News

Detailing all of the work that occurred at the Age of Steam Roundhouse during 2014 would comprise a lengthy report, so we will give you some of the highlights of the year’s activities. As usual, much was done in all departments and more so in others.

Sellers Surface Grinder
Sellers Surface Grinder.

We attended a local liquidation auction of a large manufacturing company, and returned home with much assorted tooling, old shop carts, parts and machinery loaded into a 40-foot trailer. For us, this auction filled out many of those small, everyday supplies that shop workers need and love to have on hand.

The AoSRH back shop purchased numerous replacement machine tools, including several drill presses of different sizes, more work benches and additional storage cabinets.

Niles Quartering Machine
Niles Quartering Machine.

Our Niles quartering machine is in the final phases of wiring, and will have an operational test during January 2015. This machine was constructed in the United States and shipped to Poland after World War II to help rebuild that country.

With the demise of steam locomotives in Poland, this machine was sold and shipped to England where we purchased it two years ago. It has been completely reconditioned by Age of Steam Roundhouse forces, including installation of many new shafts, gears and miscellaneous parts as well as the replacement of all associated seals and gaskets.

Leveling this machine tool and bolting it to the floor of the shop is now in progress. We eagerly look forward using it in service again.

Cushman Electric Cart
Cushman Electric Cart.

While not the most historic form of transportation at the Age of Steam Roundhouse, the facility’s “go-getter”—a Cushman constructed, foreman’s electric cart—was placed back into service.

It was amazing to see just how quickly this convenient conveyance became a heavily used and speedy method of transporting tools and small parts—and up to two people—between the storehouse, roundhouse and back shop buildings.

And it really saves a lot of time while scooting around outdoors to distant locations on the AoSRH property.

Tool House
Tool House.

Nope—this is not a model railroad, but it surely looks like one!

The addition of this small tool house between the existing wood water tank (out of picture to the right) and the ash pit hoist was accomplished during late autumn. When completed, this simple structure will contain a work area as well as storage of supplies needed for servicing locomotives on the adjacent ready track.

The final details of installing doors and windows are now in progress.

The New Age of Steam Depot and Office Building
The New Age of Steam Depot and Office Building.

Designed with the appearance of an old railroad depot, Age of Steam Roundhouse’s general office building is under construction and on schedule this winter. The bulk of the exterior work was completed before the weather turned cold, and craftsmen are busy installing plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling, walls and ceilings, etc., to the structure’s interior.

Just as with our shop and roundhouse, radiant heat floors were installed inside the new depot, thus making the working climate very comfortable for today’s construction crews and future office employees. Installation of old lamp posts, historic signage and an operable train order semaphore will assure that our new headquarters will look right at home in the 1930s-era.

For pedestrian safety, decorative “hairpin” right-of-way fencing between the platform track and roadway will be installed.

When completed this spring, the new building will contain the main offices and conference room for the Age of Steam Roundhouse facility, thus allowing all employees to work at one, central location.

The building will also house a ticket office, waiting room, gift shop and ADA-compliant restrooms for the convenience of groups taking scheduled, guided tours through the Age of Steam Roundhouse starting this coming summer. Details regarding these upcoming scheduled tours and advance-sale ticketing will be announced on our website as soon as they become available.

Please DO NOT contact us for group tour information at this time.

LS&I #33 Firebox Work
LS&I #33 Firebox Work.

Firebox work to our huge, ex-Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 #33 continues this winter, including the manufacture and installation of a new crown sheet, door sheet, partial side sheets and thermic syphons.

After getting into the otherwise expected crown sheet repair work, we saw the condition of these other steel plates and realized that they would need replacing within a few years.

LS&I #33 Firebox Work
LS&I #33 Firebox Work.

Because it would be less expensive to do such extra work now while #33 is disassembled, it was decided to replace additional square feet of firebox at this time. This means that less work will be needed when #33’s FRA-mandated, 15-year time limit comes due.

All other repairs on the locomotive’s “to-do” list have been completed, and when this boiler work has been accomplished #33 will be ready for service once more.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12
Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12.

Locomotive #12, ex-Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0, has had all of its 2-inch boiler tubing removed in preparation for a thorough descaling and ultra-sound testing of the boiler shell, firebox and other pressure components. Boiler stud replacement and repairs to staybolts and staybolt sleeves are underway.

The boiler recalculation information is being gathered to meet the Federal Railroad Administration requirements for the 15-year/1472-service day requirements under the FRA’s new rules for steamers. Just received from a local foundry are a new smoke stack, stack base ring and exhaust nozzle.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12
Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12.

