Western Railway Preservaton Society

- Tank #5 Restoration -

Oil Tank car #5

Help Restore West Side Lumber Co. Oil Tank Car #5!

In September 2005, this unique piece of logging history became the focus of a restoration effort, with a mandate to rebuild tank car #5 into an operational piece of SVRR rolling stock. Full documentation of the cars remains were started, and in October 2005, the oil tank was carefully lifted from the rotted flat car deck. There are no salvageable wooden flat car parts, but most of the iron parts are reusable. The oil tank, though still structurally sound, has rust holes around the perimeter and desperately needs to have the rust stabilized inside and out. There are some flat car and truck parts missing, too.

A large amount of time, resources, and funds will be required to make this restoration as accurate and correct as possible. Historical information, and especially period West Side pictures of tank #5, would help tremendously in the restoration effort. The SVRR would like to restore tank #5 to a watertight condition, to allow demonstrations of the old steam powered pump that was used during its fire car duties out in the woods. More History >

If you would like to be part of this project, please contact Mike Roberts at 360-834-4638 or e-mail him at: mike@westernrailwaypreservation.org.

If you'd prefer to contribute to the restoration project in another way, donations are needed and always appreciated. A tax-deductible donation may be sent to the address below and please earmark for the "Oil Tank Car #5 Restoration":

Western Railway Preservation Society

PO Box 1112

Baker City, OR 97814

- Tank #5 News -

October 2012
  • 2012_oct_1.jpg
  • With the tank again tipped up on its side, Mike and Arnie finish up the welding and grinding on the sixth and last patch panel.


  • 2012_oct_2.jpg
  • Some final details are also wrapped up on #5’s flat car. The upper truck pins get new plate washers, pins, and cotter keys. The last of the deck boards also got spiked down.


  • 2012_oct_3.jpg
  • The bottom of the tank was cleaned and painted with a good coat of oil-based gloss black paint. Other than a couple of small areas on the bottom that appeared to be red lead paint, there was no indication that the N-C-O or West Side ever painted the bottom. Now painted inside and out, hopefully the tank will survive another century.


  • 2012_oct_4.jpg
  • Arnie, Mike, and Ken continue painting the tank bottom after the heavy sawhorses were repositioned.


  • 2012_oct_5.jpg
  • The painting is done, and the tank is almost ready for installation on the flat car. The center drain pipe was left alone – the last of the tank bottom still in its original rusty condition.


  • 2012_oct_6.jpg
  • One last item gets welded back on – the dome extension that had to be cut off for the truck trip to McEwen, OR in 2000.


  • 2012_oct_7.jpg
  • The tank has been lifted from the steel sawhorses for the last time, and is heading for the waiting flat car.


  • 2012_oct_8.jpg
  • Ken slowly lowers the tank onto the flat car. Strips of tough conveyor belt material will cushion the tank along six of the rivet lines and will provide a small air gap. Not original, but another preservation step we hope will help in the long run.


  • 2012_oct_9.jpg
  • With Ken finessing the fork lift, final adjustments are done down to fractions of an inch so that the tank matches the original position on the flat car deck.


  • 2012_oct_10.jpg
  • After seven seasons of work weekends, another important milestone has been reached! With the tank finally in its proper place, the new tool box and platform and the replacement steam pump are temporarily put in place for winter storage. The tank #5 project is now 90 to 95 percent done. Final brake work, pump plumbing, tank support beams, and final assembly and painting should be wrapped up in 2013!

    Weather permitting, the start of our next season will be in March or April 2013.

    September 2012
  • 2012_sep_1.jpg
  • Some of the unseen time-consuming preservation work that will never be viewed again. Keith is painting a good coat of oil-based paint over the rust killer we applied last month. The whole interior of the tank is now protected by a bright high-aluminum content finish - hopefully it will last for decades.


  • 2012_sep_2.jpg
  • The sixth and last patch panel is ready for installation. Like one of the panels on the other side of the tank, the old rivet heads have been welded into place.


  • 2012_sep_3.jpg
  • Another chore completed was packing and lubricating the truck center and side bearings. The truck pins were also installed. This center bearing has a good coat of heavy, thick crater grease, and Keith is packing the side bearing castings.


