Sunday, December 21, 2008

Essex, the Phoenix Has Landed...

No. 3025 at Essex, 12/19/08

Well, it took long enough, but Barber Trucking Inc. was finally successful in obtaining the permits needed from the Connecticut Department of Transportation to bring our locomotive to it's new home at Essex. It had sat at the Smith Hauling, Inc. yard in Oliveburg, PA for several weeks, but on the 17th, the permits were granted: good for 3 days, including the 17th. Oh, and by the way, the load had to be ready to cross the Newburgh-Becon Bridge between 10:00 and 11:00 AM on the morning of the 18th. Quickly, the locomotive was re-loaded and on it's way.

3025 at Newburgh, NY 12/18/08 - Bob Loitsch photo

After crossing the bridge at about 11:00AM, the load proceeded on to Connecticut. At Waterbury the route left Interstate 84 and sort of wandered via Meriden to Route 9, rolling into Essex at about 2:00PM. Since we had North Pole Express trains running that night (and therefore needing the parking lot/unloading area, not to mention several hundred customers to deal with) the trailer was parked until the next morning.

a-quick pick Crane Service, inc. was on hand bright and early on the 19th. The rear of the trailer was backed partially into the shop so the locomotive would "land" just outside the building. After rigging as we had done in Kane, the locomotive was gently lifted and the trailer driven out from under it. The "H" beam skids that had been previously used during No. 40's rebuilding were positioned under the locomotive's frame and it was lowered down to them. After "squaring up" the locomotive on the skids, it was placed and the cranes unhooked.

We thank Smith Hauling, Inc., Barber Trucking Inc. and a-quick pick Crane Service, inc. for their safe and careful handling of this large, yet fragile object. All these firms were great to deal with and brought the job in on time and within budget. They are to be commended (and recommended) for their work.

Once the annual work on the coaches and Essex Clipper Dinner Train has been completed this spring, we'll grease up the rails and slide No. 3025 into the shop. After it has been leveled properly, we'll remove the pistons and valves and begin "tramming" the frame. More on this later...