Roundhouse Reports

Bessemer & Lake Erie No. 643 Update

Boiler and Chassis separated
643's Tender in the Back Shop
The Tender's "Doghouse"
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The winter months and holidays have slowed the movement of B&LE #643 running gear and boiler arrival to the Roundhouse.  However, behind the scenes efforts continue to work out all the intricacies with local and state authorities for using roadways.  Several decisions are also being evaluated regarding the use of railroad flat cars.    Labor and cost are driving factors in this decision making.     We feel that work should be resuming shortly, weather permitting.

Meanwhile the No. 643 tender was inspected and repaired as needed.  The coal bunker and stoker auger system has been thoroughly cleaned of coal, scaled rust and other debris.  This area was painted with good a rust preventive primer and finish coated with gloss black.   The upper elements of the tender that were removed to lower the height for road travel have been carefully reinstalled in their original locations.

The use of the original stoker motor was very beneficial in helping clean the bunker out.  We were very pleased with its performance as it took little effort to start up and run flawlessly for several days of use.

The Brakeman’s cabin, also known as the “doghouse”, was repaired while it was removed, including the rusted areas in the well area in which it sits.  After several good coats of paint in the well, the doghouse was re-bolted to the tender deck.   

The bottom of the tender cistern has eight washout plugs and these have been removed and the water compartment is currently receiving a complete descaling and flushing out of loose scale and flaked rust.  The tender journals looked very well maintained but were still cleaned and had fresh oil applied.  Plans are in place for the entire tender body to be sandblasted to grey metal and repainted using high quality industrial paint.         

In conclusion, Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum would like to thank all of you that have donated to, offered support for, and well wishes for this complicated yet exciting project. 

More updates will be forthcoming as we gain momentum in the next phase.       

It has been a very busy few months at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum! Our talented team has been working on a number of restoration / conservation projects and educational initiatives.

Passenger Cars

Open-window coaches #3659, #4979 and #5010 were sold in our October 1, 2019 auction, and should be moving to their new owners during November.

AoSRM’s former Canadian National/Via combine #9300 has had its old roof repaired with a new rubberized/fiber roof. Built as a coach by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1954, this car was rebuilt by CN as a 52-seat combine and is air conditioned.

Former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie wreck train diner White Castle is also receiving repairs with a rubberized/fiber roof. This car was built in 1918 by Pullman as open-section sleeper Aukland, ending its career in P&LE’s 6-car wreck train outfit. All 6 of the cars are in AoSRM’s collection.

Our crew/tool car #5012 Conneaut (a former Wabash RPO/coach) will soon receive the same type of roof repairs as applied to White Castle. Built in 1920, the post-steam-era career of Conneaut saw its use behind more fantrip steamers than probably any other fantrip-era crew car.

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Steam Locomotives

Boiler work on former McCloud River RR 2-8-2 #19 is nearing completion. Smaller items to seal-up the boiler—washout plugs, boiler studs, water glass fittings, globe valves and a host of others—are being installed for #19’s upcoming hydrostatic test. The locomotive’s front tender truck is being reassembled, which includes installation of the newly reprofiled wheel sets.

Former Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12 was shined-up, fired-up and steamed-up to and from the spiffed-up Sugarcreek depot to participate in the village’s annual Swiss Festival. Each fall, Sugarcreek transforms itself into a lively Swiss village, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the village’s founders. The recently refreshed depot featured roundhouse displays, information and AoSRM souvenir items. Accompanying jet-black steamer #12 for the long weekend was AoSRM’s beautifully restored, fire engine-red, ex-Wheeling & Lake Erie steel caboose #0222.

