The work never stops at the Black Hills Central Railroad (BHC), according to Chief Mechanical Officer Mike Grimm.
“Having safe and dependable equipment is of the utmost importance to the BHC,” explains Grimm. “We all strive to make sure everything is in the best possible condition to start the new season.”
In fact, a full-time crew of six and one part-time employee have been providing maintenance on the railroad’s rolling stock all winter long in preparation of a full (and safe) 2015 season at the 1880 Train.
Some of the projects include:
- Repainting diesel locomotive #63.
- Removing the main and side rods on the #110 locomotive for inspection. This includes checking bearings for excessive clearance and an ultra sonic examination of the crank pins, axles and rods to look for cracks.
- Removing #110 locomotive’s driving axle so that worn suspension parts could be rebuilt and springs on the rear engine could be replaced.
- Completing boiler repairs in preparation for the annual hydro test that will be coming up in a few weeks.
As for the train cars, projects include:
- Replacing old, obsolete drawbars and couplers with more modern “off the shelf” equipment.
- Painting the cars.
- Repairing the window seats.
We would like to say “we do it all,” but the BHC does hire a contractor for the heavy track maintenance.
Between the contractor and the train’s experienced maintenance team, the 1880 Train will be ready to leave the station in May.