Sierra No. 3- Tender
March 11, 2009 by Railtown Staff
Cistern with Oil Tank (background)
- Sierra No. 3 Tender- in the yard
Interior of tender from rear
When the tender was built, welding was not yet in use. The overlapping sheets of steel used to build the tender are held together with rivets. The body of the tender is a horseshoe-shaped cistern, which holds the water used to create the steam in the locomotive. The image of the interior, above, shows the effect of corrosion over decades of use. Dividing sheets of metal, called baffles, have already been removed in preparation for the restoration, but they would normally divide the tank to keep the water from sloshing around, or moving to the back of the tank when the train is on a long climb. The fuel tank is composed of two rivetted tanks stacked on top of each other in order to maximize the available space in the center of the tender. The #3 was originally built to burn coal, which would have been stored in that same space. Sometime around 1904 it was converted to oil, which was more readily available.
In the restoration, we will be replacing the sides and bottom of the the tender cistern, but reusing the top and the fuel tank. We will be using a combination of rivets and welded seams. Rivetting just the visible areas, still means over 3,500 rivets! Its going to be noisy in the shop.