We still need to machine the fit of these new portions, drill the mounting holes and attach them to #12’s now-empty smokebox.

This 1905 product of Alco’s Pittsburg (no “h”) Works has been a fun, yet challenging, project on which to work.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12 Tender Frame
Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12 Tender Frame.

The decrepit tender of ex-M&NF #12 has been dismantled and its frame and trucks are being reconditioned. The big job of renewing the tender’s rusted-out cistern and coal bunker has been put out for bids from several steel fabricators, and we are anxiously waiting to see what the lowest bid will be.

During restorations here at AoSRH, we always attempt to reuse as many original parts when it’s safe and suitable to do so, thus saving us time and money—and adding more authenticity—by using the salvageable, associated hardware from the old body.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12
Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12.
CP 4-6-2 #1293 on the road
CP 4-6-2 #1293 on the road.

Our workhorse locomotive, former Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293, was able to kick up its heels a few times during 2014.

The most significant fire-up was a fund-raiser staged for the benefit of a main line steam operation in Poland called the Wolstyn Experience. Our guests were mainly European rail buffs from England, Germany and Poland who had toured several American steam operations in the East, and arrived in Sugarcreek on the last leg of their 10-day American visit.

These 60 rail buffs were given an informative guided tour of the Age of Steam Roundhouse and shops, and sitting at tables that had been set up between the steam locomotives in the roundhouse, enjoyed a superb Amish-style meal catered by Beachy’s Restaurant.

The highlight of this perfect autumn day was a vintage photo-freight powered by #1293 between Sugarcreek and Baltic on the Ohio Central Railroad (Genesee & Wyoming) main line. Our guests chased the special steam CP 4-6-2 #1293 on the road CP 4-6-2 #1293 on the road train by bus on a parallel highway, and photo run-bys were made at several locations to the enjoyment of all involved, including AoSRH employees!

CP 4-6-2 #1293 on the road
CP 4-6-2 #1293 on the road.

The decrepit tender of ex-M&NF #12 has been dismantled and its frame and trucks are being reconditioned. The big job of renewing the tender’s rusted-out cistern and coal bunker has been put out for bids from several steel fabricators, and we are anxiously waiting to see what the lowest bid will be.

During restorations here at AoSRH, we always attempt to reuse as many original parts when it’s safe and suitable to do so, thus saving us time and money—and adding more authenticity—by using the salvageable, associated hardware from the old body.

This was familiar territory for #1293, as it had hauled many passenger excursion trains during the 12 years that Ohio Central operated steam trains out of Sugarcreek, Ohio.

BR&P 0-6-0 #152
BR&P 0-6-0 #152.
BR&P 0-6-0 #152
BR&P 0-6-0 #152.
BR&P 0-6-0 #152
BR&P 0-6-0 #152.

During November 2014 the AoSRH stabled another steam locomotive acquisition, this one in the form of ex-Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh 0-6-0 #152. It was constructed by Alco Brooks during January 1904 (boiler serial number 28753), and survives today as the only existing BR&P locomotive.

This 0-6-0 is equipped with 20”x26” inside admission cylinders and Stephenson valve gear, has a grate area of 28.3 square feet, carries 180 pounds of boiler pressure, weighs 144,100 pounds on its half-dozen 51-inch driving wheels, and develops 31,200 pounds of tractive effort (at 85% of boiler pressure). Its diminutive slope-back tender carries just 4,600 gallons of water and 6 tons of coal.

Baltimore & Ohio took control of the BR&P in 1932, and this engine became B&O #1190. When retired from the B&O this 0-6-0 continued working for its new owner, the Ohio River Sand & Gravel Company at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. When its fires were dropped for the final time, #1190 was donated to the city of New Martinsville for display.

During 1979 the 0-6-0 was moved to the Mad River and NKP Museum in Bellevue, Ohio, where it languished in pieces and its wood cab rotted away. Determining that this B&O steamer had no historical significance to the town of Bellevue (NKP, W&LE, PRR and NYC lines crossed here), the museum in 2008 sold it to Scott Symons in Dunkirk, New York, where he hoped the engine could be repaired and operated. Those dreams never materialized, so #1190 changed ownership once again and during November was moved in four truckloads to its new home at the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Because this 0-6-0 and its tender have rusted so badly and need just about everything replaced, for now this rare little locomotive will be cosmetically restored, as there are no immediate plans for its restoration for service.

