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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:46 am
Posts: 14
Location: Altoona, PA
Hello all. Long timer lurker/reader, but this is my first post.

It seems my photo has caused a bit of a stir. For about 36 hours I had to turn off my Facebook notifications from that post. While I'm not sure me if opening my mouth will do more good than harm, I might as well try.

Firstly, I'll preface this as follows:

I am in no way involved with the project. My only association with ARMM is as a life member (which doesn't mean much, the membership hasn't had any decision making power for over a decade), and beyond that, I am simply a close observer with a camera and a desire to pay attention. Everything I say here should not be construed as official, and is at best second hand.

Firstly:
robertjohndavis wrote:
The ARRM issued this response on Facebook after receiving a loaded query about what is being done.


That was indeed a very loaded query, as it was made by one of the small group of volunteers that has been chipping away at the locomotive recently. Personally, I laughed a bit. The guys do have a sense of humor about the whole situation, including the general negative attitude that pervades most circles. They aren't steam locomotive mechanics by trade, but they are machinists and mechanical professionals for a day job at Juniata, with one having been the Altoona School District's steam plant operator for 12 years. Personally, I'd prefer to let them do the talking, but I don't think they hang around here. I'll directly quote some of their own social media comments instead. Please note that their words likewise do not constitute official statements from the ARMM, and are simply reflective of what they aim for as a group, and what the BoD decides is ultimately the deciding factor in what happens. The first responsibility is, of course, to keep the lights on and doors open.

As for the boiler itself:

No actual work was done at Rockhill. The Car Shop has insufficient clearance to do anything beyond inspection. The boiler was re-ultrasounded by the FRA and an outside firm. The group has a copy of that report on hand, and it simply states that the roof sheet needs replaced if they go for 205 MAWP.

Scope of work remaining primarily revolves around installing the remaining firebox sheets and inner door sheet, and replacing the roof sheet (if decided on). There's still a laundry list of smaller items to take care of. The tender also needs its side bearing clearances adjusted so it stops derailing constantly.

The whole reason it showed up is my own speculation: the ashpan is reconstructed and they've been working on repairing the main grate supports, ashpan hangers, and injector brackets.

Project plan

Nothing is finalized, so no timeline is in place.

Andy Charlesworth wrote:
There's not much to add at the moment. Just know we are doing our best to get her back in one piece. Ultimate goal is to get her under steam. There is no timeline at this point. We want to do some fundraising in the near future. We just have to get our ducks in a row.


Fundraising

Officially, there's no full-blown campaign. However, an account has been set up specifically for 1361, and any donations specifically tagged for it are set aside for that purpose.

Andy wrote:
However, if anyone wants to donate some money, the museum has an account set up for the K4. Send it to the RR Museum and mark it specifically for the K4.





Personal thoughts, as an observer:

Richard Glueck wrote:
NEVER kick an organization involved in an uphill struggle. I think bringing the parts of 1361 together in its home location can be only good. Let's offer them our best wishes and support for resolving a tragic situation.


I can't applaud this statement enough. I've come to the personal conclusion that the BoD is quiet out of fear--fear that they will anger the wrong people all over again. They are undoubtedly very, VERY self-conscious of the negative reputation both the museum and the locomotive had unfortunately earned, and have been struggling to repair. We've come to a point where the torches, pitchforks, tar, and feather will do nothing to change anything.

I'm 27 years old. I have spent 26 of that waiting (I'm not really old enough to actually remember 1361's last career despite having been aboard one of the local excursions at some point). I've learned to be exceptionally patient about the project as a whole.

I started paying closer attention last December once rolling stock started moving in to the roundhouse (GG1 4913, Berwind White Vulcan 0-4-0T "Nancy," Loretto, and 8419 Mountain View, plus 1361's 110P75 tender). I paid a visit and found several smaller parts were out of storage, so I've been watching closely since. I'll leave a few photos, I suppose.

