Oct 4, 2018
Wow, I didn't know this was being restored!!
Nice to see, but their lovely 2-8-0 No. 734 was sidetracked in early 2016 per FRA inspection requirements and hasn't turned a wheel since. I suspect that the 734's work would have cost much less than the $1.8 Million spent to date on the 1309. Not being a sourpuss, but am just wondering about the long term wisdom of this project.
I did not know 734 was sidelined. What is wrong with her?
I think she reached her major FRA inspection limit, so will be out of service for some time as repairs are made. From what I gather, it'll sit until the 1309 has a season or two behind her.
Boiler or other appliances as well?
I think it's like a 15 Year inspection, so I expect that it'll be extensive and expensive.
Maybe it's just my turn to be a sourpuss, but after seeing ATSF 1316's bare chassis being left to rust after a boilermaker who clearly knew more about bribing politicians than restoring steam locomotives fitted her with a totally unsuitable boiler, I think maybe once the federal government bans a steamer from operation, we may all be better off putting the slice of history out to pasture. I'd certainly rather have seen the light Pacific placed back in the San Angelo park where she sat for thirty-odd years than discombobulated and deserted.
In any case, Consolidations are pretty common, while Prairie Mallets are rare--and a 2-6-6-2 in operating condition is practically unheard of. I say more power to these volunteers!
Please don't take this as a slight on 734. I don't dread the major work that will make her less original than before out of contempt for her, but out of admiration and respect. There's something to be said for giving the steamers left to us their turn steamily simmering in the sun, then putting them back on display whole and largely intact.
Along those lines acptulsa, I sometimes think of PRR 1361, the K-4 that resided at Horseshoe Curve for 28 Years until it was removed in 1985 and restored to service only to suffer a major failure three years later. It was moved to Steamtown for an aborted repair, then its components were strewn around eastern PA, then reunited again in Altoona where she sits in pieces and with minimal manpower and money on tap. She's been out of service for over 30 years now.
Perhaps they should have simply let her be for all to admire at her home on the Curve.