Thursday, September 3, 2009

Too long without an update, so here goes. The "Lost Engines of Roanoke" are lost no longer! VMT received the M2c 1151 and a tender,and the Baldwin DS44-660 #662. The M2 1118 and a tender are going to the Portsmouth (VA) Railroad Museum. The other Baldwin, #663 is at the Roanoke Chapter of the NRHS's 9th Street facility, and they traded the M2 1134 for their tank engine with Will Harris. Will also got the flat car with a tender body on it. All the tenders had been converted to tankers for MoW service, and the two larger ones were used until 1970.

Most of you know that the 917 went to Ohio last year, and it has been cosmetically restored as an attraction for a roadside resturant in Bellbrook, Oh.

Some answers for Mike, who had a few queries about the 1151. 1) The 1151 is sitting outside the fence because that is the only place we could put it for now. Two of the tracks inside the plant are in dire need of repair, and can hold no more rolling stock, and the other three tracks are full. It would have taken a large amount of engineering to get the cranes inside the fence to place the 1151 on the track due to ground conditions, and overhead restrictions. We are not too worried about someone wanting to 'tag' the engine because the paint will just help to preserve it. As you observed, there is not much left to take off of it, so that's not a problem either, but we did secure the cab and the auger space on the tender to eliminate the bums moving in. 2) The Southern Auto-Guard car that used to occupy the spot where the 1151 sits is now at the North Carolina Transportation Museum. We gave it to them because it never ran in Virginia, and they can do a better job (they have the room) of displaying it. 3) We did receive many parts that were removed from the 1151 many years ago, but the rods and pumps are sadly mostly gone. It may look bad as it is, but can be cosmetically restored without too much trouble. The guys over at the NRHS can do miracles with steel, and are in the process of doing a cosmo on the 1118 for Portsmouth. They will also do a cosmo on the 662, and maybe later we can get together and do the 1151. It will just take a while longer to round up, or manufacture parts to make it whole again. But for now, enjoy the view of the inside of the smokebox, because not many times do you get to see that. We will keep you up to date on the progress of the cosmo of 1118, but it will be some time before it is done. I give them at least six months, then it has to be trucked in two parts and put back together, and the finishing touches put on.