From The Headlight March-April 2014

Central Pacific 29

Starting the 2014 Restoration Season

By Mike Manson

Last year the Society submitted a grant application for $1,200 to the Union Pacific Foundation for funding of replacement panes for CP 29’s clearstory windows. In early February the Foundation notified us that they will not be able to fund our project due to budget limitations. Being turned down in our request this time is unfortunate. But we will apply again this summer for funding of the pedestal pattern and castings. As received from Channel Lumber in 2012 the four end beams, four wheel pieces, four transoms and eight safety beams were sawn to the correct profile but slightly longer than the original pieces. Last fall the ends of each piece were rough-shaped with a large band saw to match the original. Then we began the final shaping. Each tenon has to be trimmed, shaped and beveled on its leading edges, and the corresponding mortise must be enlarged and deepened with hammer and chisel as necessary to get a tight-fitting joint. The process is a slow one because the oak timbers are dense and tough.
This January we continued with the final shaping. A few more work sessions will be needed before all the joints are properly fitted and assembly of the frames can begin. Just as when we worked on Caboose 1, the ten pieces of each frame will go together quickly and be pulled tightly together with new and refurbished bolts and rods.

Photo 1: The young work crew, learning a new craft, lead by Jeff Millerick.
Photo 2: All hands on deck as the beams for the truck frames are being prepared.
Photo 3: Jeff Millerick grinds the end into shape.
Photo 4: Steve Atnip test fits a mortise and tennon joint.

Archives 2013

From The Headlight July-August 2013

Central Pacific 29

Another Grant Application

By Mike Manson

The Society has submitted a Stage 1 grant application for $1,200 to the Union Pacific Foundation for funding of replacement panes for CP 29’s clearstory windows. The Foundation notified us that they may be interested in funding our project, and we were invited to submit a more detailed application for Stage 2 of their funding process. By the time you read this we will have submitted the second application. We may also have received the “Yes” or “No” from the U.P. Foundation.
The requested funds would cover most of the acquisition cost of 20 new panes for the clearstory roof. These would be tempered glass decorated with the oval-and-stars pattern on the original panes. Three of the 18 panes are missing, and a fourth is broken. Eighteen of the new panes would go into new or refurbished sash, while the last two would be kept as spares. The quoted price is $60 apiece, so the 20 panes would cost us $1,200. Sales tax at 9 percent adds $108 to the total price.
If the new panes are funded by the grant we will have them made and then store them in the Archives until one of our woodworkers can make new frames. If our application is denied, then the new panes can wait until the restoration is further along.
Society member Lou Bradas donated several NWP items to the Hogarty Library. In addition to the number plate for 0-6-0 switcher 229 (ALCO, 1914) and the builder’s plate for Ten-Wheeler 142 (Baldwin, 1922), and numerous paper items, Lou donated a basket rack from an NWP coach. The rack is illustrated in the 1913 Car Builders Dictionary. It is a Rex Wire Cord Basket Rack with a removable bottom, sold by the Dayton Manufacturing Company. The company is still in business.
Although the donated rack is of the right vintage to have been installed in our car, it probably wasn’t. When CP 29 and the other five coaches were sold to the NWP and refurbished in 1912, they each received 14 new basket racks. With only seven racks along each side wall above the windows, the racks would need to be double length to provide adequate overhead storage.
Gus Campagna’s photo of a basket rack in Sierra RR coach 2 (ex-CP 43) shows a rack that probably is similar to the racks installed by the NWP shop crew. A suitable rack may be available from Adams & Westlake (Adlake), another old time railroad supply company that is still in business.
The California State Railroad Museum Archive still has valuable data for the Society’s projects. We just located a 1903 drawing of the pedestal needed for CP 29’s trucks. Having this drawing in our collection means that we will not have to make a pattern that is based on some photos. Instead we can give a pattern maker the CSRM drawing, which has all the information needed to create the casting patterns. The result will be a truly authentic set of eight pedestals for CP 29’s trucks.

picture of the baggage rack in Sierra #2
Photo 1: CP 29 needs 14 basket racks like this one in sister car Sierra 2. Photo by Gus Campagna.

picture of the journel/pedestal from Sierrra #2
Photo 2: Plans for this pedestal have turned up at CSRM, so we won’t have to reverse-engineer a design drawing. Photo by Roger Graeber.

From The Headlight September-October 2013

Central Pacific 29

The Car Reveals Another of Its Secrets

By Mike Manson

As reported in the last Headlight, the Society submitted a more-detailed Stage 2 grant application to the Union Pacific Foundation for funding of replacement panes for CP 29’s clearstory windows. Unfortunately we will have to wait until February for the Foundation’s decision. Jeff Millerick and Frank Moraes have been doing the final cutting and shaping of the ends of the oak timbers for the trucks. Dave Dietz and Kevin Cunningham have been chiseling out the mortise holes. After a few more work sessions the timbers will be ready for painting and assembly. Although the Board of Directors decided last fall to set the restoration of CP 29 aside for the time being, we have been gaining Restoration Team members and they need work projects. Disassembly of the interior of CP 29 has been started.

The author used our Speed Heater infrared heat lamp to remove some of the paint from one wall. The old paint is heated enough to soften it for scraping but not enough to vaporize any lead that may be contained in the paint. Where the original paint had been applied directly to wood, the paint came off in long strips. Paint applied over varnish came loose in small chips. Either way, the paint came off faster with the lamp than with liquid paint remover. Too bad we did not have the lamp when we were scraping paint off of Caboose 1.

Dave Dietz removed the few remaining brass window latches and lift handles. Only seven latches and four lift handles remained of the 30 latches and 30 lifts fitted to the windows by the CP and NWP shop crews.
At some point in time the recessed roller shade and head jamb was removed from each of the windows. Plywood boards were installed to fill the openings. Steve Atnip and one of our new student members, Jelani Hall, removed the boards. When the interior is restored we will replace the shades and install solid boards of the correct profile.

When we removed the first window’s sash and jamb components for examination, we were surprised to find two car numbers – 1121 and 123 – stamped into the upper sash rail. These numbers were barely noticeable due to their being completely packed with dust. Steve Atnip found the number ’29’ stamped into the reverse side of the left window jamb, which is one of the vertical boards forming the sides of the window frame. We found the number ’30’ stamped into the right jamb, and also into the upper rail. It appears that the window and hardware components were assembled in sets, and numbered to keep the individually fitted components together. The left and right side jambs are mirror images of each other, identical except for the roller shade end brackets and the bottom cut that allowed the boards to fit over the upper face of the sill. Both boards had the ‘1121’ and ‘123’ stamped on their reverse sides. The ‘1121’ shows CP 29 had been renumbered before the car was fitted with the windows. The second number – 123 – shows the window components were removed and then replaced by NWP employees. This may have occurred in 1912 when the car was purchased from the Central Pacific and prepared for mainline service.

Working on a few cuts
Photo 1: Jeff Millerick contemplates all the cutting and notching required for the oak timbers. All photos by Steve Atnip unless otherwise credited.

Masked Mike removing paint
Photo 2: Maintenance-of-Way paint is being removed from the tongue and groove boards between windows. This area became the Ladies Salon in 1917 or 1918. The vertical notch was cut in to anchor the new wall in position.

paint removal
Photo 3: When it is properly heated the paint applied directly onto wood comes off in long strips.

Factory varnish re-appears
Photo 4: CP 29’s Wason factory varnish sees the light of day for the first time in more than 70 years. Paint on varnish comes off in small chips.

