Work continues on several items. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company’s (WABCO) auxiliary reservoir and the four Wason queen posts went to a sandblasting shop for cleanup. When they were returned to Jeff and Don Millerick’s shop the tank and posts each received two coats of black enamel paint. The triple valve that was sent to Pittsburg for rebuilding, was returned without repairs having been made. The shop was not able to find the necessary parts. We have a lead on another shop in Ontario, east of Los Angeles. The author is using the Speed Heater infrared lamp to remove the old paint from the end wall in the northeast corner of the car. The 1100-watt lamp softens paint in less than 40 seconds, allowing the paint to be scraped away and leaving nearly bare wood. The original coach interior wall boards below the windows were finished with a clear coating, while the end wall base boards and 3″x12″ plank trusses at the base of the side walls were finished with an unexpected red coating. Whether the red coloring is stain or paint is not yet known because the material scraped off the walls is mixed together. However, the bottom-most layer is only partially removed and requires additional work. Some testing was done using lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol to identify the original finishes, but the results were inconclusive. Additional testing will be done soon. Charles and Dolores Hopkins of Santa Clara donated a wooden car door that had been salvaged many years ago from a MOW car at the Southern Pacific’s station at Radum, Alameda County. The detrucked car was used as an office and was slated for demolition when the door was rescued. The design and style of the door are identical to those of CP 29, indicating that the car was probably built by the Wason Manufacturing Company, too. Beneath the (missing) interior door latch the following numbers were stamped into the wood: “1156” and “1”. The “1156” identifies the car as CP 1156, while the “1” identifies it as Door #1. Central Pacific records now at the California State Railroad Museum show wooden coach 1156 was built by Wason and placed in service in September 1869. We have not yet located the original number for this car but will continue searching.
We still need donations to CP 29’s “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Each donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. As of September 30, we have accumulated $1,770 for the campaign. That is 12% of our goal. Every dollar helps, so please send your tax-deductible donation today.
Now that P&SR Caboose 1 is completed, and work is progressing on NWP Baggage 605, CP 29 must be made ready for restoration work to proceed. A general cleanup of CP 29’s interior was done during the last couple of months. “Stuff” had accumulated in the car since its arrival in Petaluma: several wooden chairs, a small desk, lots of nuts and bolts, four storage shelves and tools. The car had also served as a storage facility for Baggage 605’s wood siding purchased with funds from the Buy-A-Board Campaign. But now the siding is where it belongs, hanging on the exterior wall of the baggage car. Back in April 2012 the Society was offered 188 board feet of 1¼” pattern-grade mahogany planks. We purchased them for use in the restoration of CP 29. These planks had been kept inside the car since then. At the beginning of August, they were moved into the yellow barn at the De Carli Trolley Museum. With the siding and the mahogany planks out of the car, and the remaining materials organized the Restoration Team will have better access around the car’s interior. Some of the interior paint is flaking off the underlying varnished wood. Scraping the paint with a knife has sped up the process on one of the planks above the windows, but the Speed Heater lamp will be used for most of the work. The west side of the car must be repaired where two doorways were cut into the wall. At each doorway the truss plank and the inverted body truss rod were cut out. The inverted body truss rod extends horizontally along the side wall beneath the windows, from one corner post to the other. It dips down at the ends to support the car floor. A truss plank is a 3″x12″ beam that is located inside the car at the base of each side wall; it too extends from corner post to corner post. The truss planks are set on edge onto floor boards that in turn are set upon the side sills. The truss planks are bolted horizontally to the window posts and vertically to the side sill. Beneath CP 29 the two truss rods and their supporting queen posts were cut away when the car was detrucked. The truss rods