The big news this month is that the big, 23-ton/27,000-gallon tender from our big Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 #643 has arrived safely at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum. Lifted off its big Buckeye 6-wheel trucks and devoid of everything removable to reduce weight, the 49-foot long tender was loaded onto a highway trailer at #643’s storage site in McKees Rocks, Pa. Snaking under tight-clearance overhead bridges and see-sawing around sharp street corners, doubled-headed highway trucks were needed to urge the big load up the steep on-ramp to Route 51 at the start of the journey to Ohio. Wonderful cooperation was extended by all on-line police and sheriff departments to be sure that this tender movement occurred without incident. The tender arrived in Sugarcreek on the afternoon of October 18, 2019, was easily unloaded the next morning, and set upon its Buckeye tender trucks once again.

Meanwhile, work continues in McKees Rocks to separate #643’s huge boiler and piping from the massive 2-10-4’s frame, cylinders and driving wheels. Removed #643 parts are catalogued and moved to Sugarcreek by the truckload (4 so far) for installation onto the 2-10-4 when boiler and frame have been reunited. This #643 project is similar to constructing an H-O model locomotive, but in a scale of 12-inches to the foot. We’ll update our progress in future Roundhouse Reports.

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Winter Programming & News

The Roundhouse may be locked up for the cold winter months, but we are welcoming a lineup of knowledgeable presenters sure to please any off season visitor with discussions on a variety of railroad topics. Join us at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum throughout the off season for our Winter Speaker Series in the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum Depot Visitor Center scheduled monthly December through April 2019-2020. Our first speaker is Mr. Ted Goodman, architect of the Roundhouse, who will discuss the design process and construction of the roundhouse from its foundation to its roof. Click here for details.

We’re also having a holiday sale on all Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum merchandise purchased from our online store! Just enter WHISTLE as a coupon code at checkout and receive a 10% discount!

Santa Comes to the Roundhouse

Visit Santa at the Roundhouse on Saturday December 14th between 12 pm and 2 pm! Enjoy complementary hot cocoa and cookies in the Age of Steam Depot, observe a special holiday model train display, and have your picture taken with Santa surrounded by our historic collection of steam locomotives in our authentic 20th century Roundhouse! Click here for details.

Vortic Watch Railroad Edition Winner!

Almost 5000 people entered to win the inaugural season Age of Steam Roundhouse / Vortic Watch Railroad Edition wristwatch. We are happy to announce that the watch was won by Lea Reiter of California. Congratulations Lea! Thank you all for your support of the Roundhouse Museum and our mission. We hope to partner more with Vortic Watch in the future, so keep an eye out!

2019 Tour Season

Just some of the people that helped make this first season of public tours a success! Thank you to everyone who visited, volunteered and contributed! Tickets for next season are on sale now!

Latest News on the Bessemer & Lake Erie No. 643

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Disassembly and pre-movement planning for “The King” (former Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 #643)

The first highway tractor trailer filled with parts removed from former Bessemer & Lake 2-10-4 #643 (nicknamed “The King”) was unloaded last week at Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum in Sugarcreek, Ohio. This huge steam locomotive continues to shed weight, as riggers removed both sand domes, two air compressors, air tanks, lubricators, piping and smoke box door, to name just a few of the detached components. All parts were carefully tagged, cataloged and photographed to insure their expedited and correct reassembly once the boiler, running gear and frame have arrived at #643’s new AoSRM home.

So far, we were pleasantly surprised that most nuts and bolts were loosened with plenty of penetrating oil applied, combined with the sheer human and mechanical pressures applied to remove them. A few holdouts had to be carefully heated or even torched off to surrender their unrelenting grip. Disassembly work occurs under the direction of Tim Sposato, AoSRM’s Chief Mechanical Officer, who, for more than 25 years, has shepherded the care and restoration of all 22 steam locomotives in our collection.

Michael Venezia, project manager for the transport of #643 from its current location in McKees Rocks, Pa., has been meeting with local city officials, crane operators and heavy-haul trucking companies to conduct various route-studies that will provide the ultimate highway designation that is best capable to move the enormously heavy #643. The safe highway routing is the biggest challenge in moving this big 2-10-4, and remains in a very fluid situation. The sheer tonnage could unintentionally damage various underground utilities as we begin these movements, thus making route and engineering studies critical components to our success. Pre-movement meetings and necessary approvals are underway, and there is a very strong likelihood that the locomotive’s frame, driving wheels and running gear might actually move by rail on a many-axled flatcar. Current plans call for moving the tender, boiler and all removed component parts by highway truck. We will keep you updated as final movement decisions are made.

