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Maintaining "The John Street Polish" tradition!

Click on each image for a closer look!
Above, we have a scene captured by TRHA volunteer Lance Gleich from earlier in the summer when it was warm enough for shorts to be worn! A weekend miniature railway crew wipes down TRHA locomotive #3 after a day's duty of giving train rides.
Steam locomotives work on a "total loss" lubrication system where the steam cylinder oil is exhausted with the used steam up the smokestack. The resulting combination of oil and soot makes an excellent if messy rust-resistant coating over everything. This is one reason working steam locomotives were commonly painted black. When a locomotive for reasons of pride of corporate ownership was dressed in colour, much effort was expended to keep the machine looking good. The Canadian Pacific John St Roundhouse was, in pre-WWII days known for the splendid condition of its passenger locomotive fleet, which was said to have "The John St. Polish".
Canadian Pacific's #2816 "The Empress" is kept in this clean and shiny condition today as can be seen in the image below from the Canadian Pacific's photo gallery at their corporate website. Cleaning is also necessary to keep the bearings of exposed mechanical parts free from grit and dirt to extend the life of those parts. "Cleaner" was often a first step up the promotion ladder to fireman, then engineer.
The TRHA volunteers like to continue the "John St. Polish" tradition in a small way by keeping our #3 looking good.
Posting by Michael Guy; Pictures courtesy of Lance Gleich and Canadian Pacific.

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