Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
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A rail car that is a crucial piece to a volunteer-driven, multi-year steam locomotive restoration project was delivered Friday to a rail yard in the Washington Junction neighborhood.
The tender car, which will carry up to 98,000 gallons of water and 10 tons of coal for the Maine Central 470 locomotive, was specially built over the past three months by Millinocket Fabrication and Machine Inc., according to Richard Glueck, president of New England Steam Corp. It needs more work — including reusing fittings from the old tender, getting it mounted on a chassis and wheels, and painting — before the tender car will be ready.
“The tender is a huge deal for several reasons,” Glueck said. “It’s an essential component of the whole locomotive,” and because it will display the railroad name, it is “a crucial heritage piece.”
Reusing the old tender is not possible, he added, because of the amount of rust damage it has accumulated over the years. The locomotive and tender, which operated in Maine from 1924 to 1954, sat for 62 years on display outside in Waterville. New England Steam Corp. bought it from the city of Waterville and moved it in 2016 to the Washington Junction rail yard in Hancock, where it’s been stored out of the weather and under lock and key.
“We’re going to use as many parts [from the old tender] as we can over again,” Glueck said. “Even to the discerning eye, it should be almost indistinguishable [from the original].”
Leverett Fernald, left, and Richard Glueck of New England Steam Corp. lean against a new tender rail car body that was delivered Friday to the organization's work site in the local Washington Junction neighborhood. The tender, when completed, will carry water and coal for Maine Central 470, a steam locomotive that the not-for-profit group is working to restore.
This article first appeared on bangordailynews.com
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