The main runway at Gisborne airport - Date/Photographer unknown.
Gisborne New Zealand - Gisborne Airport is a small regional airport that is located on the western outskirts of Gisborne, the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
The airport is one of the very few airports in the world that has a railway line intersecting the runway.
The Gisborne airport which covers a land of 160 hectares has three grass runways and one main runway that is intersected by the Palmerston North-Gisborne Railway Line.
The Wynyard Airport, on Tasmania's north-western coast, also had a railway crossing on the runway but declining rail traffic forced the closure of rail traffic in early 2005, and thus the Wynyard airport rail crossing is no more operational.
At Gisborne, on the other hand, the rail route functions actively and so does the airport everyday between 6:30 in the morning and 8:30 at night.
After that, the runway is sealed off till morning.
The railway tracks splits the runway almost in the middle and very often trains or aircraft are stopped until one of them moves on.
It is a very challenging task for the airport authorities to manage landing at the intersecting runway along the operational rail route which has scheduled departures and arrivals itself.
The airport is a major link to enter the small region of Gisborne and hosts more than 60 domestic flights.
More than 150,0000 passengers fly through this airport each year.
The main runway at Gisborne airport - Date unknown Daniel Garland.
30 November 2013
Completion Date Set for Zurich Cross-City Line
A portion of the line - Date/Photographer unknown - SBB.
Zurich Switzerland - Zurich's 9.6 kilometre cross-city link is set to open on 15 Jun 2014 next year, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has announced.
Earlier this week, SBB began the 200-day countdown to the commissioning of the new line which is designed to relieve congestion from Zurich central station.
SBB said that work would be completed on the new underground Löwenstrasse station and the Weinberg tunnel, the two largest civil engineering projects in the programme, by the end of year, with testing due to start in January.
The new 2 billion franc line between Altstetten and Oerlikon, known as the Durchmesserlinie (DML) cross-city line, has been under construction for six years and will be commissioned in phases between 2014 and 2015.
3 December 2013
New England Steam Wants to Restore 470 in Honour of Maine Central Workers
Maine Central 470 - Date/Photographer unknown.
Waterville Maine USA - A great deal of fear and misinformation has been generated during the hearings about the fate of Locomotive 470.
New England Steam Corporation's purpose is to rescue, rebuild, and restore 470 to operational condition.
Locomotive 470 is in a state of steady deterioration.
It has stood static for 60 years without shelter, subjected to Maine's extreme seasonal weather.
Vandals have stripped the boiler and cab of gauges, controls, and other operational parts.
The asbestos abatement of the 1980s was haphazard and incomplete, leaving a good deal remaining on the locomotive.
This toxic substance has collected water and further impairs the metal beneath it.
The locomotive itself is also a health hazard, covered with lead paint that, like asbestos, was once a building standard, but today is recognized as toxic.
The locomotive was never meant to serve as a playground, yet people climb, walk, and even run across the boiler regularly.
That somebody has not fallen and broken their neck is, quite honestly, a miracle.
People have been similarly injured on locomotives in other communities in America.
Parts of the tender are rusted through to the point where they face imminent collapse.
They cannot be filled or welded to remain closed, nor will such procedures add strength to the structure.
Homeless people frequently sleep in the tender.
Should anyone be seriously injured on 470, the city underwriters would call for a swift and terrible solution.
Clearly, the exterior of the locomotive, and all the features that people have access to, are in disrepair and are long overdue for replacement or repair.
New England Steam is a non-profit Maine organization, made up largely of Mainers.
No one on the board of directors is paid.
Several of us have been Waterville residents.
Why do we want to take on the rescue of 470?
The locomotive was meant to honour Maine Central employees.
Through six decades of display, maintaining the locomotive has proved unaffordable, and today, when teachers are being laid off and other fiscal crises face city government, the locomotive continues to take a back seat.
In February, New England Steam opened the boiler for the first time since 1954.
Our project engineer, took data, analyzed the numbers, and determined it to be good condition.