Our film crew has been on site to capture the history and drama of this epic undertaking. All footage— including disassembly, special moments, interviews, historic film, reassembly, restoration and eventual display—will be edited and ultimately formatted into a comprehensive documentary that will be shown at AoSRM. The film crew will employ drone cameras during the heavy lifting, loading and movement phases of the #643 moving project, which will add a great dimension to the finished documentary. So that we may assemble a more complete and accurate record about “The King,” we ask that anyone who has worked with #643 during the past 30 years to share their remembrances, stories and photos of their experiences by contacting AoSRM through our website: www.ageofsteamroundhouse.org

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum wishes to thank AGF Company, property owner where B&LE #643 has resided for many years. Their continued support and gracious hospitality have—and will—continue to help the AoSRM team work safely and efficiently as we accomplish our monumental goal. Additionally, the McKees Rocks Police Department and city officials have shared their expertise and support to help us stage and plan all movements of “The King” to its new throne in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

More updates to follow.

Bill Strawn, President and Board Chairman
Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum

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The initial study of how best to move Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 #643 from McKees Rocks, Pa., to The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum in Sugarcreek, Ohio, has been completed by AoSRM employees and our 643 project manager. Nicknamed “The King,” the 643 will be carefully disassembled into smaller component parts, and then loaded by cranes onto super-haul truck trailers for the all-highway journey to Ohio.

Site preparation in McKees Rocks has begun in order to accommodate the staging of the heavy lift cranes and the 200-foot long super trailers that will be required to move 308.23 tons of iron horse history! B&LE 643’s tender will be moved first, after its wheel sets have been removed and shipped separately due to tonnage and height restrictions along the route. Currently, survey crews are driving and mapping several potential highway routes that will be presented to the Departments of Transportation of both Pennsylvania and Ohio for their approval. This is a very extensive part of the pre-move process necessary to receive the permits that we must have for each truck movement. All underground and overhead utilities, bridges, tunnels, etc., that are located on the selected route must be identified. Because city streets and country roads were not designed to support such a huge load as the 643, any temporary relocation of–or potential damage to–these entities must have a solid mitigation plan in place prior to movement of “The King.”

To reduce tonnage where possible, our current plan provides for the 643 to be stripped of all external, bolted-on appliances (such as the air compressors, injectors, power reverse, etc.). All removed appliances–including the locomotive’s cab and the brakeman’s “doghouse” on top of the tender–will be shipped separately by truck. The boiler will be removed from the frame as one component, and the frame, cylinders and running gear will remain together as the second component, and each will be shipped on a super-haul trailer. Due to the extreme tonnage of each of these components, as well as the hilly highway terrain, each trailer will require a truck on the front to pull, and another on the back end to push, much like railroads do with diesels every day. It is quite possible that two trucks will be pulling and one pushing!

Some may question why B&LE 643 will not be moved by rail. The answer, again, is based on the huge locomotive’s extreme weight and rigid wheelbase length, both of which exceed the maximum bridge capacity and minimum curvature existing on the Ohio Central Railroad.

We will produce a video documentary telling the 643 story from start to finish, as “The King” proudly ascends his throne in the center stall at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum!

Future 643 reports and updates will be posted on this website.

Bill Strawn
Board Chairman, Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum

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United States Army locomotive No. 2630 leads a train of WWII-era military vehicles during the Steam to Victory event.

On July 5 and 6, 2019, the Age of Steam Roundhouse hosted Steam to Victory, an event to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings and to celebrate the role that railroads played in the war effort.  This unique event brought together WWII reenactors, historic military vehicles, and the Roundhouse’s own collection of WWII-era trains.

