CTRC - The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation.
Preserving the historical heritage of railroading and trolleys in the Santa Clara Valley of California.

CTRC Calendar

CTRC meetings are open to members and non-members.  You are welcome even if you are not a member.

We usually have a short (30 minute) discussion of status of the various projects.

We meet at 10am at the SP2479 locomotive restoration site in the double wide trailer.

Date: First Saturday of each month.

Time: 10am

2479 Healy Avenue
San Jose, California

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2479 Progress Report - May 26, 2007

Chamfering of the tell tale holes of the hundreds of new staybolts inside the firebox is nearing completion.  Welding of the final staybolt hole in the firebox has been completed.  Pad welding of the firebox side wrapper sheet has begun with one area completed.

Weld repair of cracks identified in the brake foundation is moving forward.  Cracking of the brake foundation must have been common for 2479.  SP had performed a number of weld repairs to the foundation during its years of service.

Shoe and wedge for driver L2 was test fitted and measurements taken.  Tram wires must now be installed before finally machine work on shoes can take place.  Three of the six journal box to spring saddles have been machined to final length.

Reorganization of various materials at the restoration site continues.  Parts for the lawn tractor have finally been received.  The tractor was assembled this past weekend and returned to service.

A Milestone

From John Ezovski

Today the last of the staybolt sleeves were welded to the boiler of 2479.  In a very hot sun, John Blaine completed attaching 3 half sleeves and one full sleeve.

Its been a long road.  There is still so very much remaining.

2479 Progress Report - April 28, 2007

From John Esovski

During this past week the crack located at the top of the frame cross member behind number 2 driver was welded.

The shoe and wedge for the fireman's side of number 2 driver were positioned and tested for fit.  Excessive side to side rock was noted for the shoe.  The pedestal face plate was found to have several high spots.  These high spots were removed by light polishing of the surface on Saturday.  The shoe and wedge may now be tested again for fit.

All of the locomotive's driver springs were removed.  The springs have been sitting atop the frame since restoration of the locomotive's equalization system was completed. Removal of the springs was required to allow installation of the journal box saddles at a future date.

Chamfering of staybolts in side the fire box continues.

Gouging out of a crack in the cross member in front of number 1 driver was completed.  This cross member is part of the locomotive's brake foundation.  There are at least three significant cracks in this part.

The lawn tractor is out of service for parts.  Cutting of grass was accomplished with hand pushed power mowers.

2479 Progress Report - April 21, 2007

From John Esovski

By far the most significant accomplishment this week was completion of weld repairs to the left pedestal for number 2 driver.  Back in October of 2006, a crack was discovered at the top of the wedge pedestal on the left side of number 2 driver.  A close inspection of all other pedestals  revealed cracks in two other pedestals for number 2 driver.  This past week the third and final crack was welded.

The pedestal crack was discovered during repairs to the four face plates of the number 2 driver pedestals.  Each face plate's attaching welds had cracked nearly all the way around.  During the weld repairs to these plates, the shoe face plate on the left side twisted away from the frame and required a new plate be machined and installed.  This was the second major welding task completed this week.

With the repairs completed to the left side of the frame for number two driver, the shoe and wedge for the left pedestal can be installed and measured to ensure their faces are parallel.  If not, the necessary machining will be completed.  Once this task has been completed, all shoes will be installed and a final tram measurements will be performed.

Also started this week was the chamfering of the telltale holes for all new staybolts.  Chamfering of these holes is necessary to hold a sealing material that blocks soot and other debris from blocking these holes during operation.  During side sheet, throat and combustion chamber repairs, close to 1000 staybolts were replaced.  Each of these bolts must be chamfered.

Started this week was machining of the saddles that interface the locomotive springs to the driver's journal boxes.  This critical step sets the height of the locomotive and more important can determine the weight each journal carries.  Errors here can cause journals to over heat.

Finally comes grass cutting.  The task this week was not as easy as in past weeks.  Our lawn tractor is presently not operational.  Parts  are on back order and may not be available until mid-May.  With site appearance degrading, several workers (J. Zielinski, L. Murchinson, P. Ruhle) broke out the hand push mowers.  They cut a lot of grass during the work day.

Its been a real good week.

Thanks to all!

2479 Progress Report - April 8, 2007

From John Ezovski


  • Drilled out the 5 staybolt holes that were welded last Saturday.
  • Reamed, tapped and installed 3 staybolts.
  • Installed caps on all remaining throat and side sheet flexible staybolts.

This brings to a close the replacement of the near 180 staybolts that began over three years ago.  These bolts were removed from the throat sheet, combustion chamber, and side sheets as they were not drilled up into the head.  Two rigid and one flexible stay are still to be installed.  The two rigid were removed late last year to allow pad welding on a small area of the fireman's side sheet.  The flexible still requires installation of its sleeve.

