Owosso, MI - August 22, 2012 - boiler work on 1225.

While on a visit to the Owosso Steam Institute, a tour was taken of the shop where boiler work on the Pere Marquette 1225 was taking place. A monumental job, which has to be done about ever 15 years, it involves taking the engine apart, inspecting and replacing parts of the boiler wherever necessary, and then replacing thousands of stay bolts. A shop foreman coordinates the work, and has the required knowledge of how to put the engine back together. In this case, the shop foreman has 42 years of experience working on the railroad.

While this kind of work was routine in the hayday of steam, it typically takes 6 to 10 years for a tourist train operation, and a lot of money. The Owosso Steam Institute is completing the work in about two and half years, a tribute to the dedication and hard work of its volunteers and consultants. In some cases these people live right on premisis to get the work done.

Engine 1225 was used in the 2004 Disney movie "The Polar Express."

Left click on a page for a full size version.

New Buffalo, MI, Pere Marquette turntable.

Location of boiler work.

Purvis & Foster - boiler work.

State of 1225

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Gray paint is completed work.

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Stay bolts.

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View of the length of the boiler.

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Stay bolt locations.

Shop foreman - upper left.

Improperly maintained boiler....

1225's cab.

Steam flue - boiler to steam valve.

Sand box.