  • 2012_sep_4.jpg
  • A closer view of the cotton string and horse hair packing in one of the side bearings. This solidified gunk was pulled out of the truck journal boxes of #5 years ago, and has been reconditioned for reuse. No guess on how many decades old the packing is, but it’s fully revived and ready for another run. Quite a bit of 90-weight oil also went into the side bearings.


  • 2012_sep_5.jpg
  • Arnie has finished the inside welding of the sixth patch panel, and the tank will get the final welding and grinding on the outside in October. The final interior painting will hopefully be finished up too. If things go well, the tank will be placed on the rebuilt flatcar for the last time as well.

    Our next work weekend is October 13-14.

    August 2012
  • 2012_aug_1.jpg
  • Keith and Ken move the sixth and last tank patch panel into place for measuring.


  • 2012_aug_2.jpg
  • Now cut to rough size, our last patch panel will wait until the tank interior work is finished. We will have to weld 5 original rivet heads to this panel as well.


  • 2012_aug_3.jpg
  • Doesn’t look like much has changed, but the last two new rivets are in, the lower half of the interior of the tank has a coat of rust killer applied, and one of the sections of tank has a complete coat of silver Rustoleum paint. We need to finish up some Mig welding to close up some pin holes, too. Hopefully this will stabilize the tank for the next 100 years.

    Our next work weekend is September 8-9.

    June 2012
  • 2012_june_1.jpg
  • Our new brake shaft, machined by Dennis Jones (OR), fits great! This brake wheel will work until we can find a Lovsted like the original.


  • 2012_june_2.jpg
  • Volunteer Keith Masterson (CO) continues his great work on the tool box and platform. The picture gives you an idea on just how big the tool box is.


  • 2012_june_3.jpg
  • Keith and Arnie are making the first cuts on the fourth tank patch panel.


  • 2012_june_4.jpg
  • A shot of the fifth patch panel tacked into place. Arnie stayed a few extra days and also cut and welded in the fifth patch panel. After we get the rust killer and a good coat of Rustoleum inside the tank, the last replacement panel can finally be welded into place.

    Our next work weekend is August 11-12.

    May 2012
  • 2012_may_1.jpg
  • The final rivets are in place, and the welding has been completed on one side of the tank. It's time to check for leaks!


  • 2012_may_2.jpg
  • Our tank, still on steel sawhorses, is heading for the Sumpter Valley's water tank for the leak check. SVRR #110, a ten-ton Plymouth gas-mechanical, is doing the honors.


  • 2012_may_3.jpg
  • After being unloaded from the flat car, the tank has been lifted slightly to keep the water on the repaired side. Arnie is ready to put a hose into the tank for the test. We ended up with a few small leaks in the some fifty feet of weld, and some drips around four of the new rivets - not bad! The leaks will be addressed in June.


  • 2012_may_4.jpg
  • After the test, Ken tips the tank to let the water run out. Some of the rusted-out holes on this side are very evident!


  • 2012_may_5.jpg
  • Back in place near the Restoration shop, Arnie starts cutting out another bad section of the tank. The water test helped wash out the last of the debris in the tank as well, and we’ll start applying rust killer in June.


  • 2012_may_6.jpg
  • Another section of rusted-out steel is gone. The new patch panel will be fit in place in June.

    Our next work weekend is June 16-17.

    April 2012
    • 2012_apr_1.jpg
    • Lots of cutting, welding, and fabrication over the April work weekend. Project manager Mike Roberts is doing some MIG welding on the eight new brake shoe pins.


    • 2012_apr_2.jpg
    • One of the new brake shoe pins and cotter keys next to an original pin. Twelve new sheet metal cotter keys were fabricated by Arnie.


    • 2012_apr_3.jpg
    • Arnie and Mike Stewart finished up the welding and grinding on the three patch panels on one side of the tank. A seven inch round patch was also welded in where the tank was rusted through and a few small holes were evident.


    • 2012_apr_4.jpg
    • Ken is finishing up the pieces of steel required for four clevises for the new long truck brake rods.


    • 2012_apr_5.jpg
    • Mike is heating and bending one of the four new clevises into shape.


    • 2012_apr_6.jpg
    • Ken and Mike hold the partially assembled brake rods. One is around eleven feet long and the other measures eight feet. Final cutting and fitting will happen under the tank's flat car in May. This will wrap up the brake system, except for installation of the replacement retainer valve and a new brake wheel shaft.

