Sunday, June 17, 2007

Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay

Keith Berry (left in door) and Eric Stohl occupy their rightful places as fireman and engineer on the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 at the El Dorado County Historical Museum. They are the vice-president and president, respectively, of the El Dorado Historical Foundation. Bill Rogers (standing) and Steve Karoly form the remainder of the crew for Saturday's display of the locomotive at the county fair.

The engine is about 80 to 85 percent complete. The boiler refit and re-installation of the brake system are the remaining major projects. Once the boiler refit is complete, the crew will be able to reassemble all other systems and get her ready for steaming.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday at the County Fair

Over 90 fair goers enjoyed a visit with the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay locomotive today. That's an impressive number considering that the engine house only sees about one-fourth of the museum's visitors. We're encouraged to hear that many visitors had read the recent articles about the locomotive in the Mountain Democrat.

And now this note to Richard Wright: Your sister and brother-in-law said hi! She promised snap a few pictures of the Four-Spot for you tomorrow when we pull her out of the engine house.

Finally, we should note that Harold Kiser was featured on page one of today's Mountain Democrat. The 83-year-old El Dorado Western Railway board member was a El Dorado Rose Escort and was treated to his first Ferris wheel ride in 50 years. Harold attended a special VIP/media night last Wednesday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday at the County Fair

I worked the fair this afternoon a little after noon until 7 p.m. Board member Bill Rodgers held down the morning shift. Over 40 folks , including a few who told me a thing or two about the Shay locomotive, stopped by the engine house.

Stop by tomorrow and take a look at the Diamond & Caldor No. 4 Shay. The engine house is open from 1o a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Sunday. Bill will be there Friday morning. Keith Berry and I will be on duty tomorrow afternoon and early evening.

We have T-shirts on sale for $20, coffee mugs for $10 and train whistles for $6. Our newest T-shirt sports an image of the No. 4 number plate.

And don't forget that memberships are available for $35, $60 and $100 each (individual, family and corporate).

The fair schedule, parking and shuttle service information for the El Dorado County Fair is posted on its website. El Dorado Transit is offering free shuttle service each day from three separate parking lots to the fair entrance on Placerville Drive. Service is operated from 9:30 a.m. until midnight on Saturday. Check the schedule for Friday and Sunday. Parking is available for $5 in the fair parking lots.

Garrett Augustus (left), Dale Mace and Eric Stohl install the Sunbeam steam powered dynamo on the boiler two weeks ago.

Mounting the Oil Tank, Part 2

The oil tank has been mounted on the water tank for the first time in 13 years. The crew lifted the oil tank on Saturday, June 2, 2007 with the assistance of one of our heavy surplus forklifts. After a slow start while Doug and Garrett installed the siphoning elbow, Eric (driving forklift), Doug, Garrett, Keith, Dale, Sam and Bill were able to place the oil tank in place for the county fair.

Come see the locomotive at the El Dorado County Fair this weekend. The fair runs today through Sunday. The fair website has hours and a schedule of events. The museum is located at 104 Placerville Drive, adjacent to fairground’s Green Gate. The fair admission fee is good for the museum and engine house.

Logan's mother grabs a quick pose. Logan and his family were leaving for Disneyland right after the photograph. He had to see the locomotive before leaving for Southern California.

Eric, driving the forklift, starts the approach toward the locomotive with the oil tank.

Garrett guides Eric as he stets the oil tank on the jack stands. Initially, the oil tank rested on the jack stands so the crew could rig straps to make the final lift.

Doug worked the cab end of the oil tank. The cab, which was built to original Lima specifications, leaves little room to lower the oil tank in place. This view shows the cribbing that supports the oil tank. Keith, Eric and I measured and cut the cribbing Memorial Day weekend.

Doug and Garrett (behind forklift tower) rig the straps. The crew will then lower the oil tank into its final position.

Garrett and Keith get ready to remove the jack stands once Eric lifts the oil tank a few inches with the forklift.

