Roundhouse Reports

This year proved to be the busiest one to date here at the Age of Steam Roundhouse. Not only were many steam locomotive and diesel parts and support items acquired, but also rail equipment in the form of steam locomotives, passenger and freight equipment found new homes here at AoSRH. Productivity increased, utilizing our small staff of employees and volunteers in order to meet this continuing challenge of our ever-growing work load. The following is a brief recap of the events that occurred during 2015:

Woodward Iron 2-10-0 No. 41
Our soon-to-be-delivered Woodward Iron 2-10-0 No. 41 (formerly Alabama, Tennessee & Northern No. 401) is en route from Chicago to Sugarcreek as this is being written. During 1928 AT&N ordered from Baldwin Locomotive Works this light 2-10-0 Decapod-type steamer. Decapods were larger and produced more tractive effort than 2-8-0s and smaller 2-8-2s, but spread their increased weight over five driving axles instead of four, thus reducing axle loads.

Because of World War II’s sudden and enormous increase in the volume of rail traffic moving through the Port of Mobile, the War Production Board authorized AT&N to purchase diesel locomotives and be completely dieselized by 1946. During that year AT&N 2-10-0 No. 401 (BLW serial #60341) was sold to the Georgia Car & Locomotive Company (a dealer in used railroad rolling stock), and resold in 1948 to the Woodward Iron Company which renumbered it as No. 41. The loco was retired in 1959, and in 1964 was purchased by the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin. Plans to rebuild it never materialized, and the museum determined that it no longer needed nor wanted this loco. No. 41 was sold to Jerry Jacobson at auction during May 2015, and moved by highway truck and railroad flatcar to the Age of Steam Roundhouse during December 2015.

No. 41 Woodward Iron 2-10-0
No. 41 Woodward Iron 2-10-0.

Cuban Compressed Air 0-4-0 No. 1 During 1915 our 0-4-0 three-tank, compressed air locomotive was constructed by H.K. Porter in Pittsburgh as the first such air engine used in the sugar cane fields of Cuba. Needing no fire, producing no sparks and exhausting no fumes, these locos were perfect for use at flammable and explosive installations such as oil refineries, military arsenals, underground mines, textile mills, cotton wharves and sugar cane fields. They were forerunners of the highly successful, fireless cooker-type steam locomotives that would later dominate this niche market.

This is one of the largest, three-tank compressed air locomotives ever designed for extended outdoor use with heavier loads. During normal operation this air locomotive’s three storage tanks were charged with compressed air to 800 psi; a distribution valve maintained constant 250 psi delivery to the high pressure cylinder. This is a true compound locomotive in that the used air was exhausted from the left side high-pressure cylinder and piped to the right side low-pressure cylinder where that same air was reused at 75 psi to produce a little additional power. During regular service this locomotive produced 10,000 pounds of tractive effort and weighed 30,000 pounds.

Several years after the Cuban sugar cane industry went bust during 1921, this locomotive was repatriated back to the U.S. by the same company that had ordered it from Porter. The 0-4-0 worked for the remainder of its active career at the New Orleans Water & Sewerage Board, and after being retired was saved and displayed in the Big Easy. Delivered to the Age of Steam Roundhouse on November 10, 2015, this ungainly, unusual little loco is believed to be the sole remaining, Porter-built, three-tank compressed air locomotive in the world.

No.1 Compressed Air 0-4-0
No.1 Compressed Air 0-4-0.

Kettle Moraine 2-6-2 No. 9
During 1901 McCloud River RR turned to Baldwin for a pair of 2-6-2s. Carrying boiler serial #18596, steamer No. 9 operated through the forests of northern California. It burned wood which was in abundant supply, but wood-burning boilers had several drawbacks—fiery embers, mostly—so during 1920 No. 9 was converted to burn oil. This 2-6-2 was sold and resold to several short lines, and, after retirement No. 9 sat derelict until 1964 when it was purchased by the Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin.