On a final note, AoSRH shop employees made several trips to the North Carolina Transportation Museum in the town of Spencer, NC to volunteer our time and expertise in working with the Fire-Up 611 committee to perform repairs to Norfolk & Western J-class steam locomotive #611.

For its rebuilding at the roundhouse in Spencer, the beautifully streamlined 4-8-4 is temporarily away from its usual home at the Virginia Transportation Museum in Roanoke. We Ohioans were warmly received by all those involved with this project, and were able to assist them in many ways for this major rebuilding. Having the opportunity to work once again with so many notable steam repair experts was a privilege for our entire staff, not to mention the many memories and joyous stories of the past Norfolk Southern steam program that were shared among old friends who had once again gathered to turn a wrench on #611.

Whenever you see them, please be sure to thank the members of our country’s Military Service. These patriots perform an immeasurable service by protecting our great country and providing all of us Americans the many freedoms that we enjoy today. Thank you!!!

The Age of Steam Roundhouse crew thanks all of you again for your continued interest in our endeavors to create an atmosphere of the long-ago steam era. Jerry Jacobson and his employees always enjoy hearing words of encouragement and compliments from all of you. We are working on additional, interesting goals for 2015, and we look forward to sharing them with you. From our employees at Age of Steam Roundhouse, we wish the best to our many friends during 2015.

80" Putnam Wheel Lathe
80" Putnam Wheel Lathe.
Ash Hoist
Ash Hoist.

After several years of inspecting and discussing several steam locomotive wheel lathes that were available in the United States, earlier this year the decision was made to purchase an 80” Putnam lathe from the Louisiana Steam Train Association. Prior its donation to LSTA, this lathe was formally owned by the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad.

This past May a crew from the AoSRH shops traveled to New Orleans to disassemble and load the Putnam onto highway trucks for a long trip to Sugarcreek, Ohio. This lathe was our first choice because of its dual capabilities of turning locomotive axle journals in addition to truing locomotive driver tire profiles. This will eliminate AoSRH from having to purchase a separate machine for just axle work.

Currently, the lathe is loaded on a flatcar and stored inside a roundhouse stall, protected from weather elements while awaiting restoration. We hope to start the rebuild this winter. As our schedule allows, AoSRH forces have been restoring and rebuilding an American-built, Niles quartering machine that we acquired in England last year. Restoration will include renewal of all electrical components, wiring and operator controls. Because they were of a different voltage from when in service on PKP (the Polish Railways) and were totally worn out, we replaced the machine’s 65-year old electric motors. The two, cutting-head assemblies are being worked on at present, and require total disassembly for cleaning and renewal of all seals and roller bearings. The original bearings actually looked pretty usable, but the decision to replace them all seemed to be the best direction to go, especially since we plan to do the best job possible when working on steam locomotive crankpins.

The new ash hoist at our existing ash pit is about completed, lacking only some small detail components and final electric wiring. Catwalks and decking will be the next order of business within the next few weeks. We performed several test runs of the skip car to confirm its proper operation and dumping capabilities.

Our homemade hoist is based on a Roberts & Schaffer design using original R&S drawings, as well as drawings supplied to us by our friends at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village Railroad. Many thanks for their support assisting us to design our ash hoist. Construction of a four hundred-foot long track spur and turnout to set railcars beneath the hoist for ash loading is just about completed, as well.

Tool House
Tool House.
Admin/Office Building Foundation
Admin/Office Building Foundation.

Another small structure added to the Age of Steam Roundhouse complex was acquired recently from the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum (PTM) in Washington, Pa. This prefabricated metal building came originally from the Montour Railroad in Cowden, Pa., where it had been used as a maintenance-of-way tool house and motor car storage shed.

This structure was dismantled and moved to PTM during the early 1980’s, and used there until earlier this year when it was again dismantled and moved to our AoSRH facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio.
This 70-year old shed has since been reconditioned, repainted and re-assembled on a new concrete pad to once again house track tools and a railroad motor car. We welcomed this great example of 1940’s-era railroading as a perfect addition to our facility.

We have just broken ground on a new Administration/General Office building—complete with ADA-approved public restrooms–that will sit adjacent to our roundhouse.

Our plan is to have the building and its exterior grounds completed by late fall 2014, leaving interior work to be accomplished this coming winter. Our new Administration/General Office building should be ready for business by the spring of 2015.

More details about this new and welcome addition will be forthcoming at a later date.

ex-LS&I 2-8-0 #33
ex-LS&I 2-8-0 #33.

Even though much of our time has been spent restoring old buildings and re-assembling and installing machine tools, locomotive repairs progressed in the back shop.

