Sunday, April 17, 2011
VIVID DRAGON lands in Essex
Why would a standard 20 foot shipping container be considered "blog worthy"? OK it has a neat name, but really, it is what inside that counts.
When we purchased SY 1658M (see previous blogs), we got a fair number of spare parts with it. However there were a number items which we needed to rebuild the locomotive, plus, with steam locomotives it is always good to have plenty of spares and many SY parts are useable on our other locomotives.
While in China supervising the overhaul of several class QJ steam locomotives at the legendary "701 Factory", Dennis Daugherty noted large quanities of spare parts in their storage areas. Since "701" was about to close it's doors, we were able (with the help of our agent, Vicky Yuan) to purchase many item which we needed for our SY, parts to be used in the rebuilding of our No. 97 and items for other locomotive owners in the U.S.
It took Vicky several months to track down all the parts we wanted (some not in stock at "701") negotiate prices and arrange for shipping to a loading point near "701". Since we are always short of storage space, Vicky found us a shipping container (VIVID DRAGON), which we purchased. Dennis traveled to China last fall to inspect all of the parts, inventory them, and supervise as they were being loaded.
VIVID DRAGON Interior
After a number of inspections by Chinese Customs, VIVID DRAGON made good time to Newark, where it was again subjected to muliple inspections by U.S. Customs (maybe all of the superheater flues looked like cannon barrels).
Eventually it arrived at Essex where we set it on tie cribs.
Finally opened, we "saw wonderful things": injector nozzels, air compressor governors, shoes, wedges, spring saddles, mechanical lubricators, parts too numerous to list. A veritable cornicopia of steam parts all useful for keeping our steam locomotives on the road.