American Steam Railroad Receives Large Donation to Finish Staybolt Project

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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.

January 2020 Restoration Update

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– Removal of the brake stand and other items attached to the cab floor. This is the first step in creating a new floor that will allow the stoker auger to be linked through the firebox door.
-The continued removal of the tender brackets that are no longer needed.
-The stoker auger U-bolts were removed.
-Work continued on the stoker trough auger.

December 2019 Restoration Update

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American Steam Railroad’s Forrest Nace explains all the work done in our latest video update. Highlights include:

– Tours given during the holiday open houses at the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

– The stoker trough auger continued to receive work.

– The bolts holding the smoke box doors were loosened to help with the internal inspection of the area.

Enter for your chance to win Big!

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Hello Friends and Supporters, 

    Thank you for supporting American Steam Railroad’s annual raffle that featured a Broadway Limited Reading T-1 and brass caboose. This year’s winner was Joseph Kurilla of Willow Grove, Penn.
    Building on the interest and success of our past raffles, ASR is campaigning to do monthly raffles throughout 2020. The grand prize for these raffles will be either a custom painted BLI Reading T-1 as 2100 in the Reading freight scheme (while supplies last), Reading model railroad items of at least $500 in value, or a $500 check to spend any way you desire!
    With only 500 tickets sold for each raffle, a $20 monthly donation will give you five tickets a month, so your odds of winning are 1 in 100 for each drawing! Tickets can also still be purchased individually for $5 apiece at our online gift shop. 

Read More

2019: Year in Review

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It’s been a busy year for one of the largest steam locomotive restorations in the country. American Steam Railroad’s volunteers and contractors have been making progress on Reading 2100, with volunteers contributing over 1,000 hours to the project. The 1945 built northern is inching closer to boiling water once again, with several milestones accomplished within the past 12 months.

The main focus for this year has been the firebox. Two new interior side sheets were fabricated with 554 staybolt holes indexed and drilled. The two big sheets were installed and welded into place by professional contractors, who also replaced a blistered section of the middle syphon. Perhaps the most unique thing to be done was the riveting of 112 bolts to the mud ring after the side sheets had been put in place. Read More

November 2019 Restoration Update

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American Steam Railroad’s Forrest Nace explains all the work done in our latest video update. Highlights include:

-On both sides of the firebox, measurements were taken of the area between the side sheets. This will allow us to cut the material needed for the 554 staybolts.
-Old grease and oil were removed from the crosshead guide, along with the still connected rod linkage cleaned and polished.
-Work continued on repairing the stoker auger. Weld was applied to areas where there was thin or worn out material.

October 2019 Restoration Update

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American Steam Railroad’s Forrest Nace explains the work that has been done in October.
– The remaining cylinder cock valves were removed and inspected. Damage was detected with the spring pin inserts needing to be fixed.
– The cylinder barrels and piston rods were polished. A light coat of oil and grease applied to protect the surface areas from rust.
– The front pilot was removed, as the front engine trucks will need to be taken out from the locomotive. This will enable Timken to inspect the roller bearing surfaces on the leading truck.
– The corroded auger bolts that couldn’t be pressed out previously have now been drilled out with the remaining material torched out. They will be replaced with grade eight bolts.

Please consider becoming a member or donating today to help us reach our goal of returning Reading 2100 to the high iron!

September 2019 Video Update

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American Steam Railroad’s Forrest Nace explains all the work done in our latest video update. Highlights include:

-Our big event this month was the Ross Rowland dinner, where we hosted over 50 guests that came to listen about Ross’ experiences on the high iron behind steam.
We like to extend a big thank you to our friends at the Midwest Railway Preservation Society, who was a great assistance in putting on this event.
-We took advantage of the warm weather to complete more work on the tender. Needle cleaning of the tender buffer and the wedge key that holds it in place. Both were painted and then reinstalled into the pocket.
-Work continued on removing the oil bunker support brackets to ease the future installation of the stoker trough and gearing.
-The bell actuator was installed and tested, so the bell now can ring during open houses.
-Volunteers cleaned the eccentric rods.
-The cylinder cocks were removed, cleaned, and then lapped.