Big Wheels, Bigger Work – Even though casual onlookers might not notice without closer examination, restoration has been moving ahead steadily on Southern #4501. Employees, volunteers, and contractors have been toiling away on everything from front to back and top to bottom on the locomotive. During the week of August 26, a milestone was reached as three of the four driving wheel axles were reinstalled into the frame. (The fourth set’s insertion would be delayed until further firebox work could be completed.) Much of the progress up to this point seemed to be less noticeable on a daily basis, but when the driving wheels went back under the boiler, that made a major visual impact. Each axle was installed individually over the drop pit after the frame was positioned properly and the yellow rail bridge moved (seen in photo). The overhead crane was used to lift each wheelset onto the hydraulic jack inside the pit. Then the jack was rolled under the frame and the axle raised into position. Although this sounds easy, it is a tedious process with every close clearance tolerances, which makes it tricky to say the least. The shop crew was glad to finally get some driving wheels back under #4501. More images of wheel installation are on page 2, and additional work is shown on pages 3 and 4. When she rolls out of Soule Shops in 2014, TVRM will have quite a workhorse to be enjoyed by thousands (millions?) of fans in Chattanooga and throughout NS lineside communities. (All photos by Steve Freer unless otherwise noted.)
Trains, trains, and more trains at the third annual Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Railfest weekend! The weather could not have cooperated any better for TVRM photographer Mr. Mike Ray as can be witnessed by the photos from the event he has submitted. The photos would almost lead a viewer to believe it was 1940, not 2013.
SR #6133 & #2594 @ East Chattanooga – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #6133 @ Soule Shops, East Chattanooga Yards – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #6133 and SR #630 @ Grand Junction – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #630 NB @ McDonald, TN enroute to Cleveland, TN – 9/8/13 – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #630 on turntable @ East Chattanooga Yards – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
BIT BY BIT, PIECE BY PIECE — Toward the end of a winter workday, Locomotives 4501 and 630 sit quietly inside TVRM’s Soule Shops in East Chattanooga. In this view from January 24, progress can be seen in the restoration of #4501, while #630 receives off season maintenance in preparation for return to service prior to Spring. Number 630’s annual inspection required separation of the coal tender from the locomotive in order to inspect the drawbar, removal of a section of boiler jacketing to repair several stay bolts, and elective modification of the main crank pins to improve lubrication over the rod brass and exterior pin surfaces. Work was completed in time for the locomotive to enter service in late February in advance of the scheduled 21st Century Steam trip from Chattanooga to Attalla on March 2 (and subsequent outings to/from Bristol, Roanoke, Norfolk, and beyond.) For #4501, its major rebuild was continuing with rebuilding of the lead truck, trailing truck frame replacement and changeover to roller bearings, final firebox repairs with the interior and exterior throat sheet patches, and continuation of the feed water heater and pump installation along with all associated plumbing. With plenty of work yet to go, the progress thus far is amazing and the level of craftsmanship is astounding. Thanks to everyone who helps keep TVRM moving forward.
(All photos by Steve Freer unless otherwise noted.)
The restoration of Southern Railway Mikado No. 4501 is progressing nicely at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here are a few photos that were taken over the past few months of the restoration. These photos have been posted on the TVRM website and in their newsletter, Smoke & Cinders. I would have never imagined the work that is required to restore a steam locomotive until I witnessed this firsthand. When you visit TVRM, make sure to ride the Missionary Ridge Local which will take the rider to the Soule Shops at the East Chattanooga terminus. Here you will be able to see the restoration in progress.