Jelani working on the window frames
Photo 5: Jelani Hall, one of the Society’s newest members, removes a plywood head jamb board. Photo by the author.

Picture of the tops of th ewindows, showing the embossed numbers
Photo 6: CP 29’s second number – 1121 – and its first NWP number – 123 – are stamped into the top of each window sash and into the reverse side of each window jamb.

Removed windows along the wall
Photo 7: All window sash and jambs are being removed as part of the restoration of CP 29. Each window sash will be stripped of paint and evaluated, then repaired and reused if feasible. The missing or severely damaged windows will be replaced. Photo by the author.

From The Headlight November-December 2013

Central Pacific 29

Work Continues on the Trucks

By Mike Manson

We have spent several months working on the truck frames. The oak timbers require a lot of sawing, drilling and chiseling before they will fit together properly. By the time you read this, the Preservation Team will have completed the shaping and painting, and hopefully will have permanently assembled the truck frames. The frames will be stored inside the De Carli Trolley Museum barn through the winter.
Working with the seasoned oak required a mix of modern and classic hand tools. Electric saws and drills, and even a grinding disc, were used when feasible to quickly remove excess wood. But chisels of various sizes are required to form mortises, and these are powered with a vigorous application of hammer or mallet. A timber framer’s slick (a two-handed smoothing chisel) was used by Jeff Millerick to complete the work in some areas. All of the castings from B&O 20 that we will reuse have been sand blasted and painted, and are ready to go. We still need a set of pedestals, so a pattern must be created and eight pieces cast. The costs are estimated at $4,600 for creating drawings and making the pattern, and $4,200 for casting the pedestals. Hopefully we will have a set of castings on the trucks by the end of the 2014 work season.

Working on the big oak beams
Photo 1: The author and Jeff Millerick test-fit the front end-piece onto the truck frame’s wheel pieces (side beams). The stepped pyramid shape of the front end-piece with a gap in the bottom will allow a movable steel rod to control the truck’s brake assembly without reducing the strength of the wood. This photo by Steve Atnip; all others by the author.

Assembled wood truck frame
Photo 2: The first truck frame is assembled but upside down. The mortises in the front and back end-pieces and transoms (center) will hold the tenons of the axle guards or safety beams, which are designed to help support a broken axle.

Working on the sides of the transom beams
Photo 3: Dave Dietz looks on while Jeff Millerick and Richard Fries lay out grooves on the sides of the transoms. The grooves will be scored to the proper depth with a circular saw then chiseled to remove excess wood. Afterwards, support brackets known as spring plank hanger-carriers will be installed in the grooves.

2013-0500 (62K)
Photo 4: Steve Atnip and Dave Dietz chisel out the grooves for the spring plank hanger-carriers. Precutting the grooves with the circular saw makes the chiseling much easier.

From The Headlight Janurary-Feburary 2014

Central Pacific 29

2013 Summary Report

By Mike Manson

Our Restoration Team members began the 2013 work season by disassembling the leaf springs from B&O 20 in preparation for sand blasting, and beginning the layout work for cutting and routing the oak timbers to be used for the truck frames. Work progressed throughout the year. The springs, castings and many of the fasteners have been repaired as needed, sandblasted and painted, and are ready for installation. The timbers have been cut, routed and chiseled as necessary to form the required mortises, tenons and grooves, test-fitted, then painted black. At our November work sessions, some of the refurbished castings were fastened into position on their timbers.

In his metal-working shop Jeff Millerick welded the broken equalizer bar. He also heated and straightened all four of the equalizer bars. These had been curved by the B&O shop crew to make use of short coil spring sets. When our trucks are reassembled they will be fitted with coil spring sets of the correct length.

In late June we started to disassemble the interior of CP 29. The work included removal of window sashes, and pulling up sheet metal plates that were nailed over holes in the floor boards. When we removed some of the window sashes and jambs we found two car numbers – 1121 and 123 – stamped into the upper sash rails as well as into the reverse sides of the jambs. The ‘1121’ shows CP 29 had been renumbered by the Central Pacific before the car was fitted with the windows. The second number – 123 – shows the window components were removed and then reinstalled by NWP employees. The later numbering may have occurred in 1912 when the car was purchased and prepared for NWP’s mainline service.

Removal of the sheet metal over the king pin holes revealed a generic 6″ round brass cover plate set into position above each hole. The recessed central area of each plate had contained numbers and perhaps letters but these had been chiseled out. Kyle Wyatt of the California State Railroad Museum provided a photo of an identical cover plate from Sierra Railroad coach 1 (formerly CP 1160, built 1869). That plate had what appears to be a pattern number in the recessed area. The same car had a second cover plate (now missing) reportedly embossed with “CENTRAL PACIFIC” around the circumference and “1892” in the center. This second style of plate may date from when the car was rebuilt with new siding, windows and roof ends in the 1890’s. The “1892” may be the date of casting or more likely is the pattern number. A search of the online catalog of technical drawings in the Central Pacific collection at CSRM revealed that drawings of patterns with these two numbers are not in the collection, but they would date from the early 1870’s.

This spring the Society’s collection of artifacts yielded a genuine Wason king pin cover plate. A tag on the reverse side states the plate came from an NWP interurban car. Based on our roster data, the plate had been fastened to the floor of one of six coaches built for the San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad in 1884 and 1885. These cars were converted into electric trailers for use with the Marin County commuter trains. The round plate is cast in brass and painted with red enamel, well-worn but still serviceable. When the time comes, we will have to choose the style of plate to use in CP 29: Wason, Central Pacific or generic.

The Society submitted a Stage 1 grant application for $1,200 to the Union Pacific Foundation for funding of replacement panes for CP 29’s clearstory windows. The Foundation notified us that they may be interested in funding our project, and we submitted a more detailed application for Stage 2 of their funding process. Unfortunately we will have to wait until February for the Foundation’s decision.
The California State Railroad Museum Archive provided a 1903 drawing of the pedestal needed for CP 29’s trucks. In 2014 we intend to order a pattern based on the CSRM drawing, which has all the information needed to create a truly authentic set of eight pedestals for CP 29’s trucks. The pattern and castings will be ordered as funds become available. The costs are estimated at $4,600 for creating drawings and making the pattern, and $4,200 for casting the pedestals.

King pin cover plate exposed
CP 29 had a pair of brass king pin cover plates hidden beneath sheet metal patch plates. Numbers, or possibly letters, in the recessed center area have been chiseled out. These may have been removed by an NWP shop worker. This photo is by the author; all others are by Steve Atnip.

Painting the truck timbers
In our last October work session Jelani Hall, Dimitri Kosdrosky and Richard Fries began painting the truck timbers. In the background, Jeff Millerick selects the next timbers to be painted.

Painted timbers all in a row
Richard Fries looks over the day’s work. All timbers are black, which is prototypical for Central Pacific and Northwestern Pacific cars of this era.

Picture of the spring-plank hangers
The metal brackets are spring-plank hanger-carriers. There will be one at each end of a transom, and two transoms within each truck frame on either side of the spring plank. The tenons of the transoms fit into the mortises of the wheel piece in the foreground.

Drilling lots of holes
November arrives, and it is time to assemble some components. Jeff Millerick begins drilling bolt holes for mounting the spring-plank hanger-carrier to the transom. All technical terms are defined in the 1895 Car Builders Dictionary, which is available for downloading at

Tightening bolts
Jelani Hall tightens the nut on the first 3/4-inch bolt. Two are needed for each hanger-carrier.

