Monday, April 30, 2007

Diamond & Caldor No. 4 Shay 100th Birthday

I've been so busy with the birth of my grandson that I forgot that Friday marked the 100th birthday of the Shay. It's only fitting that Ernesto David was born on the day that we at the El Dorado Western Railway count as the locomotive's 100th.

Saturday, April 27th, 1907 is the day that the Diamond & Caldor Railway No. 4 Shay locomotive was shipped from the Lima, Ohio factory to the foothills of California.

Although we don't know how long the trip took, the No. 4 was immediately put work on the mainline between Caldor and Diamond Springs. A typical consist in the early days of the logging line was made up of eight to 10 Russell lumber service cars and combine car 1002. The Shay hauled lumber to the mill for the next 20 years or so.

The No. 4 ended her days as a steaming locomotive in 1953 working the switching standard gauge lumber cars between the drying yards and the interchange with the Southern Pacific to the north. She spent most of the next 40 years on display at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

It wasn't until around 1993 that a dedicated group of railroad enthusiasts started the restoration process for the locomotive.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fireman's Side in the Engine House

Here's a shot of the west side of the El Dorado Western Railway engine house. If all goes well, we plan to move the locomotive outside during the El Dorado County Fair, June 14-17, 2007.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Worthington Duplex Steam Water Pump

Sometime back, the railway acquired a Worthington duplex steam water pump from the Sacramento Valley Live Steamers. We intend to mount it on the fireman's side running board. Although the No. 4 didn't carry this particular pump, they were common pieces of equipment on Shay locomotives.

According to railway vice-president Keith Berry, we're going to mount the pump on the running board in line with the sand dome. The sand dome is perched on top of the boiler just forward of where the tapered course ends.

The pump must be located where it won't interfere with the air compressor. We also need room on the running board to access the steam dynamo, which rests on top of the boiler between the smoke stack and sand dome.

The pump can be used to inject water into the boiler or to fill the water tank in an emergency.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Feature Story in Placerville Newspaper

The El Dorado Western Railway received a bit of press yesterday in California's oldest newspaper. The Mountain Democrat ran this story by photographer Dan Burkhart:

This April 27 the Diamond and Caldor Shay No. 4 steam locomotive will be celebrating her 100 year anniversary. The engine located at the El Dorado County Museum once transported lumber and passengers from Diamond Springs to Caldor.
Click here to continue reading. You'll find several great photos of Dale Mace, Sam Thompson and Keith Berry on page B-1 if you can locate a copy of the newspaper.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Learnin' the Trades

Jacob Karoly, a 15-year-old Union Mine High School student, cleans rust off of one of the brake bars to the railbus flat car. Working at the engine house can be a learning experience for young railroaders. In addition to gaining valuable work experience, students learn how to use the tools of the trade.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Valve Shaper is Working

Lead machinist Sam Thompson watches the valve shaper Saturday as the cutting tool moves up and down. It was cutting one of the inside vertical surfaces in the no. 2 cylinder. Sam spent the past two Saturdays dialing in his valve facing shaper. He was aligning the shaper so the cutting tool will travel across the valve surface without binding.

Bill Rodgers has assisted Sam since the project's inception. It takes two people to accomplish this task. Bill moved the cutting head up and down by hand as Sam made his adjustments. The no. 2 cylinder is the most challenging because of the lack of clearance.

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