2012 Arizona and Pacific RR Current Projects



Arizona & Pacific RR Projects 2012

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          This page of the website follows projects taking place at the Arizona and Pacific Railroad and gives visitors a chance to see the progress that was made in 2012.




January



01/01/12

          After bragging about our weather last month, December has been a cold and wet month out here. We had a special day planned on the 18th with the children and grandchildren of some long time friends and had arranged for a surprise visit from Santa Claus in the engine house. A day and a half of rain and some really cold temperatures placed the event in jeopardy and several hours of rain on the 18th caused the event to be cancelled. Maybe Santa Claus will be able to visit next year…





Allan Herschell S-16, Flagstaff and Middle Verde No. 37


          Malcolm Mackey the CFO and Superintendent of the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad was in town from Flagstaff on Dec. 10 and visited the A&P to check on progress on the “Bumble Bee”. He made several laps on the recently rebuilt engine and was pleased with the level of progress thus far.



Malcolm

Malcolm Mackey runs his Bumble Bee engine at the A&P RR





Malcolm

Malcolm Mackey visits the A&P RR



          We have had an intermittent fuel problem with the “Bumble Bee” that we have been trying to resolve. At times she runs great and at times is starved for fuel. Whenever we have the meters and gauges out she runs great of course and when we have friends over and are talking about how well she runs - she won‘t. Well, we finally got it figured out – the fuel regulator was intermittently bad. We finally figured that out by installing a “T” fitting in between the fuel regulator and the carburetor and using a pressure meter to monitor the output. After resolving that issue, we had her running for about five hours on the 26th and she ran great.



Fuel Regulator

New Fuel Regulator in the Bumble Bee S-16







Miniature Train Co. G-16, No. 582


          We continue to have some issues with minor vacuum leaks on No. 582. We think we have identified the remaining minor leaks and will work on getting them resolved early in 2012. We did modify our hard plumbing to the hand valves to allow longer flexible hoses; this modification allowed us to improve the alignment of some downstream fittings and hoses.



G-16 Hand Valves

New hoses on the G-16 Hand Valves







Construction Projects


          We were gifted two really cool cast railroad signs recently. I sank a 4 x 4 metal post where the one will be mounted and will add a brick pillar matching those already constructed at various places along the A & P. The pillar will be finished next year as will be a special mounting bracket for the sign. I hope to have it mounted in January. After a fresh coat of paint, the second sign will be mounted on an existing post also (hopefully) in January.



Post Hole

Post Hole for New Sign Post





Signpost

Sign Post for New Cast Sign





New Signs

New Signs



          I have been working on the wood planks leading from the loading platform to Verde Jct. There are actually two sets of planks as two tracks are crossed to reach the new sitting and story swapping area. The planks for walkway one were ripped, routed, cut to length, sanded, sealed, drilled and installed earlier this week.



Planks

Planks for the New Walkway



          I started on walkway two and part way into its construction, I changed my mind on the design. The change meant cutting out the welded flat bar and repositioning same, removing the six original ties and replacing them with longer specially cut and angled ties, boxing the front of the transition step to keep ballast from spilling onto the platform and creating a hazard, cutting angles on the planks and shaping two of them around the start of the curve. It took two of us almost two full days to get everything torn out, reworked and assembled. I still have some minor modifications to make to the previous block work that is necessitated by the change in the plank design. Those changes will get made next month.



New Walkway

Preparing to Add Planks to the Walkway





New Walkway

Walkway During Construction





New Walkway

New Walkway





New Walkway

Walkway to Verde Junction



          I finally got the rest of the gravel moved out of the front yard and in place as ballast on the mainline and sidetracks in the backyard. In addition to the gravel pile moved from the front yard, I also purchased ten additional tons bringing the recent total amount ordered to 61 tons.



Gravel Pile

Gravel Pile



          I started a side track leveling and reballasting project this month which will probably take two months to completely finish as I am growing just a bit weary of moving gravel in every minute of my free time. The latest pile of seven tons sits off to the side of the driveway and will be used to finish all the new ballasting of the sidetracks in the rear. I should have enough to finish or at least come close. Even though I have had my fill of moving gravel, all by hand, there are significant advantages to moving it this time of year. Most notable, it isn’t 116 degrees…



ballast

Moving the Ballast





ballast

New Ballast Being Staged







Engine House and Displays


          We were gifted two oil cans for display in the engine house. We acquired two Miniature Train and Railroad Company advertisements from 1952 and 1954 this month. After they are mounted, they will go on display in the engine house.



Oil Cans

Oil Cans





Advertisement

Miniature Train Company Advertisement



          With all the great electronic sales taking place around Christmas, I managed to find a nice flat screen TV that fits just right on the TV shelf in the engine house. One of my friends said it is starting to look as much like a “man cave” as it is an engine house… I am okay with that; the bowl games look great out there in high definition…



New TV

New TV Set in the Engine House



          Dave acquired and added a new Park Train builders plate to our collection and display.



Builder's Plates

Builder's Plate Display







Misc.


          We are coming up on ten years (June 2002) that we have been maintaining this website and updating it on a monthly basis. When we started the website, there were dozens of sites where owners shared their projects and information on a regular basis. Of the handful of remaining sites, only a couple update and they only do so on a semi-regular basis. We are contemplating some changes to this site in 2012, but will continue to update on a monthly basis – at least for now.

          I will be uploading my 8th Arizona and Pacific Railroad Annual Report (2011) in the next couple of weeks so you can check back and look for that.

          As many of you know, I have been in the negligence industry for more than thirty years and involved with park trains for close to twenty. Every time there is an accident in any industry, you can count on the calls from well-intentioned, but ill-informed people for the government to legislate, regulate and mandate changes within that industry. Following a couple of accidents earlier this year, there has been the expected knee jerk reaction about amusement train rides. I have heard some people even inquiring about whether the government should require seat belts, helmets or air bags to make park trains safer. Really?

          Nearly all accidents, not just amusement park train accidents, are caused by operator error. Inattention, carelessness, fatigue, haste and speed account for the lion’s share of mishaps. Legislation and regulation don’t eliminate operator irresponsibility and carelessness.

          Again no matter the industry, after an accident, the equipment operator rarely accepts responsibility and almost always claims a lack of training, no access to operating manuals, a lack of certification, improper supervision, etc., etc., etc. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard this worn out attempt to deflect blame from the negligent party, I would have enough money to buy a dozen more park trains… If there had just been more training, the operator wouldn’t have been so irresponsible and careless… Really?

          I don’t know of any legislation or regulation that would effectively keep an operator from going way too fast and endangering the lives of his/her passengers if the operator chose to do so. The auto and trucking industries have plenty of that legislation and regulation, yet people die in speed related auto/trucking incidents every single day.