Currently, our ex-LS&I 2-8-0 #33 continues to receive much-needed firebox repairs, including renewal of the locomotive’s entire crown sheet and door sheet, and the manufacture of two, new thermic syphons.

Some of #33’s appliances (air compressor, BL feedwater pump and other small parts) have received inspections and light repairs, and will be reinstalled to this 2-8-0 when the firebox work has been completed. Some minor maintenance to the running gear is also occurring.

0-6-0 #12 is in the shop
0-6-0 #12 is in the shop.

Ex-Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 steamer #12 is in the back shop receiving the Federal Railroad Administration’s 1472-day inspection. This requires that the entire boiler be stripped inside and out for an ultra-sound testing of the boiler shell to determine minimum thickness of the boiler steel. We have been removing #12’s 300, 2-1/2-inch boiler tubes for this ultra-sound testing as we progress deeper into the bigger repairs that will be required to this 1905 Alco Pittsburg (no “h”) Works 0-6-0.

Several items are rusted so badly that this sad little engine needs new wood patterns made for recasting replacement parts in an iron foundry, including the smokestack, smokestack base, petticoat pipe and exhaust nozzle. The tender body will be newly fabricated because of the severely deteriorated condition that it is in. However, on a positive note, removal of the rotted tender cistern and coal bunker will allow easier reconditioning of the tender’s frame and wood decking. With a lot of hard work and a myriad of newly refurbished parts and appliances, #12 will be rebuilt back into serviceable condition.

Locomotive #1293 (our ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2) received and passed its annual FRA inspection with flying colors. It has been fired up a few times this year, primarily for some small, private events (Happy Birthday, Jerry!). This fine locomotive is always a welcome sight to see under steam.

EMD model SW9
EMD model SW9.

Some of AoSRH’s Alco diesels have received light repairs, and parts have been ordered to get a few more of our diesels back into service. This year we purchased an EMD model SW9 from the Flats Industrial Railroad in Cleveland, Ohio.

This engine has been returned to operational condition, and will be used as the AoSRH shop switcher. It was purchased brand new in 1953 by the coal-hauling Montour RR, where it carried road number 82. Montour’s tracks have been torn up, and much of the property has been converted into a bike and hiking path now known as the Montour Trail.

Wooden Insulated Box Car
Wooden Insulated Box Car.

Finally, during the early part of 2014 a 1931, wooden, insulated box car formerly used by the Libby’s Company (road number URTX 26571) was acquired from the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum and moved by highway truck to the AoSRH.

This is a nice example of wood carbody construction on top of a steel underframe that will display nicely here. Plans are to continue some wood repairs and to apply fresh paint, thus taking its appearance back to its glory days of usage for future generations to enjoy.

We will gladly share more Roundhouse Updates in the months to come. We also appreciate the continuing flow of positive appreciation e-mails that we receive through our Age of Steam Roundhouse website. The AoSRH is honored to have such a great group of followers with which to share our updates. We thank one and all for your support.

Finally, AoSRH cannot give enough thanks to all our Armed Forces and Veterans—both past and present—for their service and sacrifices that they have made to allow all of us to enjoy this great United States of America! Please thank a veteran and his family when you see them.

Whiting 80-ton Drop Table
Whiting 80-ton Drop Table. The quartering machine is currently disassembled and undergoing a complete restoration by our shop forces. Plans are to have it back into operation during 2014.
Niles Quartering Machine in pieces on the shop floor
Niles Quartering Machine in pieces on the shop floor.

This year has been very successful for the Age of Steam Roundhouse regarding numerous acquisitions for the machine and back shop, as well as for the overall collection. Actually there are too many to list, so we will share just the bigger items with you.

Our main focus in 2013 was to fulfill our needs in machinery and tooling, giving this facility better opportunities to be even more self-sufficient in terms of both steam and diesel locomotive repair.

Early this year we started the restoration of our Whiting 80-ton drop table. We are pleased to report that the hard work has paid off—this drop table has been completed and is functioning very well.

State of the art electronics have been applied, and the use of wireless technology controls completes the rebuild package. During 1949 this drop table was installed inside the Nickel Plate Road’s Bellevue, Ohio, roundhouse where it served steam and diesel locomotives for the next 30 years.

During the early 1980s this drop table was purchased from Norfolk & Western by Jerry Jacobson, who had the idea that it could be saved and, one day, be used someplace else. Well, that day has come, and I know that this historic drop table will have earned its keep in a matter of just a few years

The most interesting shop item that we purchased is the Niles “quartering” machine manufactured in Hamilton, Ohio, around 1946. This particular piece of mechanical craftsmanship was part of a ten-machine order delivered to Poland after World War II as part of America’s reconstruction effort to help war-torn Europe.

