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!