          Some regulation, especially relating to steam boiler inspections makes sense, but implementation of national operating standards only makes sense to the same simple-minded people that find those warning labels on hammers, buckets and brooms helpful and informative. Please!!! And it is a slippery slope. Maybe the government should mandate a standard gauge, standard wheel height, standard tire width, standard coupler, standard horsepower etc. for all park trains…

          In the business, we refer to it as the “dumbass principle”. It doesn’t matter what the product is, eventually some dumbass will turn up that is able to injure himself and/or others with the irresponsible use of that product. Of course, he won’t be at fault… If we just had some more government regulation… and he had some more training… and more supervision…and another manual…

          Slow down and stay safe.

          Happy New Year and Safe Railroading Everybody!



Happy New Year

Happy New Year







01/08/13 We recently added our 2012 Annual Report Click here to view it



01/25/12

          The 2011 Arizona and Pacific Railroad Annual Report has been published.

Click here to see the 2011 A&P Annual Report






February



02/09/12

          January was a great month for weather out here and it enabled us to complete our side track ballasting project. I live in a housing development surrounded by a block wall. The rock companies dump my gravel deliveries in the front yard or if I am here to sign the liability waiver they will dump the material on the concrete driveway. There just isn’t an easy way to get all the gravel into the backyard and to the right spots on the A & P. The gravel gets shoveled into buckets and the buckets dumped into the F & MV ballast car. I’m not sure how many buckets it takes to move 30 tons of gravel, but it is a lot!

          Then the ballast car is pushed as close to the needed location as possible and then the gravel is shoveled out of the car and either spread or the car is tipped if a great deal of ballast is needed at a specific location. Yes, I know it isn’t rocket science, but it sure makes me envy those guys that have a Bobcat and can get it in everywhere they perform track maintenance work.



Gravel

Completed side track ballasting



          There are still a handful of ties that will be replaced this spring and the customary track maintenance tasks, but at least the ballast is all moved and in place!





Allan Herschell S-16, Flagstaff and Middle Verde No. 37


          We didn’t work on No. 37 at all this month, but did have her out running for several laps.





Miniature Train Co. G-16, No. 582


          As many of you know, our G16 was near being scrapped when we found her. She had been stripped of all the mechanical parts and some of the sheet metal parts. It has taken us many years to find and acquire or fabricate all the missing parts. As we work through the restoration and reassembly process it reminds me of the old Johnny Cash song “One Piece at a Time”. For those of you unfamiliar, Cash sings about working in a Detroit auto plant and stealing one piece of a car each day and taking it home. After 30 years, he and his friends start to assemble it and some parts don’t match very well…

          We have parts off of probably a dozen G16s that are coming together on No. 582. The G16 was manufactured by MTC for 11 years and then by the Allan Herschell Co. for 13 years. Tooling and patterns were worn out, damaged and lost and outside vendors changed over the years. The parts all look alike, but just like snowflakes each is slightly different depending on the year and place of manufacture.

          We spent quite a bit of time this month getting our drop in seat modified to fit correctly. We had to trim sheet metal in several places and filled several holes that didn’t align with anything on our frame. We have four angle iron tabs to weld in place and tap this month and new holes to drill to mount the seat assembly. We also rebuilt the “glove box door” locking mechanism below the seat. Many of the models didn’t have this feature; it gives access to the area under the seat to store some basic tools.



G-16 Seat

G-16 Seat



          We also cut and fit several pieces of channel to secure the wiring and trim out the cockpit area.

          We also started fitting the extruded aluminum pieces for the front lower nose. We drilled our holes with even spacing and mounted them with stainless steel, button cap bolts. The button cap bolts have more of a rivet look and are more of the look I am after. It’s a little thing, but it is the first thing you see. We also mounted our OEM set of front grab bars. In the next couple of weeks, I'll get the front number boards remounted. They have been off and on a few times as I keep working to perfect the fit.



G-16 Nose

G-16 Trim







Construction Projects


          As I shared last month, we were gifted a really cool cast “Look Out for the Locomotive” sign which is double sided. I wanted it to be located at a place where both sides were readily visible and where it would be seen by most visitors. I decided on the location and sank a 4 x 4 metal post last month.



Sign

Recently installed sign



          This month we finished the brick pillar around the post so that it matches those already constructed at various places along the A & P. My initial thought was to weld a flat top plate on the post and then a simple mounting bracket to hold the sign. However, all of our other posts have a cap on top and the real railroads had unique brackets that held their signs to their vertical posts. So we set about figuring how to have a cap on top of the post and design brackets to mount the sign that have the look and feel of the way the railroads did it a hundred years ago.



Sign

Traditional railroad sign bracket





Sign

A&P railroad sign bracket under construction



          This is the type of project that drives me crazy because I spent hours and hours on this little project and after everything is painted almost all of the people who visit will notice the sign and almost none will notice the brackets… I still have some painting work to complete, but you see an “in progress” photo. I really think it adds to the ambience.

          It is easily removed from the mounting brackets and will still be utilized at the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad when we help host open houses at that location.



Sign

Sign in use on the F&MV RR







Engine House and Displays


          Three of the advertisements we acquired the end of last year came back from the framing company that dry mounted them on foamcore and we now have them on display in the engine house. A few years ago I acquired the two original printing blocks from the widow of a Miniature Train Company employee that were used in printing a recurring advertisement. They are on display next to a very similar ad. I love finding and preserving this stuff!



Advertisement

G-16 advertisement and printing blocks





Advertisement

Large G-16 advertisement





Advertisements

Advertisements added to the corner display





G-16 Display

New advertisement added to the G-16 display case







Misc.


          About three years ago, my neighbor to the rear planted a palm tree about 18 inches from our rear block wall. He stated he did it to block his view of my unsightly engine house from his patio… With the irrigation water we receive and all the sun here, trees grow like weeds. The palm tree grew so much that the trunk of the tree had expanded into the wall itself and created a banana shape wall, cracked the foundation and had cracked several of the blocks jeopardizing the structural integrity of that section of the wall. The tree had to come out which my neighbor finally agreed to handle. I arranged to have the section of wall removed, the footer repaired and the wall replaced utilizing many of the original blocks. I had someone else do the actual work so my neighbor couldn’t haggle about the value of my time. It looks pretty good and is again straight, solid and sound.



Wall

Block wall damage caused by palm tree





Wall

Palm tree cut but not yet removed





Wall

The palm tree caused the wall to bow





Wall

Block wall being repaired



          Dave and I made a minor modification to Rock Creek Trestle (trestle No. 1) this month. The MTC and AH equipment has always handled both the mainline and sidetrack just fine, but our two gons are much lighter. When backing onto the main from the sidetrack when the gons were empty, the gons sometimes climbed off the rail just before the points where the track gauge was about 1/8 of an inch too narrow. We spent an afternoon sizing and cutting spacers and getting the space between the rails exactly 16 inches at all points through both sides of the switch and seem to have that problem solved. The lead truck on the gons didn’t always derail, just on occasion and only with no weight in the cars, but there is never a good time to be rerailing a truck… It is good to have this intermittent problem resolved.