During the summer of 1971 the new Kettle Moraine steam tourist railroad began operations in North Lake, Wisconsin, and No. 9 (nicknamed Sequoia) was moved there as the tourist line’s primary steamer. This tourist line would become an unfortunate victim of real estate development of former farm land. New residents complained about smoke, noise and tourist traffic, and the quaint steam train was no longer wanted in the upscale village—October 28, 2001, was the last day of operation. No. 9 was stored safely indoors for 14 years, purchased by Jerry Jacobson, and was delivered to the Age of Steam Roundhouse in on August 25, 2015.

No. 9 Kettle Moraine 2-6-2
No. 9 Kettle Moraine 2-6-2.

On July 1, 2015, ex-Sturm & Dillard 0-6-0 No. 105 arrived at the Age of Steam Roundhouse via highway truck from its long-time home in nearby Orrville, Ohio. This locomotive had been owned by a long-time friend of Jerry
Jacobson and others of us at AoSRH, and we have happy memories of operating No. 105 under its own steam and, later,compressed air power after the 0-6-0 lost boiler certification. There is a sentimental connection between No. 105 and its many admirers here at AoSRH, and, when this locomotive became available through the terms of a complicated estate sale, this 0-6-0 was acquired by Jerry Jacobson.

No. 105 was apparently constructed by Baldwin Locomotive Works in January 1917, carrying boiler #44886. It was numbered 51 as one of four 0-6-0s (Nos.51 to 54) built for John Marsh, Inc., a railroad contractor. Other details are sketchy. This is the fourth 0-6-0 acquired by Jerry for the Age of Steam Roundhouse, and there are no plans to rebuild No. 105 for operation.

No. 105 Sturm & Dillard 0-6-0
No. 105 Sturm & Dillard 0-6-0.

U.S. Army Transportation Corps “G.I.” 2-8-0 No. 2630 On May 13, 2015, the Age of Steam Roundhouse acquired its 14th steam locomotive, former United States Army Transportation Corps “G.I.” 2-8-0 No. 2630 (Baldwin, 1923). This is one of 2,120 standard design, 2-8-0s constructed during World War II by U.S. locomotive builders Alco, Baldwin and Lima for use all around the globe. These small-but-mighty 2-8-0s were designed with a compact loading gauge for use on British railways so that they would fit through low-clearance tunnels, and were light enough for operation just about anywhere.

Immediately given the sobriquet of “Yanks” by thankful, locomotive-starved Brits, about 800 of these 2-8-0s were placed into service on British rails during the first years of the war, with nearly all being sent across the Channel to the European continent after D-Day. Like most military equipment, the Yanks were intended for a short-duration existence of only six-years, but many saw in service in far-flung corners of the world for 3 more decades. Eight G.I. 2-8-0s have been preserved on American soil, and about two-dozen others survive worldwide.

The 2630 was never shipped overseas, but remained stateside and was used for railroad operation and maintenance training at the U.S. Army Transportation School at Ft. Eustis, Va. The 2-8-0 was renumbered 612 in 1954, and remained on active duty at the Ft. Eustis Military Railroad until the end of steam operations there during 1972. Our long-range strategy for this long-retired veteran is that it be restored to its original 1943 military appearance as No. 2630, and called back to active duty. This 2-8-0’s new owner, Jerry Jacobson, himself a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, will give this other military veteran a safe bivouac among Age of Steam Roundhouse’s ever growing arsenal of steam.

No. 2630 U.S. Army Transportation Corps “G.I.” 2-8-0
No. 2630 U.S. Army Transportation Corps “G.I.” 2-8-0

Our former Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293 received flying colors during its annual inspection conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration. This past summer and fall the shiny black beauty was fired-up and operated several times for some local, special events.

AoSRH chief mechanical officer, Tim Sposato, uses fiber-optic cable for inspection

AoSRH chief mechanical officer, Tim Sposato, uses fiber-optic cable to inspect the flues, tubes and other internal components inside the boiler of ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293 during this locomotive’s annual inspection. As usual, No. 1293 was found to be in perfect condition.

Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 No. 12
Shop work continues on 0-6-0 locomotive No. 12, albeit slower than we would desire because of our previously-mentioned heavy work load this year. Portions of No. 12’s smokebox were repaired or even replaced altogether, as well, thus eliminating several, thin, eroded areas and many drilled-but-no-longer-used bolt holes that had previous uses during No. 12’s long career. The 0-6-0’s newly-manufactured smokestack, smokestack base and exhaust nozzle castings were installed in the smokebox. These castings were very well made by a different foundry than the one that we had been using. All of No. 12’s ALCO-type, flexible staybolt sleeves are being renewed because the majority show signs of past repairs and/or deterioration, thus requiring that all-new staybolts be installed in order to complete this portion of boiler work.

No. 12 Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 showing new smokebox steel and new stack castings
No. 12 Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 showing new smokebox steel and new stack castings.
Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 No. 12’s brand new tender tank is ready for the sandblaster
Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 No. 12’s brand new tender tank is ready for the sandblaster

Restoration of Age of Steam Roundhouse’s Niles quartering machine has been completed. It is permanently mounted in our back shop, leveled and is in full operation. Along with a new platform for the operator, small tooling items for proper cutting will be made this winter. As seen in the accompanying photo, it sits between the tracks of the shop’s two bays, and was recently joined by our newly installed 80-inch wheel lathe whose rebuilding is just beginning.

The rebuilding of our Niles quartering machine (in gray paint) has been completed
The rebuilding of our Niles quartering machine (in gray paint) has been completed.

The Age of Steam Roundhouse’s Lucas horizontal boring mill has been reconditioned and placed in service. It required some rewiring, several new contactors were installed and the limit switches were replaced, as well. We found a few gears inside the mill that had enough wear on their teeth to warrant that new ones be made. This machine will prove its worth in the near future as we have several jobs lined up for it during 2016 that will give it a work out.

Lucas horizontal boring mill
Lucas horizontal boring mill.

The reconditioning of our Putnam 80-inch wheel lathe began in October 2015. Many small component parts have been removed and cleaned, and are receiving repairs. Additional disassembly and rebuilding is planned, with completion of restoration scheduled for 2016. We will be very thorough in our efforts to have a safe and reliable machine for years to come.

The Putnam wheel lathe is moved into position by our back shop’s 30-ton overhead crane
The Putnam wheel lathe is moved into position by our back shop’s 30-ton overhead crane.

The AoSRH general offices “Depot” was officially opened in May 2015. The move of all office equipment and employees from downtown Sugarcreek was completed quickly, as everyone looked forward to enjoying their new accommodations located rear the looming walls of the adjacent roundhouse. The depot contains four offices, employee restroom and kitchenette. A large waiting room and public restrooms complete this beautiful structure. To one side is a bay window with a traditional telegrapher/station agent office, complete with working train order board controls and historic, local railroad artifacts. A paving-brick platform and walkways with concrete curbing surround the depot’s exterior. Gooseneck platform lights decorate the passenger loading area, and a PRR-inspired hairpin fence separates the railroad track from the main entrance driveway. The lighted, fully functional train order semaphore boards (whose positions are changed frequently) add a final touch of realism, giving this structure the look of a classic brick railroad station in an average-size American town.

Age of Steam Roundhouse’s new general office/depot
Age of Steam Roundhouse’s new general office/depot.

Our last addition just showed up one day at Thanksgiving time in the form of “Felix”, the new roundhouse cat. He is about 10 weeks old, and has quickly adapted to all of the noise and activity in the shop. Felix is friendly and takes great pleasure in climbing up one’s pant leg for a little attention…and possibly a little treat.