After many years of use by the Polish Railways this quartering machine was purchased by a gentleman in England for use in his steam locomotive repair shop. After sitting idle for years in the shop’s corner, he decided that this huge machine was not a practical fit for his facility and decided to sell it. Over the years we had made several offers to purchase this machine, and finally reached an agreement early in 2013.

Several of our employees made the trip “across the Pond” to disassemble and load it into an ocean-going shipping container bound for the USA. While in England we also took the opportunity to visit the major and a few smaller steam repair shops, as well as several tourist operations. This was a great learning experience for us to see some new repair ideas, as well as to make some new friends and contacts that will be most handy in the future.

54" Bullard Vertical Boring Mill
54" Bullard Vertical Boring Mill
Lucas Horizontal Boring Mill
Lucas Horizontal Boring Mill.

Another 2013 acquisition is the Bullard 54-inch vertical boring mill that we acquired from a surplus sale in New England.

This machine was a common sight in railroad repair shops across the US during the days of steam.

This machine is undergoing small repairs and will be operational in early 2014.

A Lucas horizontal boring mill from a machine shop in Pennsylvania was another purchase made this summer.

This mill was recently rebuilt, and we are finishing some upgrades to its electrical system.

We plan to have it completed and operational by this winter, as well.

Along with these major machine tool purchases, numerous tooling and other components for them have been brought into our machine shop.

Steam locomotive work continued in the form of small running repairs and upgrades to our ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293. The #1293 was fired- up a few times during 2013 for several private functions at the Age of Steam Roundhouse facility.

Former Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 #33 is having the rear portion of its boiler and backhead stripped of all jacketing, lagging, piping and appliances in preparation for some work that will involve the application of a patch to its crown sheet. Barring unforeseen delays, repairs should be completed by next
summer.

This past fall the Borough of Sewickley, Pa., wanted to dispose of its 1897, Porter-built, 0-4-0T saddle-tank locomotive that had been on display there. It had been used for many years by US Steel in the Pittsburgh area, and, after its retirement, a local gentleman saved it and a Pittsburgh, McKeesport & Youghiogheny wooden, 4-wheel “bobber” caboose. In turn, this equipment was donated to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks, then to Sewickley. The borough was concerned about potential liability, and wanted the loco and caboose to be given to a responsible organization. Age of Steam Roundhouse was one of six recognized groups that promised to give these relics a good, safe, future environment. During a city council meeting it was determined that Age of Steam Roundhouse had the best facility for such long-term preservation, and, with a cash donation for the borough’s park, we were awarded ownership of both the locomotive and caboose. One week later on November 21, the 0-4-0T and caboose were moved from Sewickley to Sugarcreek and into the Age of Steam Roundhouse back shop. Because of our heavy work load, no immediate plans for restoration have been made.

Leviathan on the turntable at the AOSR
Leviathan on the turntable at the AOSR.
Ex-P&LE GP7 No. 1501
Ex-P&LE GP7 No. 1501.

Cosmetic repairs have taken place on several of the stored locomotives to make their appearances more
appealing as they await their turn to be run through the back shop.

David Kloke’s stunningly beautiful, home-built 4-4-0 Leviathan will be wintering with us in one of the Age of
Steam Roundhouse stalls.

Constructed from old blueprints with new materials,Leviathan is a sight to behold, with its copious use of shiny brass, red paint and gold leaf.

It will be steamed-up next year and operated to the delight of thousands of railfans.

We are happy to share the Age of Steam Roundhouse with this beautiful steam locomotive.

Several diesels—both ALCO and EMD products—have seen some repairs, mostly minor.

GP7 #1501 received new battery boxes and repairs to its traction motor blower fans. This engine is best known for its use on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie commuter trains that were operated between Beaver Falls and Pittsburgh into the mid-1980s.

The #1501 was also the last P&LE locomotive in operation.

Exterior work this year saw the reconditioning of Adlake kerosene switchstand lamps for the turnouts and
derails throughout the yard. With the soft glow of their colored lenses and whiff of kerosene smoke, these
lamps have added a nice element to the look (and aroma!) of a steam-era facility.

The installation of several more security cameras and motion detectors has been completed. It is indeed
unfortunate that this has become a necessity in today’s society.