          I participated in a work day on the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad on January 28. We had great weather for this time of year as it was sunny and about 60 degrees in Camp Verde. After most of the work was completed, F & MV engine No. 1 rolled out of the engine house and made numerous runs over the last couple hours of the event. She is a great running engine and I always enjoy having the opportunity to do a little rail polishing with her.



Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR

Malcolm Mackey at his Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR





Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR

Taking No.1 for a run after the Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR work day





Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR

F&MV RR Engine no. 1 at the Eden depot



          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!




02/26/12

          December 15, 2012 will be the ten year anniversary of our first run over the Arizona & Pacific Railroad. To celebrate we've added a new section to our website which will contain a number of articles on the construction of the turntable, water tank, trestle No. 5, trestle No. 1, transfer table, the very first construction on the Arizona and Pacific and a few other topics. Some of these projects date back to the mid-1990s long before we had monthly updates – or even the website. We hope you enjoy reading about how this all got started.


Click here to see the construction article page


March



03/11/12





G12 No. 377 joins the A & P


          For several years I have contemplated purchasing a MTC G12 or an E10 to add to our collection. I am not going to lay an additional rail or add any permanent additional track in 12 or 10 inch gauge, but might place some of the original 12 inch gauge panels for an occasional event. My real goal is to restore a G12 engine to as close to original condition as possible and display it in our engine house.



G-12

G-12 For Sale in Florida





G-12

G-12 For Sale Photo



          I have always struggled with the thought of acquiring a G12 train for the purpose of displaying the engine and then splitting up the set by selling the cars that I just wouldn’t have room to display except maybe an observation car. Recently I found a G12 for sale in Florida that was just the engine and no cars. I bought the engine and arranged to have it crated and shipped out here to Arizona. It arrived a few days ago – gosh did those guys build a crate – it must have had 80 screws in the lid!

G-12

Bubble Wrapping the G-12



G-12

G-12 No. 377 Being Crated in Florida





G-12 Crate

Crated G12 Arrives in Arizona



          The engine is Miniature Train Company engine No. 377. We believe it was manufactured in Rensselaer, Indiana in 1950 or 1951 If any of you have corrected or more detailed information, please let me know. It is missing a number of key parts and will require some TLC to get her to look the way I would like, but as I stated earlier I have wanted a G12 or E10 for quite some time and I am pleased to have No. 377 on the A & P.



G-12 Crate

Uncrating G12 No. 377 at the A&P RR



          The primary components I am missing and looking for are: the front drive truck which is not original on this unit, the front drive line, the original motor with both clutches, the roof-mounted horns and the throttle handle. Ideally, someone out there will have replaced the original motor and dual clutches set up with a new unit and modern technology and have the original sitting in the corner of a shed somewhere. If any of you know the location of any of these parts shoot me an email. I may also need a few photos so if any of you are G12 owners and would be willing to provide photos again, please let me know.

          I would still like to track down an original E10 one day and add that to the collection too, but one thing at a time.





Allan Herschell S-16, Flagstaff and Middle Verde No. 37


          We didn’t work on No. 37 at all this month, but did have her out running for several laps on February 26 when we had several visitors and provided train rides. No. 1 was also placed in service and everyone had a good time. The fuel regulator on No. 37 is performing well and has solved the intermittent fuel issue that plagued us early after her reassembly.



Bumblebee

Dave Takes the Bumble Bee S16 for a Run





Bumblebee

Flagstaff and Middle Verde No. 37 Running at the A&P RR







Miniature Train Co. G-16, No. 582


          As many of you know, our G16 was near being scrapped when we found her. She had been stripped of all the mechanical parts and some of the sheet metal parts. It has taken us many years to find and acquire or fabricate all the missing parts. The cowl panel we have is not original to this engine and is about 3/8 inch wider than the one that would have been original to our unit. Close observation indicates that these units were made in two pieces and custom fit to each engine. Next month we will cut it down the middle, fit it from each side, shape the joint and reweld the top flat bar as they would have done at the factory in 1948 when she was built. It should give us that factory fit that we are seeking.

          Once again, it demonstrates the “snowflake principle” that Dave and Malcolm have espoused for years - The parts all look alike, but just like snowflakes each is slightly different depending on the year and place of manufacture.

          We did make a few final adjustments to the cockpit and she fits in place very nicely.

          The three roller bushings in our throttle vacuum canister assembly were shot. All were badly worn and each had flat spots from years of lack of lubrication. The effect was not allowing a smooth throttle transition throughout the complete RPM range. We had three new bushings machined a couple of months ago and finally got them installed this month – what a difference! The transition is smooth as a baby’s bottom now.



Vacuum Throttle

Completed Throttle Vacuum Canister Assembly



          We are having an intermittent problem with the Bendix throttle valve. It doesn’t leak any vacuum in the idle or full throttle position, but leaks if positioned in between. I have it off again trying to figure out where the problem is… getting that valve just right is going to wear us out!





Shop/Construction Projects


          We rebuilt another transmission this month. That means new gears, bearings, seals, o rings and machining the case to allow another o ring around the shifting shaft to help eliminate one of the usual leak locations. It is wrapped in plastic and back on our parts shelf just in case we need a replacement for one of our current trains or we may use it in a future S16 rebuild project.

          As I shared last month, we were gifted a really cool cast “Look Out for the Locomotive” sign which is double sided and a “Stop, Look Listen Sign”. The “Look Out for the Locomotive” sign was in great shape and is already in use on the railroad. The “Stop, Look Listen” sign badly needed repainted and lettered. I also acquired a “Yard Limit” sign last month that also needs painted and lettered. I hope to get going on those projects in the next few days. We have a great place for both of them on the railroad after they are painted



Stop Look and Listen

Stop, Look and Listen Sign





Yard Limit

Yard Limit Sign







Engine House and Displays


          Nothing was added this month to our displays in the engine house.





Misc.


          Spring has definitely arrived in southern Arizona. The trees are in bloom, flowers are beautiful and dandelions and weeds are out in full force. That means pulling, digging and spraying now to make things easier, or at least more manageable, later in the year when it is warmer. The rabbits are much more active now that the wind is blowing blossoms off the fruit trees; I see the rabbits out back eating almost every morning and again in the evening. The rabbits have no worries with my Dalmatians who have zero chance of ever catching one, although they do on occasion chase one across the yard. A couple of weeks ago I had a coyote in my front yard when I got home from work and the rabbits go on full alert when any of the coyotes are around – and for good reason.



