Ingot Mold Train

Ingot Mold Train

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.