Metal reinforcement
An end-piece plate is clamped into position to reinforce and protect the front end-piece. Four bolts will hold it in place. The recessed area is on the end of the truck that faces the center of the car. It allows passage of the upper brake-lever connecting rod into the truck interior, where the rod attaches to the live truck-lever to actuate the brake beams.

Archives 2012-2013

From The Headlight July-August 2012

Central Pacific 29

Plans for This Summer’s Work Season

By Mike Manson

The Restoration Team has been concentrating on disassembling B&O 20’s wood beam passenger trucks and completing Caboose 1. Because of those two projects, and the occasional rainstorm, CP 29 has been kept covered this spring. It was partially untarped for the Annual Dinner on June 9. In a couple of weeks B&O 20’s usable metal truck components will be sent out for sandblasting. The wooden frame pieces will be duplicated with new oak. Assembly of the truck frames should be done later this summer.
As time and crew size permit, the car will be completely uncovered and the rolled roofing removed to expose the car’s terne metal roof. Hopefully there is little damage to the metal roof other than nail holes.

CP 29’s roof is still covered by rolled material installed by Dutch Muckelow. The Restoration Team intends to remove the material this season to examine the clearstory roof. Both photos by the author.
Thanks to the 65-mph trip from Redwood Valley to Petaluma, much of the rolled roofing was blown off the car ends. The metal plates are Terne metal, like the old-style tin cans. They are soldered together.

From The Headlight September-October 2012

Central Pacific 29

Journal Lubrication

By Mike Manson

By the time you read this the new oak timbers for CP 29’s trucks will have been ordered and delivered, and final cutting and assembly will have been started. The creation of a wood pattern for the 1874 Master Car Builder standard pedestal may also be underway. In addition, Restoration Team members have been cleaning and rethreading bolts and square nuts, and repairing or replacing tie rods and metal straps. Actual use of the trucks beneath CP 29 requires lubrication of the axle journals. For generations railroaders used wool ‘waste’, scraps of wool wrapped tightly into 1 inch-diameter ropes that were soaked in special lubricating oil and packed tightly side-by-side into the lower half of the journal box beneath the axle. The oil-soaked wool waste rubs against the underside of the axle, transferring the oil to the metal surface that rubs against the brass bearing as the axle rotates.
After World War II the railroad industry switched from wool waste rope to lubrication pads. Each pad consists of a rectangular core of foam rubber covered by two thick pads of shaggy cotton cloth. When properly installed in the journal box the foam rubber presses the lower pad into the lubrication oil and against the floor of the journal box, and presses the upper, oil-soaked pad against the underside of the axle. Installation of a new pad in an assembled truck’s journal box is complicated. First the journal box must be jacked up to allow removal of the bearing brass and wedge, then lowered to rest on the axle. At that point there is sufficient clearance to remove the wool waste or lubrication pad, and clean out the box. The journal surface is wiped clean. New oil-soaked material, either wool waste or a pad, is positioned in the box beneath the journal surface. The box is jacked up to allow installation of the bearing brass and wedge then lowered back into its final position. If waste is used, more is added as needed. Finally the box is filled with the proper oil. This procedure is repeated for each journal box. To avoid injury in case the box slips off the jack, all work is done with a journal hook and a push bar. The worker’s fingers are never placed inside the box. When the Restoration Team assembled the trucks for P&SR #1 we did not have pads or wool waste available. Instead, the journal surfaces were greased. We could get by without the usual lubrication because the trucks would not be moved more than a few feet at a time. A set of pads was installed before the caboose body was set onto the trucks.
As described above, the procedure to install the pads in an assembled truck is complicated and hazardous to the worker, so we will insert a pad in each journal box during assembly.
Caboose #1’s pads were generously donated by the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction along with 5 gallons of the special fast-wicking oil used for journal lubrication. The Museum no longer has a surplus of the pads we need. We had to find our own supply. At this time there is only one manufacturer of lubrication pads in the US: Hooper Industries in Baltimore, MD. Due to the mechanical breakdown of their specialized machine, all pads must now be sewn by hand. The price per pad is $75. For our project the cost will be $600 plus shipping.

Photo 1: Wool waste removed from B&O 20’s journal boxes will be replaced with lubrication pads. This photo by Steve Atnip; all other photos by the author
Photo 2: From left to right are a push bar, waste hook, oil can, jack support block, pre-soaked lubrication pad and extra oil
Photo 3: After the axle and box interior are wiped clean the soaked pad is pushed beneath the axle. Keep all fingers outside the box!
Photo 4: With the new pad in position the box can be raised up to allow insertion of the bearing brass and wedge above the axle.

From The Headlight November-December 2012

Central Pacific 29

Project Plans for 2013

By Mike Manson

Replacement timbers for CP 29’s trucks were ordered from Channel Lumber in Richmond and the bill paid in August. Jeff Millerick picked up the rough-shaped oak timbers in mid-September and placed on pallets in the De Carli Trolley Museum yard. We are searching for someone with a large-capacity band saw to make the final cuts on the timbers.

As you read in our President’s Message, we have to reduce our expenditures for CP 29 until donations and other income can cover the costs. The Board of Directors voted to place CP 29 third in line for restoration funding and project work. Restoration Team members will assemble the truck frames during the winter and spring months, then cover the frames with tarps. Completion of the trucks will proceed when the pedestals are cast. Our last estimate of the cost for the eight pedestals, cast in the U.S. was $4,200.

In our successful 2011 National Railway Historical Society Preservation Grant application, we proposed to use the Grant Award funds within one year to purchase the oak timbers, paint and steel needed to assemble new trucks and sandblast the usable metal parts. Any surplus funds from the Grant Award would be used for the pedestals and to purchase air brake components, platform timbers and couplers. We received $3,300 from the NRHS and have to match it at a ratio of 1 to 1.

Unfortunately the cost of the oak was driven up by the laws of supply and demand. Little, if any, oak suitable for our project is harvested in California. Our only source of supply is recycled bridge and building timbers, and we found just one vendor in California who could supply what we need. The numerous large, shaped pieces needed for the trucks cost a total of $6,459.75. That price is much higher than the cost of the oak used for Caboose 1, but CP 29’s trucks are 18 inches longer that those of Caboose 1, requiring larger timbers. However, the high cost “eats up” most of the Grant Award (97 percent). By allocating to the Grant Award one half of the cost of flat steel bars ($128.67 of the $257.25) needed for the trucks, we covered the rest of the required expenditure.

To assemble the truck frames (minus the pedestals) requires the metal components be sandblasted and painted. Unfortunately none of the Restoration Team members works at a sandblasting facility. Due to environmental factors (including dust from lead-based paint) and the large size of many components, the Society will not do its own sandblasting of parts.

Our specific projects and costs for 2012-2013 include the following:
1. Mill newly purchased beams: $0 (labor donated).
2. Sandblast and paint castings, tie rods and flat bars: $2,100.
3. Assemble truck frames: $0 (labor donated).

Photo 1: This stack of oak will be turned into a pair of trucks for CP 29. Half of the wood’s cost was paid by the 2011 Restoration Grant Award from the National Railway Historical Society. All photos by the author.
Photo 2: Four new end beams are needed; two with the center notch on top and two without. The center notch is for clearance of the brake rods. The outer mortises receive the side beams and the inner mortises receive the safety beams.
Photo 3: The tenons at each end of this safety beam must be replicated on each of the four new beams for each truck; eight safety beams in total. A steel half-circle is bolted to the underside of each safety beam to support the axle if it breaks. The tenons fit into mortises cut into the end and center beams of each truck
Photo 4: These are only a few of the metal parts that must be sandblasted and painted prior to assembly of the truck frames.