Peach Tree

Peach Tree in Bloom





Flowers

Springtime Flowers





Rabbit

Rabbit Enjoying Springtime in Arizona



          There are still a handful of ties that will be replaced this spring and the customary track maintenance tasks that still need completed, but we are in pretty good shape for the upcoming summer.

          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!




April



04/16/12





Miniature Train Co. G12, No. 377


          We only received one power truck with our G12 and it was a mess. We got it apart this month and made an assessment of the missing, damaged and mismatched parts. Hopefully, we will get it hot tanked, bead blasted and powder coated next month and reassembled the following month. The bearings were all seized, seals were shot, woodruff keys and one inspection plate were missing and there were several broken welds on the flat bar portion of the frame.



G-12

G-12 Power Truck



          Whether acquiring a G12, G16, S16 or product from another contemporary manufacturer, the trains are fifty years old or more and this is pretty much the condition you expect them to be in although from time to time you might be pleasantly surprised. Within a few weeks, this truck will be just as it rolled out of the factory 62 years ago.

          We are still looking for a second G12 power truck, if you come across one that is available please get in touch with me. It doesn’t have to be perfect…

          We received some additional information from our friend Carey Williams helping us narrow our best guess as to the construction date of No. 377. He shared with us that No. 361 was sold by MTCRR in June of 1950 and in November of the same year No. 393 was on display at a sales convention. It looks like July of 1950 is our educated guess for her construction date. If you have information that helps narrow it down more or know where it might have first operated, let me know





Miniature Train Co. G-16, No. 582


          Last month, I explained that we were having an intermittent problem with the Bendix throttle valve. It didn’t leak any vacuum in the idol or full throttle position, but leaked if positioned in between which is where it will normally be positioned. We had it off yet again and thanks to our friend Jerry Graves it is finally working like a brand-new unit. Just about every part in it has been replaced; it works great and doesn’t have even the slightest leak in any position!

          We cut away the flatbar connecting the two sides of the cowl panel and refit the two sections. We tack welded a strap and bracket to each side so we could pull them tightly into shape and mark and drill the new mounting holes. The straps were then removed and the cowl sanded smooth. As soon as we have time, we will mark our lines and shear both halves. Then we will align and re-weld a matching piece of flat bar in place. I tracked down a partial sheet of 3/8 inch square hole perforated sheet metal that matches exactly the original material used by MTC for the side screens and the top cowl treatment. We will get two pieces sheared to size and replace it on the cowl so that part of the cowl should look like new. I will have a couple of extra pieces sheared for use on the B unit so we will have them when we get to that project.



G-16 Cowling2

Reshaping the Cowling





G-16 Screen Material

G16 Screen Material



          We have been talking about this forever, but our friend Jerry Graves designed an ingenious parking brake system for our G16 that utilizes the existing brakes. The brakes are mechanically activated on both wheels of the front axle of the engine’s rear truck. The four brake shoes on the two wheels are activated by a parking brake lever off a scrapped late 70s Trans Am. No, we won’t be going with a Smokey and the Bandit theme on this project, it just happened that the emergency brake lever was available for the right price and was the dimension and type of handle we were looking to utilize



G-16 Parking Brake

G-16 Parking Brake Design



          We purchased a new cable and housing and modified both significantly to get the exact fit that we sought. It completely locks up both wheels on that axle. It will work great while building vacuum at the beginning of the day or later in the day after the vacuum pump and engine have been off for the while and the vacuum has bled off.



G-16 Parking Brake

G-16 Parking Brake Cable





G-16 Parking Brake

Installed G-16 Parking Brake







Shop/Construction Projects


          We have two fluid clutches apart for rebuild. One is ours and one belongs to a friend. We may have yet another one arriving in another week or so. We will bead blast them, replace the bearings, seals and “O” ring and get them back together next month.



Fluid Clutch

One of Two Fluid Clutches Being Rebuilt





Fluid Clutch

Second Fluid Clutch Being Rebuilt



          I finally got started painting and lettering our newly acquired “Stop, Look Listen” and “Yard Limit” signs this month. Neither is finished as I can only paint so much at a time without dragging my hand through the wet paint, but at least progress has been made. I am looking forward to getting them finished and mounted out back as I think they will really add to the look.



New Signage

Hand Painting the New Signs



          I started gathering the parts for the restoration of our MTC crossing gate. Our unit is complete (I think), but the parts have been scattered among several boxes in three of our storage buildings since I acquired it several years ago. I also have to figure out a clever was to display it in the engine house so that it isn’t in the way. It will likely be a late summer or fall project if I can locate all the parts. The big parts are easy to find, the smaller components not so much… I have gotten much better over the past twenty years at labeling and organizing the stuff I drag in here, but I am still looking for a few things for other projects that I know I have here somewhere… in a safe place… smile.



MTC Crossing Gate

MTC Crossing Gate Electronics





MTC Crossing Gate

MTC Crossing Gate Base





MTC Crossing Gate

MTC Crossing Gate







Engine House and Displays


          We added two more MTC sale ads to our advertising display and also added another MTCRR Torque Wrench to our engine house collection this month.



MTCRR Torque Wrench

Newest MTCRR Torque Wrench







Misc.


          I am still working on the transition of the four grass areas in the front yard from lawn to xeriscape. Xeriscape means landscaping with drought resistant and low water consumption plants in an effort to conserve water and other resources. If I have picked and positioned all these plants properly, by mid-summer the front yard should be more colorful than ever and using a great deal less water. Once the plants are fully matured, the ground cover ratio is supposed to be 70%. Time will tell as with most things, I am learning this process as I go… Even the desert plants have some pretty amazing flowers and are very colorful.



Xeriscape

Springtime Xeriscape



Xeriscape

New Xeriscape at the A&P RR



Xeriscape

A&P RR Front Landscape



Desert Blooms

Cactus Flower



Desert Blooms

Springtime in the Desert



Desert Blooms

Cactus Blossoms



Desert Blooms

Springtime Desert Flower



Desert Blooms

Xeriscapic Beauty



Desert Blooms

Desert Flowers



Desert Blooms

More Desert Beauty



          I planted two more fruit trees last month – a Red Baron Peach and a dwarf Bonanza Peach; it is a bit late to be planting here as within 6 weeks it could be 120 degrees. I hope they both make it…

          Time and money have been diverted recently to a kitchen remodel that has been in progress off and on for close to twenty years; significant progress has been made since the first of the year.

          National Train Day is May 12, remember to generously support at least one of your local railroad clubs, groups or museums with your time and/or monetary donations. They can all use a little more help.

          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody



Desert Blooms

Springtime at the A&P RR






June



06/10/12

          I have had quite a number of non-railroad projects and a great deal of travel for work that have slowed the railroad projects over the last two months, but we managed to get a couple of things done.