The “star” of the railroad exhibits was US Army 2-8-0 locomotive No. 2630, which was unveiled at the event after an in-depth cosmetic restoration.  Resplendent in Army Olive Drab paint, No. 2630 was featured leading two restored Army flatcars and a Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad caboose.  Atop the flatcars, military vehicles were displayed including an M3 half-track, M8 Greyhound armored car, a Jeep, and a unique “Weasel” tracked vehicle.  This unique exhibit represented a World War II train moving important equipment off to battle.

Around the Age of Steam grounds, numerous military displays welcomed guests with immersive experiences.  Visitors learned about the living conditions of soldiers on the front lines from reenactors of both the Allies and Axis forces.  Vehicle rides and small arms demonstrations gave guests a taste of how this impressive equipment was used in war.  Twice a day, the reenactors marched off for a simulated skirmish where US troops stormed a German bunker.  The Ohio Amish countryside surrounding the Roundhouse were a good stand-in for the similar fields and hills of Western Europe.

Other components of the Age of Steam railroad collection were also on-hand for guests to view.  Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 #6325 led two restored Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad passenger coaches, simulating one of the thousands of troop trains which shuttled soldiers around the US.  One of the most colorful exhibits was a steam locomotive tender made up to represent the red, white and blue “Buy War Bonds” tenders created by the Nickel Plate Road as a means of advertisement to help in the war effort.  Another tender sported the insignia of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, which Age of Steam Roundhouse founder Jerry Jacobson served in.  Finally, 0-6-0T tank engine #4 proudly displayed its heritage as a US Navy switching locomotive.

Age of Steam Roundhouse would like to thank the following organizations for their participation in Steam to Victory:

  • Crew 1944 / 5th Rangers, Co. B and Baker Co.
  • 101st Airborne / 502nd PIR
  • 100th Jager Division
  • 352nd Infantry Division
  • Marlboro Volunteers Military History Mobile Museum
  • Dennison Railroad Depot Museum
  • Forever Young Singers

Despite some hot weather and a few pop-up thunderstorms, Age of Steam Roundhouse’s first large public event was well-attended and received positive feedback.  Stay tuned to the Roundhouse mailing list, website and social media channels as we work to develop more exciting events and experiences in the coming months.

2018 has been a year of significant progress in the Age of Steam Roundhouse shop. The cavernous backshop echoed with the sound of air hammers as boiler work wrapped up on two of steam locomotives and continued on a third. In addition to major mechanical work, a number of other exciting projects have advanced forward.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 #12

In July, engine #12 rolled out of our backshop after an extensive restoration. Over a three-week period, #12 was put through a series of test runs and adjustments to ensure reliable operation (video here). This stout little switch engine will be ideal for steam demonstrations around the Age of Steam complex in the future.

While #12 may not carry the same notoriety as some of the larger engines in the AoSR collection, it was always one of founder Jerry Jacobson’s favorites. Serving in the 82nd Airborne division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the early 1960’s, Jerry would take advantage of his weekend passes to visit the M&NF and witness #12 in service hauling freight on the Kentucky shortline. AoSR is pleased to count #12 back among the ranks of operable locomotives.

Confirming a job well done, the Heritage Rail Alliance recognized #12 with its 2018 Significant Achievement Award – Steam.

Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 #33

This powerful freight-hauler emerged from the backshop in late Fall after significant firebox work. 33’s firebox received a new crown sheet and upper thermic siphons, as well as numerous replacement staybolts. Test runs around the AoSR site revealed all repairs were sound and the engine is top shape once again. Video of #33 under steam is available here:

McCloud River Railroad 2-8-2 #19

Acquired by AoSR in 2016, famous #19 has also been undergoing a firebox overhaul. An entirely new door sheet (rear wall of the firebox) is being fashioned, and patches to the side sheets and corners of the firebox have already been installed. New staybolts have been machined and are already on-hand for installation when the door sheet is complete.

