While coming back from Grand Junction last Sunday (10-Jan-2010), I wandered through Palisade, CO, to check on C&S #9's restoration. For those unfamiliar with the engine, it was rebuilt under contract for the CHS as an effort to get steam back on the Georgetown Loop as part of that fiasco. It then ran for small parts of the 2006 season on the Loop, but serious problems were found and it was once again shipped off for rebuilding. The little narrow gauge engine was moved out to John Braun's Mammoth Locomotive Works in Palisade, CO, in late 2008 to be completely overhauled again.
I'm not privy to all of the details, but suffice to say there was a significant amount of work to be done. John himself posted to NGDF that the boiler was in only so-so shape and that there's a large crack in the cylinder casting. They have obtained permission to operate the pressure vessel at 145 psi from Colorado (though apparently no variance from the FRA, meaning it can only operate on non-FRA governed track), but the cracks in the casting mean that ever operating it is likely unwise and could cause the casting to come apart. Aside from those two things, based on [this post from John], it sounds like everything else has been thoroughly gone over, cleaned, repaired, rebuilt, and should last a good long while if properly maintained. The engine was also sandblasted to bare metal and then painted with DuPont Imron, so the paint should be good for decades to come.
The engine looks to be nearly complete, if not totally so. About the only thing I can find missing in the photos is the main air reservoir. The restoration job is nothing short of absolutely beautiful. Expectations are that the CHS will move it to its new home in Breckenridge, CO, around April 2010.
Date: 01 Jan 2010
Size: 3 items