Tim

5/5/15, Ashpan to spec:
Image

Jumping on the bandwagon. The cut off note on the engineer's side reads "Pull trucks side bearing 1/4" to 5/16" "
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5/21/15: "*sarcastically* They'll never get it back together."
Image

The best source of current info is from the guys working on it, and they have posted in a couple pages on Facebook that they're in every Thursday after 3 pm.


Last edited by T.E.P on Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:18 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5022
Tim -

Thanks very much for posting the photo of the boiler and for your comments. Additional observations, and photos if possible, will be welcome.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:18 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:46 am
Posts: 14
Location: Altoona, PA
Les Beckman wrote:
Tim -

Thanks very much for posting the photo of the boiler and for your comments. Additional observations, and photos if possible, will be welcome.


Les


You're welcome.

I'm basically trying, by my own volition, to share what's going on from the perspective of someone who has the ability to visit frequently. I don't have too many more of my own photos worth sharing right now, but there's a recent set of engine bed photos floating about as well. If I can get a chance to, I'll see about getting some from up under the mudring and the barrel. It was kept indoors, so not much should have changed since 2007, but there's a general lack of photographic documentation out there regardless.

First, a couple more of mine. The work space (as in the roundhouse) is open to visitors, so I have to remain respectful of where things are and take care with my wandering about.

From the easel, back in May. The guys are using copies of original drawings. To paraphrase one of them (Joe Mussser), they have a literal pile of drawings to go by, but aren't entirely sure what's in that pile. That's probably on that list of getting ducks in a row Andy mentioned.

I'm personally curious if anything with revision dates pre-1920 exist, as the PA State archive binders have a date of 10-10-1923. It would possibly be a goldmine to find the original versions (#1737's) in regards to answering questions from the past.
Image

One of the other notes Mike Reindl (who's the guy welding parts back together in the previous post) marked on the tender. I've noticed that the truck frames bear different casting dates years apart.
Image

Boiler from the firebox end. The bay is starting to look a little crowded, to the point that the stoker screw is currently overhanging into the walkway.
Image

The remainder of this post is credit to Nick Hovey. These are all from inside Memorial Hall about 2 week ago.Facebook Post and Album

Image

Image

Image

Image

From his post:
Quote:
Tender and trailing truck axles (and I would assume lead truck axles) have been converted to roller bearings, and the driving boxes have been converted from grease to oil lubrication.


Personal notes: One of the next major steps will be moving the drivers and engine bed out of Memorial Hall and reuniting them with the boiler. I reiterate that there is no schedule, but it's a slightly unique challenge to think about given the changes to the property since they returned and were stored. The distance between the roll up door and the roundhouse wall is approximately 70 feet, and the nearest track (currently empty) is 30-40 feet away parallel to the frame's current orientation.

Also, despite the roundhouse plan including an overhead crane, the rails for which are set into the floor of the work bay, the work crew has commented that it will not of the tonnage required to lift 1361. It's on site, but requires a fair bit of refurbishment before being put to work. It should, however, enable other pieces (except 4913) of the collection to be lifted as needed once installed. One of the BoD members is a local crane contractor, so there's an alternative at least.

Also note that the quarter roundhouse is 7 bays total. 4 are finished and occupied, 3 of which are equipped with smoke jacks. The other 3 are on hold, but it's enough for 1361 to be home and baby steps to be made.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:16 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Thank you for posting these photos. It's nice to read and see progress, however slow, on this long time favorite and classic machine.

Let's wish these fellows the best; their's is the work, but the rewards will be for all of us.


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:15 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:26 am
Posts: 47
Tim. Outstanding unofficial yet accurate information. I appreciate you coming here to set the record straight and stifle what could have become quite the rumor mill. It's nice to think that there may be hope yet for this beautiful machine.

Regards,

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:14 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
So much for the idea that nobody has a plan.... the best people there seem to be making progress. I don't see any benefit to reinstalling the boiler on the frame until all the work is done that will be harder to do with it in place.

