A great big thank you to all who joined us for the Steam Shop Tour during RailFest weekend! It was such a great success, with many out of state guests joining us along with locals, whose excitement was only fueled by the chance to see the progress.
#1702 was on full display along with, the steam shop, #777 diesel engine, and if you notice, a small replica engine that we repainted and displayed just in time! This little green guy will be placed in Bryson City beside our historic depot and will be a great photo op!
Here are a few fantastic captures of the engine. Photographer Charles Hardin was kind enough to share these great images. Enjoy!
The shop guys were happy to host everyone for the afternoon, and really enthused by all the questions everyone had. After a nice holiday weekend they were back at it! The biggest project has been fitting the interior sheets in the boiler. All but one sheet has been placed inside and the contractors have been working to get them set. A door sheet had to be removed so it could be realigned.
New bolts for the steam pipe on both sides have been installed!
Joe has been working on the lathe making some much needed tools. All the belly brace bolts are completed, and he just finished up on a new welding fixture for the flexible staybolt sleeves.
It’s been pretty steamy down at the steam shop with all the elevated temperatures and welding. We hope you’re staying cool!
Marshal and Brian have continued the steady work on the staybolt holes and Tim is back in the Tender needle scaling. Marshal has installed a temporary walking board, as they should begin to work on the top wrapper sheet this week.
The new piece of the throat sheet has finally been installed and it was quite the beast to get in! The fit was perfect.
Joe has been on the engine lathe fabricating the bushings for the washout plugs.
We’ve got a short update for this week! Most of the work has been centered on drilling the new staybolt holes. As of Tuesday they had drilled well over 1000 holes.
The new piece of the throat sheet was returned with the 8-degree bend needed and the holes for the flexible staybolts have been drilled.
Marshall has been working on readying the section where the new throat sheet piece will be placed.
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!
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!