Miniature Train Co. G12, No. 377


          We got our G12 power truck rebuilt, reassembled and painted last month. It looks pretty good and functions great for being 62 years old. We are still looking for a second G12 power truck; if you come across one that is available please get in touch with me. It doesn’t have to be perfect…



G12 Truck

G12 Power Truck Ready to be Reassembled





G12 Truck

Rebuilt G12 Power Truck







Miniature Train Co. G-16, No. 582


          We got back to working on the hood on No. 582 this month. Instead of rods on both sides to support the open hood, we are experimenting with two gas cylinders off of auto hatchbacks to open and support the hood. We have made several versions of brackets and tested cylinders of various psi and lengths and aren’t quite where we want to be yet, but are getting closer to having it all worked out and fabricated. An electric solenoid will pop the hood release.





Shop/Construction Projects


          We rebuilt another fluid clutch last month. This one was for a S16 friend of ours on the east coast.



Fluid Clutch

Rebuilt Fluid Clutch



          I finally got all the black lettering completed on our newly acquired “Stop, Look Listen” and two “Yard Limit” signs this month. All three signs are in place and I think they look pretty good. I have two more “Yard Limit” signs coming that will need painted and will be placed on the opposite sides of the poles where the two signs were recently placed. They will come into play when we travel in the opposite direction from the direction we travel about 75% of the time.



Yard Limit

Yard Limit Sign





Yard Limit

Second Yard Limit Sign



          I am still gathering the parts for the restoration of our MTC crossing gate.

          I know I have been talking about it seemingly forever, but I finally got the lettering on our gondolas measured and matched and ordered the lettering for our two maintenance-of-way trailers. We got the lettering applied on both trailers a couple of days ago - there clearly are a couple of tricks and time-saving steps to applying the lettering and once again we are much smarter after a project is completed than before… It looks good to have the lettering in place and finally have them finished.



MOW

Maintentance of Way car pre lettering...





MOW 22

Maintentance of Way car 22





MOW 21

Maintentance of Way car 21



          There is talk of rebuilding three false drive wheel assemblies this summer for S16s. The work is a little tedious, but I look forward to these sorts of projects.





Engine House and Displays

          I finally got the ceiling vent covers bead blasted and powder coated last week. I will try to find the time to get them installed this month or next





Misc.

          The kitchen remodel project goes on and on and on…

          We saw 112 degrees here for the first time this year a couple of days ago… It saps the outdoor enthusiasm a little bit.



Rabbit

A rabbit enjoys some precious shade on the A&P RR



          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody




July



07/08/12

          While in most of the country the Memorial Day to Labor Day time period is the most active time of the year for park trains, in Arizona that time period is a little different. June, July, August and September are hot here. I don’t mean 102 hot, I mean 113 hot at the weather bureau and 117 or hotter on the unofficial thermometers in everyone’s back yard. In years past, we were not deterred and laid rail through the middle of the summers. As we are getting a little older, less hardcore outdoor activity takes place during the middle of the summer now. Things start to cool off in October and those activities will resume.

          I have had a handful of the desert plants we planted in the front yard as part of our xeriscape conversion project die, but for the most part they are all hanging in there. It takes a year or two to get them established and then they are pretty much worry-free. There are times when I miss having the grass pads out there, but one thing I don’t miss is the $500+ water bills that I had for each of the four months each summer…



Xeriscape

Front Yard Xeriscape





Xeriscape

Xeriscape in the Heat of Summer



          I have had quite a number of non-railroad projects and a great deal of travel for work that have slowed the railroad projects over this summer. I was in Las Vegas on business twice last month for several days each time. I found time to see how progress is coming on Neon Boneyard Park. It is a park that is being built on the north end of town that will display dozens of the old neon signs that used to light up the strip in town. As the casinos closed or signs were replaced with newer signs, the original ones were acquired or donated. Significant progress is being made, but it will not be completed until next year. I think it will be pretty cool when completed.



Neon Boneyard

Las Vegas Neon Boneyard Park





Neon Boneyard

Old Las Vegas Neon Signs





Neon Boneyard

Neon Boneyard Park Under Construction



          I also found time to stop by the pawn shop that is home of the Pawn Stars TV show. I went by several days at various times of day hoping to find a short or no line to get in. The lines wrapped around the building every time I was there; I was told the wait was three hours to get in. Needless to say, I have no idea what the inside of the shop looks like…



Pawn Stars

Home of the Pawn Stars TV Show



          When I was at home, we did manage to get a couple of things done. We got two more yard limit signs painted and installed. Several “slow” and “whistle” signs have arrived and need sanded, primed, painted and lettered. I am also working on signage for our four named locations.



New Signs

New Signs Awaiting Paint



          Dave and I got the four ceiling vents in the engine house installed and they look pretty good and will function well for our needs.



Exhaust Fan

Exhaust Fan





Exhaust Fan Cover

Custom Built Exhaust Fan Cover





Exhaust Fan Cover

One of 4 New Exhaust Fan Covers in the Engine House





Exhaust Fan Cover

New Exhaust Fan Cover Mounted to Ceiling



          We got each of the trains out and ran them for a few minutes just to get the fluids circulating a little bit and keep everything charged. They each could use a good cleaning as we are in dust storm or “haboob” season here and most things have a layer of dust. I will get everything scrubbed up good in September in preparation of running again on a regular basis in October.

          We have several railroad projects in the works; I will share that information as soon as those plans are finalized.

          As those of you that visit this site frequently know, we update the new project section monthly. The main portion of the site, however, hasn’t been updated since 2006 and is badly outdated. We have been working on a major update of the entire site with a number of new additions and some changes. We hope to start making those changes later this month and hope you like the additions and changes.



Bunnies

Furry Visitors Enjoying the A&P RR



          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!

07/22/12

          Check out the water tank construction article we added this week to the Construction Projects page




August



09/01/12

          July and August were super busy months out here and I apologize that I didn’t have the time for an August update. Frankly, I also wanted to wait until the summer’s huge project was completed and could report it that way instead of as a work in progress.





Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad




F&MV RR

Malcolm Mackey's Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad



          Although I own and operate the Arizona and Pacific Railroad, the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad of Malcolm Mackey has been my favorite large-scale railroad for a long, long time. The railroad recreated a narrow gauge line of the 1880's as it appeared during the depression era of the 1920s and 30s. Great effort was spent making new parts and new additions to the railroad appear as though they had been in place for many years.



F&MV RR

The F&MV RR Was Featured on the Cover of Live Steam Magazine in April 1990



          The Golden Spike ceremony on the F & MV was held on September 22, 1991 and Malcolm and Martha Mackey dressed in period clothing for the occasion. The F & MV was never open to the public, but if you got lucky, really lucky, you got invited to one of several open houses they hosted every year for friends and invited guests. In the early 1990s, I was lucky enough to get an invitation and after one visit I was hooked.