About that roof sheet....... these guys surely know how to run calculations, and if the roof sheet is the critical limiting factor, fine - how much pressure is it good for with a reasonable modicum of margin? If it's over 150 PSI, she'll be pretty useful. If much less, not so much........ so figuring out whether or not to replace it isn't a difficult choice from a mechanical perspective, but from a fiscal and strategic perspective there's a lot more to be considered of course. If running mainline excursions is the goal, replace it an find a way to pay for it - if puttering around on a shortline or branchline, not so critical. If just limping around the yard going essentially nowhere, maybe cosmetic and find a nice 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 to do the honors.

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:01 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
You have to applaud the efforts of people willing to step in and make the most of this project. I like the "underground" nature of it and agree with notion that the museum should be cautious with promises.

The online ruckus over the K-4 is perpetuated by a handful of charlatans and hooligans who can't resist blowing a full 250 p.s.i. of negativity. Look at Facebook, TO and other forums this week and see how many "experts" swore nothing is going on with #1361. They didn't know because they aren't in the know, no matter how much they present themselves as all-knowing.

I wish the BoD luck now that the cat is out of the bag.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:26 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
All the BOD has to do is define the scope of the project based on its potential use, get the best person available to head up the project, and raise the funds to complete it. There's no need to get caught up in foamer wars, or even consider them. Foamers do not provide enough potential support to make a meaningful difference at best, clutter up strightforward processes with emotional sideshows at worst.

I do wonder at the arrogance in the assumption that anything foamy on any thread in any web site makes the slightest bit of difference....... we have no power and very limited influence. this is a very good thing......

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
I seem to recall from knowledgeable people who have posted in the past that that is exactly what the boiler in its present condition calculates for; a working pressure of 150 psi. I've discussed this with a couple guys involved with steam in a museum environment, and we all agree, that if the intended purpose of the engine is to have an operating display to putter around the grounds, attend festivals and the like, their best course of action is to button her up as she is. While the cut pressure is going to rob her of a lot of horsepower, this isn't a soak, it's a superheated engine, and it's not going to spray water and blow bubbles when they blow the whistle.

I personally think if the engine was complete, and operable in a limited fashion, that they would have a much better chance with a campaign to raise funds to "git 'er back on the main track", than they will while she is in pieces scattered all over the floor.

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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Dave wrote:
I do wonder at the arrogance in the assumption that anything foamy on any thread in any web site makes the slightest bit of difference....... we have no power and very limited influence. this is a very good thing......


It's not arrogance, Dave. Extreme foam causes grief and complication that has real-world impact on people, and in some cases enough so that it impinges upon their livelihood.


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
All the more reason to make big life decisions from a combination of head and heart, rather than heart alone.

Has anybody in a position of authority done the obvious and asked Strasburg to give them some advice on the boiler issue? If i had experts of that quality in my area, I'd certainly be taking advantage of it. A disinterested but expert third party with no political baggage in the vicinity could provide the kind of input and guidance that could make things very much clearer.

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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give it time perhaps 1361 will find itself winding over Horseshoe curve passing its former resting place.

Thats the sentinent for 1361, it won't happen overnight. They have the Ultrasounds and that will guide how progress goes.


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:52 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
"Thats the sentinent for 1361, it won't happen overnight. They have the Ultrasounds and that will guide how progress goes"


But there is still that issue Mike Tillger and others have documented: the wrapper roof sheet being insufficiently specified.

To me, this raises a particular preservation question: Do you preserve outright mistakes as part of the 'history' (or 'historic fabric' of the artifact locomotive itself), or do you fix it the way the design requirements mandate, if an explicit purpose of the restoration to steam is to run the locomotive in safe service.

