A 630 update

Update 2: and it’s back together:

630’s #2 wheelset is installed, oil cellars are installed, plumbed and filled with oil, binders are up, and brake rigging installed. Installation of rods and other loose items will finish tomorrow, followed by fire-up.

Departure time from Roanoke on Thursday is not known at this time. Consist will most likely be the GP40-3, road slug, and coal gondolas.

And another:

“Work has remained on schedule through the weekend – Machining of the boxes is complete. Assembly of the oil cellars will be done tomorrow [July 9]. In addition, running of lube lines and other prep work is already underway at Shaffer’s Crossing.”

From Mark Ray:

“The journals on the #2 axle have been turned and burnished, the L2 box has been babbitted, the R2 is ready for babbitting, and work has started on fabrication of the new oil cellars. The tentative, and I do mean tentative, schedule is for the machining of the driving boxes to finish on Sunday [July 8], fabrication of the oil cellars to complete Monday, and departure early Tuesday morning with all the parts. If all goes well, reassembly will finish Wednesday with departure for Bristol on Thursday and arrival in Knoxville one week from today [July 14].”

Bill Purdie would be proud.

Southern 630 sidelined

Update: Mark Ray posts that 630’s axle and boxes are already in Chattanooga being converted to oil lubrication, and the locomotive may be ready for the July 14 – 15 trips in Knoxville.

Southern 2-8-0 630’s bearing woes continue:

Trains NewsWire:

Problems with overheating bearings on Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630 have sidelined the engine for several weeks . . . it is unknown if the engine can make a slow speed move back to Chattanooga for repairs. TVRM personnel were heading to Virginia today to inspect No. 630, and decide how and where the repairs will be made.

I understand that the offending bearing is the last axle with grease (as opposed to oil) lubrication. This axle was scheduled for conversion to oil after the current June – July tour, which should bring an end to these problems.

As a result, next weekend’s one-way trip from Roanoke to Knoxville will be diesel-hauled, and the one-way trip from Knoxville to Chattanooga has been cancelled. No word yet on the July 14-15 employee trips will be diesel-hauled, or whether Southern 2-8-0 154 might be called on as a substitute.

Back on familiar rails

Here’s a little trivia: every mile of track Southern 2-8-0 no. 630 has covered in 2011 and 2012 has been ‘new territory.’ During its 1968 – 1977 service, it never ventured north of Attalla, AL, or Atlanta.

But today, 630 returned to the Central of Georgia between Atlanta and Forest Park, GA. This is a route 630 covered twice in 1969, and probably once in early 1968.

And the route passes through East Point, for many years the home of the man in charge of Southern steam, Bill Purdie.

The above photo shows 630 passing through East Point for the first time since 1969. Consider it a little tribute.

Earlier this morning, departing Spring Street:

The employees of Atlanta Foods International get into the spirit of things.

“No, I’ve never seen a steam locomotive,” the guy on the left said.

“Have you got 10 minutes? Stick around, you’ll enjoy this.”