On the drawing board for 2014 are several smaller structures that will be placed around the yard, including
a sand tower that should be in service by next year. The installation of two, additional Poage water
columns will also be on the agenda for 2014.

During 2013 several very nice and important donations were made to the Age of Steam Roundhouse
through The Jerry and Laura Jacobson Foundation, Inc., our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. We are
very grateful to those donors who have decided that our facility was the best location for their collection or
personal items. We want to thank them, again, for entrusting us with their treasures.

In summary, much has been done, but much more still needs to be done. Our mission goals remain the
same, yet are much stronger as we move forward into outfitting our facilities with heavy machine tools.
Thank you to all who have expressed their appreciation about what we have accomplished so far. Please
stay in touch with our website as we begin our quest to repair, maintain and operate these fine
locomotives and the Age of Steam Roundhouse facility for future generations to come.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and please remember all of our military personnel, past and present, for what
they have done— and continue to do— for all of us and our country.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everyone Best to all in 2014

the repair shop

Once again another year has completed its journey, and, reflecting back over the past 11 months, the accomplishments at the Age of Steam Roundhouse facilities have been outstanding. In the back shop we have seen completion of the smaller contractor details, mainly extra jobs that we determined to be
completed once we laid-out the work areas and placed the heavy machinery.

The installation of numerous safety devices to detect fires and equipment failures, and security cameras to spot and record unwanted intruders, are good investments at the roundhouse and shop in today’s worrisome world.

Another big accomplishment was completion of the new freight house/storage building adjacent to our back shop. It was loosely based on PRR and C&O designs that were tailored to our needs, yet it retained the traditional railroad look, including a full length unloading dock with an adjacent rail siding. The tedious tasks of moving, unpacking and inventorying many of our spare parts have just begun. We know that this will be an on-going wintertime project, along with the initiation of mechanical repairs and restoration of our steam and diesel locomotives that also are on our “to do” list.

We have just about completed a massive clean-up of our exterior grounds. As one can imagine, the leftover building materials and debris generated by the construction of our new facilities had left our property in an advanced state of disarray. We have gone through and salvaged as much of that as possible, as well as all leftover track materials such as rails, wood ties, plates, spikes, joint bars and so forth that needed to be centralized, sorted and stacked. The area is looking very good and the clean-up will be completed before the Holidays, just in time to avoid our employees having to work in the freezing weather.

Our biggest steam locomotive job during 2012 was completed in August with the Federal Railroad Administration-mandated, 5-year inspection of the flexible staybolt caps and sleeves in our ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293. At the same time we also did its Annual Inspection, and repainted the locomotive and
tender in a gloss black finish. In order for our AoS rolling stock to have an assigned company name and official reporting marks for their movement across other railroads, #1293’s tender was relettered with the name of our new railroad subsidiary company, the Central Ohio Railroad. This winter will see some
preventive maintenance performed on #1293, including to some of its appliances.

Operationally, with #1293 we made a few short test runs on the Ohio Central Railroad (Genesee & Wyoming) prior to our September 2012 trip up to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway. The CVSR excursions were very popular, and we operated steam during three weekends. We are thankful for having fine railroad
neighbors in the Ohio Central and Wheeling & Lake Erie who worked with us in allowing our steam train movements over their systems in order to reach the CVSR and return home safely.

Earlier this year AoS made a good decision with the purchase of auxiliary water tender #1522-A from the Museum of Transport in St. Louis. Originally this was an Illinois Central locomotive tender that was converted by the IC into company sand-hauling service for a diesel facility. The work done by the #1522 group was of exceptional quality in turning this old tender into a water-carrying “canteen car.” Along with the normal, required COTS (Clean, Oil, Test, Stencil) car inspection, we had to only clean out the interior and update its brake system,. Our new auxiliary tender accompanied #1293 on the round trip to CVSR and
performed flawlessly.

This past summer our AoS tool car Conneaut received a thorough cleaning and reorganization of its interior, as well as a shiny new coat of paint. The beautiful Conneaut departed our shop sporting the “Central Ohio Railroad” name on its sides, and received many compliments during its trip north. Winter work will include a close inspection of Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12 as to the possibility of its restoration back to service. Any such rebuilding will require a lot of time, including extensive boiler work and the installation of all new boiler tubes. Its tender will require an entire restoration, possibly including the complete replacement of the heavily rusted-out tender body.

Discussion continues about several of our other steam locomotives in order to formulate a timetable for either their repair to service or cosmetic restoration. Numerous scenarios are on the table at this point. Meanwhile, several diesels have received light repairs and have been operated around the roundhouse
property. The AoS diesels will not be neglected, our goal being to have them in operating condition as well to round-out the historic locomotive collection. In other words, we have a lot on the table and our goals are high, but that’s how we make things happen. We just roll up our sleeves and dig in!