The point has been made that an 'amended' MAWP based on the current structure, given as about 150 psi, would be 'adequate' for many purposes... perhaps including excursion service at a worse (perhaps much worse!) water rate. I have not yet seen explicit discussion whether 'nutting' the roof staybolting is acceptable today -- by either the current restorers or as a matter of National Board or other applicable code policy -- in allowing a higher working pressure (even if shy of 205). Surely the nutting is 'correct' for K4s as built, if the procedure was changed as late as the '40s ... but what if ARRM is restoring her to her 'last running condition' as retired?

As others have noted, I'll be happy to see 1361 back together in one piece on the same 'terms and conditions' as 1218 was done. I'm thoroughly delighted to hear that the 'ultimate' goal is to steam her -- it tells me, for one thing, that no corners will be cut in the mechanical work now being undertaken, and the side-bearing adjustment would further confirm the intent for me.

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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:46 am
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Location: Altoona, PA
For the most part, I'm mildly impressed this has stayed civil (please, keep it that way), given the reaction anything about 1361 tends to cause. TO, on the other hand, devolved into the usual before I thought to speak.

Again, anything, and everything I state is not official comment, only that of an observer who pays attention.

Dave wrote:
So much for the idea that nobody has a plan.... the best people there seem to be making progress. I don't see any benefit to reinstalling the boiler on the frame until all the work is done that will be harder to do with it in place.

About that roof sheet....... these guys surely know how to run calculations, and if the roof sheet is the critical limiting factor, fine - how much pressure is it good for with a reasonable modicum of margin? If it's over 150 PSI, she'll be pretty useful. If much less, not so much........ so figuring out whether or not to replace it isn't a difficult choice from a mechanical perspective, but from a fiscal and strategic perspective there's a lot more to be considered of course. If running mainline excursions is the goal, replace it an find a way to pay for it - if puttering around on a shortline or branchline, not so critical. If just limping around the yard going essentially nowhere, maybe cosmetic and find a nice 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 to do the honors.



The exact number I recall from the ridiculous amount of reading I've done, calculated by Mr. Tillger, is 175 PSI, a 30 PSI loss over the designed pressure.

ARMM does have a Vulcan 0-4-0T, ex-Berwind White Coal Company "Nancy." Last fire dropped 1960 and last operating steam locomotive in Blair County. She's been stored outdoors the entire time and the stack wasn't always capped. There's a fair bit of scale visible thru the washout plugs, and at least a portion of the front flue sheet is missing. Only a full mechanical inspection and UT would be able to pass a verdict on it though, and I'm in the camp of "one thing at a time." when it comes to the ARMM's collection. I'd personally like to see 8419 Mountain View receive the glazing work (and anything caused by a decade in the weather) for it to be Amtrak certified--the original purpose of acquiring it in 2006 was to lease it out as a revenue source--but I'm realistic enough to know that it will come when it will come.


On topic:


Dave wrote:

Has anybody in a position of authority done the obvious and asked Strasburg to give them some advice on the boiler issue? If i had experts of that quality in my area, I'd certainly be taking advantage of it. A disinterested but expert third party with no political baggage in the vicinity could provide the kind of input and guidance that could make things very much clearer.


If they have, they aren't going to say anything in-line with them not being ready to. However, Mr. Anderson would probably be able to answer questions regarding using a thicker roof sheet and anything corresponding (staybolt pitch on both it and the crown sheet compared to the original) better than most, as LIRR 39 already has a replacement fabricated. There's an adage I learned from a mechanical engineer that, "if you reinforce part A, part B will break. Reinforce part B, part A or C will break." though, it may not be that simple.

I did ask Micheal, Joe, and Andy during our conversation in May what they were going to do about it. The reply I got from Andy was rather simple: We either fix it now, or fix it later.

