Kicking a dead horse..

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Kicking a dead horse..
Posted by JacobChgo9 on Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:26 PM

A lively discussion in a Facebook group chat inspired me to come here to Trains and try to find some people in the know on what's going on at Cheyenne.. from what I've gathered on years old posts, the 3985 won't be returning to service because the the super heaters were scrapped, and the 6936 was sidelined because of an engine problem? 

I know it's a bit of a dead horse to be pushing around, and it's a "here we go again" kind of thing, but I haven't found any recent and relevant answers as to what's going on with the program. 



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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:10 PM

According to Ed Dickens (shown on the Kalmbach "Big Steam" DVD, which is pretty darn good, by the way)  3985 will be back in the future but not right away.  All the efforts right now are turned toward the "Big Boy" restoration.

6936 I don't know, obviously it's not mentioned in "Big Steam."

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Posted by Saturnalia on Thursday, August 17, 2017 10:07 PM

When it comes to replacing parts for steam engines, the UP Steam Shop is one of the first places with the time and resources to make just about anything to run again. 

If they think returning the Challenger to service is a good course of action, they will. And if they don't, she'll sit silent for awhile. 

The Big Boy is obviously restoration priority number one right now, and the 844 has to be kept up now.

Recall that this is a monumental undertaking of preservation for a unit of a business, especially one closely watched for metrics and traded on Wall Street. It is honestly a miracle that the 844, let alone the Big Boy and Challenger, happen at all. 

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Monday, August 21, 2017 8:57 AM

The timeline has always been 844 get her back and running first that was done last year in time for Frontier days.  Then everything and one was put onto 4014 to get her back in time for the 150 anniversery of the Transcon completion.  3985 will be next on the schedule after 4014.  No the superheaters were never scrapped when she was torn down for her 1472 day inspection massive issues were found with her boiler.  This info is coming from my source a close family friend that is in the UP Steam Shop daily working on these 3 engines as his job.  When they tore down 3985 they found uncertifed materials used as part of the pressure vessel of the boiler improper stays that is stays without weep holes improper materials used for stay bolts in both 844 and 3985.  When they found evidence of improper matierals in 3985 and then paperwork that showed those materials had been used in 844 also that was why 844 was pulled in way before her scheduled time and gone back over.  Then they dove deep into 844 and found even more issues that needed fixed.  There is a huge thread about what they found and such if you look.  My friend assures me that 3985 is in line to return for service.  As for 6936 if it has an engine problem as long as it isn't to serious that won't take to long to repair.  Right now Cheyenne has their hands full getting 4014 running and keeping 844 running like the champ they made her again.  

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Posted by RME on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:52 AM

...  from what I've gathered on years-old posts, the 3985 won't be returning to service because the the superheaters were scrapped, and the 6936 was sidelined because of an engine problem?

I think you have the 3985 story mixed up with N&W 1218, which is a different story altogether.   There is little reason to believe 3985 will not be restored once the Big Boy is done and the historical runs in 2019 are over.  A very great deal of the "difficulties" with the UP steam shop in recent years involved the implementation of a strict program of 'total quality management' driven from high levels in the UP corporate operation -- I was uncertain of how well this would work in its early stages, but have become thoroughly convinced of its effectiveness now that it is in 'full force and effect'.

I have not followed 6936 carefully, but I cannot imagine there is any aspect of a 645 prime mover that cannot be repaired or replaced.  The real question is whether UP management thinks the budget for 'historical restoration' before 2019 is best served by restoring the Centennial to operation.  (Frankly, I think it's just as much a part of the upcoming celebration as 4014 ... perhaps even more so.)

The steam shop has produced a number of fairly good videos in recent months that describe what's going on from their point of view.  If you don't mind controversy and the requirement for careful fact checking, you can review some of the 'history' of the "Dickens Administration" on RyPN.     

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, August 24, 2017 11:20 AM

Regarding 6936, the good feature is that it will not be done at the steam shop.  So the work on the two big steamers will not deter its return to operation.  The diesel shop can handel much like most other older diesels that it repairs.  I believe it will be part of the celebrations, and deservedly so.

And the horse isn't dead.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, August 24, 2017 5:21 PM

I can't see a problem in keeping 6936 alive, after all it's really nothing more than two GP-40's glued together.  As long as there's GP parts around and enough epoxy glue that "Centennial" should be in good shape.

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