From The Headlight Janurary-Feburary 2013

Central Pacific 29

End of Year Report

By Mike Manson

In November the floor assembly of B&O 20 was completely torn apart, with the metal components saved for reuse under CP 29. Dismantling of the car was necessary to make room in the De Carli Trolley Museum yard for the Christmas tree vendor. Space is at a premium due to our recent acquisition of P&SR boxcar 2 in October.
All of the draft gear and brake system components are stored around the yard, awaiting their turn to become part of CP 29. Some pieces of the wood floor were kept to guide our Restoration Team during installation of the metal parts. The rest was hauled off to the dump. It is a very sad end for what was a beautiful Wason passenger car until the roundhouse roof fell in.

Photo 1: Lauren Williams used his excavator to demolish B&O 20’s wooden floor.
Photo 2: The excavator starts working on the second section of flooring. Much of the wood was shattered by the impact of the collapsed roundhouse roof. To add insult to injury, eight years of Baltimore rain and snow resulted in rot throughout the wooden floor.
Photo 3: One of the Bohoup 3-stem couplers and its support frame is completely removed from the car floor.
Photo 4: The coupler and draft gear will be placed on the timbers next to the stack of rails.
Photo 5: Dimitri Kosdroski and Steve Atnip clean up the debris. This photo by the author; all others by Steve Atnip.

From The Headlight March-April 2013

Central Pacific 29

Work Continues on the Trucks

By Mike Manson

Our 2013 season began in late January with continuation of the restoration work on CP 29’s trucks. The car is still covered with its tarp to keep the rains out.
Jeff Millerick, Michael Davis and Dimitri Kosdroski disassembled the leaf springs from B&O 20 in preparation for sand blasting. Frank Moraes, Gus Campagna and Lauren Williams began the layout work for cutting and routing of the truck side frames. Frank has already shaped some of the shorter pieces.
In his metal shop Jeff straightened the three unbroken equalizer bars. These had been curved by the B&O shop crew to make use of coil spring sets that are too short for the trucks. When our trucks are reassembled they will be fitted with spring sets of the correct length.
Each wrought iron bar was positioned on a heavy steel table so one end was flat against the table top. This end of the bar was then locked to the table using two big C-clamps. A six-foot-long piece of tubular steel was clamped to the opposite end to form a handle. Then the equalizer bar was heated using a very large torch and lots of acetylene and oxygen until the bar was red hot where it was bent. Jeff then pushed down on the extension handle until the bottom surface of the bar was flat against the table. A third C-clamp was fastened to the bar and table. At that time Jeff gave the bar several big whacks with a sledge hammer to reset the crystalline structure of the bar, leaving it permanently straight. This is basic Blacksmithing: heat the bar until it is cherry red in color, then “strike while the iron is hot”. When they cool the bars are ready for sand blasting.

Photo 1: B&O 20’s truck equalizer bars were modified by shop workers to function with short coil springs. The bars have been straightened, and springs of the correct height will be acquired for CP 29. Photo by the author.
Photo 2: Lauren Williams, Frank Moraes and Gus Campagna are measuring critical dimensions of a side beam. The four new beams will be cut to these dimensions. Photo by Steve Atnip.

From The Headlight May-June 2013

Central Pacific 29

A Wason Artifact Is Found In the Archives

By Mike Manson

Our recent move into the new Hogarty Library space turned up a real gem: a genuine Wason king pin cover plate from an NWP coach. A tag on the reverse side states the plate came from a NWP interurban car. Based on our roster data, the plate was fastened to the floor of one of six coaches built for the San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad in 1884 and 1885. Numbered 17 through 22, the cars retained their numbers when the NWP was formed in 1907. In 1911 they were converted into electric trailers for use with the Marin County commuter trains. The trailers were numbered 234 through 239, but not in original sequence. NWP 239 burned at Tiburon in 1921. The other cars were retired December 31, 1930.
The 6″ plate is cast in brass and painted with red enamel. Years of scuffing by boots and shoes wore down the upper surfaces. The center of the plate was pushed down into the king pin hole by the weight of passengers who stepped directly onto it. Sand particles tracked into the car accumulated in the depressed area and were scuffed back and forth, leaving deep scratches.
Russ Clover is working up drawings of the cover plate. We intend to reproduce it as a resin casting. Two copies will be installed in CP 29. Other copies of the cover plate will be offered for sale.
When I examined B&O 20 and 21, and CP 29, none of the cars were equipped with this style of cover. All three had unlettered rectangular plates, which may indicate each car received new floor boards during an overhaul and the original plates were discarded.
Also discovered in the Archives was a brass door plaque: “PASSENGERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAND ON THE PLATFORM”. This plaque, too, will be reproduced for use on CP 29 and perhaps NWP 605.
Work continues on the trucks for CP 29. Frank Moraes, with assistance from Jeff Millerick, continues with cutting and notching the oak beams. Jeff, Steve Atnip, Michael Davis and Dimitri Kosdroski sorted the metal parts and loaded many into Jeff’s truck. These parts have gone to the sand blaster’s shop. When they return, the parts will be painted flat black. The completed timbers will also be painted black. The wheel sets, however, will be left au naturel so any metal cracks will be visible.

Photo 1: This king pin cover plate was cast by the Wason Manufacturing Company for one of six coaches built for the San Francisco & North Pacific. The souvenir cost its donor $30 but it is priceless to the Society.
Photo 2: The plate may have come from electric trailer NWP 234, which was converted from NWP 22. This car was built as SF&NP 22.
Photo 3: This door plate also was found in the Archives. We have no record of the donor for either plate. If you know, please send the information to the author or Society Archivist Gus Campagna.

From The Headlight April 2013

NWP Baggage Car 605

By Mike Manson

Repair work continues on two of the baggage door frames. During conversion of the car to a dwelling these door openings were enlarged by removing a portion of each header. Scott Bowdish, Frank Moraes, Skip Rueckert and Dave Dietz have been measuring, cutting and fitting new posts and planks to make repairs. When these are done, the new doors built by Frank will be fitted into position. Eventually each of the doors will be fitted with a roller mechanism that allows proper operation.
As you know, Baggage 605 lost its trucks when it was retired and sold. The Society has a pair of caboose trucks from the Sumpter Valley Railway that have hardware suitable for use with longer-wheelbase passenger trucks. As this is being written in April the Society is preparing an application for a matching funds grant to the National Railway Historical Society. Like with CP 29, this application, if successful, will help pay for new oak beams for the trucks. We should hear about our application by August.
Later this summer the Restoration Team will remove the existing clearstory deck to replace the rotted and sandblasted wood. All 46 of the clearstory windows will be replaced as well as the window framing and the roof boards. Our goal this season is to complete the woodwork and windows. Next year we hope to install weatherproof roofing material similar to the rolled roofing used on Caboose 1.

Photo 1: Dave Dietz and Skip Rueckert move the new baggage door header into position. This photo and the next are by Steve Atnip.
Photo 2: All of the framing is complete. The newly completed door should be in position by the Annual Dinner on June 15.
Photo 3: Two trucks like the original shown here are needed for 605. They are similar in style to the trucks for CP 29, but use a later style of pedestal. This photo is from the Fred Stindt Collection.

