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Date: 11/22/22 05:17
3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: bankshotone

I recently attended the walk amongst the giants event in Silvis, during the tour they announced they expected the rebuild to take 2 to 3 years. They also pointed out it will require all new suspension components as there is over an inch gap between the contact point between the boiler and front engine. I did ask if they planned to remove the boiler to do any work and they said they hoped not to. They did say however if they had to remove it they have an overhead crane capable of doing so. The staff there was very knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic to get the project done.
Keep in mind I'm just reporting what was said I'm no expert.



Date: 11/22/22 06:18
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: switchlock

Will 5511 then follow or was anything mentioned?



Date: 11/22/22 06:25
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: bankshotone

switchlock Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Will 5511 then follow or was anything mentioned?

Little was offered in terms of time line details on the 5511 but they did say it will be more involved and will follow the 3985.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/22/22 06:27
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: IC1038west

I am very much at peace with this. Friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic participants is what this locomotive received a long time ago and the 3985 has a support group to make this possibility happen again.

Thirty years ago today the UP 3985 left Vincennes, Indiana headed west for St Louis on the B&O to get back to home rails and complete the safe journey home. That locomotive, that train touched a lot of hearts during the Clinchfield Santa Claus trip. Keep the fires burning.



Date: 11/22/22 06:30
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: wcamp1472

Good to hear all that.

Yes, the overhead cranes are used as a pair to lift the engine off its wheels..
Engine #1 will be separated, and lifted off of all drivers --- making easy access to 
all the springs, equalizers, pins and bushings.

The engine is about 80- years old?

Cant rush that kinda' job.
Also, there's many, engines and projects ahead of 3985, that are already scheduled..

The facility is extensive, but finding & maintaining a sufficient paid staff of experienced
workers is the real challenge.  What is the source of the millions of dollars of annual
salaries & expense$ ?

  You've gotta keep the folks on an expensive, year-round payroll. Each skilled craft-employee
represents over $140,000 year in costs, only a small portion of that is the 'pay-check' .....

Uncle Sam wants the entire staff's expected payroll taxes (cash) submitted & paid every  90-days....
for even a modest, small staff that can be millions of dollars a year... just to meet local, state & federal
taxes

Then there's utilities, electric, heat + building maintenance, up keep and
improvements, 'security' ...etc.  What's gonna financially support that operation?
If they fail financially, and file for bankruptcy, engines will be at risk of being scrapped,
to meet court-ordered cash settlements to holders of debt.

?All those daily expenses are going to come from rebuilding old, rusted steam engines 
that take 3-years to get the "1472-day work" to get done?
How many 1472-day boiler certifications can they do in a year?

Each 'regular-sized' engine's costs can easily amount to $3 million... 
Where does that money come from?  
Rickety Museums & tourist railroads?

How much time and money did the C&O 1309 finally cost?
How many additional 1472-day boiler-periods will it take to recover those costs
A BUNCH!  
W.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/22 07:15 by wcamp1472.



Date: 11/22/22 07:15
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: nsrlink

YouTube video WHBF Local News 4 interviews Ed Dickens UP Steam  and  Alex Beams RRHMA CMO...

Ttitle "steam engine donation"

https://youtu.be/6vnJrAzvkUM



Date: 11/22/22 08:23
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: bankshotone

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The facility is extensive, but finding &
> maintaining a sufficient paid staff of
> experienced
> workers is the real challenge.  What is the
> source of the millions of dollars of annual
> salaries & expense$ ?
>
>   You've gotta keep the folks on an expensive,
> year-round payroll. Each skilled craft-employee
> represents over $140,000 year in costs, only a
> small portion of that is the 'pay-check' .....

I did ask questions similar to what you propose and our group was told there are only a few full time employees on the payroll, most of the labor force to do busy work will be in the form of volunteers. I do know with the double matching grant they are a third of the way to the goal and that does not count the proceeds from the event sunday as well as wads of $100 bills being stuffed in to the 3985 donation box. As I understand there is also another wealthy donor willing to pony up some serious capital.
The next couple of years are going to get interesting.



Date: 11/22/22 11:15
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: wcamp1472

Oh yeah...

Like you're goinna find volunteer boilermakers to roll and weld the 
500-or so flues and tubes...  Boilermakers had to be excellent weldors...
I've never seen volunteer boilermakers who are worth a damn!

Let's see volunteers hold and use a #60 or a #90 air hammer ---
and run one ---- for hours at a time.. 10-"volunteers" couldn't equal the work
of a single. boilermaker's helper ---- simply holding a dolly-bar against boiler-tube end.
The old boilermakers had biceps the size of footballs...

