Operations and Alterations - After years of effort, we run the engine!

2024 Update: Fitting out and Installing the new boiler on the locomotive.  2022: Make a new boiler for the locomotive. Several seasons have gone by and the engine is solidly performing great, steaming well, with no major mechanical issues. It's a solid engine design and Bill and I could not be happier with it. September 2021 update: The corrosion issues first spotted in 2018 inside the boiler have climaxed with a rust-through hole inside the engineers side sheet, ending operations until we can pull the boiler and replace the firebox. History: 2016 Full season operations. September 2014 Engine and new Tender ply the tracks with much success. A couple issues pop up which we address. October 2013 Several more runs at the SLLS track and Big Creek & Southern reveal a fine running engine. Also pictures of the first fire-up of Frisco 4166 September 2012. First throttle pull at the St. Louis Live Steamers track. A three-day break-in run at the Big Creek & Southern and last run for the season. At the time, I used a borrowed tender from a friend (still needed to build one).
2-Sept-2012 First time ever, the locomotive is out of the basement and outside!
2-Sept-2012 Step on to first fire-up, wash the boiler out. Hooking up the hose, we run water to flush out the chips and debris accumulated during construction.
2-Sept-2012 Think your boiler is clean? Here are some of the chips we flushed out.
2-Sept-2012 Borrowed Tender is connected and plumbed to the locomotive, fuel tank filled with 5 gallons of jet kerosene, boiler filled with water, aux air line…
2-Sept-2012 Start the clock on the boiler! We've got a fire in the firebox!
2-Sept-2012 Putting the safeties in and raising steam, a couple leaks reveal themselves. This washout fitting seems particularly troublesome.
2-Sept-2012 The engineers side boiler check is also weeping pretty good.
2-Sept-2012 Blowdown at the end of the day from a very successful first-fire up. The burner light off on our first try and worked great on air. Removing the…
First Steam Up 001
15-Sept-2012 Air compressor buzzing, proving aux air, burner working great.
First Steam Up 002
15-Sept-2012 At the St. Louis Live Steamers track, warming up in the steaming bay with a borrowed tender.
First Steam Up 003
Everything is still clean at this point
First Steam Up 004
15-Sept-2012 On the turntable, heading out to the track. I think I am checking the water flow of the fireman's injector as Bill looks on.
First Steam Up 007
15-Sept-2012 Rounding the north curve, watching the gages. Fellow SLLS member Al looks on as I go by.
First Steam Up 025
15-Sept-2012 Setting the safety valves. Tim M. and Bill look on.
First Steam Up!
First Steam Up!
15-Sept-2012 Filling the fuel tank with kerosene, as the safeties lift.
First Steam Up!
First Steam Up!
15-Sept-2013 A proud day for the builders! A fire in the belly and a smooth run using a borrowed tender.
First Steam Up!
First Steam Up!
15-Sept-2012 Re-filling the lubricator. Trackside photo by Zach M.
First Steam Up!
First Steam Up!
15-Sept-2012 Bill at the throttle with a few cars tied on.
21-Sept-2012 Guest running at the Big Creek & Southern track. This big layout gave Bill and I a chance to put a couple miles on the engine, taking all the…
21-Sept-2012 3/4 profile shot in the sunshine at the Big Creek & Southern railroad.
6-Oct-2012 Working revenue at the St. Louis Live Steamers track on a cool fall day. The load of passengers was no trouble on the gently graded track.
6-Oct-2012 Friends Bud P. and Jerome S. hanging with Bill and I at the steaming bay while 4166 warms up.
20-Oct-2012 Last run of the season, Tim M. at the throttle running the SLLS loop in reverse.
21-Sept-2013 Out on the St. Louis Live Steamers home track, we fire up Frisco 4166 for the first time in a year and check her for readiness. All is found to be…
27-Sept-2013 On the road at host track Big Creek & Southern, Bill prepares to relight after a break for lunch and some more mainline running. Tying a string of…
Broken Waterglass
October 2013 While performing the procedure to blowdown the sightglass, it started leaking on the right side, ending the days operation. The silicone sealant…
October 2013 The "Boiler Blowdown" run at the local track marks the end of this years operating season before putting things away for the winter. I put about 20…
24-Mar-2014 The factory valve handle with its cast square hole developed too much slop in the mechanism, so we make a new one out of stainless steel.
2-May-2014 After two days running at the Columbia, TN Mid-South Live Steamers track, the brake valve started leaking steam continuously and would not shut off.…
19-May-2014 Bill chucked the brake valve block up in the lathe and turned the scratches off, then I worked to finish the surface with water wet sandpaper on the…
19-May-2014 Having bought the brake valve assembly finished, I did not have a blueprint for it. I use the magnifying scope and DRO on the mill to reverse…
Injector Failure Source
Injector Failure Source-- 30-May-2014 For some reason the engineer side injector would not pick up at all the last time I ran it. After several attempts, I…

4-Sept-2014 The engine, tender and new cab roof with a load of passengers ready to go at the club track.

6-May-2016 Bill Crosses the diamond at Mid-South Live Steamers spring meet. We are taking a break hauling passengers, running SLLS member Joel's cars.
6-May-2016 Morning sunshine on the Mid-South Live Steamers spring meet steaming bays.
8-Oct-2016 Hauling passenger revenue -- St. Louis Live Steamers public run day with new shop made boxcars in tow.
14-Nov-2016 With the operating season over, we begin the winter overhaul work. The tender has water leaks in the tank, pulling it off the frame uncovers a large…
20-Jan-2018 After six year of use, the firepan is looking beat up. The top skim layer is used has flaked away, but the bottom refractory is still intact and has…
24-May-2018 Unplanned early spring season repair job: There is an air leak in the fireman's side waterline which is causing the injector to not pick up and work…
25-May-2018 Although I used flared fittings on all my waterlines, I still had an air leak on the fireman's injector water line. I was stunned. The defect is the…
24-November-2018 What a mess inside my boiler! This strange picture show all the mud/debris/calcium on the crown sheet of the boiler. It was shot from the steam…
2019-04-27 - Freshly shopped and clean, the Frisco 4166 shows off her new taller stack, headlight number boards, steam acuated cylinder cocks, dynamo and taller…
Hot Fire, Clear Flame; Visible Atomizer plume
2019-09-27 The best shot of the burner in action -- A Hot Fire, Clear Flame; Visible Atomizer plume. Yes, there is a fire in the firebox.
Train in the trailer
2020-06-06 - The 4166 in the trailer with it's trainset around it, ready to go to the track. Unfortunately the COVID pandemic puts this activity on hold and the…
29-Apr-2021 Mid-South Live Steamers spring meet in Columbia, TN. Heavy Mikado Frisco 4166 in full glory with her trainset. Bill W. at the controls. The engine…
22-Sept-2021 Watered, Fueled and Oiled, Heavy Mikado Frisco 4166 looks ready to run the mainline at Big Creek & Southern. Alas, there is a leak in the Engineers…
22-Sept-2021 With the pressure gage reading 80 lbs, the fire becomes unstable and will not stay lit. Opening the firedoor to a plume of steam gives a clue to…
22-Sept-2021 With a known leak inside the firebox, we test the old adage of putting ground pepper grains in the water to temporarily plug the leak. After…