      Our next work weekend is May 19-20.

      March 2012
      • 2012_mar_1.jpg
      • With some decent sunny weather and very little snow on the ground (unusual for McEwen, OR in March), the old tank was tipped up on its side so we can continue the patch panel welding started late last year.


      • 2012_mar_2.jpg
      • Arnie and Mike Stewart applied several feet of weld over Saturday.


      • 2012_mar_3.jpg
      • Ken, Mike Roberts, and first-time WRPS volunteer Ed Shufflebotham (IL) spent a lot of time on the brake system.

        Ed and Ken are installing the new section of air hose that ties the air cylinder’s triple valve to the main air line. The original clamps and new square headed nuts and bolts will finish this up. The brake shoes were also installed, and we got a good start on the new brake shoe retainer pins. The two end air hoses are ready for banding as well.


      • 2012_mar_4.jpg
      • Sunday morning started off with the final welding on the three outer patch panels, and the start of the finish grinding. A quick change in the weather - snow - shut us down for the weekend.


      • 2012_mar_5.jpg
      • The tank is back on the ground, and gets a layer of snow as we wrap up the first work weekend of 2012. Next month will see the start of the panel repair on the other side of the tank, and the start of the replacement brake rods that tie the brake rigging to the trucks. We hope to start testing the air brake system as well.

        Our next work weekend is April 14-15.

        October 2011
        • 2011_oct_1.jpg
        • The October work weekend focused on the third and final patch panel on one side of the tank. Ken is making the rough cuts in the shop - the mornings in McEwen, OR are already getting cold.


        • 2011_oct_2.jpg
        • Even though the patch panels are being welded in place, we are trying to keep the tank as original looking as possible. Here are the remains of two of the rivet seams after the original rivet heads have been scavenged. The amount of rust damage is very evident.


        • 2011_oct_3.jpg
        • The third patch panel has been drilled to accept the original rivet heads. The rivet heads will be welded into place and ground smooth on the back side of the panel.


        • 2011_oct_4.jpg
        • The welded rivet heads look pretty good!


        • 2011_oct_5.jpg
        • The third patch panel has been tacked into place.


        • 2011_oct_6.jpg
        • A look down the repaired side of the tank. There is still a lot of welding to do. The next three patch panels should move along more quickly in 2012.

          Our next word weekend will be in March or April 2012. Several small projects will be taken care of offsite during the upcoming winter months.

          August/September 2011
        • 2011_sept_1.jpg
        • The August work weekend saw the initial fitting of the second patch panel to the tank.


        • 2011_sept_2.jpg
        • In September, Ken is doing some of the final trimming on the second patch panel.


        • 2011_sept_3.jpg
        • The second patch panel is partially welded in, and the outside seam that will be partially visible has bee ground smooth.


        • 2011_sept_4.jpg
        • The first patch panel has also been partially welded and the seam ground smooth as well.


        • 2011_sept_5.jpg
        • Arnie is doing some welding inside the tank on the second patch panel. A tight squeeze and very warm working conditions – is was around 85 degrees outside the tank at this point.


        • 2011_sept_6.jpg
        • Mike is grinding off rivet heads in preparation of removal of the center rusted out section on this side of the tank. These will be re-riveted after final welding.


        • 2011_sept_7.jpg
        • Ken is cutting along the bottom section of the rusted out section with a cut off wheel.


        • 2011_sept_8.jpg
        • The center section has been removed. We hope to get this sections patch panel into place in October, the last work session for 2011.


        • 2011_sept_9.jpg
        • The tool box and platform, well under way due to Keith’s efforts, is starting to look just like the original.Keith will wrap this up in 2012.


        • 2011_sept_10.jpg
        • The tool box lid is assembled as well. We found a perfect match for a missing hinge, too.

          The last official work weekend for 2011 will be October 8/9. Several small projects will continue over the winter months.

          July 2011
        • 2011_july_1.jpg
        • Time to rivet! Ken gets the coal-fired forge going for heating the 1/2" diameter 1" long button head rivets to a nice hot orange color.


        • 2011_july_2.jpg
        • Lots of heavy tools needed for the relatively small rivets. A pair of rivets are between the heavy steel bucking bar and the air-powered rivet gun. Various hammers and pliers made up the rest of the implements.


