by Terry Durkin

Of the work which has been accomplished on our shay, the dirtiest task involved placing the line shafts in place. They had been removed when the engine was pulled down from Oroville. Primary workers in this phase of the project were Terry Durkin, Bob Captain, and Tony Anderson. The work party conducted by Walt Hayward in November advanced the project somewhat, but it took the original crew to finish up the job (with a little moral, vocal, support from one Pete Botten).

The biggest problem of this operation was the lowering of the line shafts and coupling rings from the tender top, where they had been placed for transit. These things are not light weight items, so there was a problem in setting them down to the ground for installation. Unfortunately, the forklift which was graciously donated by Bud Winsby, who owns the heavy equipment firm located near the shay's spur, was not quite high enough to reach the top of the tender. It was decided to roll the rings and shafts off the tender and onto the waiting prongs of the fork lift, which would lower them to the ground. This nearly proved to be disasterous. The #3 coupling ring was the guinea pip for this operation, but unfortunately once it was rolled off the edge of the tender it passed right through the prongs of the forklift and went smashing to the ground, loudly. Luckily very little damage was done, but it was obvious that this was not the way.

It was then decided that if things were going to go crashing to the ground, why not have something waiting to break their fall? It just so happens, there is an abandoned foundry located right next to the shay's spur. And right next to this foundry were huge piles of foundry boxes, large forms of 2x12 slabs of wood nailed together as boxes. A pile of the boxes were stacked next to the tender. Presto! An ideal landing area! The heaviest line shaft, about 2500 pounds, was rolled off the tender and on to the stack of boxes. There was a large resounding -crunch- as the foundry boxes cumpled under the weight of the shaft. But once the remains of the foundry boxes were removed, there lay the line shaft with hardly a scratch. A method had been found. The fork lift was then utilized to place the shafts and couplings into position.

Thanks to the efforts of a few of our members, the engine now looks as good as it runs, if that's possible. The interior of the cab was completely repainted by John Hathaway, Bob Captain, Terry Durkin, Dennis White, and Bob DiGiorgio. This beautiful job was somewhat dirtied up on the run of Turkey Day when an oil leak developed in the fuel line and ignited when the engine was being retired after being turned around by a Santa Fe switcher. A great deal of the cab, particularly the engineer's side, lost its gleam of new paint due to the soot, but luckily there was no structural damage to speak of. The interior paint crew mentioned above went back to work and in no time the cab was returned to its former glory. Oh yeah, and the oil leak(s) is being repaired.

The exterior of the engine is also getting a face-lifting. New glossy black paint covers over 75% of the entire engine, and she just glistens in the sun. So far the paint crew has consisted of Bob Captain, John Hathaway, Terry Durkin and Pete Botten, and occasionally Ted Haas. She really looks beautiful in her new coat, but shes not finished yet. You can treat yourself and go down and look at her, or better yet, YOU can pitch in and help.

The tender needs to be finished, while the silver lettering and striping need to be brightened up. Most of all the silver smokebox is in need of a good scraping or sandblasting before it can be repainted. There is no need for an organized work party to do this. Just call our superintendent, Walt Hayward, 448-2954, and he can arrange for the necessary tools. So far most of the work on the shay has been accomplished by individuals who have gone down alone or in small groups with no urging from anyone else. Inside the cab is a folder of work orders explaining the many different jobs which must be done. Plans call for an operation on New Year's eve and day (including a night operation with a mid-night count-down on the whistle) and we'll have all the camera bugs there. We want the old gal to look pround. But it's going to take your help.