From The Headlight February 2013

From The Headlight February 2013

NWP Baggage Car 605

By Mike Manson

When we rescued Baggage Car 605 from its enclosing structure the platform roofs were conspicuous in their absence. They had been cut off flush with the end walls. Skip Ruekert and Project Manager Scott Bowdish have been examining the end wall framing to determine exactly how the platform roof timbers were anchored into the walls and clearstory roof. Scott built a 1:24 scale model of one end of the car floor and walls to aid in understanding the joinery. Complicating the situation is the one-piece deck end panel above each end door. These panels are full width across the car end wall, extending up to the base of the clearstory deck and about 4 inches thick, with curved upper edges that follow the car’s roof line. Fortunately these panels are in good condition, for they must support the weight of the clearstory deck. The deck sills are the longitudinal planks supporting the clearstory sides, while the deck plates are the longitudinal planks supporting the clearstory roof. Deck posts extend upwards from the deck sills into the deck plates. The clearstory windows are fastened onto the outside of the framework of sill, posts and plate. Rafters extend inboard from the wall plates (along the top of the car wall framing) to support roof planks and the deck sills. Carlines are the cross boards that rest on the deck plates and support the clearstory roof planks.
All of the rafters needed replacement due to rot and nail damage. A few have already been replaced with salvaged lumber, and the remainder will be replaced this work season. All of the existing deck posts and deck plates will be replaced. The upper ¾ inch of the deck sills will be cut off and replaced with wood strips due to damage from paint removal by sand blasting.
The wall plates, deck plates and deck sills must be extended at each end of the car to reconstruct the platform roofs. To gain the necessary length, boards will be spliced together using a scarf joint or half-lap joint. When the extended deck sills are fastened to the replacement deck plates and posts, roof rafters and carlines along the walls, the resultant car body framework will be very strong.

Photo 1: The amputated platform roofs will be reconstructed with salvaged wood. The clearstory deck sills are set into notches in the one-piece deck end panel above the door.
Photo 2: The truncated platform roof carlines projecting out of the clearstory end carline will be replaced with new pieces that curve down to support the platform roof.
Photo 3: Project Manager Scott Bowdish built this ½-inch-scale mockup of one end of the car floor framing. Side and end wall framing will be added, then roof plates and sills. The mockup will be used to determine the layout of the platform roof carlines for Car 605. All photos by the author.

From The Headlight December 2012

NWP Baggage Car 605

By Mike Manson

Since the last issue of the Headlight the Restoration Team had only a couple of work sessions before the end-of-year shutdown, so there is not much to report.
Frank Moraes, Jr., built four new baggage doors out of Douglas fir. Each door has four tempered glass windows above the midline and three recessed panels below the midline. They will be finished with tongue and groove paneling when new siding is purchased for the car. A pair of roller brackets (left and right) will be cast for each of the doors. Scott Bowdish has been shaping new exterior door posts for the damaged baggage door opening. Forty-six new clearstory windows will be built to replace the badly deteriorated originals. Unlike CP 29, the windows for this car are fixed in place. When it is restored, ventilation of the car will be accomplished using the single roof vent and four operable windows on each side.
Our baggage car is the only known surviving example of a car built at NWP’s Tiburon shop. Please donate what you can afford to help the Society restore Baggage Car 605.

Photo 1: Frank Moraes, Jr., built this door and three more for use on Car 605. Photo by the author.

From The Headlight June 2012

NWP Baggage Car 605

Work Plan for 2012

By Mike Manson

No work has been done so far this season on NWP 605, and like CP 29 it was kept under wraps until the Annual Dinner. Last fall we pulled out the interior paneling because it had been sandblasted. NWP 605’s interior framing is now exposed, showing where the windows were repositioned by a previous owner. Several of the inverted truss rods were cut to allow the windows to fit flush against the wall posts. These rods have to be repaired so they will support the car ends. Replacement windows will then be set in the original locations.

One original sliding side door remained with the car. It is being used as a pattern to build replacements for the three missing doors. The damaged door posts also will be replaced.

We removed the original canvas roof last fall. Damaged or missing tongue-and-groove roof boards and all 46 of the clearstory windows must be replaced. Fortunately we found several of the original style window frames to use as a pattern. In addition, the platform roofs must be completely rebuilt. We will use the framing of CP 29’s roof as a guide. When the framing is completed the entire roof will be covered with the same type of sheet material used on P&SR Caboose 1.

NWP 605 NW corner cutout small window frame and cut truss rod & brace

Remodeling by the homeowner resulted in cutting the siding, wooden braces and inverted truss rod to accommodate a window and other fixtures. The paint primer-coated boards shown here were installed by an NWP shop crew. The boards on the car ends are bare, indicating the car was not painted during its construction until installation of the original siding boards was completed.
Photo by the author.

Due to rot and damage, all of the clearstory window frames and glass must be replaced.
Photo by Steve Atnip.

Archives 2010

From The Headlight March-April 2010

CP 29 Begins Its Move to Petaluma

By Mike Manson

The NWPRRHS has begun the process of conserving and restoring a vintage wooden coach we believe to be Central Pacific Railroad 29. This car served on the Central Pacific for about 50 years before its sale to the NWP in 1912. The coach continued in revenue service as NWP 123. It was downgraded to Maintenance-of-Way status in 1936 and renumbered MW241. Eventually it was retired and put up for sale.

About 1958 or 1959 the car was sold to Dirl “Dutch” Mucklow of Redwood Valley in Mendocino County. Railroad workers removed the truss rods and couplers. The car was lifted off of its trucks and hauled 8 miles north to Redwood Valley. Dutch had Car 29 set on blocks at his property on East Side Road near the Redwood Valley station. He cut two doorways in one side of the car to access a lean-to bedroom structure. When a tree branch damaged the roof Dutch installed a wood frame and covered it with corrugated sheet metal. Then he built an entry porch and washroom at one end of the car.

The present owners, Ken and Cricket Mucklow, are Dutch’s son and daughter-in-law. Ken lived in it for several summers before going into the service. After their marriage the Mucklows lived in the car for a number of years in the 1970’s. After they moved out the car was used as a rental property.

Ken and Cricket generously donated the car to the Society as a memorial to Dutch. On Saturday, April 3rd, several Society members drove to the car and started removing the materials covering it. This work session was videotaped by Roger Graeber. Another trip followed on April 10. One or two more trips will be needed to complete the work and prepare CP 29 for its relocation to Petaluma.

Ken Mucklow stated that when the car was bought, three other wooden cars were for sale at the Ukiah yard. The largest was a Pullman too big to move by highway without special permits, so it was burned for its metal. The other two coaches were hauled away by their new owners, like Car 29. These two wooden coaches may still be in the vicinity of Ukiah awaiting their turn for discovery and restoration.