The daily expenses of keeping the shop open & functioning
are immense ....

I've never seen evidence of railfans putting a $1.00 dollar bill in jars,
let alone, seeing them stick $100.00 bills in there... (  the big bucks probably
placed there to 'prime' the public into thinking those are actual  "donations"..)

Gotta' cost like $2,000.00/day just to turn the lights on...( $60,000/month...)
Those overhead cranes are not cheap to run...and your gonna' have 
"volunteers" operating those cranes? --- locos swinging in the air?

It takes two cranes to lift and carry conventional locos, steam or dismals.
Gimme a break  !!

I've worked in that very building, many double-shifts. and it was cranking-out
locos around the clock.

Winter time brought-in twice the numbers of failed  dismals, a lot of them frozen-up...
 ( abandoned, & idling, when crew's "12-hours" of service was 'hit'......
    maybe, trains never even  made it out of town..!)

W.

 



Date: 11/22/22 11:18
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: Spoony81

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh yeah...
>
> Like you're goinna find volunteer boilermakers to
> roll and weld the 
> 500-or so flues and tubes...  Boilermakers had to
> be excellent weldors...
> I've never seen volunteer boilermakers who are
> worth a damn!
>
> Let's see volunteers hold and use a #60 or a #90
> air hammer ---
> and run one ---- for hours at a
> time.. 10-"volunteers" couldn't equal the work
> of a single. boilermaker's helper ---- simply
> holding a dolly-bar against boiler-tube end.
> The old boilermakers had biceps the size of
> footballs...
>
> The daily expenses of keeping the shop open &
> functioning
> are immense ....
>
> I've never seen evidence of railfans putting a
> $1.00 dollar bill in jars,
> let alone, seeing them stick $100.00 bills in
> there... (  the big bucks probably
> placed there to 'prime' the public into thinking
> those are actual  "donations"..)
>
> Gotta' cost like $2,000.00/day just to turn the
> lights on...( $60,000/month...)
> Those overhead cranes are not cheap to run...and
> your gonna' have 
> "volunteers" operating those cranes? --- locos
> swinging in the air?
>
> It takes two cranes to lift and carry conventional
> locos, steam or dismals.
> Gimme a break  !!
>
> I've worked in that very building, many
> double-shifts. and it was cranking-out
> locos around the clock.
>
> Winter time brought-in twice the numbers of failed
>  dismals, a lot of them frozen-up...
>  ( abandoned, & idling, when crew's "12-hours" of
> service was 'hit'......
>     maybe, trains never even  made it out of
> town..!)
>
> ​W.
>
>  

You seem extra cranky today... lighten up a bit



Date: 11/22/22 11:57
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: junctiontower

Well, Wes, the FWRHS seems to do just fine with a nice mix of paid professional steam people and and dedicated volunteers doing a little "sweat equity", doing the grunt work and learning valuable skills at the same time. With some of the "professionals" that have been running around out there, I think I'd take my chances with a group of volunteers.  At least their heart is in the right place.



Date: 11/22/22 12:02
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: wcamp1472

Cranky?   No.
Realistic?  Yes.
Proud of my contribution?  Immensely.

Most challenging?
Winter storms: Working 30+ cars in a derailment, no rest, trying to get 'a hole-through'...
.... and trains running, again.

Cold weather separates the 'fans' from the professionals..

I've worked outside in the cold, with many top RR officers ---
We were all bundled-up, taking shifts..top corp. officers, as well as craft folks..
Freezing weather, blowing snow....We did it ALL to keep the trains rolling

W.



Date: 11/22/22 14:14
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: callum_out

Say what you want about Wes, he's telling the truth. I look at the hours we worked and the projects we
tackled in the sixties and I don't see that happening in 2022. The work still is getting done but not at the
pace it used to be.

Out 



Date: 11/22/22 14:27
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: randyr

Thanks for the update from your recent visit. I’m curious as to why it would take so long, is the 3985 in that bad of shape? Is was running just a few years ago. From a limited view perspective, I worked on a steam tourist railway for three summers while in college. So I know how difficult Steam is to deal with. But I thought it would be in better condition. I am grateful that it is returning to service. In late 1981 I was passing through Cheyenne and was allowed to get a quick look in the roundhouse while they were restoring it. I also was able to ride behind it in June 1982 in its first public excursion Salt Lake to Provo, Utah, in the dome with my 8.5 month pregnant wife with our first child. That daughter’s oldest son has become my train riding buddy, so I’m anxious for him to see 3985 in operation. Thanks to all who posted photos of the move. And a big thanks to the folks at Silvis who are going to restore her.

