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Steam Department
From Rail & Wire Issue 68, June 1971

By Dave Conrad
Major boiler work was done on Tuskegee #101 in June, the first repair project undertaken by museum members in the history of IRM steam operations. Boiler repairs in the past had been done by outside contractors, but this time our personnel removed and replaced 32 tubes from the museum work horse.

The odd tubes had worn out at the firebox end and leaked badly, so they were torched free and pulled out the front end, which had been cleared for this purpose. The flue sheets were ground smooth and the new tubes were cut to size.

Once installed, the new tubes were rolled (made larger by expanding the metal with tapered rollers) in front and back, and they were then beaded over in the rear. After touch up work and a hydro-test, #101 was returned to service in time for Fourth of July traffic. Spearheading the repairs were Dennis Daugherty and Dave Conrad, with help from Bob Walker, John McKelvy, and others.

While the 101 was laid up, K. L. & L. #5, the Shay, was called upon for steam operation. They Shay went out of operation, too, when it appeared that four staybolts in a row had broken. Closer inspection showed that water was leaking through the "tell tale" holes in the staybolts from behind a grate bar in the firebox.

Water had collected there from hosing down ashes, it turned out, but the Shay was out for a while anyway to be safe. Its appearance was improved in July by addition of a bell (at long last) donated by Bob Colson of All-Nation Hobby Shop. The bell was mounted by Sherry Smith, aided by Bill Crosby; and the smoke boxes on the Shay and the 101 were chipped and painted by Mark Secco, Phil Hehn, and Jerry Lynn.

Work on the 0-6-0 #5 continued. The throttle was finally finished by Dick DeChamps, who also spent a day boiling the engine lubricator in lye. The firebox backhead was painted granite gray by Jim Fox.

Member donations, Herb Hansen, and the museum treasury have combined to provide the funds needed to move L. & A. #99 to Union. Plans are being made to move it early in August. Moving day plans for Lake Superior and Ishpeming 2-8-0 #34 and the Jackson, Tennessee, 0-4-0 ST (ex-American Creosote) are being made also.

The Steam Department is grateful to all who helped out on these projects.

From the Rail & Wire Issue 68, June 1971


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