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In 2008, we contracted with a very experienced and respected locomotive boiler inspector, Dave Griner, of Arizona Mechanical Engineering, to examine the boilers on both Southern Pacific 2353 and Coos Bay 11.
Photo 1: Hoisting off the front
It was decided that Southern Pacific 2353 would be too expensive to restore at this time (see link), so we continued to evaluate Coos Bay 11. Mr Griner was optimistic in his visual examination of Coos Bay 11. Because it is such a major part of the locomotive, and probably the most expensive to repair, the boiler will be the first thing to take a good look at.
Photo 2: Front end
In addition to a visual examination, it will be necessary to do a complete ultrasound examination of the boiler to determine the thickness of the steel. Areas that have eroded to the point that they would be unsafe under pressure will need to be replaced, so the ultrasound testing will determine the extent of repairs needed to the boiler. Certainly, repairs to other parts of the locomotive will also be needed.
Photo 4: Superheaters before removal

In order to get a good look at both the exterior and interior surfaces of the boiler, it would be necessary to remove the outer jacket and asbestos insulation, and all the boiler tubes. Then, all the accumulated scale and other crud that has collected inside the boiler would have to be cleaned out.

Fortunately, a number of years ago, a generous donor had agreed to do asbestos abatement work on all five of the steam locomotives we have at Campo. As part of that process, the saddle tank and sheet metal jacket had also been removed, so the locomotive was ready for us to start doing our job.
Photo 5: After the removal of the superheaters

During the past several years, our volunteers have worked on this project, putting in over 1,100 man-hours (including some woman-hours). Sometimes the progress was very slow, since a number of jobs required extensive "learning time."

Photo 6: Mike cutting out a flue
Photo 7: Pulling out a flue
Photo 8: Cutting out a tube
Photo 9: Boden Oil Burner
Photo 10: Removing the throttle valve
Photo 11: Cylinder valve
Photo 3: Fire brick removal
Photo 12: Firebox before sandblasting
Photo 13: Firebox after sandblasting
Photo 14: Boiler interior, before sandblasting
Photo 15: Boiler interior, after sandblasting

In approximate order, we accomplished the following:
Removed the:
  • smoke box door
    smoke box front
    Photo 1
  • petticoat pipe
    blast pipe
    smoke box baffle
    Photo 2
  • fire brick from the fire boxPhoto 3
  • all 26 superheater units
    throttle spool
    Photos 4 & 5
  • 23 of the 26 superheater fluesPhotos 6 & 7
  • 160 boiler tubes
    (short stubs remain at both tube sheets)
    Photo 8
  • oil burner Photo 9
  • throttle
    14 of 23 wash-out plugs
    Photo 10
    And we:
  • wire-brushed and vacuumed out all tubes prior to removal
  • pressure washed the boiler interior
  • cleaned out the sand domes (2)
  • lubricated the running gear so the locomotive could be moved
  • inspected the valve cylindersPhoto 11
  • boxed and stored the cross-compound air compressor
  • made covers for the dry pipe and superheater header
  • had the boiler interior sand-blasted by a contractorPhotos 12-16
  • vacuumed and washed remaining sand from around the mud ring
  • Bob, Jim, Mike and Rich pose on #11Banner Photo
    Now (Aug., 2010) our next few jobs:
  • lubricate the running gear again
  • lubricate the running gear again
  • remove the tube stubs from the front tube sheet
  • remove the remaining wash-out plugs
  • draw a 1ft. X 1 ft. grid on the boiler for ultrasound measurements
    Status for year end 2010:
  • Running gear has been thoroughly lubricated
  • All wash-out plugs have been removed, lubricated, and re-installed to keep out the rain
  • A plywood cover for the front of the smoke box was fabricated and installed
  • Thirty of the 160 tube stubs have been removed from the front tube sheet
  • Most of a 1 ft. X 1 ft. grid has been drawn on the boiler
    For the first part of 2011 we plan to:
  • Finish removing the tube stubs from the front tube sheet
  • Finish drawing the ultrasound grid
  • Do the ultrasound testing

    This page last updated November 23 2010