Taking off the Top

Norm Comer using gas torch to on top of the tender

Norm Comer is using a gas torch to remove old rivets.

Norm and Erik working together to remove the bolts from lateral supports.
Norm and Erik Young working together to remove the rivets from lateral supports.

Erik Young inside tender cistern, using drill to remove rivets

Erik and Norm worked today to remove the top of the old tender cistern. 

We are attempting to use as much of the original fabric as possible, in order to be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.  We considered building a complete replica tender, and preserving the old tender in its current condition (which would meet the Standards because the original would be completely preserved, albeit inoperable.  With documentation, that choice would have been considered “reversible”). 

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards were created to guide restoration of historic buildings.  We apply them because they help us adhere to high standards in our restoration planning.    Since the Standards are intended for historic structures, not necessarily vehicles, there are some differences we must adapt to.  For example, much like your car,  historic vehicles have been subjected to wear-and-tear from everyday use which recessitates the continual replacement of parts.   Most tender cisterns were repaired extensively during their lifetimes, because they were exposed to corrosive elements.  Its interesting to consider that the lifespan of a steam locomotive in daily use was usually less than 25 years, with lots of maintenance and repairs during that time!