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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Scenes around the shop this week

Lots of odds and ends being worked on this week, and still lots to do!
Refurbished Pilot almost done!
The #3 pilot being worked on by our Tuesday volunteer work crew. Wherever possible, hardware and lumber have been retained.
Cab in warehouse

The cab was brought in this week in preparation for interior painting (green Imron).

Phil enters cistern

Phil climbs into the cistern (air flow tube on the left), to apply the final touch-up after installation of the baffles.

Applying the final touch-ups inside water cistern.

Applying the final touch-ups inside water cistern.

Material is laid out for making spring stand parts.

Material is laid out for making spring stand parts.

Cab seats

Cab seats, with the upholstry removed, await clean-up and repainting.

What is that loud noise?

Last week the top of the tender was finally put in place for rivetting.  We are preserving the original tender lid and coal boards, and marrying them to the new cistern bottom and sides.  It took a bit longer than anticipated, to get them matched up.  Then bolts were applied to the approximately 500 rivets holes, to hold it into position.  During the rivetting process, one worker climbs into the cistern (with a spotter and negative air-flow machine).  Then the bolts are removed in a coordinated pattern (to disperse the stress equally as the rivets are applied), and the worker in the tank watches in-the-blind as the red rivets to poke through, and applies the rivet snap with the pnuematic hammer.  Kind of like an industrial version of “Whack-a-Mole”  This work is being done in the roundhouse, you can’t miss it when its happening, it is loud!  Come by and hear it for yourself.  Hearing protection is strongly suggested. . .
DJ and Rob wiggle the coal board into place for rivetting.

DJ and Rob wiggle the coal board into place for rivetting.

Coal board is held on with bolts until rivets can be applied.

Coal board is held on with bolts until rivets can be applied.

The crew waits for the next batch of rivets to heat.

The crew waits for the next batch of rivets to heat.

The top of the tender is preserved from the original tender.  Here the old rivets can be seen alongside the new.

The top is preserved from the original tender. Here the old rivets can be seen alongside the new.

Tender Update

This week, several coats of a high-tech epoxy-like paint (Ceramicoat) were applied to the interior of the water cistern, to prolong the life of the tank.  The exterior was also treated with a primer.  On Monday, the lid will be set in place, and then rivetting is planned for all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Visitors on the behind the scenes tour may be able to observe some of the final 400 rivets as they are applied, depending on the schedule.  It will be loud in the neighborhood!
The new tender sporting a new coat of primer.

The new tender sporting a new coat of primer.

Interior of tender, with first coat of the "ceramicoat" lining applied.

Interior of tender, with first coat of the "ceramicoat" lining applied.

Damage to old tender, caused by years of corrosion.

Homecoming

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Brendan Simunaci and Mark Johnston attach the oversized load banner to the pilot truck.

With pilot car in place, we're in the final stretch.

With pilot car in place, we're in the final stretch.

Onto 5th Avenue in Jamestown, some tricking driving was required to avoid low-hanging communications lines.

Onto 5th Avenue in Jamestown, some tricky driving was required to avoid low-hanging communications lines.

And then, finally, we were in the yard!

And then, finally, we were in the yard!

With the truck, and front of the trailer removed, the crew laid out the track ramp for remove of the locomotive.

With the truck, and front of the trailer removed, the crew laid out the track ramp for unloading.

George then drove the diesel and a flatbed car through the shop.

George then drove the diesel and a flatbed car through the shop.

The car then couples to the front of the locomotive, and it is carefully brought down the ramp.

The car then couples to the front of the locomotive, and it is carefully brought down the ramp.

Finally in the Tri Dam shop!  Ready for work to resume on Monday morning.

Finally in the Tri Dam shop! Ready for work to resume on Monday morning.

Back at the Jamestown Shops

Most of the workforce is now at the Sacramento Shops, where work on the Sierra #3 boiler is now occurring 7 days a week until the target return date of October 29th.  In the meantime, activity continues at Railtown’s Jamestown shop, just at a quieter pace.
Newly manufactured leaf springs ready to paint and install.

Newly manufactured leaf springs have arrived, ready to paint and install on the tender trucks.

Previously repaired rod brass frames George Sapp and Erik Young at the Jamestown Shop.
Previously repaired rod brass,  frames George Sapp and Erik Young at the Jamestown Shop.
Bob West is working on the rod brass.

Bob West is preparing newly cast rod brass to machine to fit the new crankpins.