F&MV RR

Martha & Malcolm Mackey at Their F&MV RR Golden Spike Ceremony



          The beautiful setting for the F & MV was raw, natural, high desert landscape. Mesquite trees, Creosote bushes and native grasses are abundant on the property. Rabbits, quail and a large owl were residents; an occasional coyote, javelina and rattlesnake reminded you that it was natural habitat and not Disneyland. Great pains were taken to blend this railroad with the existing terrain and vegetation on the site. The famous "ghost town" Jerome was visible on the mountain slope in the distance.



F&MV RR

High Desert Landscape of the F&MV RR



          I can’t begin to count the number of open houses that Malcolm and Martha graciously hosted over the years. I assisted with most of them in a minor way from 1994 on and lost track of the number years ago. Malcolm and others (mostly Malcolm) spent countless hours building and working on that railroad. We joked with each other about the shortage of volunteers on work days and the abundance of volunteers “to help run the engines” on open house days… I loved the operational rules of the F & MV – “My railroad – My Rules”. These are the same operational rules by the way, that have been adopted on the Arizona and Pacific Railroad.



F&MV RR

My Railroad - My Rules Photo in the F&MV RR Engine House



          I also can’t begin to count the number of smiles of young and older that were generated by the F & MV. The grin on the faces of adults when they were allowed to “engineer” for the first time by “velvet throttle” Mackey was always priceless. Watching a new engineer successfully reach Hilltop and then ease her down the grade through the rail yard and into Eden depot was always such a treat. Your first turn as an engineer on the F & MV was such a special moment and memory for those of us lucky enough to have experienced it… It was one of those moments that we could all share and relate to – it is hard to explain, but is undeniable.



F&MV RR

First Time Engineer Enjoying the F&MV RR



          Much like the narrow gauge Colorado railroads that the F & MV was built to emulate, operation of the F & MV has come to an end. The rails, ties, spikes and other hardware have all been removed and the land is for sale. It took several weeks to plan, organize, disassemble and remove the railroad. Much of the physical work took place during two weeks that set record temperature highs in Camp Verde and in Phoenix and it took a toll on all of us involved. You just can’t drink enough water to stay properly hydrated performing physical labor in the sun when the temperature is 116. We were drinking two to three gallons of water a day and Gatorade products on top of that and still having cramping issues – pretty amazing.



F&MV RR

F&MV RR Main Line Removed



          The splice bars were unbolted, the spikes were pulled and the sticks of rail were lifted and placed on a flatcar just ahead of the work crew – much as it was done on the Rio Grande Southern and the Denver and Rio Grande Western many years ago. The only difference is we were lifting the rail by hand and pushing the flat car along ahead of us instead of using a crane and the steam engine to move the flat car.



F&MV RR

Removing the Rail



          Silverleaf Nightshade is already growing between the ties and throughout the right-of-way. With the rail removed, in places the ties are already obscured by the vegetation with its bright purple flowers. The depot, abandoned mine, sheep pens, bridge building and cemetery will have the same fate as so many across Colorado when the narrow gauge rail was removed.



F&MV RR

Nature's Already Reclaiming the F&MV RR Right-of-Way





F&MV RR

Silverleaf Nightshade





F&MV RR

Sheep Pen Overlooking the Abandoned Main Line



          Malcolm has battled a number of serious health issues recently and felt it was the right time to sell the Camp Verde property. Some of the rail has been donated to a non-profit organization and some will be used to expand the Arizona and Pacific Railroad in the years ahead. I helped lay some of the sidetracks of the F & MV over the years and it was sad in so many ways when I was asked to remove the railroad from the property.



F&MV RR

F&MV RR Engines Preparing to Leave the Verde Valley





F&MV RR

On the Highway South





F&MV RR

F&MV RR Rolling Stock on the Arizona Road



          My brother Dave and I took F & MV Engine No. 1 for several runs on the last day of operation in Camp Verde and took a great deal of video that we hope to be able to share in the future. The sights and sounds of the F & MV were special and although the video doesn’t come close to capturing all of it, you can get the general feel of the spectacular little railroad.

          9/30/12 note: The video can now be seen here: F&MV RR's last run



F&MV RR

Last Run at the F&MV RR



          The good news is that the motive power and rolling stock of the F & MV will stay together and stay in Arizona. The new home of the F & MV equipment is the Arizona and Pacific Railroad in Peoria, Arizona. We moved both S-16 engines at the same time on the same commercial trailer and received lots of waves and thumbs up on the ninety mile journey from the F & MV to the A & P in Peoria. Everybody loves the sight of these trains.



F&MV RR

F&MV RR Equipment Arrives at the A&P RR





F&MV RR

F&MV RR Engine #1 on the A&P RR Transfer Table





F&MV RR

F&MV RR Engine #2 on an A&P RR Siding



          A few of the special touches of the F & MV will also be relocated and appear along the A & P right of way. I can’t recreate the F & MV nor should I if I could; it was such a special railroad. I will maintain the equipment as it is and if I can continue some of the feel of the F & MV and some of the tradition that he started in Camp Verde down here in Peoria – Malcolm and I will both be happy.



F&MV RR

F&MV Engine #1 at the A&P RR's Verde Junction



          When we have open houses here, we will offer the same three levels of service that I heard Malcolm describe to his passengers so many times over the years – first class, second class and no class… smile.



F&MV RR

Malcolm Mackey's Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad





F&MV RR

Thank-You Malcolm!



          After it cools down a little bit out here, we have several projects that we will be starting and a few others that we hope to get finished.

          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!




09/30/12

          As mentioned in last month's update we shot video of engine no. 1's final run on the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad in early August. The video footage has been edited and uploaded to the web.
You can see the completed 4 minute video here: Flagstaff & Middle Verde RR last run




September



10/09/12

          The Flagstaff and Middle Verde Equipment had only been run a handful of times in the last five years. I bought new batteries for the F & MV No. 1, No. 2 and the Track Inspection car. I got each of the batteries installed, fresh gasoline in each unit and all the fluids checked and topped off.



Batteries

New batteries for the Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR equipment



          The F & MV RR Track Inspection car had not been started in several years. It had a mouse nest and several petrified mouse remains inside the engine shroud. We got all of that mess cleaned out and drained all the old gasoline. The throttle cable and choke cable were badly in need of replacement and the throttle return spring was broken. A quick trip to NAPA and we had the replacement parts on hand and in place in a relatively short amount of time. She started right up and ran well.



