Solving Problems

One of the most exciting parts of the Railtown operation is the constant process of problem-solving.  When you are working with historic structures and equipment, life is always unpredictable.   Because we are a State Park, our priority is always on solving problems with a focus on adherence to preservation standards, and on sharing this process with the public.  In fact, on most days, visitors to Railtown are able to get an “up-close” view of the work in progress.  On weekends, these processes include preparing and operating the locomotives, and of course, most visitors come out to ride the train.  On weekdays, the focus is usually on maintenance and repair.  Here are a few of the projects we’ve been working on so far this year.  In the next few weeks, we’ll elaborate more on how these were addressed.

Look closely inside the yellow circle, sharp eyes will notice the old, dented, Thermos cover which was used for many years as a stopgap to cover the oil-cups on the No. 3. Until this month.

Bearing brass is usually an alloy containing some amount of brass, which is softer than the surrounding metal, and is sacrificed during use, until it wears out completely.  Eventually, as on these parts of the Shay, the brass must be replaced.

Whoops, that steam shooting out of the "telltale" on the Shay is a warning that the stay bolt needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, this one was in a tricky location.

Collapsing bricks in the firebox of the Shay required replacement this year. Only oil-burning locomotives use firebrick, its essential to dissipate the heat in the firebox.

Time and use have taken their toll on some of the roundhouse doors. By the end of 2010, most of the doors needed to be kept in the closed position due to safety concerns.