What was initially expected to be simple boiler repairs became a drawn-out 1,472-day inspection of the Arcade and Attica Railroad’s eighth 1920 Steam Engine.
According to Amber Williams, the Federal Railroad Administration performs an annual inspection of the engine and coaches to ensure the safety of passengers and better maintenance of the steam engine. As for 2018, the steam engine was due for boiler repairs in the engine, but before any repair work is done, the inspectors needed to inspect everything first to find out the best course of action for the repair and make sure that the work is up to safety standards.
Easy Access for Repairs
What the representatives soon found out is that the repairs would require the whole engine to be torn apart. This is to provide easy access to the boiler itself. It was a huge challenge because the steam engine is old and is one of the few remaining that are still functional to this day.
Amber Williams explains that A&A has decided to take the 1,472-day inspection for some reasons. She says that they are already halfway in the inspections, so they might as well inspect the whole thing. Additionally, it was due for the exact inspection in four years, so getting it done now is just right.
The process would take a long time, and a lot of money, to complete. However, for the safety of everyone and preservation of the steam engine, the inspection and repairs are a must. This would leave the steam engine unusable for the rest of the year.
According to Mark Uhteg, Project Manager of Buffalo’s K & E Fabricating Co., all the remaining trips for the train would still push through, with the stations World War II-era vintage diesel engine to replace the engine in question. He explains that diesel engines have been in use throughout the season, so it wouldn’t be much of a difference for passengers. Passengers would still enjoy the trips despite said repairs and inspection for the steam engine.
The season this year has been notably slower than earlier ones, so the company believes that it would give them enough time to inspect the steam engine and schedule repairs without dampening the experience of their passengers.