extended beneath the car from end to end, pushing up against the queen posts, which pushed in turn upward against the needle beams. The needle beams pushed upward against the car floor assembly. CP 29 as it sits on support beams is not level. A preliminary survey indicates that the car’s south end is two inches lower than its north end. Whether the dropped end is due to damaged truss rods or a difference in elevation of the support beams is not yet known. To eliminate the potential for creating a permanent distortion in the car when the damaged areas are repaired, CP 29 will be leveled using screw jacks at several locations on both sides of the car floor. The jacks will be set at both ends, the mid-point of the car, and beneath the cut-out areas. Once the car is leveled the inverted truss rod will be welded and the spring plank repaired. Eventually the queen posts obtained from B&O 20 will be bolted to the needle beams, and 20’s truss rods will be welded into position under 29. The Restoration Team is planning to install a steel channel beam to connect the two coupler pockets and support the car floor, just as we did with Caboose 1. The combination of truss rods, inverted truss rods and steel channel beam should keep CP 29 as straight as the day it left the Wason factory. After the car is leveled the interior paneling will be removed from the west wall to repair the inverted truss rod and spring plank and replace the missing window posts. New planer blades will be cut to match the existing board profiles, then some of the mahogany planks will be milled to replace missing or damaged trim boards. We are still looking for a passenger car version of a Morris journal box to replace the box destroyed in the roundhouse disaster in Baltimore. Also, a conductor’s valve and pressure gauge are needed. If you can locate or donate these items, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CP 29 needs donations to our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Each donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. One donation of $30 came in this last month, so three more pounds of pedestal have been funded. Please send your donation today.
When the roundhouse roof fell onto B&O 20, one of the Morris journal boxes was shattered beyond repair. The cast iron Morris box has a spring steel lid that pivots around a bolt at one end and forms a good seal against dirt and rain. The trucks for CP 29 are nearing completion so we are searching in earnest for a replacement journal box. The author recently visited the Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton, CA, in search of a Morris box. He found three in their parts collection, BUT the boxes are for arch bar trucks instead of passenger trucks. So the search continues. The south end wall was burned by a 1970’s stove pipe flashover fire that occurred within the wall. Local firefighters had to cut open the outside wall. The damaged area was covered with a piece of plywood. At the time of the fire, inside the car the original wainscot boards had already been replaced with narrow tongue and groove boards. Some of these narrow boards were burned through. Dave Dietz and the author removed the plywood and the small boards to evaluate the structural condition of the wall. While the window posts appear to be usable the end beam of the car has some rot below the door. After this area is repaired the missing boards will be replaced with pieces of the correct profiles. The Restoration Team disassembled the WABCO brake cylinder salvaged from B&O 20 and found it to be in usable condition. The brake cylinder’s various cast iron components were taken to a local machine shop where they were baked at 700⚬ then blasted with steel shot. After a wipe down with lacquer thinner the parts were painted black. A new packing ring was installed on the piston to seal its rim inside the cylinder. The cylinder interior was coated with a special grease, then the piston and packing ring were inserted, and the cylinder pressure head was bolted onto the cylinder. The release spring and non-pressure head were placed over the piston rod, the non-pressure head was pushed down to compress the spring, and the cross-head was riveted onto the piston rod, thereby locking the assembly together. At that point the non-pressure head could be bolted to the cylinder. We are still in need of a conductor’s valve and pressure gauge. If you can donate these items, please contact the author at email@example.com.
CP 29 needs donations to our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Each donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send your donation today.
