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Author Topic: Engines in Scrap Yards  (Read 9868 times)
Cheeky_ULP


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« on: November 19, 2007, 10:50:56 PM »

Has anyone ever been to an engine scrap yard, and what is it like? I've always been curious. Especially about finding an old steamer, and managing to bring it back to life. Is there some sort of procedure into getting the locomotive? I know that it could take alot of work to fix an old steamer. Wink
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Conrail Quality


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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2007, 11:39:09 PM »

Well, first you would have to buy the loco from the scrap yard-easily in the tens of thousands of dollars, more its particularly large. Then you would have to find a way to get it out...big bucks.
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Timothy

Still waiting for an E33 in N-scale
taz-of-boyds

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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2007, 11:47:56 PM »

Not that I have any personal experience, but I do pay attention to what others have said.  Once you have the locomotive it sounds like the work has only just begun.  Especially if you want to be safe, or run it out on the regular railroads.  All kinds of government regulations you have to demonstrate you meet.  You may find some good stuff with a Google search for something like:

steam loco* restore

Every once in a while I come across the web site for a museum where they discuss some of the costs and time involved, especially if you don't happen to have the money just laying around waiting to be spent.

Have fun,
Charles
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SteamGene

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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 09:53:43 AM »

A scrap yard in Roanoke, Virginia has at least two N&W M1's.  Try contacting them.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
ebtnut

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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 02:58:53 PM »

Restoring and old steamer, even if you locate one, is a huge daunting task.  FWIW, the East Broad Top recently had to repair one of its engines that was in running condition.  Most of the firebox and the rear end of the boiler had to be replaced, which cost somewhere north of $500K.  The biggest hurdle is boiler and firebox work.  You must do a complete ultrasound analysis of the boiler shell to determine if it is thick enough to hold steam pressure safely.  Fireboxes are even more important because they have to withstand the pressure on one side and 2600 degrees or so of heat on the inside.  This is the reason for the hundreds of staybolts that hold the firebox inside the boiler.  You also have to check for any cracks in the main frame and in the driver centers.  I could go on, but you kind of get the picture.  It might actually be more cost-effective to get a brand new loco built, or see if there are any left for sale in China that could be made compliant with US design standards. 
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Dr EMD

Founded 1922 as Electro-Motive Engineering Company


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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2007, 08:35:29 PM »

You should also check with the EPA about the asbestos.
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Electro-Motive Historical Research
(Never employed by EMD at any time)

GN.2-6-8-0


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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2007, 09:36:29 PM »

On the other hand I know of one sucess story......pick up a copy of the VHS Eureka & Palisades....The' most beautiful little narrow gauge 4-4-0 American
you ever saw.............and the only one left in the world today.  Kiss
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Rocky Lives
PhilipCal

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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 02:37:56 AM »

My suggestion would be for you to consider joining a railroad museum. I don't wish to sound  like I'm recruiting, but I'm a member of a museum that has two operating steam locomotives, and one awaiting restoration. As noted, the costs/problems involved in obtaining a steamer, then restoring it, and returning it to operating condition can be considerable. There are numerous Federal regulations and standards that must be adhered to, and inspections and recertifications are constant. Membership in an operating museum can possibly involve you in a project with a steam locomotive. That would include all the frustrations and rewards associated with obtaining, restoring and operating it.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 09:10:28 AM »

It would seem to me that with today's modern computers and sensors, some of the rules for the inspection of steam locomotives need to be evaluated and perhaps changed.  Lots of ships still operate off a boiler and nobody tears them apart once a year. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Tom Lapointe


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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2007, 05:35:43 AM »

Quote
Lots of ships still operate off a boiler and nobody tears them apart once a year. 

Most ship boilers are water-tube, vs. the fire tube boilers used in locomotives, stresses are somewhat different.  You're also talking boilers which may be a century (or more!) old in a lot of cases, & probably not maintained too well in their final years. 

