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  1. #1

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    More on the DRR Ward Kimball's Progress

    Things are definitely moving. The cab and tender have been removed in order to shore up the frame and make it easier to paint the boiler jacket.

    The new driver centers arrived, and tires were fitted (yes, steam locomotives have tires! Although I wouldn't want to use one as a tire swing--they're made of steel, of course). Molten lead was poured into the wheels' counterweights, and last night, they were painted in the familiar bright red common to all the DL steamers.

    There was much heavy lifting going on. The process of lifting a steam locomotive without benefit of an overhead crane, in order to install the drivers (the large wheels on a steam locomotive), is laborious and intense. The engine is lifted using straps and a fork lift to raise one end at a time. When one end is raised, large jacks are positioned, and the forklift moves to the other end, repeating the procedure.

    Eventually, the engine rested on jacks several feet in the air. The driving wheel boxes, with their crown brasses (bearings), were prepared, and the cellars packed with oil and waste packing material. Then the boxes were fitted to the driver axles.

    When this was accomplished, the wheels were rolled into position on rails situated under the engine. Nudging with pry bars and wood cribbing assured the wheels were each positioned directly under their respective frame openings. The pony truck (the little wheel near the cowcatcher) was also rolled into position under the pilot deck.

    When everything was in place, the process began to lower the engine onto her wheels. The lifting procedure was reversed, and the jacks were removed as the forklift supported the engine's weight. Slowly, gingerly, the engine was brought to rest on her wheels!

    Work was also accomplished in the cab--the dreaded cab signals have been installed.

    Now that the wheels are on, work can continue with the rest of the engine--like fitting the side rods, plumbing the cab, and wiring the engine. As with any project of this nature, one never knows what surprise one might find during any particular operation. But I have my fingers crossed that the engine will be ready to go on a sunny Thursday in May, blasting her polished single-chime Lunkenheimer whistle for all to hear!

  2. #2

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    Maybe you should write that in less technical language. I scarcely know anything about trains.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the update and for sharing your knowledge with us!
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  4. #4

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    They have the gear to put the tires on at the park? I thought you needed a big furnace to heat them, and a special press to get them on the driver and in the proper position before they cool and shrink solid onto the driver wheel.

    (Yeah, the "heat the wheel with three Rosebud torches, and chill the driver with a CO2 Extinguisher" method would probably work, but it's trickier to pull off. )

    Did the Ward Kimball (Maud L) get a new boiler, or just a full inspection and ultrasound/x-ray and repairs as needed?

    Is a 1902 Baldwin boiler lap-seam or welded?

    --<< Bruce >>--

  5. #5

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    Well, Motorboat, I'm not sure it can be made any simpler. What particular part are you having trouble with? I used paratheticals to simplify the more technical terms...

    Bruce, the drivers are fairly small, so you need just a "fire ring," a loop of tube that gas flows through, with little holes all around it that are ignited. When the tire is hot enough, if very easily slips right on the wheel center (heating the tire makes it expand just enough to put on the wheel center. When the tire cools, it shrinks tight on the center).

    The Ward Kimball has a brand new welded boiler. The original 1902 boiler was lap-seamed (A giant sheet of metal rolled into a cylinder and riveted).

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    Well, Motorboat, I'm not sure it can be made any simpler. What particular part are you having trouble with? I used paratheticals to simplify the more technical terms...)
    Yup, I try to explain the bafflegab I use at work everyday, too - "Welcome to MiceChat - If you're not careful you might learn something."
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    Bruce, the drivers are fairly small, so you need just a "fire ring," a loop of tube that gas flows through, with little holes all around it that are ignited. When the tire is hot enough, if very easily slips right on the wheel center (heating the tire makes it expand just enough to put on the wheel center. When the tire cools, it shrinks tight on the center).
    Ahh. I didn't know how much of an interference-fit they needed. And a special round heating burner would be a bit of work to build (especially if you needed to build several different sizes) but just the ticket to make it easy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    The Ward Kimball has a brand new welded boiler. The original 1902 boiler was lap-seamed (A giant sheet of metal rolled into a cylinder and riveted).
    Good - because those lap seams and rivets have a nasty habit of rusting between the overlapped sheets of steel, or having the rivets crack and unzip the seam, letting the boiler go <BOOM!> at the worst possible moment - like with people within 250 feet (minimum) of them...

    Now we need to get them up to speed and fully compliant with the new rules - 49 CFR Part 230 - even though as a private amusement on their own rails they really don't have to. Go read this NTSB Acciddent Report for a real eye-opener on what can go wrong when people operating and maintaining a steam locomotive aren't thoroughly trained.

    --<< Bruce >>--

  7. #7

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    "The Safety Board is concerned that these hazards may be becoming more
    significant because Federal regulatory controls are outdated and because expertise in
    operating and maintaining steam locomotives is diminishing steadily."

    It's a darn good thing that the DLRR guys ARE thoroughly trained. We've ridden on other steam powered tourist trains and it's a rare engineer that knows as much as the Disney team.
    Very nice to read the technical side of keeping one of those engines running. I'm sure that most of us never give the RR a second thought - but it was very close to Walt's heart. Thanks from me and mine for keeping it running smoothly!


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  8. #8

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    Wow! Thanks so much for the update. I'm going to pass this thread along to my boyfriend; he'd love this.

    I can't wait to see the new train. Riding them is a huge part of my Disneyland tradition and it's great to hear such care and concern is being put into a treasure.
    Well, light travels from the sun. Then, bounces off of our planet, and back into our eyes so we can perceive color. My body can intercept that light and dance around on it!


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