The exterior is, as pointed out, not so good.
Our belief is that 470 can be returned to operational status.
This requires the locomotive be transported to a secured location.
It will require disassembly, metal part replacement, cleaning, and machining.
This project will take several years, done by people who know and love locomotives.
Every member of New England Steam Corp.'s board of directors has gotten black grease under his nails by working on this type of railroad equipment.
We are people determined to raise the funds, do this correctly, and see the project through.
The finished locomotive will be able to return to Waterville as a moving, breathing, living, restoration of what it once was.
Pan American has agreed to allow the locomotive to move in transport over its rails.
Maine Central 470 will run regularly on both the Maine Eastern, out of Rockland, and the Downeast Scenic in Ellsworth.
Downeast will be its home base.
Terms of our contract with the city mandate 470 may never be relocated out of state.
We are currently raising funds for this project.
In the first two weeks, we received cash donations of more than $2,000 and pledges for twice that.
We have submitted eight grant requests and have three to go out.
The capital campaign is an ongoing effort.
If it was easy, it would have been done long ago.
We have business associations and are working to achieve others.
We have a brand campaign to capture the imaginations of merchants and customers alike, referring to 470 as "The Mascot of Maine".
If the city of Waterville entrusts the locomotive to us, 470 will be in no danger of being scrapped.
Our business plan puts aside money to bring the locomotive back to Waterville, should it become evident our mission cannot be accomplished.
During Phase 1 of the project, the locomotive will remain where it is until funds are in place to insure it, abate the toxins, and move it.
The fence is in place to help prevent accidental injuries while money is being raised.
Maine Central 470 is very much loved, not just in Waterville, but by people all over Maine and New England.
People want to see the locomotive returned to service by Mainers, in Maine, for the benefit of Mainers.
Our goal is to restore 470 to operation before its 100th birthday, in 2024.
New England Steam Corp. believes we can meet that challenge.
We already have the expertise to make it happen.
We are doing it to preserve this treasure of railroading history, and for that reason alone.
An archive of information on 470's past is being created.
We are seeking any and all photographs of its last run, and any steam-era artifacts that might have come from 470's contemporaries.
If Waterville entrusts 470 to us, we will strive to make the city proud of that investment.
We are Mainers, we can do this together.
Richard Glueck - President New England Steam Corporation.
3 December 2013
Narrow Gauge Railway in the Spotlight
Two of Leighton Buzzards locomotives on display - Date/Photographer unknown.
Birmingham England United Kingdom - Leighton Buzzard's narrow gauge railway attracted countrywide attention once again 23-24 Nov 2013, when two of its historic locomotives went on display at the National Exhibition Centre, near Birmingham.
The occasion was the NEC's annual model railway show, now the biggest in the country.
In the last few years, the organisers have also invited a small number of full-size locomotives, and this year the Leighton Buzzard Railway was asked to come along.
The locomotives requested were both built for the War Department Light Railways (WDLR), which operated the hundreds of miles of narrow gauge tracks that supplied the British troops at the front.
With the imminent centenary of the start of the First World War, these two mechanical survivors represented the human survivors who are no longer with us.
No. 778 is one of the 495 locomotives supplied to the WDLR in 1917, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, USA.
A distinctively American design, several were bought for service on British narrow gauge lines after the war, but all were scrapped by the 1950s.
778 was fortunate to be sent for further service in India, where it remained until the 1980s.
It was restored to working order and original appearance by the Greensand Railway Museum Trust, and is based at Leighton Buzzard.
It is the only working example of its type in the United Kingdom.
No. 3098 began life much closer to home, at the Motor Rail & Tramcar Company works in Elstow Road, Bedford.
It is one of the Simplex "protected" type, driven by a 40 horsepower petrol engine, and fitted with light armour against enemy fire.
3 December 2013
Adelaide's First Electric Trains Suffer Another Setback
One of the commuter trains built for Adelaide by Bombardier - Date/Photographer unknown - NS.