#19’s trailing truck was in need of an overhaul, so the backshop’s drop table was put to use removing it from under the engine. The original trailing truck frame had seen numerous weld repairs, and was generally worn out. A new one is now being fabricated. New Babbitt for the trailing truck bearings is also in-process.

Cosmetic Work Continues

Many pieces of our collection saw cosmetic restoration work this year, improving their visual appeal and providing our tour guests with new and exciting sights. Columbus & Southern Ohio Electric fireless 0-4-0 #2, Alabama, Tennessee & Northern 2-10-0 #401, and US Navy 0-6-0T #4 all received a general cleanup and new paint. US Army 2-8-0 #612 was renumbered back to its original number of #2630 and is currently under a more extensive cosmetic overhaul. Look for more news on #2630 in early 2019.

In addition to the steam locomotives, two Electro-Motive Division SW9 diesel locomotives were repainted in their original Montour Railroad black with yellow lettering. Chief Mechanical Officer Tim Sposato started his railroad career on this coal hauling shortline in Western Pennsylvania, and thanks to Tim and AoSR these vintage diesels are preserved for all to enjoy.

#3960 Arrives

As reported in October, former Wheeling and Lake Erie 0-6-0 #3960 became a part of the AoSR collection. Photos of the move and more information are available on our News page.

Jeff Williams Passes

On a sad note, longtime Age of Steam Roundhouse employee Jeff Williams passed away on November 15th, 2018 after an illness. Shown here with his beloved dog Petey, Jeff helped build the Roundhouse and handled most of the woodworking aspects of our restorations. We will miss Jeff’s humor, kind words and easygoing disposition.

Season’s Greetings

During this joyful holiday season, we extend greetings from our Age of Steam Roundhouse family to yours. As we gather with friends and family, please keep in mind the men and women around the world working tirelessly to defend our country. We thank them for their continued sacrifice.

2019 promises to be an exciting year for Age of Steam Roundhouse, and we’re excited to share the next step in this journey with you. Until then, we hope that you had a very Merry Christmas and send our Best Wishes for a happy, healthy, and steam-filled New Year!

Winter 2017-2018

Greetings!

It has been a while since our last Roundhouse Report. With a number of projects in-process, we wanted to give you the latest on happenings at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

2017 has been a year of boiler work in the Age of Steam Backshop. #12 and #33 have both been receiving significant boiler repairs, and these two projects are getting the lion’s share of our crew’s attention as we push them toward completion.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 steam locomotive #12

Restoration work on #12 is progressing nicely. Having not run since the 1950’s, this engine was in need of a large amount of boiler work to bring it back into compliance with current FRA standards. To accomplish this task Age of Steam crews teamed up with boiler contractors to complete a lengthy list of repairs. We are happy to report that this project is now at the point where parts are starting to go back onto the locomotive, a major milestone in any steam restoration. A partial list of repairs that have been made to #12 includes:

– Multiple patches and replacement rivets in firebox / mudring
– Renewed rear tube sheet knuckle
– Renewed all 196 flexible staybolts, sleeves and caps
– Welded in 4 new Huron-type firebox washout plugs
– Replaced arch tubes and installed new arch brick
– Replaced all 292 boiler tubes
– Straightened and repaired both tube sheets
– Designed, machined and installed new steam dome lid
– Replaced steam dome studs
– Replaced approximately 50% of smokebox
– Installed newly-cast smoke stack
– Installed newly-cast blastpipe
– Completed all FRA Form 4 calculations
– Inspected and cleaned driver journals
– Rebuilt grease cellars
– Inspected and repaired Stephenson Valve gear and slide valves
– Repaired and chrome-plated slide valves
– Replaced valve and piston packing
– Inspected, cleaned and repaired side rods and crank pins
– Inspected, cleaned and repaired all appliances, valves, water glasses, tri-cocks, and throttle
– Built all-new welded tender tank (complete with faux rivet heads) and installed on existing tender frame

