2018 Arizona and Pacific RR Annual Report

2018 Arizona & Pacific RR

Annual Report

A&P RR 2018

Arizona and Pacific Railroad 2018

          This is the fifteenth year I have written an annual report and every year as I look back on what we accomplished during the prior twelve months, I think it’s been one of the busiest years ever on the A & P. This year isn’t any different; it was a very busy year.

Maintenance Projects in 2018

          Most of our track has been on the ground for twenty years now and some of the lag screws are starting to work themselves loose, some ties have started to deteriorate and some splice bar bolts has loosened. We spent a great deal of time this year addressing these issues. We replaced some of the worst ties and lag screws, repositioned tie plates, trimmed rail junctions, serviced splice bars and gauged the rail.

A&P RR 2018

New switch stand ties

          Instead of continuing to replace ties here and there, we started a five year plan to replace all of our ties. You might think how long could that take. We have approximately 1950 regular ties in place and ten switches with 17 switch ties each. Each tie has a minimum of four tie plates with lag screws and the switch ties have at least twice that number. It is a time-consuming process. We got started this year, but still have a long way to go.

Acquisitions in 2018

          The type of acquisition that we cover under this caption is that of equipment and significant parts; we acquired quite a bit of both this year. We purchased three Miniature Train Company locomotives and nine cars. We acquired E10 locomotives nos. 20 and 24, three E10 coaches and an E10 observation car this year. We also acquired a great number of extra E10 parts and a full set of E10 track.

A&P RR 2018

E10 #20

A&P RR 2018

E10 #24

          We also bought a Miniature Train Company G12 locomotive (production no. still unknown), four G12 coaches and a G12 observation car. We also obtained a number of extra G12 parts from various sources and were able to acquire two sets of G12 track.

A&P RR 2018

G12 Acqusition

          We were also able to purchase G16 observation car upper and lower castings as well as the side markers, rear drum head and handles. We plan to fabricate the sheet metal and convert one of our coaches into an observation car in the future.

A&P RR 2018

Lower observation car end before repair

A&P RR 2018

Lower observation car end after repair

A&P RR 2018

Upper observation car end

A&P RR 2018

Observation car light

A&P RR 2018

Observation car side markers

Shop Projects

          The B unit subassembly installation, fabrication, carburetor rebuilds and other small shop projects are covered under the specific piece of equipment this year.

S-16 Coconino

          The Coconino has been an interesting challenge ever since she returned to service in May 0f 2000. From the day she first operated on the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad, overheating has been an issue. The Wisconsin engine was assembled from parts of three Wisconsin motors and some of the parts weren’t a perfect match. The distributor wasn’t the right one for the completed engine, some of the internal distributor parts were modified and she still overheated, but ran pretty smoothly.

A&P RR 2018

The Coconino

          In 2017, we replaced the Wisconsin engine with a recently rebuilt unit from our parts cache. We reused all of the bolt on parts from the previous engine and at first we thought we were fine, however, very quickly this engine also developed an overheating problem. There are only two things consistent throughout the operation of this locomotive from 2000, the hydraulics and the distributor. We replaced the hydraulic motors and hoses a few years ago and saw no difference. The hydraulics are oversized for this application and shouldn’t be an issue. This fall we retimed the engine and are now leaning toward the modified distributor as the source of our issue. I have three different types of distributors on the parts shelf and the one appears to be the right one for this engine. In 2019, we will either have the problem resolved by swapping out the distributors or start looking into other hydraulic components as the source of the issue.

S-16 Phoenix

          The Phoenix required very little attention this year. We drained the fuel tank and added fresh gas and additives, replaced the battery and rebuilt the carburetor. These are all normal annual maintenance activities on this railroad.

A&P RR 2018

The Phoenix

S-16 Red River

          The Red River was an easy starting and great running engine the first few years after she was placed back in service. Over the last couple of years, she had become very difficult to start and to keep running. We had replaced multiple fuel pumps, fuel filters and fuel lines without any long term success. Diagnostic tests indicated the issue is the fuel system and not electrical.

          This summer, we completely drained the gas tank of all of its old fuel. It was old, but had Stabil and Marvel Mystery oil in it and the fuel didn’t appear to be the primary problem. It was replaced with new fuel and the additives – no change. All the fuel lines in the engine had been replaced within a year or so and I was confident that they were clear and free. We decided to replace the fuel lines in the tender. As we removed the fuel line from the quick connect couplers that terminate on the back of the engine and front of the tender the problem became apparent. The inside of the quick release couplers were rusted and crusty and very little fuel could make it way through the blockage.

A&P RR 2018

The Red River Engine

          We replaced both sets of male and female couplers and the engine started the first time it turned over – what a difference! When we had the original quick release couplers spec'd out for the fuel system, the representative recommended these and told us these were rated for fuel. It turns out they were rated for hydraulic oil and not fuel… I should have done my homework too, but didn’t – mistake.