Adelaide Australia - Adelaide's first electric trains have suffered another setback after they were sent back to the builder for modifications.
The Transport Department has 22 electric trains on order from Melbourne, each with three cars.
The first two arrived earlier this year and are currently being tested on the Noarlunga line.
7 News can reveal design issues were recently identified with the drivers' seats and the flooring will have to be replaced.
The flooring problem relates to durability.
The department was not convinced the trains, worth $10 million each, would last the 30-year design life as per the contract.
The trains are being sent back to builder Bombadier to be fixed at its Dry Creek depot.
The first six electric trains are due to be rolled out on the Seaford line in February, and the Transport Department is confident the latest hiccup will not affect that deadline.
All 22 trains should be in Adelaide by the end of next year.
4 December 2013
Government's 40 Percent Stake in Eurostar Up for Sale
The Eurostar enroute somewhere in England - Date/Photographer unknown.
London England United Kingdom - The Government is to sell its 40 percent stake in Eurostar in a move that could raise up to £10 billion as part of a new privatisation project.
The sale is part of a plan to privatise £20 billion of financial and corporate assets by 2020, but is likely to spark accusations that the "family silver" is being sold off.
Speaking to Sky News, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said he thought there was "scope to expand the sale of Government assets".
His comments will prompt speculation that other assets in the Government's £600 billion portfolio including the Post Office, the Royal Mint, the Met Office, and Channel 4, could be next under the hammer.
The announcement follows the £3.3 billion sale of the Royal Mail in October, which left Business Secretary Vince Cable facing allegations the business was undervalued by up to £6 billion.
The £160 million sale of the Government's student loans book to private debt collectors last month led to claims that the public was "subsidising a private company making a profit from pubic debt".
The plan for the Eurostar sell-off is contained in the new national infrastructure plan (NIP) which sets out over £375 billion of planned public and private investments to 2030 and beyond.
As part of the announcement it was disclosed that the Government has set a new target for selling off state financial assets from £10 billion to £20 billion.
Mr. Alexander told Sky News: "The principle that would apply is that if there are assets that the Government does not need to own and we can release vital resources that can go to improve infrastructure elsewhere in the country, then that is a good decision to make."
"But of course it would have to be demonstrated to be good value for money for the taxpayer that's a process that would have to be gone through before any final decision would be made."
He added: "We think there is scope to expand the sale of Government assets with the objective of making sure those projects are managed effectively in the private sector and we can release funds to build much-needed infrastructure elsewhere."
He stressed that Eurostar would not necessarily be sold this year or next but that it could be sold between now and 2020.
Mr. Cameron told Sky News that he found the process for infrastructure development frustrating. He said: "It is frustrating sometimes that we can't do things faster in Britain but we have a planning system, we have democratic accountability for that planning system, we have a need for everyone to have their say and make their point."
"That's very important in the British system."
"I think we can keep that system and that democracy but at the same time accelerate things and make them go faster."
"If you look at what this Government's done in terms of planning policy, decisions are now being taken faster, including on major infrastructure projects."
However, critics will question whether it is sensible to look to sell off the public's stake just as the Eurostar's fortunes seem to have turned a corner.
Sales revenue for the period July-September 2013 reached £207 million, a 10 percent increase on the same period last year, and passenger numbers in summer 2013 rose 5 percent to 2.7 million.
The new national infrastructure plan will also see a commitment by six major insurers, Legal and General, Prudential, Aviva, Standard Life, Friends Life, and Scottish Widows, to invest £25 billion over five years in UK infrastructure projects.
The planned infrastructure investment has increased from £309 billion last year to more than £375 billion, with 291 of the 646 projects and programmes already under construction.
Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said: "Scheme after scheme has been announced to great fanfare, but then little actually delivered."
"Yet another announcement from ministers about possible future investment will do little to reassure business that warm words will finally translate into diggers in the ground."
4 December 2013
Russian Railways Puts Quarter of Staff on Part-Time Roster
A hostess on the new train running between Nice and Moscow - Date/Photographer unknown.