#12’s boiler was hydrostatically tested with good results. On February 12, 2018, the engine was fired up for the first time since 1963. Test-firing was a success and the repaired boiler received a clean bill of health. Final reassembly is currently underway and painting will quickly follow. When the completed #12 rolls out of the shop for the first time, it will mark the first full locomotive restoration at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 #33

Firebox work on our big Consolidation is nearly complete, with the upper portions of both thermic syphons and the entire crown sheet having been renewed. Crews continue to work on installing new staybolts and wrapping up other tasks related to firebox work. When those tasks are done, we’ll hydrostatically test the boiler, reinstall the #33’s cab, and connect all of the cab fixtures that have been removed. We are excited to return this beefy freight hauler to service as soon as possible.

Columbus & Southern Ohio Electric Company 0-4-0F #2

As we announced in January 2018, the 20th steam locomotive in the AoSRH collection is this unique “fireless cooker” locomotive. #2 made the 112-mile trip from its longtime home in Sharon, Pennsylvania aboard a lowboy trailer. This unique piece is now receiving a cosmetic restoration.

Yreka Western 2-8-2 #19

In early June 2017, #19 arrived in Sugarcreek via railroad flatcar. After being unloaded by two large cranes, #19 was immediately shoved into the backshop for a good cleaning and new paint. Our team set to work, meticulously needle-scaling every inch of the engine and taking off any rust that may have accumulated while she was in storage. Next, a new coat of black paint was applied, restoring much of #19’s visual appeal.

We have begun work on evaluating #19’s boiler to determine a scope of work necessary to return the engine to service. #19 is still within its current 1,472 operating day / 15 year inspection schedule, and we hope to find the engine can be made ready to operate with some minor repairs.

Leviathan 4-4-0 #63

In February of 2018, we bade farewell to Dave Kloke’s beautiful replica of a Civil-War era 4-4-0. The Leviathan had been brightening up the roundhouse as it spent the last few winters at AoSRH. Dave and his crew loaded up the locomotive to transport it to its new, permanent home.

New York and Pennsylvania Company GE 25-ton Switcher #2

Roundhouse crews have repainted and re-lettered our shop switcher for its original owner, the New York and Pennsylvania Company. This paper company used #2 – in its original 36” gage – inside its plant in Johnsonburg, PA.

Libby's Food Company Insulated Boxcar URTX #26571

Our previous Roundhouse Report indicated this wood-sided steel boxcar was under careful restoration. We’re happy to share that this restoration has been completed, and the results are beautiful. After extensive sanding and wood replacement, #26571 received a beautiful orange paint job and looks brand new once again.

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Covered Hopper #1447

One of a set of covered hoppers that was transferred to Age of Steam Roundhouse after the sale of the Ohio Central Railroad, OHCR #105 has been sandblasted and repainted as P&LE 1447.

Montour Hopper #847

This former PRR hopper has posed as a Montour Railroad car on OC / AoSRH photo freights for a number of years. Since #847 was beginning to look a little shabby, it has been freshly repainted and re-lettered.

As always, thank you for your interest in the Age of Steam Roundhouse. We have more exciting projects in the planning stages, and will keep you updated as events unfold.

Finally, we close with a nod to our founder, the late Jerry Jacobson. Jerry passed away in September of 2017 after a lengthy illness. When it came to steam locomotives, he was always quick with a smile. Here we see Jerry in one of his favorite locations, engaged in an enthusiastic conversation with a AoSRH visitor in the cab of engine #1293.

