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358 Update – 4/14/2019

By April 14, 2019Members Only

Submitted by WD Miller & Tom Nitza.

358 Update

Since we’re outside the shop for a few more weeks not much has been physically accomplished on 358. However plenty of behind the scenes, and other prep work has been happening.

-Batteries for the SD9 have been picked up, and the cores traded in. The new batteries are currently awaiting the SD9s time back in the shop so we can get them set on board.
-Battery charger still due to arrive (these are built to order)
-Diamond plate for the walkways on the long hood is in process of being cut. (Chris will bring with him next time he comes to shop).
-Measurements for pipe that needs replaced were taken, seeking sources for pipe and fittings now.
-Working on a donation for traction motor cables, and possibly battery cables.
-The “Fire-Cracker” antenna was removed in attempts to have an antenna manufacturer reproduce that iconic style of VHF railroad radio goodness that adorned locomotives and cabooses for decades after the introduction of two-way radios. I’ve asked others in the diesel restoration world, and several have expressed interest as well. The antenna was sent to EMR and their Senior RF Engineer who is also a big steam whistle enthusiasts is taking it under his wing to work on.

Keep your eye on your mailboxes as May shop time is scheduled for 358.

If you’d like to be included on work emails and scheduling for 358 volunteers, email WD Miller at


Plymouth Update

More work on the Plymouth’s air system. The project has grown since it was decided that cleaning and painting the area around the engineer’s controls would be a good idea since the old piping was out of the way. That also include removing the independent brake valve as well as the throttle assembly. All of the associated parts were removed, and most have been cleaned, primed and painted. Also the general area was painted as well after being needle gunned to remove 70 years of paint. At one time the cab interior was painted a very bright yellow and that paint was pretty tough.

The throttle handle is solid brass and will look very nice once it’s polished to match the air gauge. However, there is a crack at the end where the locking mechanism slides in. That will have to be repaired and some machining work will be done to increase some internal clearances so the handle doesn’t rub when rotated. Also, a hole had been cut many years ago in the rear of the electrical cabinet to access the reverser mechanism. We cleaned up the edges since it had been cut with a torch and we’ll install a cover for that area.

The next step is to finish painting and then start reassembly. The new air manifold will be installed. This connects with the pipe from the main reservoir and provides connections for everything that operates on air included the brakes, horn, sanders, wipers, and bell. Many of the connections will be made with DOT approved plastic tubing and compression fittings which will make things much easier. Finally the new operating valve for the bell will be installed in the control panel and hooked up to the air supply.

Wayne York is working on producing a replica builder’s plate — the one on our locomotive had been removed at some point in the past. He’s also working on a companion plate which will chronicle the past owners of the locomotive which is 77 years old.(Two years older than the 765). Actually, given its age and the fact that some of the previous owners may not have provided very comprehensive maintenance, it’s in pretty good shape.

The next scheduled work session will be Friday April 19th.

New air piping in the PlymouthPlymouth brass throttle handle