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 Post subject: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 829
Location: Byers, Colorado
Buying a steam locomotive was the furthest thing from my mind when I sat down at my computer and began dredging through RyPN ten weeks ago. By chance I stumbled upon a thread titled "J David and throwing stones" posted by Les Beckman, and it changed my life in an instant. What did the trick was a photo of Coronet Phosphate H K Porter 0-4-2T #6 --- THE SADDLETANKER OF MY DREAMS !!!! The comment with it said something to the effect that their museum didn't have the manpower or resources to do much for her besides keep the stack covered, but that Les had tried to make her look a little nicer.

Really, I was just razzing Les when I contacted him and asked what they'd take for her. I never expected to be taken seriously, and I never expected that they would actually consider selling her to me. I also never expected Les to dedicate two solid months of his life to arranging for me to adopt this little back truck orphan.

Last time I owned a steam locomotive, it ended very badly for me, through no fault of the locomotive's, and through no fault of the many people who had bent over backwards to help me. The very idea of getting mixed up in owning another steam locomotive was tying my nerves in knots, and it didn't help any when some wise guy posted "Friends don't let friends buy steam locomotives" on RyPN about two days before the sale was to be finalized. There's an uncomfortable amount of truth in that clever little saying, especially for you married guys. BEWARE.

The day of April 11th arrived, I had the check ready, the papers were made out, and I JUST ABOUT DAMN NEAR CHICKENED OUT. Thirty seconds before I slunk off with my tail between my legs, I met the young gentleman that had been contacted about moving my locomotive for me, and his enthusiasm and helpfulness got the better of my good judgement. If I had backed out, I would have felt like a complete schmoe, so I went through with it !!!! NOW my nerves are just about back to normal, and I'm gald I didn't wimp out on the deal, and didn't wimp out on everybody who has once again bent over backwards to help me.

The plan is to move her to Colorado in the last week of July. She is going to be parked at Uhrich Locomotive Works in Strasburg, where I have arranged for a place so my friends can work on her with me. I really have no use for, or business owning a steam locomotive, just a belief that steam locomotives should be fixed up so they look nice and run --- ESPECIALLY ADORABLE BABY PORTER STEAM LOCOMOTIVES. No long range business plans, no project timetable, I'm just an old man that wants to fix up an old locomotive. If I can still see past the end of my nose by the time we get her going, my ambition for #6 is to do contract switching for my local grain elevator....

About all I know about my engine is that this little darling needs work, but she's worth fixing up. If anybody can tell me anything about the railroad where she once worked, or her history, or if anybody has any pictures of her in service, maybe a scrap of the paper trail leading back to when she once had a boiler certificate, or possibly a 1913 HK Porter catalog to sell... I would appreciate it very much if you could contact me about it. Not too surprisingly, her headlight, backup light, whistle, bell & bracket, and builder's plates c/n 5284, (possibly also some class lights or markers), have all gone to different homes over the years. My idea is to repatriate these parts to the locomotive, if possible, and to build up a little library of photos and printed matter documenting her life as best I can. Thanks in advance for any assistance anybody can offer.

There are many times in the past when I've wondered about it, but this proves to my satisfaction that RyPN IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR SOMETHING.

Without the cooperation of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, the diplomacy of Les Beckman, the super helpful truckers Doug McGill, Ron Schlatter, & Andy Zimmerman, and the exceptional tolerance of Uhrich Locomotive Works, there is no way I could even consider adopting this locomotive. Thanks to all of you, and to Tommy Gears, Tom Moungovan, Don Crimmin, Bernie Watts, and many more too, for this completely unexpected opportunity to do something worthwhile with my railroad retirement !!!! I hope #6 can thank you herself in a few more years.

You Can't Keep a Good Lokie Down.