Last August the Society received a “matching” grant of $4,500 from the National Railroad Historical Society. The grant is for moving Car 29 to its new home at the De Carli Trolley Museum in Petaluma, and to help fund the acquisition, transport and rebuilding of a pair of appropriate wood-beam passenger trucks. We are still looking for trucks, so if you know where we can get them, or the locations of the two missing Ukiah cars, please contact the Society’s Restoration Team leaders: Jeff Millerick, Scott Bowdish or Mike Manson

From The Headlight July-August 2010

CP 29 Comes Back To Petaluma

Central Pacific 29/NWP 123 is now at the De Carli Trolley Barn

By Mike Manson

CP 29 was donated to the Society by Ken and Mary Mucklow, but there was one problem: it still had a tenant who had lived in the car for 9 years. It took a number of months for the tenant to find another home. The Mucklows’ tenant began moving out of Car 29 on Saturday, April 3. We received permission to start tearing off the add-on porches and carport. Restoration Team members went to work with saws, hammers and pry bars. By the end of that day the carport, entry porch, laundry room, fencing, propane tank and hot tub were gone from around the car. A demolition permit was obtained on Tuesday. The following Saturday saw the removal of the bedroom and roof structure. Our third work session was April 24. The crew moved appliances out and picked up the remaining yard debris.

The Phil Joy House Moving Company of Crockett was asked to bid on moving Car 29. Phil inspected the car and submitted his bid, which was accepted. Half of the cost of the move is covered by a grant from the National Railway Historical Society. We planned for the car to be loaded onto his truck about two weeks later (Saturday, May 15), and moved the next day. Restoration Team members were ready to go back on May 14 to do the final preparations for moving Car 29: cut off the rear door entrance deck, and install internal bracing. We wanted to be certain the car would not collapse. But then the pace picked up. On Thursday, May 5, Phil called and asked about moving the schedule forward a week. He wanted to load Car 29 the next day and bring it to Petaluma that Saturday. “Not a problem.” Fortunately Gus Campagna and I were available to install the bracing and observe the car being loaded.

Phil and his crew slid a pair of steel H-beams beneath Car 29. Four hydraulic jacks, two to a beam, lifted the car off the blocks it had sat on for more than 50 years. No sagging occurred – if there is rot or termite damage in the floor sills the bracing compensated for it. Backing the trailer under the car proved more of a challenge because a small tree was blocking direct access. There was enough room to work around the tree and save it for the Mucklows. Lowering the car onto the trailer and tying it down took only a few minutes. Torch-cutting the two beams to the width of the car took a few minutes more. Now Car 29 was ready to head south on US 101 to its new home in Petaluma.

The next day Gus and Jeff Millerick headed back north to observe the move. Car 29 left Redwood Valley at 10 AM. It arrived at the De Carli Trolley Barn just after noon. Total distance: 86 miles. Lauren Williams moved Petaluma Trolley’s 25-ton GE diesel locomotive No. 5 and Fairmont track gang car No. 6 down the P&SR main line on Copeland Street. Phil’s driver easily backed the trailer through the De Carli track gate into the space where Caboose 1 had been restored. The same four jacks lifted Car 29 up off the trailer. After pulling the trailer out of the way, Car 29 was set down on three steel support beams. Lauren moved the loco and track gang car back onto the siding. No. 5 then gave a long blast of its air horn to welcome Car 29.

Now the restoration begins. First things first: remove the bracing and the false ceiling below the clerestory roof, clean up the car interior, build entrance stairs and platform, and remove the paint concealing car numbers and lettering. Then a quick inspection and inventory of what will be needed to restore Car 29 to service. We have to hurry, because the Annual Dinner is on June 19, just 6 weeks away. That means just two Restoration Team work days before Society members come to visit. And some of the team members will be working on Caboose 1 to make it ready for display.

From The Headlight September-October 2010

Restoration Begins for CP 29

The Society’s Central Pacific Coach Is Now in Petaluma

By Mike Manson

The Restoration Team began its work as soon as CP 29 was set onto its support beams. During the following week Skip disassembled the wood bracing. Steve Atnip began the long process of pulling off the housing materials still attached to the car. There were hundreds of screws, nails and staples to be removed, along with a nest of red ants inside one window frame. He also started stripping paint off the interior surfaces. A week or two after its arrival in Petaluma, just in time for the Society’s Annual Dinner, Gus and Skip Ruekert built a “permanent” staircase at each end of the car. CP 29 will be at this location for several years, and good access is needed.

Our car’s identification numbers are now fully documented: “29” is exposed above the south door’s exterior frame (Central Pacific 29); “1121” is stamped into the back sides of both clerestory end panels or ventilators (CP 1121); “NWP 123” is lettered on the front side of each ventilator (Northwestern Pacific 123); “242” is visible on the siding below the middle window on each side of the car (NWP MW 242). The first three numbers match those listed by Fred Stindt in his book. The fourth number indicates a mix-up in the records for the maintenance-of-way cars. NWP 123 was listed as becoming MW241 instead of MW242.

Rain caused significant damage to the clerestory’s interior paneling, so we will leave the composite roofing material in place. This winter the car will be covered by heavy tarpaulins. The Restoration Team will start repairing the roof next year. CP 29 has 15 rectangular windows on each side. Eleven of the windows are missing the jamb, sash and glass entirely. These will be built from scratch. Two more are missing the glass. All existing windows will be removed, repaired as necessary and reinstalled. While inspecting the car we discovered that instead of using putty to retain the glass in position, railroad car shop workers tacked small half-round wood strips along the edges.

Early photos of the Wason cars show they were built with arched windows and board & batten siding. The rectangular windows and tongue & groove siding were installed in our car about 1885. The empty window openings have vertical grooves and small bushings, which indicate the car was built with the window sashes installed in what are now the “rough openings”. An 1860’s photo of a Wason car leaving Oakland, published on the Web at , shows these early cars had two windows at each end, one on each side of the door. By putting a camera into the south wall’s chimney hole we were able to photograph physical evidence inside the wall that proves CP 29 was built with arched end windows and these windows later were replaced with the rectangular windows. The end windows were removed and the openings covered at an unknown date, possibly when the car was converted to MOW service in 1936.

Both doors are original to the car and look identical to the door in the old photo. The original locations for the keyhole and door knob spindle or shaft are the same as shown in the 1860’s photo of the Wason car. The old photo also shows the car door had a pair of round-top windows like CP 29. Only one of the four glass panes in our doors is unbroken. The north door is severely damaged near its lower hinge.

The car is missing its two trucks, all of the north end’s platform and most of the south end’s platform. Both truss rods are cut off below the car, and the queen posts are missing. The entire brake system – air reservoir, cylinder, piping and hoses, brake wheel staffs, chains and levers – are gone, as well as the couplers. All of the seats, toilet facilities, oil lamps and the coal stove were removed many years ago. These railroad materials were taken out by the NWP’s shop crew before the car was set on blocks in the Ukiah yard. Why was the car detrucked? Now that CP 29 is on support blocks, we can see that each truck center plate has a broken outer rim on its south side. Evidently the car received a hard impact on its south end while the brakes were locked and the wheels chocked. The center plate castings could not withstand the force of the impact, and snapped their rims. Repair costs could not be justified on this old car. Because the body was in good condition it was turned into stationary housing.

While our car was used as a house two bedroom access doors were cut through the west side. The inverted truss rod, a rectangular steel support bar running the length of the car below the windows and supporting each car end, was cut out at each of these openings. The window, siding, wood framing and support truss assembly were also cut out. The Restoration Team will level and square up the car’s frame, then replace the missing wood pieces, repair the inverted truss rod and install a new set of truss rods.

Ken Mucklow told us that a “flash-over fire” ignited inside the south wall near the stove chimney hole. The local volunteer fire department cut the redwood tongue and groove siding open to extinguish the flames. The exterior wall was patched with plywood. Some of the interior boards still have burned ends.

Research into CP 29’s history is continuing. We should have more to tell about it in the next issue of the Headlight.