        • 2011_july_3.jpg
        • The new baffle is now riveted into place with 38 rivets. The lower angle iron brace that ties the baffle to the tank bottom also received some reinforcement.


        • 2011_july_4.jpg
        • Two hand rail brackets were also riveted back onto the tank.


        • 2011_july_5.jpg
        • Work also continues on the new tool box platform. Ken and Keith are nailing the first of the deck boards into place. The platform and tool box will have to be finished when the tank work and painting is completed.


        • 2011_july_6.jpg
        • One of the four J-bolts that hold the platform to the tank’s handrails. Three are original, and one had to be fabricated.


        • 2011_july_7.jpg
        • Keith applies wood preservative to the tool box platform and decking. The platform is big, measuring over nine feet long. We can assemble the tool box and paint most of the platform prior to the final assembly.

          The next work weekend will be August 11/12. Work will continue on the tool box and platform, and the next tank patch panel.

          June 2011
        • 2011_june_1.jpg
        • Finally, some good weather! Focus for the June work weekend was the start of the assembly of the tool box platform, and installing the first tank patch panel. Keith Masterson (CO) and Ken Hittle (OR) are verifying the fit of the main platform beams, and Arnie Lipshetz (WA) is doing the final grinding on the opening in the tank for fitting the first new panel.


        • 2011_june_2.jpg
        • The first inner patch panel is held loosely in place - there will be a lot of cutting and fitting to make sure the panel will fit properly. To give an idea of scale, the new steel panel is six feet long.


        • 2011_june_3.jpg
        • Project Manager Mike Roberts (WA) is cutting away some of the excess steel on the patch panel. Two long saw cuts were required, and some careful grinding made for a very good fit.


        • 2011_june_4.jpg
        • Ken and Keith are happy with the assembled tool box platform. All of the deck and tool box boards are cut, and all are getting a coat of preservative. The new tool box and platform should be completely assembled and painted by August.


        • 2011_june_5.jpg
        • The first patch panel has been tack welded into place. Compare the new steel to the rusted out section - quite and improvement! The panel will be fully welded in July, and the start of the second patch panel will begin. We're still trying to locate the proper riveting attachments to get the new baffle riveted in place.

          The next work weekend will be July 9/10. We'll continue working on the tool box platform and tank patch panels. Still lots more to do - get the replacement triple valve mounted, wrap up the air brake hardware, rivet the new baffle in place, get the brake shoes hung, etc, etc, etc!.

          May 2011
        • 2011_may_1.jpg
        • The thirty-eight 9/16" diameter holes have been drilled in the new tank baffle. If the proper .675 shank diameter rivet ‘snap’ can be located, riveting can start in June. The lower angle iron bracket that holds the baffle to the floor will also be strengthened.


        • 2011_may_2.jpg
        • Volunteer Mike Stewart is grinding off some of the rivets that hold two overlapping tank sections together. The new panels will be welded into place, but we hope to save and reuse the original external cone-shaped rivet heads to make the repairs look authentic.


        • 2011_may_3.jpg
        • A real find! Ten original unused West Side brake shoes were found at the Alder Gulch tourist railroad in Montana. Shoe castings are marked WSL-1.


        • 2011_may_4.jpg
        • The brake shoes fit perfectly. Eight new pins and flat cotter keys will need to be fabricated to hold them in place. Once these are mounted, the two replacement brake rods that tie the truck brakes to the under-car brake rigging can also be designed and fabricated.


        • 2011_may_5.jpg
        • The rebuilt air shutoff valve for the brake air cylinder has been reinstalled. The two original angle cocks were also rebuilt and are ready to install.


        • 2011_may_6.jpg
        • Another great find! A replacement two-cylinder steam-powered water pump was purchased from the Brad Milne collection in Washington. The steam pump is a Fairbanks Morse 4-1/2 X 3 X 4, just like the original. This one has a higher serial number, and the only noticeable difference is a slightly different cover casting on the water pump end. Rebuilding will wait until the rest of tank #5 is completed.


        • 2011_may_7.jpg
        • The replacement coupler lift bar has also been fabricated. It is almost impossible to tell the original from the new one.


        • 2011_may_8.jpg
        • An original Climax-style coupler lock casting is on the left, and a new one is on the right. After a successful trial fit, a few more can now be cast and machined. A complete lock and lift link set was also found at Alder Gulch, and the links can now be duplicated as well.

