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Date: 04/01/05 13:48
Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: sierrashay

Weekend Steam Excursions resume tomorrow at Railtown 1897, Jamestown, Ca.
The 45 minute, 6 mile trips start on the hour, 11am thru 3pm. Photo taken on
March 7 when 28 was used in Aflac commercial.

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Date: 04/01/05 16:52
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: schaffner

Which locomotives are in use this year?



Date: 04/01/05 20:24
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: rrman6

Why the white star on the smoke box cover? I'd prefer it without, as it makes this 'American Beauty' look like something from foreign shores. We've got more than enough ruination to the USA coming out of China/India without slamming a great old workhorse of American linage in the face. Just my opinion!



Date: 04/01/05 21:52
Re: #28's star...
Author: SandingValve

The star is actually silver. It's been on the front for a number of years now. Some like it, some don't. I don't mind the star, if it brings more people to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

It can't be any worse than when the #4449 was running around painted 'war baby' black with BNSF heralds on her forward end.


A star is reborn...

SV



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/10 16:08 by SandingValve.




Date: 04/01/05 21:59
Star gazing...
Author: SandingValve

This was shot last October on my last run for the season as a Fireman. While we were building air I hopped down for a few quick shots with my camera. Usually I'm too busy to get good pictures of the train, but I managed to this day.

#28 is still a 'shining' star...


SV



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/10 16:09 by SandingValve.




Date: 04/01/05 22:06
Bright star in a dim roundhouse...
Author: SandingValve

Here the #28 is ready to 'star' in the day's leading role as "Queen of the Motherlode" hauling the hourly "Cannonball" out of Jamestown, CA


She is beautiful in the morning...
SV



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/10 16:09 by SandingValve.




Date: 04/01/05 22:25
Re: Locomotives in use this year...
Author: SandingValve

It will most likely be these two... Alco MRS1 #613 and 1922 Baldwin 2-8-0 #28. Our 1922 Lima 3-truck Shay #2 is undergoing some repairs to the valves. I don't know if the #2 will run this season.

#3 is so far away from being 'ready' it ain't even funny.

Nothing is more depressing than to be in the roundhouse building steam in the #28 in the early morning while the forlornly hulk of #3 sits to your left and the woefully forgotten #34 collects dust and bird droppings on your right. I can't tell you how many times the "What if..." stories have been told in #28's cab while we waited for water to boil. Sometimes the crew's blood boiled faster than the water in the boiler...


Trying not to pop a safety valve,

SV



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/10 16:09 by SandingValve.




Date: 04/02/05 06:02
Re: Locomotives in use this year...
Author: rrman6

Eric, you're fortunate to be able to work with these 'babies'. As for the 'silver star', let her shine if it attracts the population to Railtown. I can understand the frustrations you and others must have to see the relics in a strewn situation. Hang in there and hopefully with time, all will come together again. Meanwhile, keep on keepin' these great ones steaming!



Date: 04/02/05 08:11
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: Nitehostler

As to the star on the smokebox door of engine 28, I believe that it was meant to replicate the one that was worn many years back on engine 30, the little 2-6-2 used on the Angels Branch. Her engineer many times was Gus Swanson & the design became known as "Gus's Star".



Date: 04/02/05 11:16
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: drew1946

In the one known photo of #30's star, it extends the entire width if the smokebox door.

The best way to enhance the existing star is to purchase a can of black paint.

Also, the #28 was named for the the late Jess Fowler when the state took over in the early 80's---why is his name no longer on the cab?



Date: 04/02/05 14:08
Re: Jess Fowler
Author: SandingValve

If I recall correctly, Jess Fowler was a resident of Jamestown, CA. He worked in the Sierra's Operating Department as Train Dispatcher during the '40s, I forget what his title was from 1949-1955. I couldn't find any info as to when or why the #28 may have carried his name. 1955, however, was the official end of steam on the Sierra.

In May 1971, at Jamestown, CA the #28 was christened by Charles Crocker as the "F. R. Egan" in honor of Egan's long years of service with the Sierra. Egan was at one time the Sierra's General Manager.



SV



Date: 04/02/05 15:18
Re: Jess Fowler
Author: drew1946

OK, it may be Pat Egan I am thinking of but I do recall the #28 carrying a name on the cab while in service on the first excursions after the donation to the state. Jess Fowler was dispatcher/agent around 1964 and was very open about providing information about filming activities during the non-excursion years. Lately, it seems like the only thing I can remember like yesterday is yesterday.



Date: 04/02/05 15:21
Re: Jess Fowler
Author: Nitehostler

SandingValve Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If I recall correctly, Jess Fowler was a resident
> of Jamestown, CA. He worked in the Sierra's
> Operating Department as Train Dispatcher during
> the '40s, I forget what his title was from
> 1949-1955. I couldn't find any info as to when or
> why the #28 may have carried his name. 1955,
> however, was the official end of steam on the
> Sierra.
>
> In May 1971, at Jamestown, CA the #28 was
> christened by Charles Crocker as the "F. R. Egan"
> in honor of Egan's long years of service with the
> Sierra. Egan was at one time the Sierra's General
> Manager.
>
>
>
> SV

You are correct about 1955 being the end of steam on the Sierra Ry. The date accepted by many was April 17th, when the famous excursion behind 28 & 38 occured, but I have a few slides in my collection that show steam being used a week or so after that.
Tom





Date: 04/02/05 16:58
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: SierraRail

Drew, I believe you're mistaken about Jess Fowler's name ever being on #28. Jess was the Sierra Trainmaster for many years, at least up until 1965. I'll have to check my records for his exact retirement date. In the early 1970's the Sierra Railroad put on the cab sides the name of "Ferol Egan", the long-time General Manager, and I think this is what you saw. Jess Fowler's name has never been on any Sierra Railroad locomotive!