Randy in PHX

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/22/22 15:20
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: wcamp1472

From para 1, above,...( bankshotone, 11/22, 0817 hrs)

"... They also pointed out it will require all new
     suspension components as there is over an inch gap
     between the contact point between the boiler and front engine...."

"OVER A 1-INCH GAP"

Normally, the entire front of the 3985 should be carried on that front weight-bearing 
( sliding) device.   

I'm not sure of what is causing that 'gap"....but, that's definitely a terrible state of condition.
The whole suspension system needs to be lifted free of the drivers, 

So, first, you're going to separate the whole front engine, cylinders, wheels, and steam
piping from the rear frame and boiler.  You're also going to need to remove all the wheels
and axles under the rear engine.

Then, probably you need to test and qualify all of the leaf springs....
to make sure they're carrying their designed weight-load.

if any are weaker than 'spec'... then, all new leaf spring assemblies ought to be applied.
You don't want old, varying strength leaf-springs mixed in with new leaf-springs.

You'll be looking at all new pivot-pins and hardened steel bushings, as well as
equaizer lever holes linking levers to springs, etc.

Its a big job...but, there is no room for less than a TOTAL  Re manufactured springs
and re-manufactured, stress-relieved equalizers, etc.

A properly constructed, "sprung and equalized" suspension system is a truly
wonderful thing to study ..especially on an articulated locomotive.

W.

( To me, it's a wonder that the #1 engine wasn't slipping wildly, when steam was applied...
   if there actually is 1" gap at that, intended,  load-bearing point).

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/22 15:37 by wcamp1472.



Date: 11/22/22 16:10
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: HotWater

Question:

Concerning that "1 inch gap", would that have anything to do with the fact that there are no super heater units, nor water in the boiler?



Date: 11/22/22 16:15
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: A-1

I'm certainly in a tiny minority opinion here, but I wish they'd do 5511 first. We got 3985 for free for 30 years and it was great! But 5511 has been tucked away in obscurity for 60+ years. And that Young valve gear is just weird to watch, I want to see more of it.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/22/22 16:16
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: bankshotone

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Question:
>
> Concerning that "1 inch gap", would that have
> anything to do with the fact that there are no
> super heater units, nor water in the boiler?

That was the first this that came to my mind, I was trying to ask that question and there were a bunch of other people ahead of me asking questions and the subject segue into something else and it just never happened. I have contemplated that scenario in my head all the way home but I'm no expert.



Date: 11/22/22 17:07
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: wcamp1472

It's NOT about the 'gap'...
Its about the equal weight on the front engine.
If the pistons are the same diameter, the power applied to the 
engines is the same amount of force .... no weight on the front axles
would mean spinning drivers --- since all 4 pistons are under the same 
steam pressure.

If the boiler must come down 1", or more, then the springs on engine 2
would have to be severely bent to 'lower' the boiler's front onto the frame...
but, then that's not actually putting sufficient weight to keep the
front engine from slipping wildly.

The weight of hollow superheater units and the actual volume of water space
occupied by 300 to 400 flues/tubes makes the water's weight inconsequential.

You must have virtually the same weight on the drivers, on the separate engines,
if the cylinder dimensions are similar....since the same boiler pressure ( 300-psi, nominal)
is driving the wheels.. The the front engine carrying significantly less weight, will spin wildly,
when pulling a signicant trailing load..

In the videos I've seen, 3985 is very sure-footed, and is very reluctant to be slippery.
That only happens if all driven axles are each carrying the same weight, since they
are powered by identical diameter pistons and the same boiler pressure.
.
Identical axle weights, over uneven trackage, is the job of an 'equalized' locomotive frame
and spring rigging.

Think about it..

W.
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/22 17:24 by wcamp1472.



Date: 11/22/22 17:23
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: HotWater

Wes,

For what it's worth, in all the times I've fired 3985, only rarely when starting a train did the front engine slip. Plus, the running gear on 3985 has been overhauled, i.e. new tires, new pins & bushings, new springs, new crankpins, new break rigging, etc. She is now due her FRA mandated 15 year inspection, plus replacement of the scrapped superheater units. 



Date: 11/22/22 17:32
Re: 3985 overhaul projected to take 3 years
Author: wcamp1472

We don't know about the validity of a "one-inch gap".... 
I'd have to personally see if such a 'gap' actually exists at the weight-bearing 
members of engine number 1.

Maybe somebody's got a photo of such a 'gap'?

Id like to re-visit Silvis... but, I'd do it in warmer weather...
( too many memories of bitter cold, out there)

W.

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/22 17:36 by wcamp1472.



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