Track Inspection Car

F&MV Track Inspection Car





Track Inspection Car

Running the F&MV Track Inspection Car



          The F & MV had two bench seats that were originally both used in Gondola No. 1. Over the years, we had started using one bench in Gondola No. 1 (gray bench and car) and one bench in Gondola No. 2 (red car and gray bench). Gondola No. 2 had a great deal of peeling paint and is suffering some wood decay as a result; it was badly in need of repainting. I painted the bench seat that we use in Gondola No. 2 red last week and got started on sanding and painting Gondola No. 2 this week. I got two coats of paint on all the wood components, repainted the push pockets and couplers and measured for the new lettering. I needed to get some paint on her before the wood got in any worse shape, but want to be careful not to lose Malcolm’s original theme. I have some paint touch up to complete next weekend and then I’ll get the lettering in place.



Gondola #2

F&MV gondola #2





Gondola #2

Freshly painted F&MV gondola #2



          F & MV engine No. 2 is powered by a Wisconsin engine that runs a hydraulic pump and four hydraulic motors. It is great to operate as you can move in either direction without ever shutting the engine off. Although she has run well, she has suffered from bad fittings and “o” rings and thus has had significant hydraulic leaks for some time. I have started the process of replumbing, replacing the bad fittings, and replacing the bad “o” rings. I should have her back together sometime in November – hopefully, without all the leaks and hydraulic oil issues.

          We have started our annual tie replacement project in conjunction with our standard track work and should be finished with that project in November.

          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!




10/21/12

          Dave visited the Paradise and Pacific Railroad at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale Arizona during Railfair last weekend and shot some video footage. The video has been posted to YouTube and here's the link: A ride on the Paradise and Pacific RR



McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Paradise and Pacific Railroad at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park






October



11/11/12

          F & MV gondola No. 203 had never been painted or lettered during its life in the Verde Valley. The bare wood was showing signs of decay and needed attention to make sure its condition didn’t deteriorate any farther. It received two coats of paint underneath and two coats of paint in the visible areas.



Gondola 202

Gondola #203 Before Paint



          We painted and mounted four push pockets that had been cast previously, but never drilled or mounted. We also removed, primed and painted and remounted the coupler brackets.

          The trucks are being cleaned and painted and will be placed back in service and underneath her next month. The sides of the gon were in such bad shape that we were unable to save them. At some point in the future, but not right away, they will be replaced.

          Dave and I lettered and numbered the car which will receive a great deal of use on the A & P for everything from track maintenance to moving sacks of concrete.



Gondola 202

Gondola #203 After Paint and Lettering



          I still have a few minor things to finish mechanically with the drop doors on gondola No. 202, but Dave and I finished the lettering and numbering. I think she looks pretty good and is still true to the original F & MV theme.



Gondola 202

Freshly Painted Gondola #202 Before Lettering





Gondola 202

Gondola #202 After Lettering



          Our right side number board on the 582 had a crack in the housing where the mounting hole was tapped. We had the aluminum welded and then we drilled and retapped the hole properly and finally have it remounted. It was time-consuming tedious work for something that you can’t even see, but it should put us in good shape for the long haul. I would like this equipment to still be in good shape fifty years from now.



Number Board Park

Repaired Number Board on #582



          We got back to work on the cockpit cowl. We trimmed the sheet metal, fit it correctly, filled the extra holes and removed the damaged faux vent grilles. We will be replacing the raised center strip and the vent grilles next month. It isn’t much to look at right now, but I hope to have it completed and installed next month.

          Work continues on replumbing the hydraulic system on F & MV engine No. 2. After a couple of attempts with the original hoses and fittings the leaks continued. I have new hoses and fittings that I will hopefully get installed and have her running again before the end of the year. I am looking forward to getting this project finished for a number of reasons including cleaning up a hydraulic oil mess for the last time and after you breathe this stuff long enough everything starts to smell like hydraulic oil…



Hydraulic Hoses

New Hydraulic Hoses



          We also spent the better part of a Sunday removing a 30 foot tall tree that was starting to crowd the A & P right-of-way.

          We acquired an early 60s photo of our A & P engine No. 2 at work in her original home at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. I am excited to add that photo to our collection. I am very much into the history of our trains. We are always looking for additional photos of our S-16 trains that operated at the Hiway House Hotels in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, Rye Playland in New York and the Red River Ski Resort near Taos, New Mexico. We would also love to have a photo of our G-16 No 582 when she ran in Indianapolis at the short-lived Little America Amusement Park.



Cedar Point

A&P Engine #2 Sandusky Running at Cedar Point



          We are working on a long overdue Roster page for the website. You will be able to view the Roster as a whole or select a particular piece of equipment and then view its history and additional photographs. Give us a few more weeks to get this completed.

          I had three business trips during the month and was in Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Las Vegas which limited my A & P time.

          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!




11/22/12

          We've added a roster of the A&P equipment to the website. Click here to view it

          We've also added the County Assesor's Office "2012" aerial view to our website. Click here to see our A&P RR aerial view page




November





12/09/12

          The trucks of F & MV gondola No. 203 were cleaned, lubricated and painted. After a few photographs with gondola 202, she has officially been placed back in service.



Gondola 203

Former F&MV RR gondola #203





Gondolas

Former F&MV RR gondolas #202 and #203 on the A&P RR transfer table



          The F & MV Jordan Spreader and tank car No. 501 are the next two cars we will restore. We have already started sanding, cleaning and lubricating the Jordan Spreader car. It is a working spreader and received a great deal of use on the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad. We had to shorten the middle blade by two inches (one inch on each end) as it wouldn’t clear our brick loading platform on the A & P. It was about 3/16 too wide on each end - so now we have plenty of room.



Tanker

Tank Car 501 prior to restoration





Jordan Spreader

Shortened middle blade on Jordan Spreader





Flanger

Jordan Spreader prior to restoration



          We got two good coats of paint on her and everything tightened, lubricated and back in working condition. She still needs some additional touch up as she was pretty rough in places. After we finish the touch up, we will get her lettered. The trucks under both the spreader and the tank car need aesthetic attention, but there are mechanical issues as well. Each has at least one bad axle and at least one bad wheel. I hope to have them both back in service by early next year.



Flanger

Jordan Spreader undergoing restoration



          Dave has been working the past several weeks improving the A & P website by adding the Roster pages, updating our articles on Large-Scale Railroads in Arizona, making changes to the Projects Page so it's easier to navigate, eliminating some of our links to websites that are now defunct and several other minor, but time-consuming, revisions. Frankly, some of the site was getting stale and outdated; we hope you like the changes.

          When putting the Roster pages together, we realized that we just didn’t have very good photos of some of our equipment. We spent a couple of days moving equipment around and taking photos. Some of the photos will be updated as restoration work continues on several pieces of equipment. We will get some better photographs of our G-16 equipment and get them posted in the next few weeks.



