American Steam Railroad Receives Large Donation to Finish Staybolt Project

By May 5, 2020News, Progress

A longtime supporter of the American Steam Railroad Preservation Association has helped bring a recent fundraising campaign to a close.

Louis Schillinger, president and CEO of United Shortline Insurance Services Inc., has donated $1,000 to help complete the forging and machining of the 560 new staybolts needed for Reading Company T-1 4-8-4 2100’s firebox.

“I have personally participated in the restoration, retubing, and use of 2100 since 2007. It was my honor to be able to continue my efforts to support the ongoing restoration of this spectacular example of our steam history through ASR,” said Schillinger.

Schillinger has worked with ASR over the past five years by assisting and transferring interest in Reading 2100 to the group, along with providing ASR’s insurance needs.

“Working with Louis has been a real pleasure,” said ASR president Steven Harvey. “It’s been great to work with someone who shares the same goals of restoring such a historic piece of equipment.”

The recent progress of Reading 2100’s restoration has impressed Schillinger.
“The work is being done methodically, professionally, and completely by a dedicated number of volunteers and otherwise committed individuals anxious to see this magnificent locomotive back in productive service.”

The staybolt forging and machining is one of several steps that will bring the engine closer to a hydrostatic test of the boiler. Processes that still need to be done before a test include welding the staybolts in, along with forming and replacing the two arch tubes in the firebox. A new fundraising campaign will soon be announced for these projects.

United Shortline Insurance Services Inc. is based in Port Austin, Michigan, and specializes in railroad liability and property insurance, along with providing inland marine coverage for shortline, regional, scenic, and historical railroads throughout North America.

American Steam Railroad Preservation Association is a non-profit dedicated to preserving experiences from railroading’s golden age by saving historic railway equipment.