Railway Preservation News

Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
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Author:  Dick_Morris [ Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

July was a very productive month for the Alaska Railroad 557 restoration crew and it finished off with $12,500 in corporate and foundation grants. For details, see the latest status report at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The newest 557 status report has just been published at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/ ... index.html.

Included are a couple of photos provided by Joe Alutius, now of Eagle River, Alaska, shown here firing an S160 at Ft. Eustis. He was part of the engine crew on the next-to-last S160 steam operation there.

Fireman-Chaplain-Joe-Alutius reduced.jpg
Fireman-Chaplain-Joe-Alutius reduced.jpg [ 80.19 KiB | Viewed 1969 times ]

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

The new status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

A photographer from the Alaska Dispatch News made one of his periodic visits and posted a photo essay at https://www.adn.com/slideshow/alaska-li ... -railroad/

For anyone who is interested in the 3-foot gauge Wild Goose Railroad Class A Climax owned by the late Keith Christenson, the locomotive is for sale. Contact information and a pre-disassembly photo are included in the 557 status report. The Climax is located about 60 miles from Anchorage, Alaska.

Author:  John Risley [ Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Curious as to what or how you are refurbishing the seats on a 4" valve? I have 3 sets of of steam valve seating tool kits but none go near that large. Some are flat and some are tapered. So are there larger seating tools available or do you make your own? Or lap them with a compound? Just curious as 4" is a pretty big valve and I have never attempted anything like this. Always fascinated by the progress in AK.

The details of what you have found with your front truck is interesting. Helping on a 4 wheeler that is kind of scary. Some of this stuff has indeed not had an easy life. Or was it no maintenance or lube? Regards, John.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

I don't do much of the hands-on work, I'm pretty sure we made our own tool for the valve seat. My recollection is that we used a steel lap that was guided by its OD being a close fit into hole bored into the turret.

The problems with the front truck are partly due to not being lubricated properly, partly 250,000 miles of use, partly the result of some sort of incident that bent the truck and part of the front frame extension. Extra weight on the front deck from a bigger compressor and a flanger and heavier deck casting applied by the ARR may have also contributed. I went through the ARR archives and found a record where it ran over a speeder around 1950, but that was the only accident report that that might explain the damage to the front end.

In the photo, the pin on the right is the fulcrum for the equalizer to the front truck. The hole in the equalizer had a similar amount of wear. There was also a broken spring leaf on the front axle, "repaired" with an oak block above the journal box. All contributed to taking the load off of the front truck. (The other part in the photo is for the turret stop valve.)

Old and newly machined parts reduced.jpg
Old and newly machined parts reduced.jpg [ 26.98 KiB | Viewed 1173 times ]

Author:  John Risley [ Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Once again thanks for taking the time for my endless questions. What one finds when tearing into these things is mind boggling at times. Sometimes the wear and tear is consistent with just being plain worn out. Other times the wear and tear and repairs are an interesting history between lack of maintenance and accident/incidents which may or may not of been recorded. Having ran cranes and mobile cranes, trucks and other machines one does not always report incidents that might of happened. For who might notice another scrape in the paint or gouge in a weldment, bent ICC bumper on your trailer? If you can hide the incident and avoid getting written up or fired. People often don't report things like a little derailment or bent trailer bumper. Of course there are many reasons why one should report "little" mishaps but in the real world not every mistake gets reported. And some mistakes are not without consequences, like broken parts or bent frames. Don't shoot the messenger as in real life this is often the way it is. Not condoning it but it is the way it is. A working stiff can get punished or don't ask and don't tell. Again thanks for the updates and such. Regards, John.

Author:  Dave [ Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

For a long time working on clapped out shortline and industrial power, i thought the spring rigging was installed with crankshafts for pins. Found numerous bolts with the same features........

A guide for a lapping tool made to suit the valve seat can be made to fit snugly into the bonnet, with a hole bored for the shaft of the tool. The secret is not to let it get cut more than it takes a bit of lapping to make it tight again.

Author:  Dick_Morris [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!

Long-time 557 supporter Jim Jansen has upped the ante for our annual fund raiser by committing to a $20,000 challenge grant. This is in addition to Dick Morris' $5,000 challenge.

Jim's challenge became effective on November 27. To those who already donated to the fund raiser, thank you, your contributions have received a *double* match.

There is still money available for the rare opportunity of having your contribution matched twice. For example, donate $333.33 today and you will bring 557 $1,000 closer to operation.

Instructions for making on-line, mailed, or in-person contributions are at http://557.alaskarails.org/support/donate.html.

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