'Skookum' hydrostatic test is successful

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Pressure gauge reads 250 pounds on 2-4-4-2 Skookum.
GARIBALDI, Ore. — Skookum is one squeeze closer to running. On Friday, the restoration crew at Oregon Coast Scenic performed a successful hydrostatic test of the boiler. After the Federal Railroad Administration witnesses a similar test next week, the engine will be on the fast track to test firing, final reassembly, and test operations.

Skookum is in the final phase of a 15-year overhaul at the tourist railroad on the former Southern Pacific Tillamook Branch. The 1909 locomotive has an amazing story that starts with its rejection by a Tennessee logging railroad, its acceptance in the Pacific Northwest, and its tragic derailment that left it abandoned in the woods. Enthusiasts saved the locomotive and over more than 60 years moved it to safety and eventual restoration. Completion is set for this summer. A full feature story by noted Pacific Northwest logging railroad expert Martin A. Hansen will appear in the October issue of Trains magazine.

Trains magazine and Oregon Coast Scenic are sponsoring a limited capacity photographer’s train with the locomotive on March 17 and 18, which are the two days following the annual Winterail multi-media show in Corvallis, Ore. A special guest locomotive, Polson 2-8-2 No. 2, is expected to operate as well. Both locomotives will be featured on log and mixed trains. A night photo session will be part of the event, as well. The $895 per person fare covers two days of operations, two trains with two steam locomotives, and box lunches each day. As of Friday, only 23 spaces remain of 42 available.

After the Trains event the locomotive will be relocated to California. Tickets are available only by phone at 503-842-7972.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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