Sunday, April 28, 2013

Success! We roll on...

A quick post to let everyone know that the crane lift back onto the driving wheels went very smoothly, in no small part thanks to Steve Lee and our crew. Bragg Crane of Reno did an outstanding job. We accomplished a whole lot more thanks to all the good folks who joined us for the week. Look for a full update next Sunday. Until then, have a great week! -JCA

Boiler and frame reunited with the drivers. Tender tank is being lifted in the background. Erin Swain photo.
P.S.we all deserve a lot of sleep!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Live from Portola - Anticipation builds.

Greetings,

After a hearty breakfast made by our own Hank Stiles, delicious to say the least, we begin our last day before the "big pick". Steve Lee, Hank, Severn focused on getting the driving boxes on the drivers yesterday. Roger and Hank spent a few days polishing journals and pins, while Sev and Dave Anderson cleaned up shoes and wedges.

Erin Swain, Portola's own "Prodigal Son" returned to get more done on the cab roof patching, and has made some great progress.

Kirk Baer has been tenaciously scaling and painting on the locomotive frame every day for the last two weeks and the engine really looks great! Thanks to Kirk and Dave for sticking with it.

Roger Stabler continued to remove staybolt ends etc. from the crown sheet yesterday. Hours of banging and torching took place, and a lot more to go before we are done.

We should be ready to pick tomorrow, look for an update soon. I will be very happy once the engine is back inside the shop. Until then, stay tuned... Chris

Hank and Steve putting driving boxes on the axles.

Charlie on the forklift gently getting the connecting rods on the pins.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Live from Portola - Sunday Edition

Greetings all!

Work continues with our small but hearty group. Hank Stiles has gotten all the miscellaneous holes for the tapered studs tapped, thanks to our friends at GGRM for the loan of the tools! Kirk Baer has been arduously cleaning the frames and other components prior to getting the drivers back in. Access will be difficult with the wheels in the way. Lots of other things going on as well. We anticipate a growing work force as the week progresses. Steve Habeck and the Elems boys got the switching taken care of last night so we now have a clear rail to set up the drivers. Thanks to everyone who is helping to make this happen. More later...

Kirk Baer glamorizes the task of scaling and scraping.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Live from Portola.

Work has started on the 165 in preparation for re-wheeling a week from today. So far Norm and I have completed putting the spring rigging back up, now it's on to setting up shoes and wedges. Kirk and Dick have made progress on removing more gunk in places that will be inaccessible later. The snows have passed, and we are onto some nice weather. More folks should start showing up tonight for the marathon work session. Stay tuned...


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Work Session approaches...Superheater Fund Grows!


Thanks to the generous donations of Derek Miller, and Nicholas, Kelly, Alex and Eric Manos of Colfax, we are very close to a successful end to our Superheater Fundraiser! Only four left to sponsor. Click here to donate and have your name forever placed on the locomotive's donor plaque.

Thanks to everyone who has donated to date. A complete list of the donors will be posted soon.

The Spring work session at Portola is coming up April 20th through the 27th. A whole week this time so that we can accomplish more, getting us closer to our goal of returning steam to WP rails. I will attempt to update the Steam Blog regularly with progress updates. It looks to be a large crew for this time, so we should make great forward strides this month, and through the rest of the year. More details to follow.

Have a wonderful Spring season! - JCA