From The Headlight November-December 2010

Central Pacific 29

Its Structural Framing and Support

By Mike Manson

Since CP 29 arrived in Petaluma it has undergone an extensive evaluation of its physical condition, its design and construction, and repairs and modifications it received while in service. The evaluation is not complete, but we have learned a great deal about the car.

CP 29 is an open platform wooden passenger car designed and built in the 1860’s. Its structural framing and support system consists of numerous components, some of which are missing from the car.

  • Six horizontal floor sills extend the length of the car. From outside to inside they are the side sills, intermediate sills and center sills. They are separated by bridging blocks. The two center sills transmit the pulling and pushing forces from coupler to coupler. Two car end beams connect the floor sills. They are 6¼ inches wide and 8¼ inches high. The sills are mortised into the end sills.
  • Numerous ¾-inch sill tie rods extend through the car sills from side to side, clamping the frame pieces together.
  • On each side of the car, two corner posts and 30 window posts support a top plate that extends horizontally across the upper ends of the posts. The end walls each have four window posts and two door posts as well as the corner posts. These also support a top plate.
  • Sill-and-plate rods, which are vertical steel rods within the walls, clamp the sills, posts and plates together.
  • A truss plank or spring plank extends along the base of each interior side wall. These 3 inch by 12 inch planks are set on edge onto floor boards that in turn are set upon the side sills. The spring planks are bolted horizontally to the window posts and vertically to the side sill. They stiffen and reinforce the side sills.
  • Two steel inverted truss rods, one on each side of the car, extend from beneath the floor at each corner post upwards through the side sill and wall at a steep angle, then bending to extend horizontally along the outer face of the window posts just below the windows. Their purpose is to support the car ends and prevent them from drooping. The rod ends are round and threaded for a heavy nut. Within the wall the rod is flattened, and measures 7/16″ in thickness by 1 7/8″ in width. One of the rods was cut in two locations when the outside bedroom was added to the car.
  • Side braces and brace straining rods are located within the wall spaces below the windows. The purpose of the side brace/brace straining rod set at each window is to laterally support the window posts that in turn are supporting the inverted truss rods. Each side brace extends diagonally across the space, from just below the window post-belt rail joint downward to the opposite window post-side sill joint. Braces are arranged such that most of the brace tops lean away from the nearest car end and towards the car’s midpoint. The last two braces at each end of the wall lean towards the corner post to brace it. Brace straining rods are vertical steel rods that extend through the upper ends of the braces downward through the side sills. Each rod pulls the upper end of its brace downward, thereby forcing the upper brace end against its window post and the foot of the brace against the opposite window post’s side sill joint.
  • Two needle beams, each 4 inches high and 8 inches wide, extend across the undersides of the floor sills. They are spaced 42 inches from the midpoint of the car. These beams are supported at each end by two square-head bolts recessed into the tops of the side sill and by washers and square nuts beneath the beam. Bolted to the underside of each beam was a pair of cast iron queen posts, one at each end of the beam. The queen posts were cut off when the car was taken off of its trucks.
  • A pair of 1¼ inch-diameter steel body truss rods should extend the length of the car below the needle beams, next to the side sills. CP 29’s truss rods were cut off where they exit the underside of the car. The truss rods are 75 inches apart on center. When complete, each truss rod consists of two half-length rods that are connected between the queen posts by a turnbuckle. A large nut and washer should be located at the outer end of each rod but they are all missing. Truss rod diameter is increased ? inch to ¼ inch at each end to allow cutting of threads without compromising the strength of the rod.
  • The queen posts set on the underside of the needle beams vertically separate the truss rods from the beams and transmit tension forces upward to the beams as compression to support the floor sills. The queen posts were 92 inches apart on center along each truss rod. Sierra 2 (CP 43) has queen posts that are strikingly similar to those of CP 12 when it was built at the Wason factory.
  • The clerestory roof is shaped and supported by carlines extending across the car body. Ceiling panels conceal the carlines in CP 29. Externally the carlines are covered lengthwise by wood planks, steel plates and waterproofing materials. Windows are set into the sides of the clerestory roof to provide light and let out smoke and stale air.
  • Floor boards extend along the length of the car parallel to the sills. These 1-inch-thick tongue & groove boards are between 2 inches and 7 inches wide. Bridging boards or cross connector boards extend across the tops of the car sills, to support the floor boards.
  • Tongue & groove boards extend across the underside of the car from sill to sill. These boards comprise the deafening ceiling, which is installed below the floor boards to reduce noise. The ceiling boards are supported by 1-inch-thick nailing strips that in turn are nailed to the lower portion of the sill sides. Like most passenger cars CP 29 had a platform at each end. The platform sills were mortised into the outer faces of the end beams and the inside faces of the platform beams. Steel rods were used to pull these platforms tightly against the end beams. CP 29’s north end platform was cut off. Its south end platform sills are still in position.

To summarize, CP 29 is a box consisting of a wooden frame that is clamped together by steel rods, supported across its width by two wooden beams, and supported along its length by two steel rods that push the beams and floor up and two steel rods that pull the ends up. The frame is covered by interior and exterior wood planks on the four sides, floor and ceiling. Overlapping boards along the sides keep out wind and rain, but to keep passengers dry the wood roof must be covered with waterproof materials.

From The Headlight January-February 2011

Central Pacific 29

End-of-Year Report

By Mike Manson

The Society shares the De Carli Trolley Museum space with Petaluma Trolley. The yard space also is rented out to a Christmas tree vendor, so our last work session of the year was November 20. All of our work had to be completed by the end of that day, including covering CP 29 and NWP 605 with new tarpaulins.

CP 29 needs a pair of wood beam trucks. In September the Society purchased a pair of ex-CB&Q passenger/caboose trucks from the Sumpter Valley Railroad in Sumpter, OR. Trucker Charley Lix brought them to the De Carli Trolley Museum yard on October 18, a few days after the deadline for the last issue of the Headlight. To make room for the Christmas tree folks we planned to place the trucks on some temporary track behind CP 29. The large pile of dirt Lauren Williams had scraped off of the Trolley Yard pavement was in the way of the new track, so the dirt had to be pushed over to the location of the scrap wood pile, which also had to be moved. Usable wood was restacked by the paint shed, while the rest was dumped. A week before the trucks arrived Lauren, Scott Bowdish, Steve Atnip and I laid the new track.

The trucks look the same as those we rebuilt for Caboose 1. NWP’s 1919 roster shows CP 29 used the same size journals (3¾” by 7″) as the Sumpter Valley trucks. Their wheel base is 5 feet long. CP 29’s truck wheel base was 6 feet 6 inches. All of the oak beams must be replaced with new wood, so lengthening the side frames by 18 inches will not be a problem. The steel equalizers and tie rods can be either lengthened by welding or replaced with new pieces. Castings and other metal pieces will be sandblasted and reused.

In researching CP 29 we discovered the California State Railroad Museum archive in Sacramento contains numerous technical drawings of components installed by the Central Pacific Railroad on its fleet of older wooden coaches during their working lives. As an example, a train air signal system was devised to allow crewmembers to communicate while a train was underway. Headlight editor Fred Codoni confirmed the NWP used this signal system. Copies of drawings of the system components and others that apply to CP 29 were purchased. One of the drawings contains full-size profiles of several trim pieces used inside CP 29 when it was being rebuilt as CP 1121. Others show the hand brake hardware arrangement on open platforms of passenger cars, the platform box steps and the standard passenger car water cooler. Many of these components will be reinstalled on CP 29 as its restoration progresses.

