Our work with 3463 is the same as what the railroads would have done in the heyday of steam, had they had the technology.

Taking research that CSR and its partner organizations have developed, CSR plans to restore to operation former ATSF steam locomotive number 3463. CSR acquired the locomotive from the Great Overland Station in Topeka, Kansas, through a transfer of ownership in late 2011, and it intends to rebuild the engine to operation.

Locomotive 3463 will burn a solid biofuel, and work will be done to make it more compliant with 21st century railroading. Our work with 3463 is the same as what the railroads would have done in the heyday of steam, had they had the technology. Point in case: the ATSF worked diligently to improve the 3460 Class over its life on the railroad, including adding a combustion chamber to 3461, changing the circulators in the firebox of 3462 and manufacturing new driving wheel centers for 3461, 3462 and 3464. In fact, when the 3463 was manufactured, its designers at the ATSF designed the tender, frame, and firebox such that the locomotive could be converted to burn solid fuel.

This image diagrams modifications made to the 3460 Class locomotives by the ATSF. Click to enlarge.

This work is the same as the "adaptive reuse" guidelines in historic architecture. In example, even though an historic structure such as the Kansas State House is on the National Register of Historic Places, it was recently restored using advanced heating and air conditioning, the addition of efficient lighting, and the replacement of its windows with new double-pane glass, all things which were unavailable when it was built in the 1800's. 

Following its restoration to operation,  locomotive 3463 will be used as an awareness tool to historic preservation, technological history, advanced steam, and biofuels. The following diagrams show a before and after view of the locomotive as planned by CSR.



The work CSR plans to perform on ATSF 3463 during its rebuild to operation include:

  • Convert to solid biofuel with Gas Producer Combustion System firebox;
  • Application of modern internal boiler water treatment system;
  • Increased superheat temperature;
  • Reduce pressure drop in steam circuit (dry pipe, superheater, branch pipes and steam chests);
  • Improve valve events/ adjust valve settings;
  • Improve Exhaust:
    • Reduce back pressure and
    • Increase draft;
  • Reduce mass of pistons and valves;
  • Improve efficiency of auxiliary appurtenances;
  • Improve feedwater heater and
  • Various other improvements to main and sub systems.

The next step in this endeavor is the move of locomotive 3463 back to live rails. CSR has met with officials to arrange the move, but it is on hold following a challenge to the ownership of the engine. CSR has requested a legal determination following that claim.  CSR announced an update in the lawsuit in early April 2017, and it can be found in its entirity on our Newsroom page.

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