December 2023 Update

It has been a busy last couple months at RRHMA-Silvis, many exciting things have been happening!

The main rods and crossheads were removed from Union Pacific 2-10-2 #5511, so the faulty piston rods may be removed from the crossheads in preparation for new piston rods.

New flue tubes have arrived for both 5511 and UP Challenger #3985. Stay bolt caps from our friends at Strasburg Rail Road have arrived as well.

A big milestone are upgrades to allow relighting of the old light tower. Six giant LED stadium-style lights were added to the tower to light up the yard. Ongoing upgrades to the exterior lighting of the buildings continues in an effort to upgrade safety and security around the property. So far lights have been added to the store house, signal shop and the east and west ends of the main buildings. Plans are to add more lighting to the north and south sides of the main building, as well as the rest of the buildings in the complex.

A truckload of new windows for the main building have arrived as well. These windows will help secure the building and seal it for the winter months ahead.

The coach City of Salina has had a generator and custom-built fuel tank installed for future passenger service. This generator will be able to power the Salina as well as other cars coupled to it when it goes into service

Work on Southern Pacific business car Stanford continues. Lettering has been applied to the car in the original Southern Pacific styling. Window gasketing is being replaced to make the windows watertight. The car also had its trucks rolled out using the drop table for an Amtrak inspection. After the inspection, crews will begin making any necessary repairs to allow it to be certified for use on Amtrak trains.

As we head into the New Year, crews are gearing up to continue moving ahead with all the various projects at Silvis. These include work on a new cab floor steel structure for #3985, and further inspection work on 3985’s boiler. Preparation work will continue on the patches for #3985’s firebox to be installed. Raw stay bolt material has arrived and is being prepped to start machining stay bolts.

National Railway Equipment is working with RRHMA and will begin the process of installing new springs in the trucks on Centennial DDA40X diesel #6936, and any other minor repair work necessary. Union Pacific Big Boy #4014’s tender is currently in the media blast booth and will be sprayed with primer soon. Brake rigging for No. 4014’s tender will also be rebuilt.

We also plan on using the funds raised toward painting Santa Fe B40-8 diesel #537 to media blast and repaint it in the coming year.

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