During 2009 AoSRH purchased former W&LE caboose No. 0222 at auction, but it would sit for six years in the railroad yard at Minerva, Ohio, because of being blocked-in by dozens of stored pieces rolling stock. That equipment was finally moved out of the way, and a special AoSRH train hauled No. 0222 up to its new home in Sugarcreek on August 4, 2015. Almost immediately restoration began, with much interior woodwork being done, including replacing many old window frames and flooring. The caboose’s interior was repainted, and seating upholstery renewed. Longtime friend Gary Busby donated an electric W&LE caboose lamp that was quickly installed on the wall above the conductor’s work desk. The car’s exterior received a sandblasting and new coat of red paint (complete with black roof, black steps and black handrails), thus replicating No. 0222’s original appearance when completed on May 28, 1949, at W&LE’s Ironville car shop in Toledo. The caboose’s W&LE lettering had not yet been applied when we placed No. 0222 in temporary service as the Age of Steam Roundhouse’s “Christmas Caboose” display beside our new Depot.
Merry Christmas!
Age of Steam Roundhouse Team

The crew and volunteers at Age of Steam Roundhouse fired-up our ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293, and posed for a photo on the turntable in order to send Christmas greetings to you. Seated, left to right: Jerry Joe Jacobson, Dennis Daughterty, Jeff Williams, Greg “Q-Tip” Miller, Bill Hanslik, Mike Costill, Tim Sposato, Scott Czigans, Allen Layman, Barry Fogle, Jay Jacobson. Standing on turntable: John B. Corns, Bill Goslin. Photo by: Debbie Compton.

The Age of Steam Roundhouse staff wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year during 2016. Please remember all of the men and women who are in the service of our great country in all locations around the world, fighting and guarding us so that we are able to live the free life that sometimes might be taken for granted. Thank them for what they do for us and for the United States of America, the greatest country on our planet!!!

The summer months are now upon us as we take a look back during the first six months of 2016 to see the progress and upgrades that have occurred here at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

Former Morehead & North Fork #12 continues to receive repairs toward a complete restoration of this 1905 ex-Southern Railway 0-6-0. Smaller repairs not immediately necessary were attended to, thus ensuring overall reliability in the long run. An all-new tender tank was fabricated and re-installed on top of the totally rebuilt tender frame and refurbished railroad trucks. New wood decking was applied to the frame and the tender’s air brake system—including piping, brackets and brake cylinder—was renewed. The entire tender was sprayed with high quality primer, and will be painted in its final coat of gloss black at a later date. A completely rewired and restored tender back-up light was applied.

The ultra-sounding of #12’s boiler was completed, and calculations for creating the new Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) “Form 4” are being compiled at this time. Some minor boiler repairs were needed, most of which have been addressed. The next step will be the installation of three-hundred, new, 2-inch boiler tubes later this year.

Former M&NF 0-6-0 #12 undergoing restoration
Former M&NF 0-6-0 #12 undergoing restoration.
A brand-new fabricated tender tank on #12’s rebuilt frame and trucks
A brand-new fabricated tender tank on #12’s rebuilt frame and trucks.

Our ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293 received its annual FRA inspection during April, passed with flying colors and was approved for another year of steam operations. Inspections and fine-tuning of several of #1293’s appliances were completed, including the Nathan mechanical lubricator and 8-1/2-inch Westinghouse cross-compound air compressor. Several small running repairs were also accomplished.

We received long-awaited components for ex-LS&I 2-8-0 #33’s boiler work, and are gearing-up to complete fabrication of the locomotive’s new crown sheet and Nicholson Thermic Syphons. Several long delays have plagued this project while waiting for the proper, high-quality materials to be delivered and pass inspection, but we are now moving forward toward completing this steamer’s repairs as soon as possible.

When it arrived in Sugarcreek last December, 2-10-0 #401 (ex-Alabama Tennessee & Northern, later, Woodward Iron #41) was not a pretty sight. However, in spite of its five-plus decades of outdoor storage we managed to descale the overall, heavy accumulation of rust and dig-out numerous spotty layers of built-up, dried-out grease, especially in the cylinders and smokebox areas. New, wooden planks were applied to the footboard pilot and at the rear of the tender, replacing the rotted and missing ones that were on the engine. The re-application of a headlight, bell, class lights, lubricators and other appliances greatly improved #401’s “front-end” looks, but much more cosmetic work will be needed in order to get this fine locomotive looking great again.

Former AT&N 2-10-0 #401's cosmetically restored front-end
Former AT&N 2-10-0 #401's cosmetically restored front-end.