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Ask not what your locomotive can do for you,
Ask what you can do for your locomotive,

Sammy King


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 618
I do not know anyone involved in this transaction. Prior to signing up, I was a dedicated lurker for at least four years. This is the best post ever on RYPN. Congratulations to all involved. Very much looking forward to hearing all about it as the work progresses.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 6102
Well, since Sammy has let the cat out of the bag, here's a photo of the old girl which was taken at HVRM about a month ago. Obviously, he has a lot of work ahead of him. But as they say, Hope Springs Eternal! And if anyone can bring her back to life, Sammy can!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
Posts: 502
Location: Granby, CT but formerly Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
Congratulations, Sammy! Reading this made my day. I hope you keep us updated on your progress with her. I wish I had the resources to pull off something like this myself.

-Philip Marshall


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 829
Location: Byers, Colorado
You gentlemen flatter a grouchy old man !!! Thanks to you all so very kindly, of course my concern is that I will not be able to live up to the nice things you fellas just said.

The saddletanker of my dreams sure can, though, thanks for posting her pretty little picture, Les. Thanks for painting over the Thomas face, too.

Once more, I sure do appreciate the encouragement. It will be a pleasure to meet any of you who can make it out our way sometime.

You Fellas WORK SAFE

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Ask not what your locomotive can do for you,
Ask what you can do for your locomotive,

Sammy King


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:22 pm
Posts: 219
Gee Sammy, a little black paint and some wood filler and she should be ready to go.

Has it been ultra sound tested and are you going for a full FRA rehab?

I would love to help you where I can.

Trolleyira


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 487
Some history of CP #6 was discussed in this thread too:
Photo: Is this a Porter?


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:07 pm 

Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 3:20 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Vancouver Island
What a wonderful post QJdriver! Best of luck, it looks like a worthy project.
Pat


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:41 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Colfax,WI
Congratulations on the new acquisition! This seems to be the year for Coronet Phosphate engines. #5, a 2-6-2T Porter was moved to the Colfax Railroad Museum in December. We do have a Porter parts book, if you need help. If you can get a cab photo, it would help us in identifying what's missing on our loco. By the way, the smoke box is now back on the engine. It was in six pieces that we found scattered around its former location. We had them rewelded and work is now proceeding on the cab.
Herb Sakalaucks
Colfax RR Museum


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Herb Sakalaucks
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Colfax Railroad Museum
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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 829
Location: Byers, Colorado
Thanks as well to you gentlemen, any friend of Porter #6 is a friend of mine !!! Also thanks for the link to the earlier thread.

No, she hasn't been ultrasounded yet. I HAVEN'T EVEN LOOKED IN HER SMOKEBOX !!! In every picture I've seen, the stack was covered, don't try and make me all nervous now.... I'd like to get her FRA legal someday, but I'm thinking of patching her up, making her look decent, and getting a state certificate to begin with, so we can play with her before we pull the tubes. I'll know more once she's parked five minutes from my house, and all my steam experienced friends can get a good look at her. Then, I gotta figure out what's broke, what's missing, and what it's all going to cost to fix, before planning the job. Don't expect miracles --- this would be easy for a real railroad, but we're a bunch of underfunded old retirees on 60' of track in a vacant lot. Even though I have the best help imaginable, and close at hand, progress will be slow, and success is not assured

Regardless of price, condition, or location, this is 2015, and there are only about a dozen Porter 0-4-2T locomotives in the whole world. This was the only one available, and, honestly, who could resist a face like that ???

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Ask what you can do for your locomotive,

Sammy King


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 829
Location: Byers, Colorado
Mr. Sakalaucks,

WHAT A LOVELY SIGHT !!! Congratulations on your aquisition as well, she would look better than good all fixed up and doubleheading with us someday.

Thanks for your offer of assistance, #6 is set up with the firing controls right above the brake stand, pretty cool, your #5 most likely has this, too.

What's teasing to me is the notion that somewhere in an old issue of Railroad Magazine is a story about Coronet Phosphate before it was a superfund site. Somebody has to have photos, AE Brown, Golson, Witbeck, Saillard, there must be many Seaboard historians and photographers that know more than I do.