          The next work weekend will be June 4/5. We’ll install the rebuilt air cocks, get the replacement triple valve mounted, hopefully rivet the new baffle in place, get the brake shoes hung, and fit the first tank patch panel.

          April 2011
        • 2011_apr_1.jpg
        • The six steel patch panels and a rectangular blank for a replacement tank baffle have arrived. The Kinsman Foundation grant received last year paid for the new steel.


        • 2011_apr_2.jpg
        • There wasn’t much left of this original tank baffle! The center section came out in a few minutes, but it then took several hours to remove the old rivets and clean up the original baffle flanges.


        • 2011_apr_3.jpg
        • A paper template was made from one of the good tank baffles, and is ready to transfer to the new sheet steel.


        • 2011_apr_4.jpg
        • Arnie and Ken cut and grind on the new tank baffle.


        • 2011_apr_5.jpg
        • The new baffle fits! The hole in the center of the panel was saw-cut, deviating from the originals that were removed by drilling lots of holes. The rough originals are not very easy on the skin when moving from one tank section to another.

          The next work weekend will be May 14/15. We’ll drill the 30+ half-inch mounting holes in the new baffle, finish rebuilding the air valves, and get the replacement triple valve mounted.

          August 2010
        • 2010_aug_1.jpg
        • Looking from the pump end of the tank, the new handrail piping is to the left. All of the brackets have been realigned, and the end railings are back where they belong. We hope to rivet the two handrail brackets back into place in September. The two main supports for the tool box platform have also been measured and are ready to cut to fit the tank/handrail contours.


        • 2010_aug_2.jpg
        • Volunteer Mike Stewart checks out his handiwork after the third rusted-out section of the tank has been removed. This will give us access to the fourth and fifth sections of the tank for cleaning and evaluation. Cutting out sections on opposing sides has helped keep the tanks structural integrity sound.


        • 2010_aug_3.jpg
        • The fifth section of the tank held a surprise – a heating coil made out of one inch pipe. This helps explain the purpose of some of the fittings on the 'B' end of the tank. The reason for all of the other drain plugs, who knows. About three inches of debris has been removed from this section, the rivet lines have been needle scaled, and it has been vacuumed out.


        • 2010_aug_4.jpg
        • The extent of the rust damage is very evident looking back towards the ‘B’ end of the tank. The openings from two removed sections are visible, the main drain is at the bottom, and the tank baffle that will be replaced is in the center. About a cubic yard of dirt, scale, rust, and other debris was removed during the cleanup. Three more sections of the tank will have the rivet lines needle-scaled in September, finishing up the cleanout of the tank. Scale drawings of the new replacement patch panels are also in the works.

          The next Tank #5 Work Weekend will be September 11/12.

          July 2010
        • 2010_july_1.jpg
        • Tipped on the steel sawhorses, the second rusted out section is being prepared for removal. Sections removed from opposite sides will keep the tanks structure sound.


        • 2010_july_2.jpg
        • Lines have been drawn for the section to be removed. The rust damage to the bottom means about a foot of steel has to come out. Note the coating of old bunker C oil from the tanks earlier days of hauling fuel oil on the N-C-O and the West Side.


        • 2010_july_3.jpg
        • Arnie Lipshetz and Mike Roberts slowly cut the old steel with reciprocating saws. A torch was avoided to avoid any possible warping.


        • 2010_july_4.jpg
        • The sections has been removed revealing a very rusted-out tank baffle. It will have to be replaced as well. The pipe sticking down is the original drain pipe.


        • 2010_july_5.jpg
        • This rusted-out section of bottom has two of the odd drain holes – we’re not sure what they are for.


        • 2010_july_6.jpg
        • Arnie removes the 1 inch handrail on one side of the tank. It was in fairly bad condition with several bends and welds. For safety, it will be replaced because the car will be used occasionally in trains.


        • 2010_july_7.jpg
        • The old 2 inch water pipe that fed the steam powered water pump was in rough shape right at the tank wall. After removal, the 1/2 inch threaded plate riveted to the inside of the tank proved to be in very good condition.


        • 2010_july_8.jpg
        • A close up of one of the handrail brackets. This section of handrail had broken and had been welded to the fitting. It cleaned up fine with a bit of grinding and a 1 inch pipe tap. Two of the brackets will have to be detached from the tank to allow us to thread the new handrail piping into place. The next Tank #5 Work Weekend will be August 14/15.