Triplex Springs and Air Brake Parts are Cleaned and Painted
By Mike Manson
This spring the three usable triplex leaf spring sets were sand blasted, painted and reassembled, then installed on the trucks. One of the trucks is now completely fitted with the leaf springs, so the truck bolster beam was set onto the springs. The other truck will have to wait until a fourth set of springs of the proper height can be obtained. Both trucks need pedestals before assembly can be completed. When CP 29 was built in the spring of 1869 it had only hand-powered brakes. George Westinghouse received a patent for his compressed-air-powered brake system at the same time the car was under construction. His new company, the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO), eventually supplied brake systems for nearly all railroad locomotives and cars in North America. Both CP 29 and B&O 20 received their brake system at some point in the 1870’s. The WABCO Quick-action automatic brake system salvaged from B&O 20 includes the following components: a brake cylinder, 10 inches in diameter and 14″ in length with a stroke of 8″; auxiliary air reservoir; triple valve; brake-pipe air strainer; air-brake safety valve; and self-locking angle cocks, with hoses and couplings. These components are connected by 1¼” steel pipe. We did not get a conductor’s valve; that item stayed in Baltimore with the interior fittings. The triple valve is attached to one end of the brake cylinder. It has three functions: first, pressurize the auxiliary reservoir; second, apply the brakes; third, release the brakes. 1 We cleaned and pressure-tested the angle cocks and other valves. They are all in good condition. The air strainer has been disassembled and cleaned. Its plain steel mesh screen has been replaced with one of stainless steel. The air reservoir remains to be cleaned and tested. The triple valve must be sent in to WABCO for an overhaul. The steel pipe and the brake hoses will be replaced with new components when the system is installed beneath CP 29. CP 29 needs a conductor’s valve and pressure gauge. If you can donate these items, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, the Union Pacific Foundation turned down our request for funding the pedestals, so we must raise all the money ourselves. Please donate to our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Each donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send your donation today.
1 International Correspondence Schools, 1913, The Westinghouse Air-Brake Handbook, 1st Edition: International Textbook Company, Scranton, PA, p. 155.
The 2015 Work Season began on January 24. Jeff Millerick and Richard Fries installed the 8 Z-shaped steel reinforcing plates described in the previous issue of The Headlight. The next session was cancelled on account of rain. Work on the two new trucks has reached a point where no more can be done until the new pedestals are cast and received at the De Carli Trolley Museum yard in Petaluma. So, this year our focus will be on the interior of the car: stripping paint and removing damaged boards. Our ultimate goal is to bring CP 29 back to its appearance when it came to the NWP. CP 29 was purchased by the NWP in June 1912 along with five other coaches. According to company records the first four cars in the group, including CP 29 (renumbered to NWP 123), were immediately sent by ship to the railroad’s Northern Division. Until recently we were not certain how the car looked in 1912. When CP 29 was overhauled by the Central Pacific it received bull-nose roof ends to replace the original duck-bill roof ends. The new design improved the ventilation inside the car. It also eliminated the need for windows in the end walls on either side of the door. Eliminating the end windows eliminated the potential for a passenger to fall against glass while on the car platform. The original board and batten siding was replaced with tongue-and-groove boards by the CP shop crew. As shown in a drawing obtained from the California State Railroad Museum CP 29 was supposed to have received new interior paneling between the windows. The wood specified in the drawing was walnut, much higher in quality than the T&G boards it currently sports. And the end wall windows were to be covered over with walnut boards too, instead of the T&G boards. A new book on the NWP’s Northern Division was released in 2013. The book, Images of Rail: Northwestern Pacific Railroad – Eureka to Willits, by O’Hare, Service, and the Fortuna Depot Museum, includes a photograph on page 32 of a steam ship at Fields Landing. Two locomotives, their tenders, and four wooden passenger coaches are clearly visible on the ship’s deck. Although the cars are at a distance one end of each car is clearly visible. Each car has a bull-nose roof end like CP 29. The door windows are visible, but there are no windows visible in the end walls of the cars. If there was a need to protect end wall windows during the sea voyage, the door windows would have been protected too. Now that we know CP 29 did not have end windows, we can proceed with stripping the paint on the interior walls and repair or replace damaged boards.
We still need donations for the pedestals. Please remember to make a donation to our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Each donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send a donation today. 1- California State Railroad Museum, Southern Pacific Collection, 1890’s, Series 1, MOLDINGS 77.