Moscow Russia - Russia's state-owned railway company said Wednesday that it is placing more than one-quarter of its staff on part-time schedules to cut costs.
Russian Railways' decision to move 27 percent of its employees to a shorter working week was a better alternative to granting them unpaid leave, company president Vladimir Yakunin said.
Yakunin, speaking on the Russian Railways television channel, blamed the move on the worsening economic climate and said cuts would leave employees involved in transportation and security largely unaffected.
Russian Railways currently employs around one million people.
President Vladimir Putin in November told Russian Railways, along with other government monopolies, including gas giant Gazprom, pipeline operator Transneft, and power company Rosseti, to slash operating costs by 10 percent annually up until 2017.
The companies were ordered to submit their plans on reducing expenditures to the Economic Development Ministry by 10 Dec 2013.
The government has also decided to freeze tariffs on state-regulated utilities like gas and electricity, as well as prices for rail travel in 2014 in the hope of easing pressure on household budgets.
5 December 2013
Steaming Across England on the 21st Century Tornado
Tornado is seen here in its earlier green livery - Date/Photographer unknown.
Brockwood Surrey England United Kingdom - Joyful afternoons, whipping through the English countryside by steam power, are not normally the preserve of people in their mid-to-late twenties.
These excursions, a toot of the horn, a creak of metal, a slow building of speed, a flask of tea, and a plate of cake, if we are to go by the classic image, are generally enjoyed by older generations.
But could this be an idea that needs updating?
Steam locomotives, glorious relics of antiquity that they are, are often given pride of place in transport museums, and are still treasured by an unflagging set of enthusiasts.
These trains hark back to an age of travel decadence, where first class carriages had ample leg room, wooden (not plastic) panelling, and the food-smeared fold-out table was yet to be invented.
Let's face it, even some of the third and standard-class seats which accommodated most rail travellers in the late 19th century seem to trump the sardine cans of nowadays.
This is roughly my thought pattern as I prepare for a day of Victorian adventure.
Although the A1 Tornado locomotive that will be taking me on a journey is not Victorian.
Far from it, in fact.
It was constructed, with labourious effort, between 1994 and 2008, to replicate the original A1 steam engines that were built for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) between 1948 and 1949.
The entire original batch were scrapped as Britain's railways dispensed with steam, a decision much lamented by train aficionados, who vowed in 1990 to create a carbon copy from scratch.
They spent the next 18 years doing so, even painting the locomotive blue in a nod to British Rail's express passenger livery.
My all-day jaunt with the Cathedrals Express is scheduled to depart from the Surrey town of Brockwood, before weaving its way into the Hampshire and Wiltshire heartlands, and on through Somerset, finishing in Devon.
The train is made up of reclaimed carriages that were once eyed for the scrap heap, but narrowly managed to avoid the fate experienced by the original A1s.
As hardened Londoners who are more used to the silent, gaze-averting etiquette of commuter travel, my boyfriend and I find it refreshing to board our first class carriage to the welcome smiles and "hellos" of fellow passengers.
The train offers gourmet fare and enough courses to trouble Henry VIII - Date/Photographer unknown.
We settle down opposite a grandmother and her 81-year-old male companion, at a four-person table draped in an alabaster white cloth, with formal place settings.
We are to be served a four-course breakfast in the morning as our journey progresses through England's green landscape, before a pause in eating as we explore Paignton, or at lunchtime, followed by a six-course dinner on the evening trip home.
The mammoth breakfast starts, if you discount the glass of champagne which greets us as we board, with a croissant, followed by a fruit compote with granola and yoghurt, a choice of porridge or cornflakes, and then, to top it off, a Full English.
While trying to give us a waist girth to rival Henry VIII, the food is also notable thanks to the professionalism of the staff who deliver it.
If you think flight attendants have difficulty accommodating a plane full of customers with pre-packed foodstuffs, imagine the finesse needed to serve gourmet fare for 200 people during the twists and turns of a train ride.
