Repair of the club's American locomotive
The club's American #613
locomotive has been almost 100% restored and on its way to becoming a regular at
our Saturday run days. The lettering has been applied and looks really sharp. If
you can't read the Yosemite Valley name, with its' 3 inch letters, you had
better schedule a visit to your eye doctor. Thank you to Ruthless Graphics for
donating and applying the lettering for the locomotive.
Tom Downing has done some
preliminary repairs to the club's caboose that will be pulled behind the #613
along with a pair of riding cars. The roof was found and will take the place of
the seat when the caboose is not being used as a riding car.
years ago someone had added a large lead horseshoe shaped weight inside the cab
straddling the boiler to put extra weight on the drivers of the locomotive
allowing it to pull more of a load. While this worked well in providing the
extra traction, it had the undesired effect of bottoming out the suspension on
the drivers so they were pretty much rigid against the locomotive
frame. This rigidness created a problem causing the frame to flex instead of the
suspension taking up the movement as it went over the bumps in the
track. We removed the lead weight a few months prior to running the locomotive
at the OCME Spring Meet in Costa Mesa. Unfortunately the damage had
already been done. Ultimately the torque and twisting caused by the heavy weight
caused the failure of the main frame stiffener that keeps the frame from
shifting. The failure occurred as we were finished running for the evening at
OCME. We found the broken pieces of stiffener along the track and diagnosed the
Downing made a template of cardboard and found a piece of heavy steel plate to
manufacture a new stiffener. The original stiffener was made of aluminum which
proved to be too weak for the job. Below are photos of the plate being
machined, and cut with a plasma cutter in Tom's shop. The new plate will be put
back in the locomotive along with the axle pump eccentric and new shaft that was
bent when the plate failed.
Preparing to cut the big
Tom likes to make sparks!
Clean up of the large
opening after plasma cutting
Final cleanup and
dimensioning of the eccentric gap
the #613 on the rails at upcoming run days. She is a sweet little locomotive and
is a lot of fun to run. Thank you to Tom Downing for the many hours of hard work
in getting this locomotive back on the rails after many years of hiding out in
the storage container.
Tom has also
manufactured a stock car to carry the propane for this locomotive. The article
will be posted here soon.