Although CP 29 is third in line for restoration work, much was accomplished on the truck frames this year. Each work session saw two to four team members working on the trucks. In the fall of 2012 Channel Lumber furnished the four end beams, four wheel pieces, four transoms and eight safety beams. Each piece was sawn to the correct profile but slightly longer than the original. Last year we had the ends of each piece rough-shaped with a large band saw to match the original. Then the Restoration Team members began the final shaping using both electric and hand-powered tools: circular saw, hammer & chisel, framing slick and rasp. The truck frames fit together using mortise and tenon joints. Each tenon was trimmed, shaped and beveled on its leading edges, and the corresponding mortise was enlarged and deepened as necessary to get a tight-fitting joint. The oak timbers are dense and tough so progress is slow. When properly shaped the ten pieces of each frame slipped together quickly. A few good raps with a sledge hammer seated each tenon. Nuts, bolts and washers salvaged from B&O 20 and some new fasteners were used to lock the timbers together. Then the various pieces of truck hardware were mounted, including B&O 20’s brake hangers and spring-plank hanger-carriers. The spring planks have been fitted into position. The truck bolsters are drilled for the king pin. All wood and metal pieces were painted black before assembly. When assembly is complete the trucks will receive another coat of paint. Three of the four bolster springs have gone out for sandblasting. We are searching for a replacement for the fourth spring, because it contains fewer steel leaves than the others. Jeff Millerick ordered eight, 4-inch-wide steel reinforcing plates to go on top of the trucks. They are of ½-inch-thick steel that is bent into a Z-shape. The commercial metal shop cut the plates and made a right-angle bend in each one. Jeff heated each piece and formed a second bend. By the time you read this article the locations for bolt holes will be marked on each plate. Then Jeff will use his shop’s metal forming machine to punch the holes. The vendor charged us $15 per plate, but Jeff is donating his labor. At the next work session in January each plate will be bolted on top of a wheel piece-and-transom joint, resulting in a much stronger joint that is better able to support the car body.
Please remember to make a donation to our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Over $1800 has been raised so far – Thank you, donors! But more donations are needed to pay for casting the pedestals. Each donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send a donation today so the Society can continue the restoration of CP 29.
Progress continues on rebuilding the trucks, although it may seem that nothing is happening. The replacement bolster beam is drilled for the king pin and the bolts used to mount the various steel parts. Several of the spring-plank hanger-carriers salvaged from B&O 20 are an inch too long, so Jeff Millerick shortened them at his workshop in Sebastopol. They will be installed at the next work session, along with the spring planks. The bolster springs consist of triplet elliptical springs, which are three sets of upper and lower leaf springs connected at each end by a single bolt. Each spring supports an end of a bolster beam. They will be supported by the spring planks. Jeff will send three of the four bolster springs out for sandblasting. The fourth spring will be replaced, because it contains fewer steel leaves than the others. The bolster would be lopsided within the truck frame if the weaker spring is used. All technical terms are from the 1895 Car Builders Dictionary, which is available on the Internet. As mentioned before, we are financing the creation of a pattern and the casting of the eight pedestals with our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Over $1800 has been raised so far – Thank you, donors! But we need still more donations to cast the pedestals. Your generous donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send a donation today so the Society can continue the restoration of CP 29.
With the exceptions of the pedestals, wheel sets and associated hardware, the truck frames are assembled. A spring plank has been fitted to each truck frame. Each plank end is supported by a pair of hangers and a thick rod. Sitting on top of the plank will be two sets of triplet elliptic springs, one set at each end. These in turn support a solid oak beam 8 inches high, 11 1/2 inches wide and 67 inches in length, known as a truck bolster. In the center of the upper face of the bolster will be the truck center plate. It will support the body center plate when the truck is positioned beneath CP 29. As the Restoration Team members were drilling the King Pin mounting hole through one of the bolsters, they discovered a two-inch-thick layer of rotten wood. The vendor, Channel Lumber Company, of Richmond, CA, quickly provided a replacement bolster at no charge. In April the Society submitted a matching-funds grant application to the National Railway Historical Society for $5,000, to help fund the creation of a set of patterns for the Master Car Builder 1873 Standard Pedestal, and cast eight pedestals for CP 29. We were informed in June our application was denied due to funding limitations. Although the lack of funding this year is disappointing, the NRHS did donate funds to help move CP 29 to Petaluma and help pay for the oak beams we used to make the new truck frames. A two-stage grant application was sent in early August to the Union Pacific Foundation (UPF), requesting $5,000 for the pedestal pattern and eight castings. We will be notified in February of next year if our application is successful. We may receive a grant for part of the costs, but we cannot count on that good fortune. As mentioned before, we are financing the creation of a pattern and the casting of the eight pedestals with our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Over $1600 has been raised so far – Thank you, donors! But more donations are needed to see our project through to completion. Your generous donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send a donation today so the Society can continue the restoration of this historic car.
