Monday, March 13, 2017

January, 2017 Work Weekend

Inside projects!

The 6's tender developed a curious clunk-clunk-clunk sound accompanied by singing truss rods as it went along the tracks at the MCRR. It was suspected that a flat spot had developed on one of the rear truck's wheels. After separating the tender from the locomotive during the post-Midwest Haunted Rails boiler wash, and allowing sufficient time to finish other projects, the 6's tender was placed on the pit with the intention of determining and fixing whatever it was that caused the racket.

Removing the truck is not complicated. The brake rigging is disconnected, the tender chassis is lifted clear, and the truck is rolled out. 10 minutes? Not so fast...the rear running board needed to be removed to allow the truck to be rolled out without lifting the tender higher than comfortable.

With the truck clear of the pit track the problem was obvious: a flat spot on the rear truck's front axle's left wheel. In fact, there were five flat spots! A certain acronym consisting of the first letter of the last three weekday's names comes to mind. The axle's two wheels were the oddballs of the tender's four axles: they were hollow cast. The wheel had finally started collapsing into the hollows. The axle's right wheel had a few flat spots that did not correspond to the flat spots on the left wheel.

Dustin B. and Matt W. remove the front axle from the truck.

A donor truck in the storage yard provided the replacement axle. The wheels and bearing surfaces were in fair condition. Rust had formed on the journals. Ordinary hand sanding just couldn't remove the crust, so the axle was moved into the machine shop and the journals turned on the lathe.

The axle needing lathe work was placed on the large lathe. Matt C., Dan H., Dylan D., and Scott D. watch Dave O. as he slowly runs the axle up to speed for machining.

No. 16's flue removal project was scheduled to begin the next day and getting a fan ready for use while people were in the firebox and smokebox was prudent. Sometime during the 2016 operating season, something hit or knocked against the fan bending the blade. The blade was straightened and the fan was placed back in service.

The next day after the board meeting, the inspection of No. 16 began. The first order of business was removing the throttle assembly which would eventually allow access into the boiler.

Meanwhile, Kendall O. cleans the base of a whistle while Elliot H. supervises.