Pick up a copy of the book "Train Wrecks" & check out the chapter on "Boiler Explosions" - what happens when a crown sheet lets go was NOT pretty! Shocked

Modern electronics can certainly help monitor a boiler's safe operation (there's a system available for G-gauge live-steamers, for example, which shows a green LED when the water level is safe, a red one for low water; it can also be used to start an electric boiler feed pump when low water is detected).  The Federal boiler rules were tightened substancially a few years back after the explosion of not a locomotive, but a vintage steam "traction" engine (farm tractor) which used a (poorly maintained!) locomotive-style boiler.  The owner was killed & the tractor (which weighed several TONS!) was flung several hundred feet from the point of explosion.  Remember that a boiler is primarily a pressure vessel, and if a sudden break in it occurs, all the water in it flashes to steam instantly, expanding 1600 TIMES it's original volume! Shocked  Many crown sheet failures would rocket the boiler right off the loco frame!             Tom
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SteamGene

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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2007, 09:53:01 AM »

Tom,
I know about boiler explosions and just how powerful they can be.  I also realize the danger of using a boiler that is not safe, or doing something stupid around it.  I know of a C&O H-8 that exploded in the last days of steam on the C&O because the fireman thought he could kick the injector into working again and get water over the crownshield. Didn't happen. Flung loaded hoppers all over the place.  I believe there is still a boiler tube driven through a telephone pole along US 460 caused by an exploding Y6B or A, also towards the end of steam. 
What I'm saying is that modern technology should be able to, as you point out, relieve the railroad of some of the hands on inspections which are now required.  Remember, it was human cost that gave victory to the d..
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Beatle (TrainBrain)

Neil Aspinall: 1941-2008.


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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2007, 10:20:05 AM »

Well, I've been to a barely-active junction many times, once I saw 3 CN units pull a short train out (I'll have to upload the video). But it came out on one of (I believe) 2 passing tracks, the other 3 (or 4) are occupied by retired locos and rolling stock.

There are passenger cars that have been reworked and refurbished, ready to roll again. Other, litterally, look like hell. Widows busted, graffitti, no doors, NO FLOOR (Shocked). There are some locos in the mix. There's actually a NYC F-unit in there, along with, I think, one more loco. There's a bridge above the "yard", owned by Conrail (I believe), used by New Jersey Transit.

I'm talking about Winslow Juction in New Jersey, anyone seen or heard of it?
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CubanRailways

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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2007, 03:29:02 PM »


[/quote]Very nice idea. I've had thoughts of doing that. I've always wondered what it'd also be like to be part of a heritige railway. I have relatives in the UK, and I could look into working or volunteering on the Bluebell Railway.  Wink
[/quote]

I would recommend the Bluebell Railway - infact I have just spent the last 12 hours down there, with a large majority of that time firing a London Brighton and South Coast Railway 0-6-2T Called "Birch Grove".

We have one chap who comes over from Canada for two weeks a year, so having oversea's volunteers is not a rare occurance!

New blood is always welcome as long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty, well infact nothing short of filthy!

Cheers,

Stephen.
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thirdrail

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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2007, 10:15:41 PM »

Other than the three steam locomotives sitting in the Roanoke scrap yard, there hasn't been a steam locomotive in a scrap yard in many years. Remember, it was over 50 years ago that the railroads converted to Diesel power. Yes, there are numerous unrestored steam locomotives about, but in private collections, in city parks, and at museums and tourist railroads.

After a near fatal mishap on the Gettysburg Railroad a few years ago, the FRA adopted much more stringent regulations regarding boilers, although tourist engines may now operate 1432 days between class repairs. The bad news, those class repairs now approach $1 million per locomotive.

There was an unrestored but supposedly operable Alaska RR US Army type 2-8-0 for sale on eBay last week with an opening minimum bid of $415,000. Got that kind of money?? This is one of those "private collection" engines.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 10:17:50 PM by thirdrail » Logged

Guilford Guy


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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2007, 10:41:11 PM »

http://www.ozarkmountainrailcar.com/steamloco557.htm
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Alex

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