          June 2010
        • 2010_june_1.jpg
        • The June work weekend started with the mounting of the old steel tank to our heavy steel saw to start the cleanup effort in earnest.


        • 2010_june_2.jpg
        • The two original steel straps will hold the tank firmly in place during the work.


        • 2010_june_3.jpg
        • Project Manager Mike Roberts cleans out the first section of the tank floor. Twelve buckets of rust, dirt, scale, and debris were removed – even an old pull-tab Coca Cola can was dug out! The tank floor is pitted but still sound.


        • 2010_june_4.jpg
        • Measurements of the first removed section are started on graph paper. The inner radius of the curve and the straight run lengths will be determined, and will be compared to another cut out section in July for verification.

          April 2010
        • 2010_apr_1.jpg
        • Volunteers Ken Hittle and Jerry Huck start the first work weekend of 2010 with some snow and ice removal to get SVRy caboose #3 and WSLCo tank #5 out of the restoration shop at McEwen, OR.


        • 2010_apr_2.jpg
        • Tank #5 sits in the sun after five months of storage. The tank will be lifted off, and the flat car decking installation will restart.


        • 2010_apr_3.jpg
        • Tank #5 restoration volunteers Ken Hittle and Kevin Rasmussen get a dose of early Spring sun while chiseling out the reliefs for the brake cylinder bracket bolts.


        • 2010_apr_4.jpg
        • Volunteers Arnie Lipshetz and Brad Milne are cutting out the first of several rusted out sections on the old tank. This one is big enough to be our access hole into the tank for cleaning and repairs. The bottom of the tank is a bit enigmatic, with strange drain plugs here and there.


        • 2010_apr_5.jpg
        • The rusted out section has been removed, and will be used to determine the radius' needed for the new patch panels. One of the four tank baffles is visible, too. There is a lot of rust, scale, and dirt inside the tank, but it is loose and will clean up fairly easily. Nominal thickness of the old Scottish steel is 3/16", not the expected 1/4".


        • 2010_apr_6.jpg
        • A view inside the old tank that nobody has seen for a very long time. Taken through the first baffle, the other three baffles are visible. The one nearest the dome will require some significant repair, but the floor of the tank is surprisingly sound.


        • 2010_apr_7.jpg
        • A partial view of the finished deck, with the nine recessed bolts for the three air brake cylinder support bars, and the hole for the main tank drain pipe. The decking also got a good coat of preservative to wrap up the work weekend. The next work weekend will be June 19/20.

          October 2009
        • 2009_oct_1.jpg
        • The first two 'A' end deck board are fitted to the tank #5 frame. Note the holes in the bottom of the second board that will fit over the bolt heads and washers on the frame.


        • 2009_oct_2.jpg
        • SVRR Restoration Manager Tim Bain checks out the 26 new 3 inch thick deck boards. Widths vary from 11.5 inches to 14 inches, just like the originals. The 4 inch gap two boards from the 'B' end is also duplicated, and a filler board will be cut to fit. On the 'A' end, the opening in the deck boards due to a bolster repair will not be duplicated.


        • 2009_oct_3.jpg
        • The fourth 'A' end deck board is nailed down. There is lots of cutting and fitting to do on the bottoms of the deck boards. New 60d nails hold them down. Only two nails on each outer end are used per the originals.


        • 2009_oct_4.jpg
        • The only frame bolts that come up through the deck boards are for the air brake cylinder and brackets. Relief holes just like the originals are chiseled into the top of the deck boards to countersink the bolt heads and 3 inch cast washers.


        • 2009_oct_5.jpg
        • Half of the deck bards were fitted and nailed down when we ran out of time. The tank is being put on the frame for the winter to keep it dry.


        • 2009_oct_6.jpg
        • Tank #5 has not looked like this since year 2000. There is still a lot to do before she is completed. Next spring (April 2010) we will finish the deck, and start the tank repair survey.

          September 2009
        • 2009_sept_1.jpg
        • The first pressure test of the main airline wasn't good. There were several pin holes and leaky fittings in the original piping. About half of the original parts were replaced.


        • 2009_sept_2.jpg
        • After the main air line was repaired and pressure tested, we put in the flat car bolster truss rods and bars. The third rod on the ‘B’ end is being hammered into place. To give some scale, the 7/8" rod is around 29" long. The flat bars tie the rods together, and nuts on the ends of the rods provide the tensioning.


