J.David Inspecting Smokebox
March saw a brief flurry of activity on No. 97 as it was inspected by a crew of Valley Railroad staff and various Freinds. Ron Olsen began the work by loosening numerous nuts on the smokebox front and other parts. J.David removed all of the front end netting and baffles to access the front tube sheet for ultra-sonic inspection. By the 16th the locomotive had been moved to the shop. Paul Scarbrough and Pete Barrington gridded out the firebox and Burt began polishing spots for U-T testing. On the 17th Wayne Hebert and Dave removed the steam dome cap and inspected the boiler interior and water side of the firebox.
Wayne Removing Crown Stays (note gridding)
Several staybolts and crown stays were removed to assist with thickness testing and checking for any cracking of the firebox sheets. Dave and Burt removed the valve and cylinder heads while Wayne began the U-T work. On the 18th, Bill Wolf came in to inspect and measure the valve and cylinder bores. All of the wheels were measured as well.
Bill Measures A Driving Wheel
It is hoped that the inspection will be completed next week. Once Dave has all of the data, a scope of work and budget can be created. Figuring out where the funds necessary to accomplish the work will come from will take far longer than the planning. No work will be done until funding is in place.