Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Small Museum, Large Exhibits

Just north of downtown Albuquerque is the Train History Museum, and while the designation “museum” is somewhat overstated considering that only two major pieces of equipment are on the grounds, those two pieces achieve the major objectives of a museum: to provide access to the contents of the museum; present the role of the contents in the history of a people or period in time, to educate visitors on the function, meaning, or purpose of the contents preserved in the museum, and to bring these historical features to life through the educational process.

So, if a museum is to safeguard our heritage, the Train History Museum is a model of the definition of “museum.” In today’s entry, I want to talk about what is present at the yard, and tomorrow I will talk about how this bit of history is being brought back to life.

Perhaps the name of the organization connected with the locomotive and tender on the grounds is a more accurate description of what to find on this working laboratory site: New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Rail Road Historical Society (NMSL&RHS).
The Society is a non-profit organization staffed solely by dedicated volunteers whose mission is to fully restore the Baldwin 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive, AT&SF 2926, to operational status while promoting and educating the public about the ties of State economic development with rail transportation.

“In 1943, the Baldwin Locomotive Works near Philadelphia began building a new class of steam locomotives for the Santa Fe Railway. The 30 engines were called the 2900 Class and boasted a top speed of well over 90 miles per hour.
“Santa Fe 2926 pulled fast passenger and heavy freight trains across the American southwest from 1944 to 1956, when diesel locomotives replaced steam engines.

“The engine was then donated to the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and placed on display in Coronado Park. Outside in the park, time and weather were not kind to 2926, and a great deal of deterioration was evident.

“In the late 1990s, a group of train enthusiasts formed the Society, for the express purpose of restoring 2926 to full running condition. Temporary tracks were laid, and on June 23, 2000,…(and) the giant drive wheels rolled for the first time in forty years. 2926 was towed from the park to an active railroad siding.
"In 2002, BNSF Railway crews assisted the Society by carefully moving 2926 about twelve blocks to its newly established 'World Headquarters,' as the restoration site is called."

The work crew have named some of the heavy equipment which they use in the restoration work. Below is Lurch, which is used to move the locomotive short distances while work is being done.
Around the yard and in some small sheds are signs of projects in various stages of completion.
Coupling rods that connect the driving wheels together


Smokestack

"The group decided to tackle the rebuilding of the Tender first, which was a major project in itself.
"Three tons of rust, scale and oil-turned-to-tar had to be removed by hand. Their work is often so labor-intensive that members are given 'Pig Pen' awards for getting almost as much dirt on them, as they remove.
"Next, the plumbing and brake systems were completely rebuilt.
The tender holds 24,500 gallons of water (and 7,000 gallons of fuel oil). In the olden days, stops at water towers along the track provided water to refill the tank. Since there are no water towers along the tracks today, the hose in the center of the lower portion of the photo below connects with a water source to refill the tank.
"With the sandblasting complete and the addition of a new gloss black paint and original Santa Fe lettering, the Tender was now completely finished" (wheelsmuseum.org/110212.html).

3 comments:

eyad ammar said...


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eyad ammar said...


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شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
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شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...


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