          After we had her running well, we fine tuned the compressor output and distribution between suction (vacuum) production for the brake system and pressure production for the whistle operation. We had it set too high for vacuum and not high enough for pressure. We got it dialed in and tuned the whistle. It is a still just a little shrill for my tastes, but with the dry air of these units you just can’t get the deep, rich and moist sound of the whistles on the live steamers. There is no denying that it is loud… It is a great feeling to have the fuel issue with the Red River finally resolved.

S-16 Sandusky

          The Sandusky ran well this year and was largely without any issues. As long as the batteries are charged, she is a great running train and pretty much problem free.

A&P RR 2018

The Sandusky

S-16 Tucson

          We replaced the battery on the Tucson, rebuilt the carburetor and retimed her which is all pretty routine annual maintenance. She ran pretty well this year.

A&P RR 2018

The Tucson

G-16 No. 582

          I would like to once again thank Julie Dojahn for her amazing contribution to our known history of no. 582. We had been unable to locate much information on the Little America Amusement Park in Indianapolis where she first operated. Julie sent us a history of the park that she had compiled and written, newspaper clippings about our engine, newspaper photos of the engine and video of her and her family riding the train. It was totally unexpected, but a wonderful gift! Thank you again!

A&P RR 2018

G16 #582 running at Little America Amusement Park

G-16 B Unit

          We focused most of our activity on the B unit this year. We installed the sub frame assembly that supports the motor and transmission, installed the two gas tanks, completed all the plumbing, completed most of the instrument panel and wiring, installed the engine bay and cockpit lights, added the two stirrups and door step that she was missing and also completed most of the general wiring.

A&P RR 2018

G16 A unit #582 and B unit #506

          When the “Limited” trains were originally produced, the operator ran the A & B units from the cockpit of the B unit. Our B unit is not powered, but provides a great ride and experience for junior engineers. The instrument panel and hand valves will be complete, but all operations will take place from the cockpit of the A unit.

A&P RR 2018

G16 B unit #506, the Riverview Scout at Riverview Park in Chicago

G-12 MTC Engine No. 377

          We didn’t do much regarding our G12 restoration this year. We did fabricate a new seat, control handles and drive line tunnel. We acquired another G12 locomotive for parts and sheet metal. We did acquire the parts we needed to rebuild two more G12 coach trucks this year and finished that rebuild process. We now have two drive trucks and four coach trucks completely rebuilt and ready for use. We acquired the Stewart Warner ammeter, switches and push buttons for the instrument panel.

A&P RR 2018

Rebuilt G12 trucks

Maintenance of Way Equipment

          We installed a new resized drive sprocket and two new drive chains on our track inspection car. We also modified the chain tensioner to keep the chains a little tighter. The TIC has a slightly faster operating speed, but still plenty of power for any application needed.

A&P RR 2018

New drive sprocket

Engine House and Collections

          We acquired a couple more variations of the MT & RR Co. torque wrenches for our collection and upgraded another one. I hope to expand our torque wrench display in upcoming years so that more of that collection will be displayed, just not sure what form that will take yet.

A&P RR 2018

Miniature Train and Railroad Company torque wrench display

          Dave purchased a collection of press release photos that included several early S16 photographs as well as some Sandley, Crown and Chance photographs. He also upgraded one of the builder’s plates in the collection.

A&P RR 2018

MTC and MT & RR Co. builders plates

          We also expanded our collection of MTC and AH literature during the year. I need to figure out how to display more of that material too.

Miscellaneous Projects

          If you have been following our site over the years, you may remember, when we acquired our B unit, she was an orphan, stripped of all parts usable on other projects and without a builder's plate. She had been owned by four different owners since the early 1990s and stored for many years. None of the prior owners that we were able contact had any idea what her production number might have been. If you have followed our site for any length of time, you will also know that we are very interested in the history of all of our equipment. I was hopeful we could determine the production number of our B unit, but the chances were admittedly pretty slim.

A&P RR 2018

Location where the builder's place once resided

          There were a handful of clues that seemed to indicate she was one of the earlier B units produced. There was no consistency in the rivet patterns of the port hole window frames and it looked as if they freelanced where the four rivets were placed. On our A unit, no. 582, they are all symmetrical and evenly spaced. The rectangular sand box openings were 4” x 3” on our A unit and match those of the G12 rectangular frames. The sand box openings on our B unit were 3 ½ inches by 3 inches. The B unit instrument panel is set up for the older style throttle and brake valves and there are vacuum horn mounting holes. The instrument panel was set up for 11 gauges; in later production units it was 9 or less gauges.