We do appreciate the wonderful website comments that come in to us. They are an inspiration for us to read—especially Jerry Jacobson—giving each of us a great feeling of how far-reaching the Age of Steam Roundhouse project has spread. With today’s computer technology, we are able to tell the story of old-time
steam and reach out to the entire rail enthusiast world.

In closing we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, as well as the best to all for the coming New Year. During the Holidays please remember our Veterans, both past and present. We can never thank them enough for all they have done to defend our many freedoms.

As the weather is finally starting to warm up here in Eastern Ohio, we pause to reflect back on our winter accomplishments.

Starting with the steam locomotives, several of the engines are receiving a cosmetic face lift to freshen up the painted surfaces, and to apply new coats of graphite to the smokebox and firebox areas. The side and main rods are being polished to remove any surface rust and the temporary metal protector paint that had been applied to protect them prior to being placed into a roundhouse stall.

Locomotive #33 is being fitted with a new auger to better move coal through its tender-mounted trough for delivery to the stoker and into the firebox. This new auger replaces the original LS&I auger that was worn-out as well as having a slight bend to it. Several areas on the old auger screw had been welded-up in order to repair cracks and porous sections in the steel when the old auger was originally cast.

Locomotive #1293 is receiving a set of new front-end throttle valves and valve seats. The throttle cam was removed for light repairs and inspection, too. Several new components were made for the cam shaft stuffing box and glands, as well. The Master Mechanic front- end cinder and baffle plates were replaced, and all other steel cinder shields were cut out and installed, along with new, steel, screen netting. Many small repairs and upgrades have also been addressed on #1293.

ALCO diesel model T-6 #400 received the better part of a new, wooden cab floor and a rebuilt water pump. Several small repairs were completed, and soon #400 will be de-winterized and used as a shop switcher along with EMD SW-1 #211.

The machine shop has been very busy during the past few months, with our working on the complete rebuilding of the Whiting Corporation 80-ton drop table. Most of the new parts have been delivered, and are currently being fitted-up for final installation. The electric screw-drive motor (for lifting) and the lateral-travel motor have been reconditioned. Repairs and manufacturing of parts for this unique, dual drop table have taken priority in order to have it completed and test-operational by this summer. This will allow us time to fine-tune its operation before we put it into service this fall.

In April a government surplus Rockford Slotter was purchased and delivered to the back shop. We are in the process of cleaning, leveling and mounting it to the floor in the machine shop. Even though it has seen little use, a few minor repairs and upgrades will be made to meet our needs and make this tool almost as good as new.
Not much has been scheduled for repairs to Age of Steam’s passenger equipment. The preventive maintenance program continues in order to provide protection from the elements. The tool car “Conneaut” is receiving small running repairs and a thorough interior cleaning, as well as an inventory of tools, spare parts and supplies.
We are planning to have several of our open-window cars repainted this year. They will remain in our standard Emron maroon color with yellow striping, trim and lettering.

The storehouse pallet racks have arrived and most have been assembled in rows. A small amount of the AoS inventory has found places on these shelves, with much more to be sorted and placed in the upcoming months. This job is being accomplished as we find extra time, or as the need to locate a particular part requires the unloading of the storage crates that were used when we moved out of the Morgan Run Shop. Once everything has been un-crated, sorted, inventoried and placed into their respective storage spaces on the shelves, then we will be able to quickly locate and easily remove any spare part that is needed.

The exterior storehouse grounds are very close to being completely organized for the sorting and storage of our outside parts inventory. Now when looking for a part one can go to a designated area and find it with ease. This includes track materials, rail wheels and numerous other items. Surplus or scrap materials have been identified and since removed.

In summary, we hope this gives you all an idea of the amount of work accomplished during the past 6 months. There’s plenty more to be done as most locomotive facilities will tell you.

We wish all of you well this year, and thank you for the many wonderful comments and suggestions that we have received through our Age of Steam Roundhouse website. These comments have not fallen on deaf ears. Although we can’t always answer them all, they all do get read and shared with Jerry.

Please keep all Service Members and Veterans in mind this coming Memorial Day in May, and thank them whenever you can. Have a safe summer, and our best wishes go out to all of you from everyone here at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

The exterior storehouse grounds are very close to being completely organized for the sorting and storage of our outside parts inventory. Now when looking for a part one can go to a designated area and find it with ease. This includes track materials, rail wheels and numerous other items. Surplus or scrap materials have been identified and since removed.

