Ingot Mold Train

Ingot Mold Train

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The 58's Whistles

When built the J&L locomotives came equipped with 2" whistles placed at the front right corner of the saddle tank.  The one good photo that we have of the 58 in service shows a 2" three chime whistle, which looks very similar to Nick Hovey's three chime Crosby.  Nick has loaned to us the Crosby which will be placed on the 58 as our primary whistle.

However, we also wanted to place a second, larger whistle on the locomotive.  Fitting the bill for this is a cast iron five chime that came to us as part of the trade to the Lake Shore Railway Museum for an 80 ton GE locomotive.  This whistle is an oddity, and we think it may have originally came from a railway in Africa.  To mount this whistle a new bracket had to be welded on top of the saddle tank.  When the saddle tank is placed on the locomotive a flexible steam line will be installed to connect it to the steam dome. 

We tested the five chime on steam this past weekend, and it sounds very good! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March, 2017 Progress Report

The restoration of the J&L 58 and the construction of the J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad is progressing rapidly at the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum.

In February the 58's frame returned to us from Reichard Industries in Niles.  At Reichard the new front plate was welded onto the frame and the replacement rear frame extension was also attached.  This heavy welding was beyond our ability to accomplish on site and so we thank Keith Reichard and his employees for stepping up to get this work done for us.

The frame has been returned to the YSHM and now sits on flatcar 722 in the enginehouse.  The first piece to be attached to the locomotive to commence the reassembly was the smokebox door so that the 58 once again has a "face". 

The design of the new front has changed a bit from the original much heavier design.  We shaved some weight off of the front end while preserving the appearance of the original locomotive. The curved pilot is a piece of 3/8" plate rolled to the correct radius and will be welded in place on the front plate. 

Mike Kovach, President of City Machine Technologies in Youngstown offered the company's services to overhaul the 58's drivers.  The drivers are equipped with large Timken roller bearings, however due to the construction of the driver sets they could not be inspected without pressing the drivers off the axles.  CMT took the driver sets to their shop, pressed the drivers off, disassembled the boxes, removed and cleaned the bearings and components.  The bearings are in good shape and will be reused when the driver sets are reassembled.  The tires were also reprofiled on CMT's vertical boring mill. 

We also must give our thanks to Paul Lyden at Lyden Oil for once again coming through to help our efforts.  Lyden Oil donated a drum of steam cylinder oil and 10 gallons of heavy gear oil for the driver boxes.  We should be in good shape for lubricants for the 58 for a long while! 

The piston and rod sets have been cleaned up and machined by Iures Machine Shop, located literally next door to the museum on the south side.  We have two piston rings to replace on one side before these will be ready to place back in the cylinders.  

Work on the fabrication of the new cab is also continuing.  That work is being done in Rick Rowlands' garage in Coalburg.  A video detailing the work being done to recreate the cab has been posted to Youtube. J&L 58 Restoration Part 7

The 58's boiler is currently at JS Company in Middlefield, OH.  Work has started on retubing and refurbishing the boiler and we expect it to be returned to us within the next couple of months. 

Building The Railroad

While the locomotive is being rebuilt, attention is also being given to the construction of the main line which will extend to the north property line.  We do not have much property so the main line will only be about 250 feet long.  Turnouts will be installed so that the 58 can be used for switching demonstrations.

The first section of track to be built this year is the section over our rear roadway which will become a grade crossing.  We used up all of our 100 lb. rail on this piece of track, and from that point going northward we will be installing the 115 lb. rail donated by Rivers of Steel and previously installed at Carrie Furnaces.  

The next step was to peel off the topsoil and lay down a roadbed of steel slag.  P&T Leasing, our neighbor to the east dug the right of way and laid down the aggregate for us.  Thanks to Ted and Don for doing that for us! 

Now that the roadbed has been constructed, work will soon commence on laying ties and building track 150 feet northward to the north property line.  We have enough rail on site to complete this track and soon will have enough ties as well.  A couple of donors are providing tie plates.  

With spring just around the corner we expect construction activity to ramp up, and plan to have the mainline finished by the time the 58 is ready for its first runs in the fall.  We are still confident of being able to operate for the first time at our fall open house on Sept. 23.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

J&L 62 in Colorado

Four of the J&L 0-4-0Ts still exist in various locations across North America.  One of them, J&L 62, resides in Colorado in private ownership.

