Roundhouse Report: Fall 2019

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!