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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:09 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The cars are essentially empty. Although our top priority is to get the locomotive operating we are doing some initial planning and preparation for operations. When we learned these cars were in the hands of a recycling firm we asked for them and were able to arrange a donation. We have requested that the ARR store them in their Anchorage yards for the immediate future.

A permanent shop location is still in the planning stages, but one possibility is at the end of an industrial spur in Palmer.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 2:30 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The April status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

After rebuilding, the first of our Pyle-National K-240-I turbo generators passed its test with flying colors. The rebuild included repairing a badly worn section of the shaft. We undercut the worn area and our neighbors, Alaska Roteq, contributed building it up by thermal spray coating. We then machined it back to specs. Tested on air, the generator ran smoothly and put out 33 volts. Final testing and adjustment will be done when our boiler is returned to service.


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33-volts reduced.jpg
33-volts reduced.jpg [ 65.82 KiB | Viewed 3489 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The most recent status report is posted at http://www.557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The June status report is posted at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

Since we aren't yet operating we work hard to stay on the radar screens of our stakeholders. In addition to presentations at various meetings and welcoming several groups of visitors each week to the "Engine House" each week, we participate in special events three or four times a year. A couple of weeks ago the venue was the "Colony Days" celebration in the 1930s era Palmer depot, now repurposed as meeting space. The day is coming closer when ARR 557 will again stop in Palmer to pick up a load of passengers.


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Palmer-Depot reduced.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:28 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I posted this to our Facebook page and thought it might be interesting/useful to some people here -

Here are a few words of steam locomotive esoterica about the way the Baldwin Locomotive Works identified a locomotive. Rail enthusiasts tend to use the builder's number to identify a locomotive, but those appear to be hung onto the locomotive when it goes out the door and don't appear to be particularly significant to Baldwin. The class and serial number are applied before the locomotive is constructed and they follow it through construction.

557's class and serial number are 280 19S 809.

The designation 280-19S identifies a locomotive from the Baldwin Locomotive Works as a Consolidation with 19 inch bore. The S stands for Steam. BLW class number 280 19S is the classification for the War Department S160 Consolidations and all other 2-8-0s with a 19 inch bore that BLW built after about 1940. (BLW used a different classification system before that, but it was also based on wheel arrangement and bore.) This was a BLW classification and was not used by the other S160 builders.

557's identification, 280 19S 809, is made up of the class and the sequential serial number for the 809th 2-8-0 with 19 inch cylinders that BLW built under the revised classification designation. Note that it was not the 809th S-160 - other designs were built with the same wheel arrangement and cylinder size, including at least one outside framed 3 foot gauge locomotive of a completely different design that went to South America.

The serial numbers for the first order of BLW S-160s was 190 to 339, so their classification and serial numbers were 280 19S 190 through 339. I think Great Smokey Mountains 1702 was the second S160 that BLW built, so it is probably 289-19S 191. ARR-556 is 280 19S 517.

The class and serial number were used in the construction of the locomotive and to identify it to a customer. In addition to using this number in the drawing index, it was also used on the specification sheet for the Alaska specific S-160s and the class, or class and serial numbers, show up on some of the drawings.

The serial number is important when determining what version of a drawing applied to a particular locomotive. Each drawing listed in the drawing index states whether a part applies to all locomotives in the order, a portion of the order (many of the drawings for the 5-1/2 foot gauge Indian locomotives in the same order as 557 were unique to the broad gauge locomotives), or a single locomotive. The drawing index that the order 557 was built under says serial number 809 was the only locomotive in that order that had a knuckle coupler.

Many of the parts - rods, valve gear, frames, etc,. were marked for a specific locomotive, so a lot of our parts are marked with 280 19S 809. However, when dismantling 557 we learned that parts designated for a particular locomotive didn't always end up on the locomotive they were built for. On 557, the number stamped into the cab and the number painted onto the cylinder block under a dozen layers of old paint carry different serial numbers than the locomotive serial number. The numbers came from locomotives in the same order number and don't correspond to any of the other Alaskan S160s, so the swap was done at the factory upon construction.

The photos show a couple of valve gear parts with the complete locomotive ID. Also attached are identifications on two places on the boiler. On the boiler, only the class number is included without the locomotive serial number. I don't have a photo handy, but the most prevalent marking is on the rear vertical surface on each of the locomotive frames.

Also shown is a cover letter and the first page of the specifications for Alaska Railroad 551 through 554, the first group of S160s received by the ARR. The locomotives are identified by their class and serial number. Note that the ARR road numbers, USATC numbers (2379-2382), and BLW builder's numbers (63636-63639) don't appear anywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The latest status report has been posted at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

New spring hangers were fabricated. The old one on top shows why.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The most recent status report is now available at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html

Getting rid of ugliness, one part at a time. We have moved to overhauling the front truck. This is the top of one of the swing links showing a long-ago "repair" to compensate for wear. The mating pins had the wear pattern that would be expected. Originally, the link was flame cut from mild steel with the critical surfaces machined and a case hardened bushing installed at the bottom end. They were supported on case hardened steel pins. There were originally oil holes, but the welded "repair" covered them. Our repair involved a welded build-up with a harder material and re-machining.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 261
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The status report for October accomplishments can be accessed at http://557.alaskarails.org/restore/index.html.

This has been a busy and productive month for us. Robert Franzen and Bob Gold spent 10 days leading us in installing radial stays and Robert advised on a number of upcoming projects.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 #557 to be returned to service!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 685
As always very impressive! Thanks for the updates. Regards, John.


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