The Central Pacific Railroad Collection at the CSRM library also contains two documents that are important to discovering CP 29’s hidden past. The first is an 1890’s-vintage Central Pacific Railroad Company list with “placed in service” dates and purchase prices of their rolling stock. This document shows the “placed in service” date for CP 1121 as July 1861. CP 1121 was originally CP 29. In his book about the NWP Fred Stindt shows NWP 123 (CP 1121, CP 29) as being built by Wason in 1861. Unfortunately his source of information was wrong.

The second document is the CPRR’s Record of Invoices covering purchases in New York by C.P. Huntington for shipment by boat to Pacific Coast, April 1863 to August 1869. This “Record of Invoices” contains an entry for CP 29, dated June 25, 1869. The Central Pacific Railroad paid Wason Manufacturing Company $5,000 for its new car, and another $5,000 for CP 30. These two cars were part of an order for 75 passenger and baggage cars. The first group of cars – CP 11, 12, 13 and 14 – were paid for on April 12, 1869. Cars 15 and 16 were paid for on April 24. These and the other cars were sent via the newly completed Overland Route from Omaha to Sacramento. The first two Wason cars to arrive – No. 12 and No. 16 – rolled into Sacramento on May 12 as part of Governor Stanford’s returning train. CP 29 arrived in July and went immediately into service.

From the September-October 2008 Headlight

P&SR Caboose Restoration Project
Are We Over the Hump?
By Jeff Millerick
When our workdays begin, we pull off the tarps and we all stand back, enjoy our coffee and doughnuts and agree “she looks great!” We’ve made the transition from “what did we get ourselves into?” to “we’re now on the downhill side.”
Letter boards are on. The end doors have been installed. Both end platforms are in place with end rails. Grab rails have been fitted, making sure they are straight and uniform.
Installation of the marker lamp brackets is close to completion. Skip Ruckert has finished the window frames and they’re installed. The frames that hold the glass are also competed, painted by Mike Manson, and ready for glazing. What a beautiful job Skip did on these frames! Thanks, Skip.
Lloyd Butler is still working on the cupola. He took on a serious project: no square corners, the windows are either trapezoid shaped or leaning in at the sides with the ability to slide. We’re lucky to have your talents, Lloyd.
The last three work days have been away from #1. We all felt that the body is going so well we needed to get a jump on the trucks stored in Sebastopol.
So, let’s see if you can be confused with this:
When we purchased #1, it had no trucks. We had the opportunity to buy the hardware from two truck sets. The oak frames had rotted and been thrown away. The trucks were missing wheels and bearings, but all the rest of the hardware was there. We jumped at this purchase opportunity. Later, we located two more complete trucks with the same manufacturing time period – 1896. Also, they were the correct trucks for #1 – a one-in-a-million long shot. These trucks had broken, missing and home-made parts and the wood was usable only for patterns.
We decided to disassemble the worst one of the two complete trucks, leaving the better complete one as a reassembly model. Now there are piles of pedestals, castings, truss rods and cast washers for holding all wood together. There are square-headed bolts, nuts and lock nuts. Later we will need to know which way everything went – did they go up or down, with the nuts on the top or bottom?
After disassembling one complete truck and removing the wheels and brass from both trucks, we now have three complete sets of hardware to inspect for wear cracks and then use the original parts. We picked the best springs and journal boxes and had to make a trade with the complete truck frame to get a full set of matching pedestals – eight in total, all good. We now are ready for the sand blaster.
All of this took three working days in the hot sun with heating torches, large wrenches, sledge hammers and a forklift – a lot of hard work and sweat!
There’ll be plenty of left over good parts for all of this which we can possibly use on our next project.
Well done, preservation crew!

From the July-August 2008 Headlight

From the Sawhorse of the Restoration Crew
To Work We Don’t Go
By Jeff Millerick
Our February 23 work day was rained out (a little R&R). March 8 – clear skies. Off come the tarps, out come the coffee and donuts. Many tasks to do. Charlie Siebenthal, Skip Ruckert and Gus Campagna go to work on the inside west wall. We are now using new tongue and groove material as all the old T&G has been used up.
Mike Manson and Harold Mentzer have a pile of material primed and ready to go and now prepare to prime the letterboards and upper roof drip edge. Loren Williams takes on the job of fitting the new butt timbers that go between the body and end horn timbers make of oak with a steel face. Scott brings out the end doors and patiently goes to work scraping, filling and sanding – one side at a time. They are looking good.
Don Brewer, John Schwirtz and Joel Allen keep a steady pace scraping paint on the overhead beams. Don Cabrall’s son Bill, who is visiting from Colorado, jumps in also, good clothes and all. He wraps his shiny shoes in rags and starts painting. Thank you, Bill Cabrall. Every little bit helps.
By the end of the day the inside west wall is sheathed except for the miscalculation of four boards. The letterboard and roof edge boards have a heavy coat of primer. Scott is close to getting the first coat of caboose red on his doors and Loren amazingly has the mortises all chiseled into the oak horn timbers (south end), with the tenons fitting perfectly at the body end also. We all go home tired.
March 22: To work we go again. By 10 A.M. everybody is raring to go and already in motion. Mike is setting letter boards and drip edge boards for their first coat of caboose red. Dave Turner moves the window frames out of #1 and sets them up for their second coat of red. Mike and Dave team up to paint. Gus, Charlie and John Schubert go to work on the scaffolding, closing up the roof edge in preparation for the new letter boards and drip edge. Two of the letter boards are being used by me as a straight edge and saw guide to trip the new siding at the bottom edge of the body. The siding was deliberately left one and a half inches long to accommodate a straight trim at the ends, leaving the siding 5/8-inch below the side body timber so that water will drip free at the bottom siding edge.
Loren is back at it with the new south end timbers, treating them with some real bad wood preservative (bad = good). Soon bolt holes are being drilled and steel tie rods are being driven into place. Next comes the good feeling tightening square nuts for the last time. Get them as tight as you can, then give them another half turn. A job well done, Loren! The south end is ready for couplers and decking. Another good day.
April 5: I am out of town but Gus has a full crew on hand. A safety meeting is held and the work begins. Gus, Charlie and Skip begin the long-awaited task of installing the letter boards – a lot of careful fitting to be done. A 45-degree vertical miter joint at the center, then 20 feet each way, the cut-outs at the two roof ends to accommodate the roof end platform overhangs with little wood to spare from the two vertical grain clear 20-foot boards. One more finishing touch.
Dave Turner goes to work with the needle gun, preparing the steel at the north end for straightening and paint. Loren and Harold wrap up the last of the inside west wall sheathing. Scott is back on the end doors. Mike and John Schwirtz are now standing on the new south end platform readying the end wall for primer and paint. We now enter #1 from the south end. A lot was accomplished.
While we all enjoy the hard work and feeling of accomplishment in saving history for posterity, we also enjoy The Headlight with its stories and photos of us taking part in this preservation effort. The person who is almost always there on the job site, making it possible for others to share in our efforts, is never seen – the man behind the camera. We have been very fortunate to have a gifted photographer with us throughout t his project, recording our efforts with such clarity that you can see the sawdust coming from the saws. We all thank Don Cabrall for his time and expert work. You may not appear on camera, Don, but your work is very much appreciated. Don will be taking a little time off for medical reasons. So as soon as you can, Don, put that wide-brimmed hat on and come back soon. [Sadly, Don passed away October 15, 2008.]return to top