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Progress report: Restoring the light box on our CNR Northern #6213

As many of you are aware, we are in the midst of a restoration process to continue to restoration process on our CNR Northern #6213 steam locomotive.  Dan Cheer has been addressing a number of metal working challenges in this effort. His most recent challenge is the restoration of the light box which display the engine number on the top front of the locomotive. 

"Part of the ongoing 6213 restoration work involved the repair of some corroded channels used to retain the 6213 light panels on the front of the locomotive.

The channel damage was evident from ground level, but upon removal and inspection the entire unit turned out to be severely corroded, with almost all of the lower half requiring replacement.

Work began by stripping the interior and exterior paint off to reveal as much damage as possible without compromising the structure. Next, 1/16th inch panels were welded to the base to stabilise it and seal around the lower bolt mount. Because the old steel was so corroded, it wasn’t always possible to butt new steel up to the old, and plates had to be made to sit over the corroded area.

In an ideal world, new sheet metal would be fabricated to replace wholesale the base and sides, however we do not have the required guillotine and folding tools to do a suitable job, so patching is the next best option. The goal here is to retain the shape and dimensions as accurately as possible, so future restorers have a solid example to build a new one from.

This unit had been repaired many times with bondo and brazing evident, however new steel had not been used and no real rust prevention was employed. It’s fortunate this work has been completed now as the corrosion would only have continued unchecked." - Dan Cheer

For more detailed pictures of the restoration effort, click here.

Click on each image for a closer look!

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