T1 Trust raises funds to begin building boiler for 4-4-4-4 No. 5550

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Photo shows Continental Fabricators rolling a large 16ft diameter plate for another customer showing their capabilities.
Gary Bensman
ST. LOUIS — The Pennsylvania Railroad T1 Steam Locomotive Trust is excited to announce the purchase order for the first and second boiler courses of new-build 4-4-4-4 No. 5550. The order was placed with Continental Fabricators Inc. of St. Louis on Jan. 26. This is a major milestone, as the boiler courses represent the largest parts yet built for the iconic streamlined duplex locomotive. The two sections are over 93 inches in diameter and nearly 12-feet long. The boiler code steel is 1-inch thick and weighs more than 12,000 pounds. All welds will be x-rayed to ensure perfect seams. The sections will include wash-out plugs and openings for water delivery.

The PRR T1 Trust is pleased to partner with Continental Fabricators. A strong player in Railway Preservation, Continental Fabricators is presently working on three other steam locomotive boiler projects. Continental Fabricators has been providing boiler repairs and new construction to steam locomotive preservation efforts since the 1980’s.

The PRR T1 Trust boiler engineering team lead by Wolf Fengler, continues engineering on the remainder of the boiler and firebox to meet and exceed current American Society of Mechanical Engineers regulations. He is assisted by T1 Trust Engineering Committee members Gary Bensman, Dave Griner, Scott McGill, and Jason Johnson.

The trust is challenging members and friends to raise the $25,000 necessary to complete the third and final cylindrical boiler section. The goal is to have donations pledged by April 15. If funds can be pledged by then, the trust can have 25,000-pounds of boiler complete by summer 2018.

More information is available online.

— A Pennsylvania Railroad T1 Steam Locomotive Trust news release. Jan. 29, 2018.
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