With breakfast over, it is time for a quick stop, during which passengers alight to watch water being fed into the engine's boiler.
This gives me the chance to watch the crew in action, admire the train's polished bodywork, and watch as smoke mushrooms from the funnel.
As the whole convoy departs again, my boyfriend and I take to standing in our carriage's vestibule daring one another to stick our heads out the antique windows.
Of course this is rather dangerous, and no traveller should attempt to do such an asinine thing.
But we are desperate to watch the steam curl over the top of the train as it flies around sharp corners, or see how this grey cloud engulfs us like a duvet when go through a tunnel.
It turns out that we are not the only ones so engrossed.
Hundreds of steam enthusiasts know our timetable, and are strategically placed on the platforms of their local rural train stations, grinning at the rare pleasure of it all as we hurtle by.
Their SLR camera atop tripods, their thick winter jackets, their big waves, are a pleasing sight as we flit through the countryside, even passing two police officers, stood at a level crossing taking a video.
It is a few more hours until we reached our destination, but once at Paignton we jump off, waving goodbye to our new friends, most of whom are continuing on the train to Dartmouth (which, of course, sits directly across the River Dart from the terminal station at Kingswear).
In the meantime, we saunter off to visit Paignton's impressive zoo.
Tornado pauses by the platform during its long day-trip into Devon - Date/Photographer unknown.
At 5 p.m., the train returns to collect us, and it is time to return home.
A menu designed in elegant art deco style advises us that we are to enjoy canapes, followed by a chicken, pork, and apricot terrine.
The train's kitchen is astonishingly small considering the 250 covers that the chefs often have to provide.
Head chef Tony tells me: "There's always a drama in here", while explaining that an off-site kitchen makes a delivery of fresh food to the train in the morning, and again in the afternoon.
The second half of our evening meal consists of a juicy rump of lamb roast with herb-flecked new potatoes, a dessert of orange mascarpone pavlova with soft-baked plums, and a board of English cheeses with grapes and celery.
Dining is not mandatory (though I would certainly recommend it), and operator Steam Dreams runs countless journeys across the UK, meaning that there will undoubtedly be a route to suit everyone.
As we retreat back across the lower torso of England, I understand the joy of a historic method of transport that is so alien to my generation (outside the occasional movie).
And I am definitely, I decide, on the right tracks.
1 August 2013
Number 7 is on Track
Bill Ford on the Number 7 on Henry Ford's 150th birthday - 30 Jul 2013 Photographer unknown.
Dearborn Michigan USA - On 12 Jun 2013, the fully restored 1897 Baldwin Locomotive, affectionately known by The Henry Ford employees, volunteers, and frequent roundhouse guests, as "Number 7," went onto the Greenfield Village railroad tracks under its own power.
The last time this engine had run under its own steam was 83 years earlier at the Ford Rouge Plant.
Despite its almost regal dark green cab, Russian Iron jacket, and extensive gold and red hand painted trim, Number 7 did not initially live a pampered existence.
Besides the 1910 "combination" accident that saw our locomotive buried under a caboose body from another train, its history is typical of many locomotives of that time when railroads were owned by investors that were only interested in squeezing out as much profit as possible.
Bankruptcies of these railroads were common and diligent maintenance of equipment was not.
Unlike Number 7's counterparts it had a much brighter ending.
This ending was created by Henry Ford and his acquisition of the Detroit Toledo & Ironton Railway in 1920.
According to The Henry Ford's registrars file the construction of this 4-4-0 American class locomotive (Baldwin Order No. 15317) and tender was completed sometime in May of 1897.
Delivery to its original owner, the Detroit & Lima Northern Railway, was most likely in early July of that year.
The company that manufactured the locomotive and tender was Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia.
This massive facility that eventually covered 7 square blocks of the "Bush Hill" industrial district produced 501 locomotives that year.
Baldwin was the world's preeminent manufacturer of steam locomotives with 40 percent of what they manufactured being exported.
Their customer base included railroads in France and Japan.