MOW Cars

A&P RR maintenance of way cars





Speeders

Arizona and Pacific RR speeders



          The work on former F & MV engine No. 2 is progressing, but the scope of the work has expanded faster than the progress. When we started this project, my goal was to eliminate all the messy and smelly hydraulic leaks that were plentiful. Part way into the project, the decision was made to completely replumb the hydraulic system and convert it from parallel to series. The advantage of plumbing the four hydraulic motors in series is if you lose traction on one axle, the other six wheels will continue to power the engine. When they are plumbed in parallel, if you lose traction on one wheel, you lose traction on all the wheels.

          Then as we really started looking at the trucks, they were not geared optimally. Think of a car with a manual transmission, they were the equivalent of starting from a stop in third gear. We will replace all eight gears and she should be a strong puller when we are finished. One drive truck had two bad axles and two bad wheels. We are going to replace all four wheels just so I never have to worry about it again. The other truck has two broken springs and a stirrup bushing missing. Both trucks will be cleaned, lubricated and painted. Two of the four hydraulic motors had issues and are being replaced.

          Overheating has been an issue with this engine for some time. We are adding a cooler for the hydraulic oil. We will also be adding a fluid filter as it did not have one in its original configuration. Needless to say, this has grown into a far larger job than originally contemplated…

          Both trucks are out from under her and in the shop and No. 2 is on blocks as I write this update. The trucks are partially disassembled, but there is still a long way to go. Have I mentioned how much I dislike the smell of hydraulic oil… We hope to have her back together and on the tracks early in 2013.



Coconino

Former F&MV RR Engine #2 Coconino undergoing a rebuild





Tucson

Former F&MV RR Engine #1 Tucson running at the A&P RR





Tucson

Another view of the Tucson



          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!




December



12/30/12

          The trucks of F & MV Jordan Spreader were cleaned, lubricated and painted. We replaced an axle and two wheels. Last month we shortened the middle blade by two inches (one inch on each end) as it wouldn’t clear our brick loading platform. It wasn’t until I looked at the close up photos of the work on that blade that I noticed the roughness and jagged nature of the bottom edge of the pivoting blades. We spent quite a bit of time grinding them smoother and straighter. We replaced a couple of pulley pins, added an additional wood plank to the platform, touched up the gray paint and painted the couplers.



Jordan Spreader

The trucks were removed from under the Jordan Spreader car





Spreader Truck

One of the Jordan Spreader car's trucks prior to rebuild





Flanger OM

Smoothed spreader blade





Jordan Spreader

Rebuilt trucks back under the Jordan Speader



          Once we letter the car we'll officially place her back in service. The next car in line for restoration is the tank car.

          The work on former F & MV engine No. 2 the “Coconino” continues to progress. As I shared last month, the initial goal was just to get rid of the numerous hydraulic leaks. The longer we looked at that, the more it made sense to completely replumb the hydraulic system and convert it from parallel to series. The advantage of plumbing the four hydraulic motors in series is if you lose traction on one axle, the other six wheels will continue to power the engine. When they are plumbed in parallel, if you lose traction on one wheel, you lose traction on all the wheels. We have completed replumbing the locomotive.



Coconino

Former F&MV Engine #2 Coconino



          We have also completed rebuilding the power trucks. This project turned out to be far more extensive than we first thought it would be… The trucks were not geared optimally. We replaced the gear on each motor and the gear on each axle. The gears on the motors were relatively easy to replace – the gears on each axle – not so much. What a job. One drive truck had a bad axle and two bad wheels – the gauge was a full quarter inch too narrow. We replaced the axle and wheels. The other truck had two broken springs and a stirrup bushing missing. One of the two hydraulic motors on both trucks was bad and was replaced. We replaced the hydraulic fittings and hoses on each of the four motors. Both trucks were cleaned, lubricated and painted.



Power Trucks

Rebuilt power trucks



          We got both trucks back underneath her this month and I was very pleased with her performance. She has a slightly higher top end speed, far superior pulling power to anything she ever had before and no leaks. There are still a number of things that need completed before this job is finished. Overheating of the hydraulic pump has been an issue with this locomotive for some time. We are adding a cooler and fan for the hydraulic oil and will also be adding a fluid filter as it did not have one in its original configuration



Coconino

Coconino is running again



          As stated previously, we still have some work ahead of us on this project, but we are pretty far along and have a great deal more work behind us than ahead of us. We hope to have this project completed early in 2013. Many thanks to my skilled hydraulic friends Russ Robinson and Jerry Graves for spearheading this project.



Jerry Graves

Jerry Graves







          Arizona and Pacific engine No. 1 celebrated the 10th anniversary of her first run on the A & P this month on December 15. It is hard to believe that was ten years ago…



First Run of the Phoenix

First run of the Phoenix on 12/15/2002





          As those of you that follow this site regularly know, I am frequently in Las Vegas on business. On each trip, I drive by the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City. Unfortunately, the museum is only open on weekends and by Friday afternoon I am usually on my way home. On one of my trips this month, business kept me in town until Saturday afternoon.



Nevada State RR Museum

Nevada State RR Museum in Boulder City



          On my way out of town, I stopped at the museum in Boulder City. I was impressed with the equipment on display, the size of the crowd and the enthusiasm of the volunteers. The “Santa Train” of retired UP equipment was operating and each 45 minute excursion for the day was immensely popular and sold out. The maintenance building was open and contained several exhibits and displays. The 7.5 gauge club had several pieces of equipment running and was providing passenger rides as well.



Nevada State RR Museum

Santa Train





Nevada State RR Museum

7.5 gauge club



          The highlight of the day for me, however, was watching narrow gauge, 4-4-0, wood-burning “Eureka” of Dan Markoff operate. The “Eureka”, built 1875 for the Eureka and Palisade Railroad in Nevada, was visiting the museum and running point to point on about a half mile of track. It was a cold windy afternoon, but I waited in line and got to ride behind the grand old engine twice. The age of the engine is driven home before each trip when the conductor shares that the engine was built and placed in service in 1875 – the year before General George Custer died at the Little Big Horn. Yes, it was awesome!!!



Nevada State RR Museum

Eureka & Palisade engine visiting the Nevada State RR Museum at Boulder City





Nevada State RR Museum

Built in 1875





Nevada State RR Museum

Eureka and Palisade tender





Nevada State RR Museum

Eureka and Palisade RR engine "Eureka"





Nevada State RR Museum

Eureka





          I’ve started work on the 2012 Annual Report of the Arizona and Pacific Railroad, our ninth year of that recap and look to the future, and we hope to have it posted in a couple of weeks.



Tucson

Former F&MV Engine #1 Tucson poses at the A&P RR water tank





Fall at the A&P RR

Fall comes to the A&P RR





Tucson and Coconino

Coconino and Tucson enjoy a run day at the A&P RR



          Happy and Safe Railroading Everybody!






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