Polson Logging #2
Updated June 29, 2006
The Polson Logging Company #2 has the distinction of being the last steam locomotive to operate at Mid-Continent. That was for Snow Train 2000. Since then it has undergone the same treatment afforded the C&NW #1385 and the WC&C #1, namely being disassembled so that a complete inspection could be made to determine the needed repairs.
The first major step in #2's repair took place in 2002 with the ultra-sound testing of the boiler. But it wasn’t until 2004 that the decision was made to move the boiler to a shop facility off-site in order to have a better shop facility to work in and access the services of a private contractor. Milwaukee Boiler International was selected based on their location and willingness to allow museum volunteers to work in their shop on tasks that did not require special certifications.
The initial inspection by the shop owners produced a list of 27 tasks to be performed at an estimated cost of $18,000. Shop facilities there allowed for a more detailed physical inspection and the performance of the boiler calculations required by Title 49, Part 230 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
In January of 2005 Steam Operations Corporation did the engineering study for the boiler. Their report produced a scope of work to be performed by Milwaukee Boiler and supplemented when possible by our own volunteers. The estimated cost for the boiler repairs was a reasonable $18,000. But one caveat for the low cost was that Milwaukee Boiler employees would only work on the boiler when there were not other projects to occupy them. This has resulted in a slower than needed turnaround time.
In the meantime, minor repairs to the frame and running gear are taking place at Mid-Continent. Visitors to the museum have been able to witness the progress taking place since the locomotive’s chassis is sitting outside on the museum’s coaling track. Ironically the lack of steam operations has meant this section of track is idle and available for long-term repair projects.
Mid-Continent members have also honed the steam cylinders. This took place with a temporary move of the chassis to a place inside the Engine House. Click here for the full story.
The PLCO #2 is privately owned and under lease to the museum. Donations designated specifically for its repair are being accepted. Otherwise the priority for donations to the museum’s Steam Fund are targeted for the repair of the WC&C #1, with the #2 being next in line to benefit from the generous support of our members and friends.
View a history of Polson #2 here.
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