In summary, we hope this gives you all an idea of the amount of work accomplished during the past 6 months. There’s plenty more to be done as most locomotive facilities will tell you.

We wish all of you well this year, and thank you for the many wonderful comments and suggestions that we have received through our Age of Steam Roundhouse website. These comments have not fallen on deaf ears. Although we can’t always answer them all, they all do get read and shared with Jerry.

Please keep all Service Members and Veterans in mind this coming Memorial Day in May, and thank them whenever you can. Have a safe summer, and our best wishes go out to all of you from everyone here at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

It is difficult to imagine that March 2012 is well underway already, but we have had the good fortune of a mild winter to allow construction crews to continue with little delay. Construction of the storehouse is moving along nicely with the recent installation of windows and a concrete loading dock. Roofing is partially completed and the next item on the list will be installation of the wooden doors. Electrical and heating contractors have started their crafts as well. The track work for this facility is being constructed and surfaced in order to acquire the proper height and distance as the rails and ties pass beside the loading dock.

With the storehouse now so close to completion, the sorting of spare parts and other materials has commenced so they will be ready for stocking. Pallet racking and shelving is being acquired, as are watertight containers for the housing of specialty parts. This storehouse will be arranged to provide full use of all available floor and vertical spaces, thus allowing many stock items to be stacked high for easy accessibility by fork-lift trucks. The floor space also has areas designated for the storage of large items, such as boiler flues, tubes and super heater units.

The Age of Steam storehouse is nearing completion
The Age of Steam storehouse is nearing completion.

The back shop is full of activity at this time. Currently, several Poage-type water columns are being rebuilt for eventual delivery of water to thirsty locomotives out by our wood water tank. Also, refurbishing is underway of the 80-ton, Whiting Corporation dual drop tables for removal of steam locomotive drivers and diesel locomotive wheel sets. Now that the machine shop is fully functional, a steady quantity of quality work is being produced by our own machinists to make the in-house reconditioning of these support items easier and less expensive.

Now that we have received the all-important Occupancy Permit from our local government, we have begun making steam locomotive maintenance and repairs inside the shop. So that we can operate steam later on this year, our ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293 is undergoing its 5-year inspection and any necessary
repairs as required by the Federal Railroad Administration. As previously announced, the acquisitions of exBrooklyn Eastern District Terminal 0-6-0T #13 and ex-Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12 are great additions to the Age of Steam stable. Both engines are now safely stored inside the roundhouse, and are being
discussed and evaluated for restoration. At present our heavy workload still is allowing some time for us to consider the next move toward these two restoration projects.

0-6-0 #12 just after arriving at the roundhouse
0-6-0 #12 just after arriving at the roundhouse.
4-6-2 #1293 receiving its 5-year inspection
4-6-2 #1293 receiving its 5-year inspection.

Recent construction of 12 exterior tracks radiating off the turntable pit—that are located exactly opposite the tracks in the corresponding roundhouse stalls—will allow the storage of additional rolling stock. Roundhouses generally had spare wheel sets, trucks, locomotive tenders and other equipment stored on tracks surrounding the turntable pit, so we figured that we’d do the same. This will create the ambience of a real, roundhouse working environment.

Another winter project has been the evaluation of the diesel locomotive fleet and preventive measures to maintain these units. All of their batteries have been recharged as needed or even removed if they were deemed too old or defective. This will expedite work on those diesels that have been selected for operation or leasing. One other goal is to get several of the unique or historic diesel units back into serviceable condition so that they may operate from time-to-time.

Exterior landscaping continues at the roundhouse site, with some of the final topsoil grading having been completed for the new storehouse track where it passes the unloading dock. The area where the construction materials are being stored will be vacated shortly, and final grading will allow for a good base
where grass will be grown. The installation of gates at both entrances to the roundhouse site and a full perimeter fence around the property completes the latest work.

As mentioned before, we extend a big, “Thank you!” for the numerous positive compliments that we continue receiving through the Age of Steam Roundhouse website. This massive project has received worldwide accolades from several construction company trade organizations, magazine articles and industry
awards. The Age of Steam Roundhouse was selected as the Commercial Project of the Year by Masonry Construction Magazine, with this award having been presented at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas during February 2012.

Please continue to stay in touch with us through our website, and we will enjoy supplying you with updates as the need or demand requires. All of us at Age of Steam Roundhouse wish you well, and look forward to sharing more dreams and goals during 2012.