Tender Nearing Completion

Sierra #3 Tender in 2004, prior to restoration

Sierra #3 Tender in 2004, prior to restoration

Interior of the old tender water cistern.  White spot is hole caused by corrosion, which also caused extensive thinning throughout the tank.

Interior of the old tender, water cistern. White spot is hole caused by corrosion, which also caused extensive thinning throughout the tank.

Restored tender, almost complete!

Restored tender, almost complete! Still needs some hardware, hoses, final trim paint and other details which will be completed as time allows.

The initial plans for the restoration of the tender called for some repairs.  However, assessments completed as part of the project made it clear that more extensive rebuilding would be required.   Records from other Rogers locomotives built during the same time as the Sierra #3 indicate that the frames were being built of White Oak, which is native to the east coast.  The Sierra #3 tender at the time of restoration was determined to be Douglas Fir, a California native.  This clue reveals that the tender has been reconstructed at least once during its lifetime.  We opted to replace the damaged timber in kind, using locally grown and processed Douglas Fir, and the original hardware.  This work was completed by Covers and Sons, out of Tuolumne.

The restored water cistern is comprised of newly manufactured floor and walls, and utilizes the original top and coal boards.  Rivets were used for construction in all visible areas, while the hidden portions (such as on the bottom) are welded.  The cistern was coated with a special sealant to deter corrosion.  The oil cistern was cleaned, primed, painted and reinstalled.  Hardware, valves, hoses, etc were reused wherever possible.  All replaced parts were documented and the originals were retained as part of the Railtown collection.  The old cistern can be seen on display near the old boiler, behind the roundhouse.

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