Winter 2016-2017

The year 2016 has quickly passed, and as we sit back to review all the work performed at the Age of Steam Roundhouse, it is apparent that plenty has been accomplished, but the list of uncompleted work is still long. We pride ourselves in doing each job properly and thoroughly, not quickly just to say that it was accomplished.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 steam locomotive #12

Whenever we were able to free-up manpower from other jobs, this engine was given additional attention during the past few months. The driver journals have been inspected and cleaned, with the addition of newly rebuilt grease cellars and new grease. Shoes and wedges were inspected and repaired, where necessary, as well as No. 12’s pedestal binders and binder bolts. The Stephenson Valve gear was disassembled, repaired and reinstalled, and steam cylinder slide valves were completely gone over and repaired as needed. This 0-6-0’s valve rods were reground and chrome plated for a better fit of the valve rod packing. For easier maintenance in the future, the loco’s old-fashioned rope-type, valve rod packing was changed to the newer, better King Metallic design. Work on the main driver crank pins and side rods has been completed, and all of these parts have been reassembled. The locomotive’s main rods are still being rebuilt, and will be re-installed back onto No. 12 when repairs have been completed. Work continues on its boiler, appliances and other smaller fixtures.

The boiler work includes replacement of broken and worn studs, as well as replacement of the majority of the flexible stay bolt sleeves. Blending these jobs with some firebox side sheet repairs took more time than we anticipated, so the boiler tube replacement has been delayed as we focused on the jobs mentioned above.

Ex-Southern Railway 0-6-0 #1643 / Morehead & North Fork RR #12 front tube sheet.

Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2 steam locomotive #1293

This beautiful locomotive saw a few days of operation on several occasions, the most notable being some time spent under steam out on the Ohio Central main line. The short trips were operated for employees and some friends of Mr. Jacobson for some enjoyable days of steam and relaxation. No. 1293 received a few minor adjustments throughout the year, and is maintained in perfect operational condition and physical appearance.

Ex-Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2 #1293 in Stall 1 at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

Yreka Western 2-8-2 No. 19 will soon be shipped from California to Ohio

After purchasing No. 19 at a sheriff’s auction in October 2016, preparations by AoSRH have been underway to transport the 87-ton steam locomotive and tender from the town of Yreka to the village of Sugarcreek. Because this Mikado was essentially landlocked in California, removed rails had to be replaced there, a diesel locomotive repaired and a special heavy-duty flatcar reserved and, when available, moved empty from Chicago to the West Coast for the loading of the locomotive. Please watch our Age of Steam Roundhouse website for details and photos of No. 19—our 19th steam locomotive—as they become available.

Sturm & Dillard Construction Company 0-6-0 steam locomotive #105

After acquiring this engine at AoSRH during 2015, we saw that years of prior outside storage had resulted in heavy weathering, the most notable being to the severely rotted, wooden, front pilot beam. In anticipation of doing a repair, we ordered a wooden timber in order to fashion a new pilot beam, allowing it to sit inside the roundhouse for more than a year to permit proper curing of the freshly-cut oak. This heavy beam was fitted to the No. 105, and cosmetic touches were applied to the front of the engine. These minor repairs will allow for a better visual appearance of this 0-6-0 for those people who will be touring the roundhouse this summer. (Please see our announcement later-on in this edition of the Roundhouse Report about pre-scheduled, escorted group tours that AoSRH will be offering on certain summertime Saturdays.)

Ex-Sturm & Dillard Construction Company 0-6-0 #105 in Stall 3 at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

Putnam 80-inch wheel lathe

Repairs, restoration and assembly of our Putnam 80-inch wheel lathe have been completed. This lathe was one of our bigger projects on which we concentrated during 2016. We did not want to slow our momentum in its restoration,and that persistence paid off in November when we tested the finished machine. Practicing on an old tender wheel set, we energized the lathe and did some initial cutting as we discovered and learned how the completely rebuilt lathe would respond to all the new parts, controls and changes that we had given to it. This test was a great success, and in the ensuing days we fine-tuned this lathe a little more and got a better feel for its operations and limitations. We did not acquire many cutting and profiling tools in England with the purchase of this American-manufactured lathe, so we created homemade cutters here at the roundhouse.

Putnam 80-inch wheel lathe.
Putnam wheel lathe spacer being machined.

