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Messages - Rick Rowlands

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US Two Footers / J&L Steel Porters 57 and 60 Arrive in Youngstown
« on: September 24, 2021, 06:04:07 AM »
Yesterday two additional Porter 0-4-0Ts arrived in Youngstown from Canada, the culmination of about two years worth of planning and fundraising.  Both locomotives are complete with the exception of saddle tanks which were scrapped before the locomotives were exported in the late 1980s. 

As time goes on we will be restoring both locomotives most likely to operational status. 

To view the full photo album, go here:

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: May 23, 2021, 07:45:52 AM »
May Update.   J&L 58 is undergoing some piston valve adjustments, but otherwise is ready to run.  Construction of the eastern extension of about 350 feet of track is about 80% done.  We are using 115 and 110 pound rail for this section, finally using the rail size that the locomotive would have operated on in service at the steel mill. 

We are ready to move the two J&L Porters from Canada to the US, just waiting for the Covid restrictions to be lifted in Canada. Apparently the Ontario stay at home order ends on June 2, however I will believe it when I see it. 

We will probably not have any public runs this year as our goal is to complete the eastern extension and improve visitor amenities before getting back into the tourist railroading business.  When we do open it will be a far different experience from our initial 2019 season. 

Museum Discussion / Geotextiles Under the Track
« on: May 07, 2021, 07:20:38 AM »
How has using geotextiles under your trackage worked out?  Do you put anything under the fabric or lay it down directly on the roadbed?  How much ballast is between the fabric and the bottom of the ties? 

I have a rather soft area to build a track on and am considering using fabric to stiffen the subroadbed, and want to see how it works in practice.

Work and Events / Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« on: April 22, 2021, 06:07:37 PM »
We just acquired one of these machines for the J&L Narrow Gauge.  We will also be making the same conversion.  Ours has the hydraulic rail jacks and I will be adding a hose reel and hydraulic tool circuit for a spiker and tamper.  It seems that the Bucksgahuda & Western Railroad over in St. Marys, PA was the first to modify one of these tie inserters for 24" gauge.  That is where I got the idea to convert the one that we just acquired.  The photo is of the B&W's machine, which also is capable of being used on 36" gauge track.

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: April 10, 2021, 06:50:50 AM »
The boiler from J&L 59, which made its way to California in the 1990s, will be loaded for transport to Youngstown this upcoming Wednesday.  This spare boiler will be evaluated, rebuilt and either held in reserve for 58 or placed on one of the Canadian Porters' chassis to bring another locomotive back into operation. 

When 59 was scrapped in the 1990s, only the frame, cab and saddle tank were destroyed.  Just about all other parts still exist and are in our possession.  The drivers under 58 are actually those from 59 since they were in much better condition. 

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: March 26, 2021, 10:26:50 PM »
Yes we are bringing the two sisters home from Canada.  Its just a matter now of doing the paperwork and arranging for the trucking.  We are working on the additional track that we have to build to set the locomotives on and hope to start moving them in a month or so. 

I don't see any reason why these other two cannot be restored to operating condition eventually.  These two are much more complete than 58 was when we started.

Work and Events / Re: Engine House - Official Work Thread
« on: March 15, 2021, 08:24:46 PM »
As fast as the WW&F folks work, the next time I log into this forum I will probably see a post about the first loco entering the new roundhouse...

Work and Events / Re: Wheel Progress was made today at the WW&F...
« on: February 25, 2021, 11:11:40 PM »
I kind of figured they were from Mckees Rocks but I wasn't sure. 

Work and Events / Re: Wheel Progress was made today at the WW&F...
« on: February 23, 2021, 08:30:27 PM »
Nice! Where did those come from?

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Snowplow
« on: December 27, 2020, 09:46:10 AM »
Yeah that sounds like it. 


US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Snowplow
« on: December 24, 2020, 09:12:52 AM »
Another pic of the plow.

US Two Footers / J&L Narrow Gauge Snowplow
« on: December 24, 2020, 09:12:20 AM »
Several years ago I bought this snowplow that had been listed on Discover Live Steam.  It was moved to Davenport, Iowa to a friend's farm, and last week it was moved again to a different location for storage.  My plan is to eventually get it back to Youngstown, however since we do not get massive amounts of snow here, it really wouldn't be used for much beyond inhabiting the end of a spur track. 

The story I was told is that it was originally used at a tie treating plant somewhere in Wisconsin or Minnesota. The wheelsets are much older than the car with dates cast into the wheels of the 1880s, cast by a foundry located in Minneapolis (of which I cannot remember the name right now). 

I am not sure how the various Maine NG operations are set up for snow removal, but if one of them may be interested in a well built HEAVY two foot gauge plow with full width wheels and an adjustable height plow blade, I am the guy to talk to.  Otherwise, it will eventually get moved to Youngstown, painted and set out to pasture to wait for that freak blizzard that dumps enough snow on the railroad to make it worth our while to run a plow extra. 

Museum Discussion / Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« on: November 28, 2020, 06:32:32 PM »
I will take a couple of pics of the machine tomorrow and will be in touch.

Museum Discussion / Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« on: November 26, 2020, 09:36:53 PM »
Kinda,  what I mean by a reverse stamping, instead of striking the letter into the metal strip, this would be bringing the strip onto a letter "positive" where you end up with a raised letter coming out from the surface of the strip.

These used to be a simple arm press with a platen where the letter/number dies would be inserted, then a tinplate strip would be placed over the die index and crimp.  The imprinted strip would be then attached to the body of a metal object via open tip soldering.  If I can find a picture, I'll add it.

I have such a machine with two spools of the soft tinplate strips.  I use it occasionally to make labels.  It came out of an electrical shop in a steel mill.  They would label outlets with it as to what voltage they were.

Volunteers / Re: October 2020 Work Reports
« on: October 14, 2020, 06:42:07 PM »
Ed I know how much you love cold wet rainy days!   ;D

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