Winter is turning to spring, the weather is warming, the flowers are blooming, and The T1 Trust is cultivating the seeds that will grow into 5550.
On February 26, 2016, The T1 Trust cast the first driver for 5550.
Here we see the driver being cast at Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry in Monaca, Pennsylvania. The steel was heated to 2800ºF (1540ºC) and then poured into the sand mold from two sites simultaneously. The entire pour took just less than two minutes, and history was made as The T1 Trust cast the first Boxpok driver made in nearly 70 years.
Fresh out of the sand mold, here is the first T1 Boxpok driver for 5550. Gary Bensman who built the headlight for 5550 described the T1 driver as, "...the best-looking locomotive driver casting I have ever seen". That says a lot coming from a man who has restored to operation over 60 steam locomotives.
The first driver cast for T1 #5550. The word BOXPOK clearly adorns this engineering marvel.
After the flashing was removed, the wheel was meticulously inspected for microscopic cracks and flaws. None were found and the wheel was then heat-treated at 1300ºF (705ºC) for two full days.
Once the heat-treating process was complete, the 2500-pound wheel was loaded onto a trailer to be trucked to its new home where it will await its seven sisters.
Interested donors may sponsor an entire driver with naming rights for $24,000. More details can be found here.
Original T1 Blueprint Surfaces – The T1 Trust Gives Back
This blueprint came to The T1 Trust from England. Phil Mortimer, a T1 Trust supporter from the UK was enamored with the duplex as a boy, and in 1961 he wrote to the Pennsylvania Railroad. What he received back was the H revision of the T1 locomotive arrangement drawing A433857 which he has kindly shared with The T1 Trust. The T1 Trust then donated a copy of this archival treasure to the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission. Prints of this rare blueprint are available as part of the Trust’s fundraising effort. Special thanks must surely go to Phil Mortimer for his generosity and ardent support of The T1 Trust.
A T1 Trust volunteer (left) and Pennsylvania State Archivist Kurt Bell (right) pose with a copy of PRR blueprint A433857, Revision H (Locomotive Elevation), donated to the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission by the T1 Trust.
The letter above from the Pennsylvania State Archives thanks the T1 Trust for donating the blueprint, which they describe as "...a fine addition..." to the State's collection.
Over the past few issues, we have presented segments of an interview with Wes Camp and now, we have finally reached the end of the great material that he gave us to work with for this feature. The T1 Trust would like to sincerely thank Mr. Camp for sharing his time, opinions, memories and ideas and appreciate his continued support as a Founders Club member.
Q: What do you think are the greatest challenges the Trust faces? And how do you think the might best be overcome?
A: Probably the greatest we’re facing now is a clear concept of a marketing program to get to the big, deep pockets of the people in this country. We have to figure out how to put together a presentation but also how to brainstorm the six degrees of separation which is we’re always six contacts from the top people in the country. And so the biggest challenge is going to be is pulling together presentations for these people that are crisp and clean and we can get the concept and the enthusiasm across to whoever that might be. We need to put together an A-list of people who know people and then a B-list and C-list of the top people we want to get in front of. I’m not sure how that works. It involves brainstorming, who knows who, what would a tight presentation look like but I think a classy presentation with a lot of video and pictures as well as a clear definition of what the particular audience being targeted can do to make the project happen. Of course that gets into knowing their passions and how the locomotive and what we want to do with it suits matching that passion. I’m not sure if each millionaire or billionaire has their favorite target in their life that they would like to seriously help whether it’s education, manufacturing or whatever. Now if you look at someone like Larry Ellison who wanted to put together a team of guys [for the Americas Cup] that was the best in the world for sailing yachts. Then he was going to build the best yacht and so again, for each of the people like Larry Ellison’s caliber who can stroke a check easily you need to find their hot button and again, translate it into ‘Wow. They’re really going to do that?’
The T1 Trust is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its advisory board. Martin E. Hansen has been practicing law for nearly 40 years. During that time he has organized the purchase and sale of over 45 steam locomotives, as well as entire railroads. His experience includes operating and restoring steam locomotives and he serves as General Counsel to the Friends of SP 4449 Inc., The Sumpter Valley RR Restoration, The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, and The T1 Trust.
Jim Wrinn (at left) has been editor at Trains Magazine since 2005. A North Carolina native, he grew up watching the Southern Railway and riding Shay locomotives on the Graham County Railroad. He graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor's degree in journalism and spent 22 years in the newspaper industry before joining the Trains staff. He has authored several railroad books and is a volunteer at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.
Existing T1 Trust advisory board members include, Gary Bensman, Wes Camp, Dave Griner, Bob Menzies, and Wayne York. The addition of Martin Hansen and Jim Wrinn round out a spectacular group of advisors and provides The T1 Trust with a first-class resource steeped in knowledge and talent.
The secret to building the massive PRR T1 #5550 is really quite simple. The project’s success relies upon many people giving what they can on a regular basis. Over time this method works best. Please visit the fundraising page of the Trust’s website and get started giving today Click Here to view page. Consistent monthly donations help the trust plan out engineering and construction tasks by allowing us to budget in advance.