In 1897 they employed 3,200 men with the vast assortment of special skills required to manufacture the giant locomotives with the precision required.
Baldwin had developed a manufacturing process that would allow them to build a locomotive from "order to delivery" in an astoundingly short eight weeks.
They did not build a "standard" locomotive but instead treated each order as a new design with components designed and manufactured by combining common templates and processes to match the customer's unique specifications.
The first three of the eight-week manufacturing process were used to create the drawings required for the ordered locomotive.
During the following two weeks all the materials and outside sourced components or subassemblies were ordered.
These purchased items represented about 50 percent of the total cost for the project.
In the following two weeks the boiler shop would fabricate the boiler as the other Baldwin shops completed the castings, forgings, and required machining.
The eighth week was used in the erection facility where all the components and subassemblies would be assembled into a complete and functioning locomotive.
It would then go through a brief prove-out prior to delivery to the customer.
Baldwin 15317 went through this process, and when assembled, the cab and tender were painted dark green with gold trim and the tender had Detroit & Lima Northern Railway in gold letters on both sides.
When build number 15317 left the Baldwin factory it carried the D&LNR designation number 7 on its number plate.
Number 7 was a steam powered coal burner that was designed and built to pull passenger cars.
Besides the passenger cars its tender would carry up to seven tons of coal and the 3,350 gallons of water necessary for its operation.
The Detroit & Lima Northern Railway started its short lived existence in Ohio sometime during 1896.
Chase M. Haskell, Ohio attorney and prominent Democrat, along with other promoters began selling bonds to create a new railway called the Lima Northern.
It would haul freight and passengers from Lima, through Ohio, and into southern Michigan.
Shortly after, plans were made to extend the railway to Detroit and Columbus with the name being changed to the Detroit & Lima Northern Railroad.
Within a few months the contractors for the extended rail lines took legal action because they had not received any money.
In 1898 the railroad was placed in receivership.
Haskell moved on to Oklahoma and in 1907 become its first governor.
The D&LNR operated under receivership until 1901 when it was purchased by New York banker Frederick J. Lisman and the name was changed to the Detroit Southern Railway Company.
The banker was an authority on railroad finances and had been prominent in that field for years.
As was typical at the time of Lisman's ownership, he was involved in numerous acquisitions and mergers to extend the systems routes and profits.
All went well until a bad economy in 1904 once again forced the railroad into receivership.
Following a sale in 1905 the company became the Detroit Toledo & Ironton Railroad.
The new DT&I name would continue to exist under various owners until December 1983 when the railroad was assimilated into the Grand Trunk Western Railroad and the DT&I identity disappeared.
The DT&I went into receivership in 1908.
Elements of the business were sold off but the company continued to operate.
In 1914 the company was reorganized and some of the elements that had been sold off were reacquired.
The next few years would see a number of significant improvements as heavier rails were installed, buildings were improved, and many trestles rebuilt.
As a part of these improvements, the locomotives and other rolling stock (freight cars, tank cars, etc.) that had been very poorly maintained during all the financial trauma, were given some much needed attention.
This effort did not last, in 1918, in order to better support the war effort (WW I), the federal government took over control of the nations railroads.
This control was in place until March of 1920.
During those years, rail traffic significantly increased with war production goods and much needed maintenance of the rolling stock was absolutely minimized.
DT&I equipment seemed to suffer more than others and according to Scott D. Trostel in his book, "Henry Ford: When I Ran the Railroads", the fleet was described in such poor state of repair with drive rods and cross heads that pounded so badly they could be heard for miles.
One of the results of this was that our Number 7 was barely operable in 1920.
In June of 1920 the ownership of the DT&I Railroad was transferred to the Ford Motor Company where Henry would transform it into one of the best managed and financially successful railroads in the country.
Ford's reason for the purchase of the DT&I was to extend its terminating point of Flat Rock to Dearborn and use it to help supply his new sprawling complex, the Rouge Plant.