        • 2009_sept_3.jpg
        • The completed 'B' end bolster trusses.


        • 2009_sept_4.jpg
        • It's amazing how tight the fit was for the bolster trusses. The beams are 8" apart for reference. The main air line is to the right, and the long main truss rod passes to the left. Both are supported by a spacer block.


        • 2009_sept_5.jpg
        • The other side of the car shows the same close clearances. The main truss rod is to the right, and the 1" straight air line passes under the spacer block. Next month we can start on the flat car decking.

          August 2009
        • 2009_aug_1.jpg
        • A new 'B' truck brake rod takes shape. This ties the two brake beams together on the truck. Thanks to Mike Stewart (Canby, OR) for his welding and bending expertise.


        • 2009_aug_2.jpg
        • Three new brake rod pivot pins also had to be fabricated. The end on this new pin will be welded shut to form the pin's cotter key slot, matching the original pin to the right. The cotter keys are formed out of half-inch wide sheet metal.


        • 2009_aug_3.jpg
        • A new brake beam support bar for the 'B' truck was fabricated in Bend, OR. A big 'Thank You' to Jeremy Lewis, owner of Raven Forge, and SVRR member Dennis Jones.


        • 2009_aug_4.jpg
        • Holes are being drilled in the new brake beam support bar.


        • 2009_aug_5.jpg
        • Balanced on a truck in front and a steel sawhorse in back, the finished frame is readied for the big move the next day.


        • 2009_aug_6.jpg
        • Bolted back down to the steel sawhorses that it was assembled on, Tank #5's new flat car frame is readied for the 'Big Flip'.


        • 2009_aug_7.jpg
        • Supported and lifted by the sawhorses, the frame is slowly being tilted over.


        • 2009_aug_8.jpg
        • Half way there!


        • 2009_aug_9.jpg
        • The frame is almost all the way over...


        • 2009_aug_10.jpg
        • Again using the steel sawhorses, the uprighted frame is readied for its lift onto the trucks.


        • 2009_aug_11.jpg
        • Tank #5's new flatcar frame is on its rebuilt trucks for the first time! Many thanks to SVRR member Jerry Huck for his finesse with the the forklift.


        • 2009_aug_12.jpg
        • Test runs were made to seat the rebabbitted bearings, and make sure there were no clearance problems on sharp curves. The coupler height was also checked against the original SVRy caboose #3.


        • 2009_aug_13.jpg
        • The 'B' end truck is temporarily back out to mount the new brake beam support bar, the brake beam obtained from the SPCRR group in CA., and the new short brake rod and pins.


        • 2009_aug_14.jpg
        • Both trucks are now complete, less the brake shoes and pins. Seven new brake shoes will be cast for us by the SPCRR group using original West Side pattern.


        • 2009_aug_15.jpg
        • The truss rods were loosened to let the frame settle into place for a month.

          July 2009
        • 2009_july_1.jpg
        • The 'B' end coupler has been sandblasted and primed.


        • 2009_july_2.jpg
        • The 'B' end of the frame car has been completed, including the long brake wheel rod and chain. The new brake staff will be machined after the frame has been flipped upright.


        • 2009_july_3.jpg
        • Detail view of the brake wheel spool, chain, and brake rod end.


        • 2009_july_4.jpg
        • The brake rigging is almost complete. The truck brake rods will be added after the frame has been flipped. One rod will have to be fabricated.


        • 2009_july_5.jpg
        • The replacement brake beam cleaned up very well. This original West Side brake beam was obtained from the SPCRR group at the Ardenwood Historic Farm (Fremont, CA). A big 'Thanks' to SPCRR Curator Randy Hees for making it available to us. Randy also determined which original West Side pattern we will use for casting the new brake shoes. A very special 'Thank You' to SVRR member Keith Masterson for purchasing the brake beam, hauling it to Oregon, and donating it to the project.


        • 2009_july_6.jpg
        • The 'A' end truck now has the its rebabbitted bearings and packing in place. Quite an oily, messy job!


        • 2009_july_7.jpg
        • Keith and Ken are 'supervised' by Jerry Huck as the trucks are readied for the rebabbitted bearings. All traces of rust-resistant primer were scrubbed from the axle ends to avoid damaging the bearings.

