It’s Alive!

Shay #2 coming alive in the roundhouse at Railtown.

Shay #2 coming alive in the roundhouse at Railtown.

 There is just nothing like walking into the roundhouse, and seeing the developing haze of smoke , smelling the distinct odor, and hearing the loud hiss from the locomotive as it is steaming up.   It creates a connection with the past that is tangible, and alive.  It makes it easy to imagine the time when all of the locomotives in the roundhouse were active, along with the large crews of men it took to maintain and operate them. 

Today the #2 has a fire, in preparation for the weekend.  The volunteers are doing the final repairs.  Unfortunately, we are having a difficult time patching some holes in the tender cistern (the part that holds the water needed for the boiler). The locomotive is over 80 years old, and extremely corroded inside.  Its hard to get a patch to stick, and even when we do, additional holes keep opening up.  It’s one of the many challenges working on historic equipment.   In building a cistern today, corrosion deterrents are considered (for example, we’ll be coating the interior of the Sierra #3 cistern to prevent corrosion). 

At the time this locomotive was in peak operation, such things were not considered, as they were not expected to be running 80 years later. 

With luck, we’ll be operating with steam on Saturday. Come by and see!

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