This ultimately supported Henry's vision to have a manufacturing facility where coal, iron ore, rubber, and all raw materials required to construct an automobile, would come in one end of the Rouge and a completed vehicle would roll out the other end.
To accomplish this, the rolling stock (80 locomotives, 2,800 freight, and 24 passenger cars) would have to be completely rebuilt to Fords impressive standards.
A new building was constructed (the Fordson Shop) at the Rouge to facilitate the rebuild and maintenance of the new acquisition.
The facility was opened in 1921 with a staff that eventually reached 475 men with the first locomotive to undergo a Ford transformation being DT&I engine Number 7.
It was completely stripped down and inspected.
Anything that needed it was replaced.
Aesthetics were also a part of the transformation, drive rods were draw filed and polished, exposed iron pipes were replaced with bright copper, new boiler jackets were finished in a lacquered Russian Iron and the outside of the metal tires were painted white.
When the rebuild was completed "Number 7" was put into service at the disposal of Henry Ford who had assumed the roll of DT&I president.
It was frequently used to take Henry to various points along the line to attend meetings or visit with friends such as Thomas Edison or Harvey Firestone.
Some of these trips would include his private rail car the "Fairlane" as part of the "consist" (listing of locomotive and attached cars).
According to staff and others along the route, Henry could be seen in the cab during some of these trips.
Some who witnessed these trips said Henry could occasionally be seen setting in the engineer's seat with his engineer Harry Cochran a step away.
Ford owned the railroad until June of 1929 when he became irritated with the intervention of the Interstate Commerce Commissions over shipping rates and other issues.
The DT&I was sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad for $36 million.
Besides the profits and rate advantage enjoyed during the Ford ownership he turned his initial $5 million purchase price and approximately $8 million of improvements into an impressive $23 million profit.
Number 7 was not a part of this sale.
Sometime in 1930 it underwent a restoration at the Ford Rouge's Fordson Shops and was donated to the Edison Institute (now The Henry Ford) and put on display in the Henry Ford Museum.
It remained in the museum until 1985 when it was moved to our train shed (now the Antique Vehicles Garage).
Number 7 on the turntable - Date/Photographer unknown.
Number 7 remained untouched in the train shed until 1997 when the train staff began a preliminary investigation to see if it was practical to attempt to make the locomotive operational.
The jacketing was taken off, the asbestos insulation was removed, and metallurgical tests were done to asses the boilers condition.
The 1930 restoration at the Fordson shops was originally thought to have been a complete mechanical and cosmetic upgrading.
A later examination revealed that the 1930 restoration was primarily cosmetic but some other elements of that restoration would lead to some real surprises during the recent one.
If Number 7 was ever to run again many parts of its now 80-plus-year-old boiler would have to be replaced and this would require complete disassembly of the locomotive.
The new sections of the boiler that would have to be fabricated and installed were the boiler floor, rear tube sheet (boiler end), firebox door sheet, and all of the boilers heat tubes.
These are all large parts that must be formed from heavy gauge steel sheet or tubing.
The only parts that could be purchased from an outside supplier were the 167 heavy walled heat tubes.
All other parts would be fabricated here and an attempt would be made to produce them with the same processes that would have been used in roundhouses of that period.
To fabricate these parts and install them would require hundreds of man hours.
Even the hammers that would be used for forming the heavy metal would have to be fabricated here.
There were some additional issues that needed to be dealt with before the locomotive could be placed in service.
The most labour intensive was that the frame of Number 7s tender was made of wood and had deteriorated to the point where it would not be able to handle day to day service at the Village.
The only viable solution was to fabricate an all new metal frame.
The second issue was that in order for the much longer Baldwin to navigate the tight turns of the Village's 2.5 mile railroad, modifications to the front truck and drive wheels would have to be made.
These changes included making swing links for the front truck and additional thrust clearance was provided by machining the drive axles.
Don LaCombe - Supervisor Transportation and Crafts Program.
Number 7 in the roundhouse - May 2013 Rahn Stokes.