The very rare and even more unusual compressed air locomotive #1 that arrived here last year also got a quick face-lift before being placed into the roundhouse. The entire 0-4-0 was repainted gloss-black, and new cab windows were fabricated and installed. Several key components—particularly the two sand boxes—are still being searched for down in New Orleans where #1 was located since being repatriated from Cuba during the mid-1920s. Replacements for parts long missing from the engine were located and installed, including a Porter locomotive bell and an oil headlight that added much toward the appearance of this unique loco. Mechanically, axles and driving rods were cleaned and fresh lubrication added so that #1 can be moved on its own wheels.

Compressed air locomotive #1 after cosmetic upgrades
Compressed air locomotive #1 after cosmetic upgrades.

Working with the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway allowed the AoSRH to take ownership of a small sand tower that was apparently shop-built by the Akron Canton & Youngstown Railroad at its Brittain Yard. This tower stood unused for the past 25-plus years, and has the correct steam-era appearance that we had been looking for. AoSRH employees dismantled the tower, and moved it to our back shop for rehabilitation. This work included making and installing the missing sand-filling pipe and engine delivery pipe, and replacing the long-disappeared counter-weight system. Several small repairs to the compressed air operating system were completed, and the entire structure will be repainted when all repairs are finished. The concrete foundation was formed and has already been poured. We hope to have the tower standing and back in service by July.

Former AC&Y sand tower being prepared for installation
Former AC&Y sand tower being prepared for installation.

Work continues on the 80-inch Putnam wheel lathe as we inch closer to the final stages of this total rebuild. Most critical components have been repaired or renewed, and re-assembly is well underway. The lathe will utilize a completely new, state-of-the-art electrical system and controls, and a new electrical enclosure is being fabricated for installation.. Currently, the tracer system and tooling are being addressed for purchase. This project should be pretty well wrapped up by year’s-end, based on just how much spare time we can continue devoting to it.

Putnam 80-inch wheel lathe under re-assembly
Putnam 80-inch wheel lathe under re-assembly.

We are always looking to add those small—but interesting—details to the AoSRH facility. One of these fun details is a pair of newly-rebuilt, Baltimore & Ohio color position light (CPL) signals that now adorn the front entrance to the roundhouse complex. These were restored here early this year using steam engine-era masts, signal lights and finials. All-new wiring and signal gear allow them to automatically cycle into all four indications—Clear (vertical green), Approach (diagonal yellow), Stop (horizontal red) and Restricting (diagonal lunar white). AoSRH employees may also manually control our CPL signals to any desired indication. These lights are real eye-catchers when approaching AoSRH, and can be seen from three different roadway directions.

B&O CPL's outside the AoSRH complex
B&O CPL's outside the AoSRH complex.

Not neglecting the diesel side of AoSRH, we have done some minor work on several of our internal combustion locomotives. Our two EMD FP40s, #452 and #460, were inspected, repaired, leased and returned to freight service from dead storage. These engines were sent to the Ohi-Rail Corporation here in Ohio, and put back into freight service. These engines pulled their fair share of tonnage during their days on the Ohio Central Railroad System, and still have plenty of life left in them.

AOSX F40M-2C #460 pulls a freight train in lease duty for Ohi-Rail Corporation [Photo Credit - Denny Varian; Ohi-Rail]
AOSX F40M-2C #460 pulls a freight train in lease duty for Ohi-Rail Corporation [Photo Credit - Denny Varian; Ohi-Rail].

The Age of Steam crew thanks all of the wonderful folks who have contacted or visited us during the past year. We truly appreciate the many compliments that you all have given us as we strive to create an accurate representation of the days of the steam locomotive. Your input and comments inspire us to try our best to make this the ultimate steam facility for the future.

We wish to thank all of the veterans and current service men and women for all they have done and continue to do for this great country that we live in. Without these brave patriots, we could never enjoy so many freedoms that far too many Americans have taken for granted.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE CURRENTLY SERVING—OR WHO HAVE ALREADY SERVED—IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY—NAVY—-AIR FORCE—-MARINES—-COAST GUARD.

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.