SCRANTON, PA January 25, 2016: The restoration of Boston & Maine steam locomotive #3713 at the Steamtown National Historic Site (SNHS) in Scranton, PA took a major leap forward this month with the resumption of work on the locomotive’s subassemblies. The 82-year old locomotive is the focal point of Project3713, a partnership between the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Historical Society (LWVRHS) and the SNHS to return #3713 to regular service.
The Project3713 team focused on a successful year of fundraising during 2015 while the Steamtown shop crew was busy completing the restoration of Baldwin #26, an 0-6-0 switching locomotive that is a centerpiece of the SNHS collection. With #26 moved to the roundhouse in preparation for the upcoming operating season, the skilled specialists in the locomotive shop have turned their attention towards #3713.
Earlier this month, the boxcar where many of the components of the locomotive have been safely stored awaiting their renewal was brought inside the shop to allow access to, and evaluation of, the parts inside. Also relocated to the shop was the flatcar containing other materials for #3713 including the boiler tubes that were previously purchased via funds raised by Project3713.
The entire shop crew at Steamtown is engaged in updating the project plan. Under the leadership of Steamtown Restoration Specialist Bruce Mowbray, they are making decisions about which items on the locomotive will be restored in house, sent out to outside vendors or replaced with “off the shelf” parts that are commercially available. The tasks are being broken down into blocks that encompass the major items on the locomotive. From this list of blocks, statements of work-to-be-performed will be written for each major item and a strategic work-plan will be developed. This work-plan will be flexible so that changes may be made as work progresses to keep the project moving forward.
Among the items in line for restoration in 2016 are the tender cistern (water tank), cab (new fabrication), air compressors, feedwater heater and the engine (pilot) truck. Boiler work is expected to recommence as well. No decision has been announced regarding the RFP issued in late 2015 for boiler repairs. Joining the Facebook #3713 group is a great way to keep up with the progress. You can find us at: https://www.facebook.com/Project3713
Fundraising for completion of the project remains a priority in 2016. In addition to individual or corporate donations, there are many ways to support Project3713. Commemorative model railroad cars in HO and O scale are available for order. Spaces for names of loved ones are still available on the railroaders’ memorial plaque that hangs at the Steamtown National Historic Site. Tickets are also still available for a massive model train raffle that features an O scale model of #3713 handcrafted in brass as the grand prize.
Those attending the Amherst Railway Historical Society Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, MA on January 30 & 31 are invited to stop by the Project3713 table to speak with the team. Fund raising items will be available for sale.
Supporters of Project3713 are part of a unique mission not just to preserve an artifact but to return it to the passenger-hauling purpose it was built for. SNHS has the facilities to rebuild and maintain large operating steam locomotives, along with over 50 miles of former mainline track upon which its trains operate. A donation to Project3713 helps to do more than just restore a great machine; it will bring us closer to the day when this beautiful locomotive is an operating touchstone to an earlier time in American history.