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555Re: Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum building new steam locomotive - Trains Mag

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  • Andrew Brandon
    May 22, 2007

      Its funny 35,000 is over about half of what it would have cost to get #5 a
      new boiler.. Had someone thought to go that route the last NCNG steam
      locomotive would be on her way to being operational. Instead some people
      have felt it a good idea to spend said money building a contraption that
      "may" run. Silly projects like this are why I gave up restoration work and
      went back to working on my NCNG book and doing research for other groups out

      I commend the boys at the museum for their hard work and dedication, despite
      my objections.


      On 5/22/07, Doug Jensen <bdouglasj@...> wrote:
      > May 18, 2007NEVADA CITY, Calif. - The Nevada County Narrow Gauge
      > Museum's shop crew has embarked on an ambitious new project: The
      > construction of a fully operational 0-4-0 steam locomotive from the
      > ground-up. The locomotive's design will be reminiscent of a 1880s
      > industrial engine. While the cab evokes the lines of a Baldwin, the
      > frame, running gear, and stack strongly resemble a Porter locomotive.
      > A significant departure from tradition was made in the design of the
      > steam plant. Instead of a traditional fire-tube boiler, a modern
      > steam generator will produce steam. The power plant will produce huge
      > volumes steam on demand without the need for a pressurized vessel. It
      > will require only about five minutes to fire up and the same amount
      > of time to shut down. Fueled by propane, the boiler will be clean
      > burning and won't present a fire hazard while operating in the Sierra
      > foothills.
      > The 13 foot-long locomotive will take three years, 5,000 volunteer
      > hours, and $35,000 in material to complete. The Museum has acquired
      > initial funding and work has already begun. Construction got underway
      > with the acquisition of drive wheels and axles. The original plan
      > called for casting the wheels locally, but a little research revealed
      > that the wheels from a scrapped Vulcan locomotive were available. The
      > salvage was a big job, but it was accomplished in one day. Purchase
      > of the used wheels reduced expenses to one-third the cost of casting
      > new wheels. The salvaged parts included wheels, axles, bearings, and
      > springs. The design drawings for the new engine were modified
      > slightly to incorporate the Vulcan parts. The bearings were removed
      > and inspected; the Vulcan's gears were cut from the axles and
      > scrapped.
      > The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is dedicated to the
      > preservation of local transportation history and artifacts from the
      > narrow gauge railroad era. The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad
      > began operations in 1876 to provide year-round transportation to the
      > rich mining districts of western Nevada County. The original 22½-mile
      > route began in Nevada City, traveled to the railroad's headquarters
      > in Grass Valley, and then on to Colfax for connections to the Central
      > Pacific. During 62 years of operation, it hauled out more than
      > $200,000,000 worth of gold while bringing in mining machinery,
      > lumber, petroleum products and other essentials. Thousands rode its
      > passenger trains, mixed trains, and occasional special excursions.
      > The narrow gauge line boasted the highest railroad bridge in
      > California for its time (the 1908 Bear River Bridge), and was the
      > first railroad in the U.S. to have a woman president (Sarah Kidder,
      > 1901-1913). The outbreak of World War II led to the closure of the
      > gold mines and, with its major customers gone; the railroad was
      > abandoned in 1942.
      > Today visitors are offered a docent-led historical tour of the
      > museum, railroad yard, and restoration shop. Exhibited in the main
      > gallery is engine No. 5, an 1875 Baldwin that began service hauling
      > lumber, then passengers and freight for the NCNGRR, and finally as a
      > movie engine at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The yard houses a
      > collection of wooden cars, some restored, others waiting their turn
      > in the shop.
      > The Museum is asking the public for financial support for the steam
      > locomotive project. Donors of $50.00 or more will receive a brass
      > commemorative plaque and a semi-annual progress report. The Museum
      > will acknowledge all donations and they are tax deductible. For more
      > information go to www.ncngrrmuseum.org.

      -=Andrew Brandon=-

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