Re: SP 1215 - background from PRM
Author: David Dewey
Date: 05-21-2020 - 23:46
I know, it's not PRM now, but it was then. Since I'm still stuck on dial-up, I don't get here every day.
So, 1215 inspection; Cylinders still have machining marks/honing marks--I'd say very low mileage. The story told us was that they steamed it onto the moving truck and off the moving truck onto the display track. Seemed far-fetched, but unlike most displayed engines, all the engine/tender connections were intact, and there was a lot of bunker C junk on the ground there. Main bearings appeared to be fresh, with shop chalk marks still visible on the frames. We cleaned off all the rust that forms between the brasses and the grease blocks and were able to lift each axle to do so--the equalizing was not frozen. The tires looked very good too. Other crew members (mostly Norm) cleaned the tender journals by jacking up the boxes and pulling the brasses (and then greasing and replacing same). Some of the valve gear bushings were pretty worn. What we could see of the boiler interior looked normal. The park crew had removed the windows and some other stuff and it was stored inside a shed--no broken glass on this one!
As part of the move prep we covered over any loose jacketing and "encapsulated" the boiler insulation for the move. Duct Tape to the rescue! :)
So, some of the "funny stuff" that happened during the prep & move.
When we were loading up with tools etc. I had them throw in a car moving "wedge" Over the objections of Norm & Doug. When it came time to move the tender, the park crew brought over their big Payloader and nothing moved. I hollered, "get the car wedge!" With a Payloader pulling someone put the wedge under a tender wheel and pulled down on the handle--CREAK! and it started rolling. I think it was Norm I heard say, "I'll never live this one down!" Probably the wheels were rusted to the rails and that's all it took.
The safety valves are the tallest piece on the engine; I wanted to take them off for the move. "NOT NECESSARY" I was told. They hit the underside of an overpass that had just had the road under it repaved, so we must have been right at 16' tall when on the trailer. That happened near Bakersfield when we had the load weighed to make certain we were within our permit, and we did have to adjust axle placement to match--and then none of the state weight stations were open the whole trip! At that weigh station we were asked if we were hauling it to scrap---AAAUUGH! After that I would drive ahead of the load and check underpasses with a 16' pole I put together--forgot where I found the pieces to do that.
As part of the move prep we took a garden spray to spray lube into the cylinders through the cocks and as was mentioned lubed the entire side rods & valve gear--come to think of it, I believe we pulled the valve main rod, as they was small enough for us to remove--it's been a lot of years ago!
The Locomotive itself took very little pull to roll it onto the trailer, just one loud "Snap" when it first rolled--figured it was probably the rings and a small ring of rust--the cylinders were really clean inside.
The display track had settled into the ground so much that the rails were up against the pilot!
We were considered a "Purple Load" by the state, although each axle set was a "Green load" so if you had a culvert, we really only had the "green" weight on it at any one time. Be that as it may, the official route out of the park called for us to make a series of right and left turns to avoid some culverts. When we first pulled out of the park, a huge cloud of dust came off the engine & tender, even though we had cleaned up the engine a bit (and I had repainted the numbers to make it look better). So we headed down the first right turn, got to the left turn and there were two mailboxes on each corner, and a power pole on the inside of the corner. Well the truck hit both boxes and the trailer rubbed the pole. Both farmers were at their driveways, just laughing at the mess we had made--they weren't really upset about their boxes (probably not the first time they'd been hit), but they told us, "You'll never make the next corner!" They were almost right! At the next corner, onto a nice paved road, the opposite bank of the road dropped off at an angle (low, or NO shoulder)and the road had a pretty good crown in it--we cleared the pavement by about 4" on the center of the trailer. The county road commissioner was on site, the trucker looked at the situation, and it was suggested we would have to back up two miles back to that infamous first corner. 11 axles on the ground, that ain't gonna happen! The driver looked it over very carefully, and said, "If I can make a run at it, I think I can do it." OK, so he backs up a short ways, guns it and the front wheels were half-off the edge of the pavement, the trailer was scrapping a new surface on the center of the road, the locomotive leaned out a bit--we all held our breath, and the truck straightened out, 1215 settled back down, and the road commissioner said, "Forget the next turn--I don't care what your permit says, you go straight down this road, over the overpass and get on the freeway and out of my jurisdiction!" Well, maybe he said "and off MY roads!" So that's what we did! Once on the freeway we found out that above about 54MPH, the trailer developed a harmonic bounce and would scrape the pavement, but if they kept it under that, no problem. OK so we aren't going to make up any time on the highway!
There are more fun stories about the trip, but this is long enough as it is. I will admit that I am disappointed that 1215 is apparently only going to be a display, as it seems to be in pretty good shape for a restoration (but there's been no ultra sound, so who knows?).