This view gives you an idea of the tight quarters in the cab once the oil tank is installed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

100-Year Old Locomotive on Display for El Dorado County Fair

"Current restoration activities center on preparing the Shay No. 4 for her second 'coming out.' The first one was 100 years ago when No. 4 was delivered and started work at the Diamond and Caldor Railway. This time will be for her centennial birthday," said Eric Stohl, El Dorado Western Railway Foundation president.

On Saturday, June 16, 2007, railway volunteers will pull the 100-year old logging locomotive out of the engine house and onto the "tail track" for the El Dorado County Fair.

In conjunction this year’s railroad theme at the El Dorado County Historical Museum, volunteers will dress the engine with many of the appliances that distinguished steam locomotives of the era.

Children (and adults!) will be able to ring the bell. The engine will be looking smart with the rear headlight shining out from the top of the oil tank. And the newly refurbished generator will be spotted behind the smoke stack.

Watch for the beam of light from the original Sunbeam locomotive headlight as you enter museum grounds from the fair plaza. At 1 p.m., the beacon will signal that it's time for the public to join in the birthday celebration.

The museum is located at 104 Placerville Drive, adjacent to fairground’s Green Gate. The fair admission fee is good for the museum and engine house.

April 27, 2007 marked the Diamond and Caldor No. 4's 100th birthday. It's one of three surviving Shay locomotives of the 24 that once steamed in the El Dorado County woods.

The unique reduction gear arrangement in the Shay's drive train made the engine ideal for the rough track of logging railroads. The No. 4 hauled lumber and logs along the 34-mile narrow gauge railroad between Diamond Springs and Caldor from 1907 to 1953.

The foundation is working in partnership with the County of El Dorado and the museum to educate the community about railroad logging in El Dorado County.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Mounting the Shiphon Elbow, Part 2

Once we spotted the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay on the tail track last Saturday morning, Doug Youngberg and Garrett Augustus had to mount the siphon elbow on the fireman's side of the water tank. Our original intention was to complete this project the Saturday before (before Westheimer's Rule kicked in).

In the photograph, Doug peers out out the water tank filler port as Garrett prepares thread the bolts.
Sometimes you have to make things fit! Here Garrett re-bores the last two or three holes for the siphon elbow.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pulling the Shay Out of the Engine House

The first job this morning was to move the oil tank. It's been sitting on the tail track for over two years. Eric Stohl moves the oil tank with the forklift.

We use the block and tackle to pull the engine out of the barn. The lead is connected to a pick up truck. In the photo, Logan removes the river rock from along the track.

Doug Youngberg and Garrett Augustus connect the line to the locomotive.

Keith Berry pulls the locomotive out of the engine house with his pick up.

The crew only pulled the engine out half way. During the El Dorado County Fair, we plan to pull the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay geared locomotive completely out of the engine house on the morning of Saturday, June 16, 2007.

Mounting the Shiphon Elbow

Keith Berry, Eric Stohl and I started installation of the water tank siphon elbow last Saturday. We also laid the cribbing and cut it to size.

The plan was to complete as many smaller tasks as possible last week. These small tasks have a way of delaying larger projects (like mounting the oil tank today).

We quickly ran into difficulties when four of the eight existing nuts wouldn't break free. I quickly un-threaded the first four bolts in 15 minutes with my son's help inside the water tank. (None of the adults couldn't slip down the filler port into the water tank!.)

The remaining four bolts were hopelessly locked in place for the moment. Keith then handed Jacob an impact wrench. Keith and I quickly realized that he didn't have the experience to handle the tool with any real progress.

We gave up after two hours.

To complete the task, Keith returned Thursday evening with a friend who fit inside the water tank. Impact wrench in hand, Keith and Wayne were able to remove the remaining four bolts and nuts in 30 minutes.

The Gang

Here's a picture of the gang today. I snapped it at the conclusion of a very successful Saturday work day. We mounted the oil tank and the dynamo and acquired a new volunteer.
Top row, siting from left: Garrett Augustus and Sam Thompson
Standing: Keith Berry, vice-president, and Bill Rogers
Sitting: Eric Stohl, president, Dale Mace, Doug Youngberg and Steve Karoly