The preparation and evaluation phase, began on May 18th, 1996, with Bill Palmer and I joining Lawrence Dale from W.A.R.M. and Mrs George Barlow, George Maier, Dan Echeto, and Mr. Warren Lambrich from the S.B.R.H.S. in Modesto to begin work on 2921.
The weather at this time of the year in Modesto is quite nice cooling off at night and warming during the day. The mornings are cool with day time temperatures climbing to the mid 80s making work in the park easy to tolerate. there are a lot of beautiful trees providing an abundance of shade to cool off in and green grass all around, except on the right front of the locomotive where a large sand box has taken the place of the airplane that once sat there. The city had provided two 20 storage containers in which to store tool, parts and supplies in and locks & keys to lock the containers and gate. The area surrounding the locomotive has been widened and fenced off to make room for our effort so that access to 2921 is safe and free of any interference. The city officials we worked with did well by us and they are to be commended.
With the help from a hydro crane supplied by the city, we removed the sand dome, turret cover and two air reservoir tanks making access to the jacketing and the asbestos underlying it easier to get to. We also removed numerous steam, water and air pipes plus brackets and rods as necessary to gain better access, all the while recording and marking each part for future reference. This work required that the city provide us with a large air compressor, oxygen and acetylene tanks, ladders, and various supplies and gear to aid in this work. The jacketing was all marked and identified, per a pre-arranged system, following Wayne Tuckers suggestions, and a proportional layout of the jacketing was drawn up to aid in reconstructing a new jacket should anyone ever wish to. Wayne Tucker is the genius who built the jackets for Santa Fe 4-8-4 #3751 and SP 4-6-0 #2353 in recent years and has expressed interest in project 2921.
Throughout this project Ive been taking photos of 2921 having shot over 30 rolls and spent close to $400 on film and processing to date.We were also lucky to have George Barlow taking a couple of hours of video tape of phase I for our archives and future reference. During this phase we did the running gear evaluation and the axle housings looked good for the amount of time they have sat idle. A draining and flushing of the journals refilling them with new oil should be all that is necessary to get her ready to roll out of the park. We didnt look at the side rod bearings because all current wisdom suggests that we should leave them alone unless we plan to remove the side rods for another reason. The same wisdom also suggests that we only need to refill the side rods to prepare them for moving
The work in this phase went very well with little or no problems and was estimated to take 7-8 days. We managed to accomplish all the required work in 4 days at a rate of 10-12 hours per day. This I believe reflects on the professionalism displayed by our excellent team of knowledgeable and experienced volunteers.
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