J&LNG crew member Nick Hovey was able to visit the 62 last summer, and here are some photos of it in its current condition.  The locomotive was purchased direct from J&L, brought to Colorado and stored inside, so it has much less corrosion damage than 58 as well as retains many of its original fixtures.

 The reverse quadrant on the later versions have a few more notches, as opposed the the 58's three notches.  We will be adding the additional notches to the 58.

 Drifter valve
 Thick tires
 The original Garfield injector
 Backhead badge plate
 Safety valves

 Non movable grates

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Seldom Photographed J&L Porter Locomotives

Today a new photo of one of the J&L South Side Works Porter 0-4-0Ts appeared, which brings to four the number of photos existing of these locomotives in service.  There
 are actually five photos total including the builders photo of 58 which appeared in the 1941 Locomotive Cyclopedia.

This is the 58's builders photo, taken by HK Porter at the Porter plant.  Apparently the original of  this image exists in the NMRA Porter photo collection, but is currently inaccessible as the collection is being relocated to the California State Railroad Museum.

This ad, found in a steel industry trade publication in the early 1940s show the 57, 58 and 59 at work.  These photos give us a few more details that we are missing and will help in the restoration project. The one thing that we notice is that in two of the three photos the safety valve is popping off, indicating that these locomotive had no problem generating steam for the service they were in.  The photos also give us a glimpse of what the ingot mold cars and the idler cars looked like. 

The latest photo of the 59 gives a little more insight into the design of the tender, as well as a look at the slightly different ingot molds with hot tops being handled.  

Unlike traditional railroad locomotives that operated out where they could be viewed by the public, the Porters operated exclusively behind the walls of the South Side Works and away from the cameras of railfans.  Perhaps a few more photos of the Porters exist, and if so we would certainly like to find them! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

J&L 58 Locomotive Restoration at One Year

The restoration of the J&L 58 reached its one year milestone on December, 30, 2015.  On Dec. 30, 2014 the 58 was delivered to Youngstown Steel Heritage after a couple of months work in constructing the first section of the J&L Narrow Gauge Railway Youngstown Line. Here is a recap of the first year of restoration of the 58.

Here is the 58 being unloaded on December 30, 2014.

The current status of the J&L 58 as of the end of December, 2015.

We quickly learned that both wheelsets were stuck after removing the side rods and the drivers still did not move.  With the drivers being roller bearing equipped, it was feared that the bearings themselves were seized.  After much heat, jacking and consternation we got both drivers broken free and learned that the grease seals outboard of the bearings were seized, not the rollers themselves.

With the drivers freed up the 58 was winched around our tight 40 ft. radius curve toward the enginehouse.  

The 58 sitting in the framework of its enginehouse still under construction.  

By March most of the siding was on the enginehouse and I started doing some investigations into the condition of the boiler. The bolts holding the smokebox to the saddle were removed and more running gear parts taken off for refurbishment. 

The tubes were removed and the interior of the barrel cleaned out.

We found the 58's saddle tank and a spare set of drivers west of Pittsburgh.  This saves us much work in trying to build a tank from scratch, and the spare drivers were found to be in much better condition that the drivers under 58, so they will be swapped out. 

In April Youngstown Steel Heritage received donation of an Alco S2 diesel locomotive, McDonald Steel 777, We took a five month hiatus from working on the 58 to return the 777 to operating condition.

In September work resumed on the 58.  The boiler was lifted off of the frame and the cylinder saddle area was cleaned up with the old studs removed.  

Condition of saddle before removal of corrosion. 

The boiler was hauled up to JS Company in Middlefield, OH for rebuilding by volunteer Mike Gray.

Being unloaded at JS

Pete Jedlicka found the 58's smokebox door and brought it to us.

Work began on constructing the new cab

The rear driver set was successfully broke free from the frame

The top of the saddle tank was cut out and replaced with a removable access cover.

The smokebox door was restored and an authentic Porter number plate found and applied.  The number plate was donated by Preston McEvoy.

A new tender was constructed using a riveted scrap bin from the Labelle Nail plant in Wheeling, WV.

The completed tender, waiting for finish paint.

The frame was jacked up to remove the drivers.

The driving boxes were stuck to the frame so they had to be chained to the rails during the lift.

Rear driver set being rolled out. 

The "spare" drivers were set up in a jig at Carrie furnaces to be broken free, reprofiled, cleaned up and readied for installation on the 58.