rods have also been removed to prep for their detailed cleaning. Small parts are starting to shine again!
Say hello to Joe!
The winter season hasn’t slowed down the restoration process thanks to the fantastic inside working space that the new steam shop has provided. In all elements of weather that we have had, our guys have steadily continued………to weld! That’s right, 3 months later and the tedious process of welding is still in action. In fact a rough estimate of over 300lbs of rods have been used during the stay bolts welding work.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel as the shop estimates only a few more weeks are left in this phase. Already the crosshead is beginning to be cleaned and polished for the next phase of work! Stay tuned for photos to come!
October has been an extremely busy month for GSMR operations. With daily double runs and special events every weekend the crew is working hard! Through the busyness the work continues on 1702. The interior sand blasting took about 3 weeks to complete and the engine has now been brought back inside the shop for more welding. Brian and Marshal have been working on welding the rivet and staybolt holes – over 1000. Once the welding is complete the exterior of the engine will be sandblasted to remove the rust. With this tedious task, steady does it! Here are few shots to enjoy!
Things are moving right along at the GSMR steam shop! The guys are preparing for a few days of sandblasting that will follow at the end of this week. The work has been focused on cutting the overhead crown bolts from the internal wrapper sheets, along with washing the rivets. Equipment has begun to arrive, ready to be put to use as everything moves forward. Enjoy these few photo snaps of the work in action along with some great interior shots!
GSMR is happy to report that #1702 has taken residence inside the new Steam Shop. The engine was transferred within the rail yard in Dillsboro with no complications! Here are some photos from the moving day!
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has been working closely with Swain County to insure that the most qualified and experienced steam experts are involved with the 1702 restoration. Swain County has entered into an agreement with Mr. Steven D. Jackson of Durango, Colorado. Jackson is currently the Vice president of Mechanical Operations for American Heritage Railways (AHR) and Chief Mechanical Officer of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. He has an extensive background in railroad engineering and mechanics. Prior to joining the AHR family Jackson worked with the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.
Jackson will serve as Project Manager for the purpose of Restoring to Operation Locomotive #1702. He will provide oversight of any sub-contractors and will review and recommend necessary restoration processes consisting of the including but not limited to the constructing the boiler, fire box and running gear.
Jackson will provide technical support and training during the restoration process to advise of best practices for future operation of Locomotive #1702. He will serve as the point of contact with outside organizations and will provide diagrams, data and information to support the needs and goals of Swain County and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.
GSMR is excited to welcome Jackson to the team!
Latest updated from the shop:
A matrix of heavy steel reinforcement mesh was cut and laid in the shop floor earlier last week in preparation for the weekend concrete pour.
Before sunrise on Saturday a non-stop procession of cement trucks began rolling into the GSMR Dillsboro yard, the home of our new steam shop. With the help of a very large flood light, the 90 cubic yard concrete pour had begun. By the time the sun was high enough in the sky to provide working light, all the concrete had been poured and the concrete finishing crew had started their task of smoothing and leveling the pour. This is the final pour for the shop and it consisted of pouring the outer perimeter footers and the entire floor surface which was finished right up to the top of the rail and flangeways that run through the entire length of the shop.
As of 3/28/14 – Update from the GSMR Shop:
The concrete work has been progressing nicely despite the numerous delays due to excessive cold and frequent rain storms. All three footer pours have been completed and 100 feet of rail with steel flangeways has been installed and attached to the 18” X 10’ X 100’ footer that runs through the center of the structure. The final concrete pour will consist of the entire floor surface and outer footers. The weather for this upcoming week looks like it will be cooperating with us and we may have the floor forms and steel reinforcing mesh in place and the floor area ready to be poured. The final pour should take place shortly after that.
Following the floor pour, as soon as the concrete hardens enough to work on, vertical I-beams will be erected and our steam shop will start taking shape for the home of 1702’s rebuild.