Date: 04/02/05 17:04
Re: Jess Fowler
Author: SierraRail

Ferol Egan begain service with Sierra Railroad in 1923, as a station agent at Cooperstown. He was Sierra Railroad General Manager from 1959 to 1967.



Date: 04/02/05 17:05
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: drew1946

Yeah I am, I just checked some of my photos and it was Egan, like I said, of late the only thing I can remember like yesterday is yesterday.

Then I will re-phrase my earlier question---why is Mr. Egan's name no longer on the 28 as it was in the early 80's?



Date: 04/02/05 17:08
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: SierraRail

Good question Drew. Mr. Egan's name should be restored, and that rediculous star should be removed.



Date: 04/03/05 12:29
Re: Steam Returns to Railtown
Author: SandingValve

Brian,

The next time you see Larry ask him about the removal of the name from the #28. As you know he was the concessionaire there for a number of years. I'll ask Sapp if he knows, he came on the scene in the late '80s. Maybe J. Bispo would know, he may even have some pics stashed away that actually show the name on the #28.

My guess is that sometime after the state took over Railtown someone decided not to restore Egan's name when the locomotive was repainted. As time went on it was forgotten about.

I'm not exactly sure who painted the star on the smokebox. I do know that one day when I went in early to hostle the #28 there was a star on the front. It's been on there for several years now. It was looking a little ragged until recently when it was touched up. Even though it is not historically correct, my position regarding the star is this: If the star is going to be on the front it needs to be maintained just like the rest of the locomotive. Otherwise take it off. I'm just glad that no one has decided to paint 'stars' on the driver centers.

As a side note, several years ago I was 'grinding in' and repacking the steam valves in the cab of the #28. I had done a thorough job, in fact too thorough. Since I had cleaned (almost polished) all the valve bodies, I decided that wouldn't it be a nice touch to repaint the valve handles that had been previously painted 'Chinese Red'. When I and others were done, the backhead looked splendid with shiny new valves, clean lagging, a new staybolt here and there along with the new federal compliance items (secondary brake valve-fireman's side, additional water glass w/lamp. I did the install of the secondary water glass lamp and was able to find a matching one in the steam warehouse. I ended up repairing and refinishing both lamps including the white finish on the lamp's interior.)

Well, Sapp freaked out complaining that it "looked like a freakin' toy train..Why don't you just paint them (handles) blue??" So the next day I pulled several of the handles off and repainted them: Blue, Green and Yellow. Sapp didn't think too much of that and ordered me to repaint them back to 'Chinese Red'. After about 2 months of regular operations with the #28 you couldn't tell that I had even done any 'fluffing up' to the valves on the backhead due to the dirty gloves of the hostlers, firemen and engineers. Aside from the added appliances to the cab interior, the #28 looks almost the same as it did when the Sierra owned it.

Here's a pic showing me working on the engineer's sight glass drain. Note the 'Chinese Red' valve handles...


SV



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/10 16:10 by SandingValve.




Date: 04/03/05 13:10
No 'Star' in 1996...
Author: SandingValve

Well here's proof that the 'star' was applied after April 1996.

This was shot after the #28 had her running gear completely rebuilt. We each got to 'stretch' the #28's legs in the Jamestown yard that day. In my opinion, the #28 looked and operated the best it had in years at that time. It was only for a short time however, as she would need to have major boiler work performed to comply with the new federal regulations. When that took place we all got to see what it was like to be Lima Shay mechanics...Boy was that fun maintaining a machine that was constantly trying to self-destruct!! (We are still working on the #2)

I'm the schmo sitting up on the pilot with the ballcap. We had a solid shop crew between 1995 and 2000. Some of these guys are still around.

I remember making a new tender drawbar for the #28, and perfecting my machine shop skills with J. Siemons while we mused over railroading in the modern era, rebuilding the firing valve/damper control linkage with D. Barboza, G. Sapp's shannigans, razzing R. Anzar (he was the youngest then), being surprised at Henry's restoration of the #28's tender water level indicator and crawling around in the roundhouse pit with W. Smith (not pictured here) making & installing staybolts, packing grease cellars, installing and removing the #28's drivers (we got pretty good at it too!!) and timing the engine with a 'trammel' (definately a lost art).

The #28 may have a historically inaccurate star emblazoned upon her nose, but at least she still operates on a regular schedule and brings many smiles to those who remember her in her glory days or smiles to those who are seeing her for the very first time.

And for me, that will always make her a 'star' in my book.


SV



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/10 16:10 by SandingValve.




Date: 04/03/05 14:23
Re: No 'Star' in 1996...
Author: africansteam

SandingValve Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well here's proof that the 'star' was applied
> after April 1996.

I may be suffering from OFS (Old Fart Syndrome) here, but I think the star has been applied on at least one occasion prior to 1996. When I get time I will search the slde collection for evidence of previous applications.
As they say, "Watch this Space" . In the next few days. I will either produce concrete evidence or eat "humble pie".

Cheers,
Africansteam



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