Roundhouse News: Roundhouse Report – Summer 2021

Roundhouse Report - Summer 2021

Work continues on former McCloud/Yreka Western #19, 2-8-2 locomotive this spring. The interior of the boiler is in the process of being descaled and inspected for any repairs or adjustments. The preliminary inspection shows the boiler courses to be in very good condition. Measurements of the interior sections of the boiler courses are also being made as the information is gathered to create the revised Federal Railroad Administration Form #4 for this engine.

Boiler courses in grid pattern for non-destructive measurements of thickness.
Boiler courses in grid pattern for non-destructive measurements of thickness.

The piston valves needed a fair amount of work causing the decision to completely rebuild them including the valve rods as well. The valve cages have been rebored and new valve rings have been machined to fit the new interior diameter of the cages.

Assembly and fitting of new piston valve components.
Assembly and fitting of new piston valve components.

Also in the machine shop is the iron material to manufacture new driving box shoe and wedges replacing the worn and broken ones that were discovered upon disassembly. This area of work will also encompass the inspection and repair of the driving boxes, including new hub liners and axle crown brasses. At this time, the frame pedestals that the driving boxes fit into will also receive inspection and repairs as needed to ensure a good fit for proper operation. 

New shoes (standing), new wedges laying together. Assorted valve gear parts in background.
New shoes (standing), new wedges laying together. Assorted valve gear parts in background.

Many boiler studs have been identified for replacement account of eroded areas, bent, or having worn threads. This will include all new studs on the steam dome for retaining the steam dome lid. Material is on hand to replace the old dome lid as well.

Steam dome minus dome lid studs.
Steam dome minus dome lid studs.

Starting this summer, the shop crew will be the trueing the 48” diameter driver tires on our 80” Putnam wheel lathe. The current tire tread wear is acceptable for use but being that they are presently out from under the engine, it makes good sense to cut them to the new profile to ensure years of operation.

Driver ready for cleaning, inspection, and re-profiling of tires.
Driver ready for cleaning, inspection, and re-profiling of tires.

The 1920 build Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) passenger commuter coach #705 work has been completed and is awaiting its sister car #704 that is now in the shop for similar repairs. The 704 requires all new sub flooring and will be covered with new tile per original look.
Since all the seats are removed, they will be inspected and repaired to ensure proper operation.

Exterior work includes repairs of rusted areas in the vestibules, and exterior body work.
Electrical system has been upgraded and new light fixtures have been installed. The interior is receiving a fresh coat of paint, after which the exterior will be painted to its original “Pullman Green” colors and lettered for CB&Q.

New floor tile installation in coach #704.
New floor tile installation in coach #704.

Locomotive #12, former Morehead & North Fork/Southern Railway 0-6-0 has seen a few fire ups this year for special events. Earlier this year, new canvas side and back curtains on the cab were installed. Curtains are very welcome on inclement weather days as well as keeping the sun at bay on those summer days. The engine will be used with more of the 2021 special events that are being planned.

Just another day the #12 heads out to do some switching in the yard.
Just another day the #12 heads out to do some switching in the yard.

The Age of Steam Roundhouse would like to take the opportunity to thank all our Military Veterans, and Active personnel that protect this great Nation, so we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today. Thank you for all that you sacrifice, past, present and future.

Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum Tours, Exhibits, Programs and Special Events

The Age of steam Roundhouse Museum is open for business with numerous opportunities for tours and events this summer and fall. Tours are once again being filled as visitors from across the country come to hear the story of Jerry Jacobson’s dream. Roundhouse Tours step off Thursdays-Saturdays 10am-2pm. Visitors are treated to a 90-minute walking tour of the Age of Steam Roundhouse, the locomotive collection, and back shop.

The Ferroequinologist Tour is an extended 3-hour long walking tour designed for the knowledgeable railroad enthusiast. This tour is a more in-depth version of our regular guided Roundhouse tour. As a result of popular demand, we have added new Ferroequinologist tours to the schedule for the 2021 tour season. Tickets are now available for Ferroequinologist tours on select Sunday afternoons June-October.

Numerous events are planned for the fall of 2021 including the second annual Steam to Victory World War Two reenactment, our very first Iron and Ales beer tasting, and a yearend addition of the “Blue Flag Tour.”

Steam to Victory is planned for Friday and Saturday September 10 and 11 from 9:00am—5:00pm. The event is the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum’s annual salute to the military and celebration of the railroad’s enormous contribution to ultimate allied victory in the Second World War. The event will be hosted on the museum grounds in partnership with multiple World War Two living history organizations and military vehicle restoration exports. This year’s offerings will include military encampments, small arms and artillery demonstrations, food venders, and outdoor locomotive displays across the Roundhouse property.

Iron and Ales will be hosted in partnership with several local breweries and restaurants on Saturday October 16th from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Patrons will be treated to multiple local brews, hors d’oeuvre, and live music in the beautifully reconstructed Age of Steam Roundhouse surrounded by the architectural beauty of the building and the historic locomotive collection.

The final addition of our “Blue Flag Tour” for the 2021 tour season is scheduled for Friday November 12th. Visitors will be treated to behind-the-scenes access that includes a hands-on tour of the Roundhouse Shop, the opportunity to meet the Roundhouse Team that maintains and restores the Roundhouse collection, a full-length tour of the Roundhouse itself, and the chance to assist with the prepping and firing of one of the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum’s locomotives.

Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum Tickets, Support and Shopping

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum is recovering from a year of COVID-19 restrictions that limited the number of visitors that could tour the Roundhouse. The State of Ohio removed all COVID-19 restrictions at the beginning of June, and we have been offering normal tour operations since then. While the state’s restrictions have been lifted, the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum continues, as we always have, to make visitor safety a priority. Much of that effort will not be visible to visitors on the tour but include continued cleaning and disinfecting of public areas and guides may be wearing masks when they interact with visitors. All of this ensures that you, as a visitor, can experience the Roundhouse safely.

Not surprisingly, a year of restrictions negatively affected the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum’s earned revenue. This revenue supports the museum’s non-profit activities including the restoration of collection items, the continued acquisition and display of historic artifacts and machinery, and the presentation of educational programs to the public. The museum is blessed to have a large community of supporters worldwide who appreciate what the Roundhouse represents and carries out. If you would like to financially support the Roundhouse, you can do so by clicking the link below to our donations page.

If you have toured the Roundhouse recently, you know that we are always looking to improve. We continue to ask for feedback from tour group visitors via an anonymous survey that is emailed, and/or made available via link, to those who have recently taken a tour. So far for the 2021 tour season, survey results are consistent with past years’ data. Overall satisfaction with the Roundhouse experience rated at 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Visitors rated the performance of their specific tour guide at 4.8, cleanliness of the facilities at 4.9, and 100% of responders said that they would recommend the Roundhouse to a friend, family member, or colleague. While these numbers are good to see, the Roundhouse will continue to work improve the quality of the tours, programs, events, and facilities. Thank you to all our visitors for supporting the Roundhouse and helping us improve!

dual logo t-shirts

Thanks to the generosity of many friends and visitors, we have been provided with items that we are able to put up for sale on our Ebay store to help further support our efforts to keep this unique collection of heritage rail equipment safe for future generations to enjoy. We also auction replaced pieces of equipment from our steam locomotives as they are fixed up to be returned to better condition, focusing on our McCloud River RR 2-8-2 #19 currently since it is going through its 1472 day rebuild and inspection. In tandem with our Ebay store, we have many of our regularly stocked gift shop items on sale through our website so that you can help support the Age of Steam Roundhouse year-round.