Other work:

  • Verified the position of new new face plate for the shoe side of driver number 2 fireman's pedestal.  This plate may now be welded into place.
  • Sanded flat outside shoulder of #2 wedge pedestal engineer's side.  This allowed for installation of the shoe and wedge #2 driver, engineer's side and measure for parallel.  Shoe and wedge are good.
Interesting Visit on Saturday January 13, 2007

The Visitors From Jack Young:

The story unfolds this way – I received an email from Robert Franzen the first of the year letting me know he was going to be in town the weekend of January 13, 2007 for a Private car convention at the Double Tree hotel in San Jose, and could I pick him up and bring him to the site to visit the SP 2479 restoration to see the restoration crew to catch up on the project.

So I replied to Roberts email letting him knows that we would welcome a visit to the site.

Friday January 12, 2007 I called Robert to arrange a time to pick him up at the Double Tree Hotel we were all set for 9:30 AM the following day.

Saturday January 13, 2007 8:00 AM I get a call on my cell phone from Robert asking if he could bring down a few more folks – 3 more folks to be exact – I told him no problem.

I get to the Hotel and out comes Robert Franzen and his 3 Friends Doyle McCormick of 4449, Steve Sandburg of 261 and Nick Kallas of Illinois railroad museum.

So I have pretty much had the brain trust for Big Operating Steam in my Bronco heading to the Restoration site of SP 2479.

As we head to the site (on Highway 87) I had the opportunity to point out some points of interest VTA maintenance Facility where we had SP 2479’s Tender, lead truck and trailing truck wheels turned and the new maintenance Facility for CalTrains and, of course, the status of the SP 2479.

We arrive at the restoration site for SP 2479 with work in process on the locomotive.  The crew took a break to get introduced to our visitors.  We then conduct a walking tour of the Locomotive (inside and out) and the facility.

They seemed to be impressed by what they saw and the completeness of the restoration.  Our visitors stayed for little more then 1 hour and then it was off to the History Museum of San Jose for another walking tour of the grounds.  I then returned these folks back to the Double tree so they could attend their conference.

All in all a very interesting day.

Very interesting day indeed

Progress Report - December 20, 2006

Larry Murchison reports the following progress at the fairgrounds:

The crack that was discovered in driver number 2 right side wedge pedestal was not very deep.  The crack was removed with die grinder.  I polished the area with a Dremel tool, applied heat and determined area clean for welding.

Completed welding of pedestal face plate for driver number 2 right side wedge.  Some finish sanding of the inner and outer seams remains.  Area should be ready for test fitting shoe and wedge on Saturday.

John Blaine picked up the short cylinder from the repair shop.  Cylinder was assembled by the shop.  John is going to pick up hydraulic fluid between now and Saturday.  He does want to completely drain the hydraulic fluid and install a new filters before adding new fluid.

Denis Murchison worked at repairing angle grinders.  He repaired two machines with damaged power cords and one with worn brushes.

Larry Murchison continued attempting to clean the parts and assemble the water column/water glass.  The water glass gage assembly we presently have does not appear to be for this assembly but may be the fireman's water glass.  The water column assembly needs to be completed so the lower column backhead input to the boiler can be accurately located.

Holiday Trolley (and the ARM Conference)

trolleycar143-xmas See the December Trolley Barn Newsletter for more photos and more information about what's happening at the Trolley Barn.

The Newsletter also contains a report from the recent ARM (Association of Railway Museums) conference in Sacramento.

2479 Progress Report - December 4, 2006

From John Ezovski

Completed carving out cracks in number 2 driver pedestal face plate welds.  Began process of re-welding face plates to frame.

Disassembled and cleaned the forklift's large hydraulic cylinder.  Now awaiting parts to reassemble both cylinders.

2479 Progress Report - October 28, 2006

Work during the past two weeks has focused on preparing for the coming winter rains.  Crews have been trimming brush along the Healy Ave. fence, removed debris that has collected in the round house materials area and installed several patches on the roof of the double wide mobile home.

Slow progress is being made with the locomotive's shoes and wedges.  Machining of the wedge for right side of #3 driver was performed.  The shoe and wedge must now be installed and measured to determine if any additional machine work is required.

Several additional cracks in the welds that attach wear plates to the pedestals for number 2 driver have been discovered.  These cracks are being ground out in preparation of welding.

Both of the organizations large fork lifts have major hydraulic leaks and are close to being unusable.  A plan has been created and hopefully in the next several weeks repairs will begin on at least one of units.

2479 Progress Report - October 14, 2006
Completed reorganization of round house materials.  Cleanup of debris remains.
Cleanup of area behind parts container.  Pallets have been repaired and stacked.

Move panel track previously located in center of field to a more suitable storage location.
Add section of panel track between locomotive and engine truck.  Reposition engine truck
closer to locomotive.  Manufacture tooling for use on planner/shaper to machine shoes
and wedges. Trim bushes along Healey Ave.
Install R3 shoe and wedge.  Take measurements in preparation of final machining of
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