          The August 7 - 9 work weekend will see a milestone in the rebuilding of Tank #5. The frame will be carefully flipped upright and placed on the trucks. We hope to get some video of the flip and the first test movement of the car on live rail since it was moved to the SVRR from Roaring Camp in 2000.

          June 2009
        • 2009_june_1.jpg
        • The 'A' end coupler and hardware has been installed.


        • 2009_june_2.jpg
        • The 'A' end lower support strap has been installed. The 'A' end of the frame has been completed.


        • 2009_june_3.jpg
        • The rebuilt AB brake cylinder has been sandblasted, primed, and weathered. A rebuilt triple valve and release valve are on site.


        • 2009_june_4.jpg
        • Smitty has finished rebabbitting the original truck bearings. Installation should be in July.


        • 2009_june_5.jpg
        • Freshly machined by Dennis Jones, the new ratchet gear and pawl sit on the original upper brake shaft bracket. The 1-1/8" rod for the new brake staff is also on site.


        • 2009_june_6.jpg
        • Getting the brake cylinder positioned took some time. Arnie, Ken, and Keith are shimming the cylinder for heighth.


        • 2009_june_7.jpg
        • The cylinder has been bolted into position. The truss rod had to be repositioned slightly for clearance.


        • 2009_june_8.jpg
        • The brake cylinder and truss rod are ready to go. The triple valve and release valve will be installed after the frame is flipped onto the trucks.


        • 2009_june_9.jpg
        • All of the bare wood surfaces on the frame have been coated with preservative. Still waiting for a repaired draft gear casting to wrap up the 'B' end.

          May 2009
        • 2009_may_1.jpg
        • The 'B' end buffer block begins to take shape. Note that the inner truss rod goes through the block.


        • 2009_may_2.jpg
        • The 'A' end buffer block in place. The reinforcement plate and bolts are done, and the four holes for the lower coupler bracket will be drilled in June.


        • 2009_may_3.jpg
        • The 'B' end buffer block is now bolted in place, and the hole for the brake staff has been drilled. Note that the 1" filler board has been trimmed back to fit the brake chain spool.


        • 2009_may_4.jpg
        • The 'A' end coupler has been sandblasted and primed. The unmarked coupler will accept Climax coupler parts. The coupler will be mounted in June.

          April 2009
        • 2009_apr_1.jpg
        • The 'B' end draft timbers are receiving their coat of preservative and paint prior to final assembly.


        • 2009_apr_2.jpg
        • The inner two truss rods have been installed, and the 'A' end truck bolster is being guided into its 12" X 1/2" dados by Ken Hittle and Mike Stewart.


        • 2009_apr_3.jpg
        • The 'A' end truck bolster has been bolted in place on the frame.


        • 2009_apr_4.jpg
        • At the end of the work weekend, the new frame for tank #5 is nearing completion. Viewed from the 'B' end, the four spacer blocks can be seen that hold the truss rods in place over the truck bolsters. One of the 'B' end coupler support castings needs to be repaired before the draft gear pocket is completed. The two buffer blocks have been cut to rough dimensions and will be installed in May.

          March 2009
        • 2009_mar_1.jpg
        • A big thank you Russ Simpson (Placerville, CA) for donating an original West Side upper brake staff bracket. Now we need to find or fabricate a ratchet gear and pawl to finish this up.

          February 2009
        • 2009_feb_1.jpg
        • SVRR Trainmaster Dan Denham has volunteered to rebuild the K brake air cylinder for Tank #5. Disassembly was easier than expected - just like the rest of the car.


        • 2009_feb_2.jpg
        • The brake cylinder and air reservoir have been separated, exposing the face of the brake piston in the cylinder. Lots of grease - a very good sign!


        • 2009_feb_3.jpg
        • The brake piston has been removed from the cylinder. With all of the grease, there was no rust or pitting in the cylinder bore - we are very lucky. Dan found that the passage leading to the triple valve was 50 percent plugged by excess grease, too.


        • 2009_feb_4.jpg
        • Even the brake piston spring and piston sleeve are in good shape with little or no rust. A light honing and a new rubber cup is all that is needed internally. The cylinder will be reassembled and cleaned up by Dan in Bend, OR., and we hope to have the cylinder reinstalled on the tank car frame in June.