          The original paint scheme on our B unit was the green and yellow of the Chicago and Northwestern. When we bought our two dual side load coaches, we discovered one is a coach from train no. 504 and one is from the no. 506 both of which ran in Chicago at Riverview Park. The paint scheme of no. 506 (Riverview Scout) was the green and yellow of the Chicago and Northwestern at that park. At one point the gentleman that we purchased the coaches from owned our B unit, but he sold it to someone else. After a couple of additional owners, none of whom did anything with it, we were able to acquire it. Under where the builders tag had been, you could see green and in places you could see the yellow of the Chicago and Northwestern. I was starting to suspect this B unit was no. 506, but didn’t have any solid substantiation.

          When we bought our B unit it was mostly rust covered, but the original paint scheme had been painted over with a baby blue layer of house paint that was peeling off in most places. It was thick and appeared applied by a large paint brush. It was a distinctive color and not railroad themed. Out of the blue one day, I got a text from my friend Joey Klein telling me to check out new items listed on Ebay. Among other MTC builders plates for sale were the builders plates for B unit no. 504 and B unit no.506. The plate for unit 504 was clear of paint; the one for unit no. 506 was in part covered by the same blue paint that was on our B unit sheet metal and it matches up exactly. The distinctive paint stain on the rear of the plate was the final clincher.

A&P RR 2018

Builder's plate for G16 B unit #506

A&P RR 2018

Backside of the 506 builder's plate

A&P RR 2018

Location where the builder's plate once resided

          It turns out the builders plate was removed sometime in the 70s by the owner at that time, L. Gray Tuttle, when the B unit was headed to scrap. Mr. Tuttle bought G16s and S16s from service organizations primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia when they were converting to CP Huntingtons in the 1970s and early 80s. He purchased and sold somewhere between 35 and 50 of the trains over the years.

          Later, someone saved our B unit from scrap and it passed through many owners not knowing or caring what its production number was. The builder’s plate passed from Mr. Tuttle to Les Kasten along with a huge MTC collection maybe 30 years ago and was in an envelope forgotten in his desk all those years. It recently resurfaced when he was reorganizing and it became available online. I am thrilled we were able to obtain it and solve the mystery about our B unit production number. Thanks to Joey Klein, Les Kasten and L. Gray Tuttle for helping us solve this mystery and to Rick Nairn, Shaun Hardtke and Neil Boreczky for helping us locate most of the other equipment that comprised the Riverview Scout (train no. 506).

          Sometimes it gets a little difficult to separate the railroad related projects from those that are indirectly related. When I have groups of people over here to visit the railroad, people walk around and look at the yard, shrubbery, cactus etc. while others are riding the train. Is rebuilding the sprinkler and watering system related? I have 38 sprinkler valves scattered around the property that make sure all of the plants and trees on the acre and a quarter get watered regularly. I replaced or rebuilt all but six of them in the last year. Dave and I also replaced two of the three timing boxes and ran new electrical wire to 12 of the valves.

          There were many other projects like this one which aren’t directly related to the operation of the A & P, but are related to the A & P experience that require time and money that would otherwise go toward railroad operation.

Travels in 2018

Railroads visited in 2018

Railroads visited in 2018

          We visited quite a few railroads this year. The railroads Dave or I visited in Arizona were:

          The ones we visited a little farther from home were:

Visitors in 2018

          We had the opportunity to host many friends and guests during the year and look forward to more of the same next year. Scheduling conflicts with my corporate world schedule, didn’t work out for a few potential visitors this year, but we hope to catch up in the near future. The majority of our visitors are local, or at least AZ and CA, and you know who you are, but we get guests from all over the country.

          The out of state visitor that traveled the farthest was:

Visitors in 2018

Katherine and Edward Moreland from Murrieta, CA visit the A&P RR

Plans for 2019 and Beyond


          Longer range plans include:

          Wish list:

          Our A & P website has been on the web now for 16 1/2 years. We finished 2018 with 137,894 unique hits since we established this site in June of 2002.

          The interest in our website reached its high point in 2008 when we had almost 11,000 visitors. We finished this year with 6,587 unique viewers by our counter which is 18.0 per day. The goal is to get that number back up over 8,000 annually which is roughly 4 more unique viewers per day. We created 17 editions of new content this year and plan on about the same in 2019. Hopefully, we can attract and interest a few more consistent viewers this year. To our long-time viewers who have traveled with us on this almost 17 year internet journey thank you. The Arizona and Pacific Railroad will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September of 2020; it is hard to believe that we have been at this that long.

          The Alexa Website Traffic, Statistics and Analytics Ranking System states that our website gets 93 site hits per day, 31 of which are unique. It ranks us as the 3,192,564th most popular internet website out of over 30,000,000 worldwide. We have very modest aspirations out here. We are just going to stay in our lane (on our tracks) and try to get to 8,000 viewers this year; any assistance by promoting the site to your friends or groups would be appreciated.

          Happy and safe railroading everybody!

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