Giant steam engine to be restored in Cleveland

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society is about to become landlord and casual spectator for one of the biggest projects at the private nonprofit’s roundhouse on West Third Street.

A massive steam locomotive arrived there Monday along with two of its tenders, after a 2,300-mile trip from Washington state on 70-foot flatcars.

The engine was designed by Baldwin and built by — and for — the Reading Railroad in 1945, remaining in use until 1963. It is now owned by the Columbus-based American Steam Railroad, said Steven Harvey, that organization’s president.

He said restoration should take only about 15 months because the engine already is in pretty good shape. American Steam will do its own restoration work. A number of engine and rail-car owners use the Cleveland facility to do their work.

In its current form, the engine has an oil-fired boiler, but it will be converted back to coal, Harvey said. That will require the re-installation of a large augur that will automatically feed coal from the tender into the locomotive’s fire box.

The primary tender is able to carry oil and water, but will be restored to a car capable of carrying 25,000 pounds of coal and 20,000 gallons of water. An auxiliary tender will follow that and carry an additional 25,000 gallons of water. “It goes through water faster than it can burn through coal,” Harvey said.


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