Thanks again and best of luck with your Porter. She sure looks a lot better than she did in the last picture I saw of her.

VIVA Porter #5 !!!!

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Ask not what your locomotive can do for you,
Ask what you can do for your locomotive,

Sammy King


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:59 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 10357
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Now where in this mess at the Md. Rail Heritage Library are those VERY vintage Porter catalogues and lists I dragged in from the storage container................ I think one was 1915......


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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:09 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1651
Location: Youngstown, OH
There is a seller on ebay selling CDs that contain PDFs of all three of the Porter catalogs. It would be worthwhile to pick one up.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1889-1908-1943- ... 27f167aafa

An archives in Canada has a large collection of Porter drawings. I will check the list to see if they have any for your C/N.

We will be remaking some generic Porter parts as part of our restoration efforts on Jones & Laughlin 58, such as drifter valves and cylinder cocks. I would be glad to help you in any way I can with whatever parts that you may need that we are also replicating for our locomotive. This includes replica builders plates.

This is the fifth small steam locomotive that I know of that has been purchased from a museum within the last few months. This is a very good trend, as many museums hold small steam locomotives that they will never invest money or time into because bigger and better things are more important. The small locomotives are just about perfect for an individual or small group of people to handle as a project. I would like to see this happen much more often, as a way to get small locomotives the care that they deserve. Perhaps us small locomotive owners should form a "support group" where we can help each other out with procuring parts and trading information about restoration techniques etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:36 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 6103
Location: southeastern USA
There's only about 14 moving parts, Sammy...... you couldn't have picked a more possible project mechanically. I hope the water available at phosphate extractors did no damage over the years of use.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Coronet Phosphate #6
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:48 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 829
Location: Byers, Colorado
Mr Mitchell, Mr Rowlands, & Mr Dave,

Thanks so very much to all you gentlemen for your interest in Porter #6. Maybe she can feel the love all the way to her spot in Indiana this morning.

Dave, the truth is that I willingly bought 42 tons of trouble. I'm a big boy, I can take it. However, I'm pretty sure that my back truck baby has been reboilered, if you look close you can tell that the boiler doesn't quite fit, but that they made it fit anyway. In the few short minutes I spent inspecting her the other day, I stuck my fingers as far into one of the mud ring washout plug openings as I could, and the metal felt smooth with no signs of flake rust, mud, or grooving of the sheets, and with only a little bit of normal scale present. So far so good.

And Mr. Hot Metal, Thank you so kindly for your offer to share small parts with us. Although we can make them at Uhrich's, he is busy running his business and the less of his shop time I take up with my project, the better. Not only will I be interested, but I bet there are other Porter owner/operators out there who could also use these parts. Selling extras might bring in a little dough for your engine, or they'd be good to trade, but I bet you know that already.

While the trend of museums making small steam and other worthwhile projects (such as that stunning Monon caboose C-302) available to individuals is better than good for the equipment, your "support group" suggestion points to the good it also does for the people involved. First off, it helps the museums, because they already have too much to do --- Hoosier Valley has a C&O Kanawa pretty far along, with a lot further to go, for instance.

The flip side to that is that there are plenty of experienced rails out there, and plenty of railfans with something worthwhile to contribute, who do not fit into any museum or organized group, for whatever reason. Private owners of vintage railroad equipment are somewhat in league with those who restore sailboats, biplanes, or antique firetrucks, with the smallest group of all being the steam locomotive owners. We have probably gone through the most drastic mental changes because of our often irrational involvement with our engines, and have the least chance of ever having much of a peer group, no matter where we live in the world. I am all in favor of a support group, just so we don't collect dues, elect officers, or have a bunch of rules. After all, we went through whatever torture or expense we had to so that our locomotives could be taken OUT of just such a system.

VIVA Jones & Laughlin #58 !!!!

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Ask what you can do for your locomotive,

Sammy King


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