Preliminary Inspection of L&N 152

 Shane Meador takes a UT reading along the sidesheet of the firebox.

Shane Meador takes a UT reading along the sidesheet of the firebox.

As announced earlier this year, CSR has been retained by the Kentucky Railway Museum to serve as consulting engineers on the rebuild of its 1905-built 4-6-2 locomotive - former L&N No. 152. 

A core component of this consulting work is to perform a mechanical inspection of the 111 year-old locomotive that includes a full ultrasonic thickness survey of its boiler and a thorough mechanical inspection. Prior to undertaking the detailed survey and inspection, we sent a crew of two, President Davidson Ward and Technical Advisor Shane Meador, to New Haven, Kentucky, this week to perform a preliminary inspection.

The two CSR members met with volunteers and staff members of KRM to perform a cursory overview of the engine. Work included visual inspection of the pressure vessel and machinery, site preparation of areas of interest, and spot checking  boiler sheets throughout the locomotive with a UT tester. CSR also arranged to have a sandblasting contractor meet both teams on site to discuss the unique job of blasting the inner and outer boiler surfaces. 

 Shane Meador (foreground) and Joe Bratcher (background) look over the condition of the firebox wrapper sheet in the vicinity of boiler studs.

Shane Meador (foreground) and Joe Bratcher (background) look over the condition of the firebox wrapper sheet in the vicinity of boiler studs.

The preliminary inspection was beneficial to both groups - providing CSR the opportunity to visit with KRM crews and get to know No. 152 a bit better and giving KRM's Crew 152 the chance to meet with CSR and discuss next steps regarding locomotive preparations.

Speaking of next steps - Crew 152 will continue stripping the boiler of the few remaining components, and they will finalize the removal of tube ends and ferrules from the tubesheets. The locomotive boiler will then be sandblasted and prepared for detailed UT inspection.

 Shane Meador inspects the large 5-1/2" superheater openings in the front flue sheet of 152.

Shane Meador inspects the large 5-1/2" superheater openings in the front flue sheet of 152.

Once the boiler is prepped, CSR will send a larger crew to Kentucky to perform a multi-day work blitz, including the complete UT inspection of the locomotive boiler and a mechanical inspection of the engine and tender. This inspection will feed into completion of a preliminary "Form 4" calculation, which will indicate the Maximum Authorized Working Pressure (MAWP) of the boiler in its current condition and outline any areas that might need detailed reconditioning.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with KRM on this important project and look forward to the next steps.