Truck Assembly Continues, and Some Track Assembly is Completed
By Mike Manson
The truck frames are finally assembled using new and recycled bolts and tie rods. With the exception of the pedestals, wheel sets and brake gear, all hardware that can be bolted to the frames has been added. We must wait until the pedestals are cast before assembly can proceed. As mentioned in the previous issue, we are financing the creation of a pattern for the pedestal and the casting of eight pedestals with our “Buy a Pound of Pedestal” campaign. Over $1200 has been raised so far, but more is needed. Your generous donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. Please send a donation today so the Society can continue the restoration of this historic car.
Narrow Gauge Track is built in the De Carli Trolley Museum Yard
Last February the Society purchased a pair of narrow-gauge wheel sets from a retired logger in Oroville. These were salvaged from the site of an incline railway. Each of the wheels was cast in 1907 by the Saint Louis Car Wheel Company, and has the letters “NWPRR” cast into its back face. Jeff Millerick had located these wheel sets and negotiated their purchase. He also donated a pair of rails to build a display track at the De Carli Trolley Museum. The track was built by Steve Atnip, Dave Dietz, Jelani Hall, Demitri Kosdrosky and the author. An added bonus to the “NWPRR” letters is that four journal boxes came with the wheel sets. One axle has a journal box at each end. Three of the box lids have a 5-pointed star cast into them. The star is the emblem or trademark of the Carter Brothers, who built much of the narrow gauge rolling stock of the North Pacific Coast Railroad, a predecessor of the NWP. These journal boxes and wheel sets will be studied by fans of the NPC to determine their rightful place in the history of that railroad.
As we mentioned in the last issue, the final fitting of the truck beams continued until each piece fitted properly. Assembly of the frames began in mid-February. One by one the beams were set in position then clamped. Holes were drilled where needed. Tie rods and bolts were rethreaded and reused when possible. If not, they were replaced. The 3/4-inch rods and bolts salvaged from B&O 20 were inserted into the holes, washers and nuts slipped into position and the nuts tightened. The work session on April 5th saw the corner bolts inserted and tightened, and B&O 20’s brake hangers bolted onto the end pieces. The next session (after the Headlight deadline) will see the brake release springs attached. Soon after that the truck frames will be ready for installation of pedestals. Unfortunately, the pedestals we have are not of the correct style. When rebuilt by the Central Pacific, CP 29 and its sister cars received new trucks that were equipped with pedestals of the 1873 Master Car Builder standard design. An engineering drawing of the MCB design, scaled 3 inches to the foot, was obtained from the California State Railroad Museum. We are now ready to commission a set of patterns for casting a set of eight of these pedestals. Creating the patterns will cost approximately $4,200. To date the only bid we have received for casting the pedestals is $8,951, F.O.B. at the foundry in Berkeley. That price covers the 180 pounds of steel, energy and materials surcharges, sales tax, and labor for each of eight pedestals. With the cost of the patterns added, the total price is about $13,150. Buy a Pound of Pedestal To finance the pedestals the Society is starting a new campaign: “Buy a Pound of Pedestal”. Your generous donation of $10 will cover the prorated cost of the patterns, steel, sales tax, energy and labor needed to cast one pound of a pedestal for CP 29 and bring it to the De Carli Trolley Museum. If each member contributes $30 we will have enough to place an order for the castings immediately. Please send a donation today so the Society can continue the restoration of this historic car.