Tag Archives: restoration

I Have Just Discovered British Authoress “Rose Tremain” & I Am In Absolute AWE.

by Anura Guruge


I have just finished listening, via Amazon ‘Audible‘, to her book ‘Restoration‘, in a kind of spellbound awe. Given the language (which is often extremely crude) & strident style I had just assumed it was written by a man. That is one of the drawbacks of LISTENING to a book rather than holding it in your hands & reading it. It is easy to overlook who the author is. And I had not listened carefully to that part.

Wow. I am hooked. I just got the sequel ‘Merivel’ on ‘Audible’. I plan to listen to a few more.

Please check her out or at least read about her. She is 77 & still very much alive & active. Has been made a Dame. Good for her. I am glad. She is so clever & talented. I am in AWE. Just amazing. Please …. do yourself a favor.


Related posts:
Search ‘Biden’ & ‘Obama’.


by Anura Guruge

U.P. ‘Big Boy’ 4-8-8-4 At ‘Steamtown’, PA — The Restoration Plans (THE Scoop).

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.





Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE.


ONE of the problems.

Click to ENLARGE.


The Headlines:

  1. Major problem is asbestos (lots of it) and the huge cost of getting it off.
  2. No plans, whatsoever, for MECHANICAL restoration (too far gone, way too expensive) — so just cosmetic restoration.
  3. Only way to move it, for asbestos removal in a contained, airtight space, is through the Turntable.
  4. Too long for the Turntable — tender needs to be separated from engine.

That is what they have had to contend with.

I lucked out. Got a chance to have a nice, chat with a very knowledgeable, longtime volunteer who was touching up the paint on the beautifully restored (though mechanically inert) Reading 2124. He gave me the scoop.

Unlike the UP 4014 ‘Big Boy’, doing the laps in the Midwest, UP 4012 is unlikely to ever run again. It cost $4.8 million to restore the 4014 and the entire annual budget of ‘Steamtown‘ is $4.2M. Plus, there are no tracks in Pennsylvania that can accomodate the Big Boy. The curves are all too tight! The Big Boy was built for the West!

They have to get it into a contained building in order to get rid of the asbestos. Only way, via rails, is through the Turntable. But, the tender has to be separated from the engine so that they will each fit. This requires the built-in drawbar to be cut. They plan to do that when the weather gets cooler, in September or October. Then they will haul it out via the Turntable.

They also need a new ‘jacket’ for the engine. Restoration will take at least a year.

So, that is the story.



Related posts:
Search ‘Steamtown’ & ‘Big Boy’.


by Anura Guruge