Updates on the restoration of Western Pacific 0-6-0 number 165 at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola, California.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A New Year, a New Tube Sheet.

Welcome to 2010, which promises to be a year of significant progress for our project. I am happy to report that thanks to the generosity of G.W. Redman of Redman Equipment & Manufacturing we have a new section of front tubesheet ready to go. This donation of time on the Redman machinery would otherwise take us, with our limited resources, several days of effort on a conventional drill press. The accuracy of the holes in size and location is unparalleled as well. The hole layout is significantly more uniform than ALCo was able to achieve back in the day. Thanks also go to longtime friend of the project, Paul Boschan, Redman's code compliance officer, who facilitated the donation. Paul also helps us out with his sage advice pertaining to boiler matters and related issues from time to time.


The CNC "Quick Drill" machine making holes.

This part of the pressure vessel was replaced due to the deteriorated condition of the existing piece, having been over-rolled, cracked and welded through the bridges repeatedly over the years. We could have used the original front tubesheet as is, but the amount of work it would have taken to keep it serviceable would be frustrating and tedious.




Approximately 120 holes drilled precisely.


Thanks also go to Nathan Osborn who measured the original and generated the cut pattern and drilling plan into AutoCAD. During the Fall work session Nathan brought up a printout of the tubesheet patch in full size, which we matched to the existing piece to verify accuracy.


Paul Boschan and G.W. Redman with the new sheet section.


Section ready to be loaded for the trip north.


The tubesheet will come up to Portola in the Spring for the work session, April 5th-10th. Until then it's ensconced in the garage, tucked out of the way. It will be welded in after the boiler is completely scaled out inside, and we are sure that most of the work in the shell interior is complete. With the lower portion of the sheet removed access to the water space is much easier than dropping in through the dome, at least for us older chunkier individuals!

Our next fundraising drive will raise cash to have replica cab numbers and two WP feather heralds for the tender done. I am happy to report that our intrepid FRRS Secretary and board member Eugene Vicknair has donated $350.00 for the first tender insignia. Thanks Eugene for your continued generosity! More on this fund-raising effort in a later post.

For now I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2010. Please continue to follow our progress here and on our Facebook page, for those of you so inclined. We are over 200 "fans" so far and growing fast! - JCA