Photos of Routine Maintenance on the 1522

1522 being brought up to steam.

The 1522 being brought up to steam before a run. The tank next to the cab contains diesel fuel which is burned until enough heat is available to heat the #6 fuel oil in the tender hot enough to flow to the burner.

Filling water

With no old water spouts available, the 1522 takes water through fire hoses from a regular fire hydrant along the right of way. Piping has been installed to permit filling the tenders from ground level.

water sample

It is very important to treat the water so it boils properly and minimizes scale buildup inside the boiler. The process is started by taking a water sample from the boiler for analysis.

Testing water ph

The water sample is tested for conductivity, sulfide content and, as shown here, for proper pH. Chemicals can be added to the water to adjust its properties as necessary. Water treatment was a major effort in steam days.

Shooting hard grease

The high pressures on the drive rods requires a very durable lubricant. A hard grease, pressed into stick form (roughly the size and shape of a hot dog), is shot into the rod bearings with an air driven pump.

Soft grease/lubricator

The crew on the left is pumping soft grease into various bearings on the valve gear. This grease is similar to that used to lubricate automobile steering components. Meanwhile, the crewman on the running board is pouring steam oil into the lubricator. The lubricator uses motion from the valve gear to pump this steam oil into the cylinders, crossheads and other components to keep them lubricated.

air pump

The steam driven air compressor which supplies air for the air brake system requires both air oil and steam oil for proper lubrication.


#6 oil is very thick - like a used heavyweight engine oil. It is delivered to us in tankers which are filled hot and kept insulated so the oil stays hot - otherwise it can't be pumped out! Here the tanker pumps the oil into our tender.

Boiler Wash

The week after a trip, the boiler is drained and hoses used to flush out accumulated mud and scale. In the background, the remaining water in the auxiliary water car is being drained.

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