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Messages - Rick Rowlands

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US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: October 05, 2020, 09:46:21 PM »
A lot is going on in this photo.  What is perhaps the only 24" gauge motorized interlocking in the US is being installed on the passenger lead switch.  The first of three signals for what will be Laughlin Junction is in place in the background. The switch will be radio controlled from the locomotive cab, eliminating the need for having a switchman on duty when we run passenger trains. 

Also on the left is a whistle manifold, which will be put to use at our annual Whistle Blow this Saturday.  58 has plenty of steam for even the largest whistles that can be mounted on the manifold.  After this weekend she will be winterized and put away until the spring. 

If all goes well and I have enough time, I will be building a new tender for 58 and an open air passenger car over the winter.  Both cars will use fully sprung and equalized German trucks (bogies) which will provide for a much better ride than the unsprung Carpenter cars.

Two Footers outside of the US / Re: Queensland Sugar Railways
« on: August 13, 2020, 08:13:08 PM »
More than likely 58 would have stayed on the rails!   ;D

When Richard Craig passed away a few years ago and the Alvada Two Footer was disbanded, someone bought his ballast hopper car at the auction.  I have seen it listed from time to time for $4,500 and have not heard that it had been sold.  The car is a fully functional ballast hopper with air operated doors, and while not prototypically accurate for the WW&F, it would partially solve the problem of getting ballast out where it is needed. 

Museum Discussion / Re: Wheel standard and turnout drawings
« on: June 19, 2020, 08:50:55 PM »
Wheel and track standards are also of great interest to me as well. The J&LNG adheres to the same back to back standard as the WW&F but due to our prototype being a steel mill railroad we adopted much sharper curves.  Our tightest curve is 40 ft. radius and our tightest switches are No. 4 which come out to about 46' radius. We however use rail in the 85 to 115 lb. range.

Same track gauge but two vastly different ways of doing things.

I have been watching their videos.  They do not have much in the way of tools to work with.  Their best bet is to grab a stick of rail out of one of those out of service sidings and put in there .  Respike (screw) the rail back down to whatever ties are still in that crossing and they should be fine.  About the heaviest thing they operate over that line is a home built speeder so that repair will be just fine. 

The smaller rail sizes generally do not have any heat treatment.  Heat treatment is usually only required with the larger sizes that are approaching the limit of steel technology to handle high axle loadings. 

General Discussion / EBT Couplers vs. 3/4 size Sharon Couplers
« on: April 05, 2020, 07:29:00 AM »
I have heard that the EBT couplers and the 3/4 size Sharon couplers such as what Irwin Car sells are not compatible.  Is that true?  I am curious as to what the major differences there are between the two. 


And now for some Good News!

One year ago today the J&L 58 operated under steam for the first time in over 60 years. An amazing accomplishment that all of us are very proud of. Today we are announcing that we have reached an agreement to purchase the two identical sister locomotives in Canada and bring them to Youngstown to be reunited with the 58.

This plan includes restoring one of these locomotives to operating condition and having TWO operational locomotives on the J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad!

Now I know that this is the absolute worst time to launch a fundraising campaign given the current crisis and economic downturn, but we WILL emerge from this crisis and when that happens we will begin promoting this project. Heck, at this time we cannot even go to Canada to inspect them! But we didn't want to wait to make this announcement as we are very excited about this and feel that everyone out there needs something to cheer them up!

So stay safe and wish us luck!

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: January 19, 2020, 12:30:00 PM »
We are getting ready for our second season of operations on the J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad. J&L 58 does not need much work in the off season, just a few tweaks and improvements to take care of some issues uncovered in our first summer of operation.  There is a plan in the works to acquire more property to dramatically extend the J&LNG and to that end I have started construction of a switch that will head to that new property.  Hopefully by June this switch will be complete as well as about 300 feet of new trackage to run over. 

The house track is also scheduled to be constructed as well as relocate the enginehouse from the main track to this new location.

This photo shows the start of construction of the second switch.  We are using 100RB rail, although the new track will transition up to 115RE to go up the hill, then back down to 90RA for trackage on the upper level.  The house track will be 70AS since I have several sticks of it available.  The track leading off to the right is the house track and the enginehouse will sit basically where the pickup truck is parked.

Our operating schedule for 2020 can be found here:

Museum Discussion / Re: B&SR no. 8 arrives at Sheepscot
« on: December 17, 2019, 05:09:51 PM »
38 tons?

Work and Events / Re: Coal/Ash Facility - Official Work Thread
« on: December 14, 2019, 08:16:16 PM »
I know it won't work up your way but I've been looking for a two bay covered hopper to put up on stilts to use as a coaling tower on the J&LNG.  The coal stays dry that way!  Possibly use a conveyor of some sort to get the coal into the car. 

I would think that many industries and small operations would do what they could to get the job done at minimal cost and old freight cars have often been used in these new roles. 

Museum Discussion / Re: B&SR no. 8 arrives at Sheepscot
« on: December 14, 2019, 06:05:47 PM »
Things are going well on the J&LNG.  Last weekend we acquired an 8,000 gallon GATX tankcar tank, built in 1920, to use as a new water tower.  We are also ready to pull up some 115 lb. rail to use for future track construction.  58 is slumbering, waiting patiently for spring. 

Museum Discussion / Re: B&SR no. 8 arrives at Sheepscot
« on: December 13, 2019, 09:51:32 PM »
38 tons.  Rather impressive.  That is just about what J&L 58 weighs now, but 8 has three more axles to spread out the weight!

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: October 08, 2019, 08:05:59 PM »
Those two projects seem to be at the opposite ends of the rail preservation spectrum.  Narrow gauge steam railway and a giant mainline diesel locomotive.  Both have their connection to NE Ohio railroading, but to be honest its been easier to restore 58 than it has been to do anything with that SDP45. 

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: October 07, 2019, 10:33:59 PM »
Thanks!  I was quite surprised when I was contacted about winning the award.  I didn't think that our little project here in Ohio would end up on anyone's radar screen but I am glad that it did. 

Our last steam up of 2019 will be this upcoming Saturday.  We are hosting a whistle blow for another rail organization in Youngstown, so 58 will be in essence a stationary steam source for that event.  I'm looking forward to seeing how she does with all the whistles that will be demanding steam.  After that she will be winterized and some minor repair work done over the winter.   Hopefully we will begin construction of our eastern branch as well.

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 13, 2019, 09:29:36 PM »
Does anyone up there use the AREMA nipping spoons?  These are the best for the job.  We have three around here.

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