We were finally able to arrange for a group photo of the locomotive and most of the volunteers that helped on the restoration project over the years. The pictures were taking by Andrew Temoshek. Starting on the right is Doug Newberry, John Salvini, Fred Nicas, Tom Platten, Taka Sakai, Carl Pickus, Frank Kunsaitis, Bob Bray, John Bateson, Richard Berk, Tim Johnson, and Dave Althaus. Missing from the picture are Michelle Quaas, Robert Butler, and Dennis Blakey. Of course, many others played important roles in the project over the years and their help was also very much appreciated.
The following picture represents the finished project which restored the locomotive back to its 1939 build configuration. The locomotive will now be used at the museum for daily service as needed.
During the day Saturday, snacks were served, and we had a lot of time to reminisce and marvel at the transformation of the locomotive. When the locomotive was purchased for the museum, it was literally a couple of days away from being cut up for scrap in a scrap yard. Now look at it, just like new again.
A special visitor for the day was John Bateson. John worked on the project for 12 years until health issues forced him to slow down. He was able to come out for this special event and climb aboard for a well-deserved reunion with the locomotive he worked so hard on. This shows John standing by the Fireman’s window.
Now that the 1006 project is essentially over, many of us have been asked numerous times what our next restoration project will be. Almost in unison we have all replied that there won’t be a next time. This project took us all to our limit and for many of us there just isn’t time left to do another one like it. We have also been asked what our suggestion would be if there could be another total restoration project like this. Again, almost to a person, our answer is the Santa Fe Fairbanks Morse locomotive SF560. But we will be leaving that for the next generation of volunteers to decide and tackle.
After the group pictures were taken, each of the volunteers were given the opportunity to operate the locomotive back and forth from CB7 down to the Members crossing. Once that was completed, UP942 was pulled out of the barn and started. After it was warmed up, the volunteers also had an opportunity to operate it.
Richard and John continue to work during the week on various projects. SF108 was used extensively during our Day out With Thomas event. During that operation, a significant amount of oil was blown out the exhaust stack and settled back on the engine. Then of course dust mixes with the oil and it becomes a real mess. John and Richard again wiped down the whole locomotive to return it to its pristine shine for the third or fourth time. Hopefully someday we’ll have the funding to replace the power assemblies in the locomotive which will restore it back to an original clean operating locomotive.
On Saturday they spent more time inspecting valve bridges and lash adjusters in UP942. And of course, they found a few more that need to be replaced. The parts will be ordered and installed.
It also appears that John and Richard found and repaired the persistent oil leak that has plagued us for years on SP3100. The fresh oil that was always leaking from the governor area now seems to have stopped. They still have a couple of injection fuel pumps to replace as part of their overall engine inspection project.
However, near term SP3100 will be used extensively for the next four weeks as the museum hosts our first Polar Express event. It will be the locomotive power for that event and SF108 will be the backup locomotive. The Polar Express event is very complex and requires essentially all the museum’s resources starting right after Thanksgiving and going until Christmas. During that time the museum will be closed to the general public.