In regards to the nutted construction, I likewise have never seen a serious discussion, much less search into, that matter from any source. This is why I commented about my curiosity as to whether the oldest possible revision of the drawing set is older than 1920. While the binder in the PA State Archives containing the drawings for classes A5s, B6SB, B8, B8A, C1, E6S, G5S, H6SB, H9S, H10S, I1S, I1SA, K2SA, K3S, K4S, K5, L1S, M1, M1A, and N1S have a date of 10-10-1923 on them (shelf GF-9000-3: #74621-D of 10/10/1923 ), the question is whether that binder contains drawings from 1914 when prototype #1737 was built, and if that first edition does in fact exist, whether the assembly drawings show the nutting or not.

There's no actual way to know if that is, in fact, correct without finding the proper evidence to support it. If it is correct, and acceptable under NTSB/FRA ruling, then it would certainly save a number of possible headaches. Personally I think the matter is worth fully exploring, but I myself have no formal engineering training, so I'm letting that up to those who do know (though I've cracked at least one joke that I should go back to school for machinist/engineer over this point).

It does raise an interesting preservation question. Ultimately, I see the ARMM as in a different position from RRMoPA, with different policies regarding what the use of an artifact should be. ARMM, from an objective point of view, exists to the tell a story, one of the some 60,000 people who built and maintained the PRR and the households that worked for it. Having just one of the 6,642 (total across all classes) machines produced there between 1853 and 1946 (much less the most iconic of the PRR as a whole) operating, in any capacity, add a lot of weight to that.

Ultimately, what's decided on is up to the BoD, and we know that they're not going to say anything until they're prepared to.

What to expect:

First, I once again reiterate that there is no schedule. So it's not wise to expect anything by any given date (In my mind, May 2018 would be a fitting target, but that's me dreaming and not necessarily reality). It is, likewise, unbecoming to ask questions that have been asked a million times, or to ask for the plan before they're ready to share. Again, while personal speculation, the BoD is being decidedly cautious about the matter. Not giving any promises until its certain that they can be kept. If you've already been tarred and feathered once, you sure as hell do not want to repeat that.

From me, I'll try to keep this board (No, TO, you get nothing until you can be civil) as unofficially informed as I can, as being an Altoona resident I try to visit once a month. I personally work 12hr night shifts in the area, so I might not always catch the guys there though for any questions.

Updates, if any, will be slowest between late December and mid-April as the ARMM closes between those times and I won't be able to visit.

Just remember that a few years ago, we all said "That'll never happen" in regards to 611. Less than a year ago, we were saying the same in regards to Reading 2100 coming back east (much less returning to coal). Given time, I imagine a lot of people will be thinking the same about 1361.

Regards,

Tim Pavlic


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 Post subject: Re: PRR 1361 Update
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:20 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
"It does raise an interesting preservation question. Ultimately, I see the ARMM as in a different position from RRMoPA, with different policies regarding what the use of an artifact should be. ARMM, from an objective point of view, exists to the tell a story, one of the some 60,000 people who built and maintained the PRR and the households that worked for it."


It occurs to me that the whole technical contretemps, from 1914 on, regarding the design of these Belpaire roof sheets represents precisely ths kind of story the ARMM presents best.

Personally, I'd be tempted to open the can of worms ever so slightly, pre-emptively, by pointing out that one of the principal reasons 1361's restoration has been held up in the past is perception of this technical issue. But that in and of itself is not as directly interesting as the idea that PRR progressively chose to make decisions that resulted in the factor of safety being nominally lower than spec ... and ARMM can concentrate on and document both the engineering and operations reasons why that was significant.

I for one have learned a great deal about boiler technology and design optimization from this story ... and I suspect a great many visitors to the ARMM who have never thought carefully about the idea that weight saving in a K4 boiler is important, or that design 'optimization' for some reasons may not be optimal in other ways, might be surprised and then interested should an exhibit be prepared on this.

Note that this is different from discussing anything about the 1361 restoration's past history in detail. Personalloy, the mere fact that the work on 1361 can be demonstrated to be proceeding is enough. Even if the only 'reporting' every month is a few shots of incremental progress, the big problem people have with 1361 ... that nothing was supposedly being done ... can be dismissed with.

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