Baltimore & Ohio gondola #451091

One of our spare-time projects during 2015-16 was restoration and painting of ex-Baltimore & Ohio gondola No. 451091. This old car was built originally during 1959 as a coil-steel carrying gondola; its last use was in CSXT maintenance-of-way service before being retired and sold to a man in Orrville, Ohio. During 2015 AoSRH purchased this car and trucked it to the roundhouse for eventual restoration. Gon No. 451091 was sandblasted and repainted back to its “as built” appearance when it first entered service. Work was done on a sporadic basis using part-time and volunteer workers, who also hand-cut stencils for the numerals, lettering and B&O logo. The finishing touch was the hand-painting of all the reporting marks based on the builder’s photo of this class of car. These guys did a great job of giving back to the gondola its dignity for the enjoyment of everyone.

ex-Baltimore & Ohio gondola #451091.

Libby’s food company insulated boxcar URTX #26571

The piece of rolling stock that we are currently restoring was built in 1931 as an insulated boxcar, and used primarily by the Libby’s Company to haul fruits and vegetables to its canning factories. This wood-sided steel car was not a reefer and carried no ice or mechanical refrigeration units, instead using its thick insulation to protect its precious cargo of perishables. Retired during the 1960s, this car was donated to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pa. We acquired the car during 2014, and had it moved by truck to Sugarcreek where it has sat warm and dry inside the roundhouse. The deteriorated sections of wood sheathing are being replaced, de-scaling of the exterior metal sections and a final paint job will restore the appearance of this car to how it would have looked when in regular service.

Libby's insulated boxcar URTX #26571 under restoration.

United States Army flatcar #38358

The second of our US Army flatcars received its turn in the restoration shop using AoSRH part-timers and volunteers to do the work on a time-available basis. They came through again with a wonderful looking revitalization of the 1954-built product. Our flatcar was meticulously hand-sanded and prepared for the final painting with a heavy coat of olive drab. Replacing the original wood decking was discussed, but we decided to retain the beat-up lumber as it added to the heavily-used look of the car. This decking may be replaced in the future. All stencils and logos were hand-cut to the original design, and meticulously painted by hand.

United States Army flatcar #38358.

Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad sanding tower

Mentioned in the Summer 2016 Roundhouse Report was our acquisition and rebuilding of a retired sanding tower from the Akron, Canton & Youngstown engine facility in Akron, Ohio. This tower was sand-blasted and painted, and had missing parts fabricated and applied. During July 2016 it was completed and set up between our Ash Pit Track and Turntable Lead. Directly across the track from the tower we began construction on an all-new sand house and sand storage area, which will be completed this year. A conveyor belt will be installed to load coal into loco tenders;at $1M and $2M, respectively, wooden or concrete coaling towers would be too expensive.

ex-Akron, Canton & Youngstown sanding tower in place.

Erie-Lackawanna Wig-Wag grade crossing signal

Each year we like to add unique railroad items to the Age of Steam Roundhouse facility, not only rail-bound equipment, but also wayside items, as well. The latest such addition is an Erie-Lackawanna Wig-Wag grade crossing signal. This signal is under restoration by the shop crew, and was installed just as the first snow flew this winter. It is fully operational and protects the road crossing leading to the AoSRH depot-office building. This signal was used in Ohio, but we do not know the exact location where it spent its career. The addition of the top, mast-mounted bell was done by us, using an old Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway crossing bell from the nearby village of Baltic. We are finishing restoration of the original crossbuck warning signs, using the “Cat’s Eye” type of clear-glass, marble reflectors. These will be installed this spring as the final touch of this rebuild.

ex-Ex-Erie Lackawanna Wig-Wag grade crossing signal.

The Storehouse at the Age of Steam Roundhouse is filling-up with parts

The filling of the storehouse has been an ongoing project that will continue as time permits. Most of the boxcars that we had been using for storage during the past 28 years finally have been unloaded. Inventory removed from the cars is being sorted, organized and transferred into its respective storage locations inside the storehouse. This sorting allows the disposal of those items deemed neither usable nor collectable.