Less than two months after Project3713 was awarded a $9,000 matching grant from the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust our supporters have come through and completed the match. We now have $18,000 which will be earmarked for the booster engine. You might say our boosters just gave the booster a boost. Overall, we expect the booster and trailing truck repair to come in at about $50,000.
Matching the grant this quickly is no small feat. #3713 has a very loyal cadre of supporters, with quite a few new donors joining the cause recently, and they all came together to meet the Emery grant challenge.
What is a booster? Glad you asked. Booster engines are small steam engines generally connected to a locomotive’s trailing truck or tender truck. It is used to add extra power at slow speeds to help the locomotive start to move a heavy train. There is a good description of a booster engine on Wikipedia.
On a locomotive like #3713, a booster engine is used to get long passenger trains rolling, providing power in addition to that created by the main driving wheels. Once the train reaches the maximum speed of the booster, or the extra horsepower is no longer needed, the engineer will cut it out of operation and the locomotive will continue to propel the train via its drivers.
(Note the image is a catalog drawing of a Franklin Booster used for illustration. It is not an depiction of #3713’s booster.)
Editor’s Note: When this article was first posted, the amount of the grant was erroneously stated as $10,000.