The roundhouse construction continues on schedule. As you can see from the latest aerial photos, a great deal of work is completed to date. The massive size of this building is amazing as one walks through the site, watching the experienced craftsmen at their trades. They all work as a well oiled machine building this unique structure. Cement flooring is going quickly now with several stalls poured. The grading and concrete forms are built well in advance of the pour.
The bulk of steel structure of the backshop is done. The roof work and the installation of the overhead crane is on schedule. Drop pits and floor work progresses while the bricklayer’s continue erecting the walls. Electricians and plumbers are rapidly working to stay ahead of the concrete workers plus the timber framers assembling the roof. Each day reflects more work completed when walking around the project.
The movement of stores and equipment accelerated during the past 6 months. Now that we have good rail and grounds area storage sites at the roundhouse, we have been able to transport and unload with ease. The good spring and summer weather has been perfect for the completion of this work. Our heavy machinery has been moved into temporary storage. The plan is to move the machines into the back shop as the contractors complete certain areas and give the final approval for us to mount and wire them. This should start taking place by November as we try to stay ahead of the winter weather.
Mid July saw the movement of six of the steam locomotives towed from Morgan Run to the roundhouse with no operational problems. They are safely stored on site awaiting the next move into the roundhouse later this year.
On September 22, steam engine #1293 was used to make the final rail equipment move from Morgan Run Shop to the Age of Steam Roundhouse. This equipment included 0-4-0 steam engine #3, Alco diesel RS18, #1800 and caboose #1880. It was a sad moment because we knew that after so many years of steam engines operating out of Morgan Run, this was the last move from Morgan Run. The positive side of this day was knowing that the new home for all the historic equipment offers so much more for the longevity of all equipment involved for years to come.
The move was slow account of towing the small drivered #3 with several stops to inspect and oil it along the route, but the result was a safe, uneventful trip. We steamed up the 1293 on the new service track for the first time. This track is close to the back shop, and as the first smell of coal smoke drifted throughout the construction site, a ll the contractors were surprised. We gave all the workers a chance to get up close and personal with the 1293 before she was banked and bedded down for the night.
A great deal of passenger car maintenance has been done this summer and work will continue into the fall and winter. Even with the tight mechanical schedule, we’ve been able to stay on top of preventive maintenance that passenger equipment always requires. This work also included the repainting of two of the ex VIA, climate controlled coaches in the fleet. This will bring the total of eight out of ten of this type of car repainted in the past two years.
Some minor diesel repairs have taken place, mainly 92 day inspections and small maintenance jobs, most of the stored engines have been prepared for winter storage already with a few yet to prepare. We appreciate everyone’s interest in the Age of Steam Roundhouse growth and we’ll continue to update this website, thank you all for the favorable comments received. Stay tuned!