The Toronto Railway Museum is open! Please click here for more information.     
Click Here to
join the TRHA
discussion group.

Powered by Blogger


Restoration of our Porter 0-4-0 narrow gauge compressed air locomotive

Recently, an historic Porter 0-4-0 compressed air locomotive was donated to the Toronto Railway Historical Association.  Above we see it on arrival at the Museum.
Work on restoring the locomotive has begun in earnest. Her is a report by Michael Guy, our Chief Engineer, who is leading a team of volunteers in this work:
"The locomotive came to us in an intact but "stuck" condition - nothing moved or turned. It was in very good shape for having been outside on display for sixty years but it was time for some TLC. Over the last several weeks we have been engaged in stripping it down to the frame which came with a few challenges but we were successful in getting the wheels and axles off last week without doing damage to anything important. Only one bolt had to be drilled out, all the rest of them came out with liberal use of penetrating oil and soft-hammer persuasion. The pistons and cylinders were looked at first a few weeks ago and proved to be in A-1 ex-factory condition. This more than anything else is what encouraged us to proceed. This being a compressed-air locomotive, the cylinders were not fitted with condensate drains and both had about a half-pint of oil in them. The air tank is likewise in perfect condition except for some minor surface corrosion under the sand dome.
The wooden cab is not original and is in quite good condition. It will get work over the winter to replace some siding, the roof membrane and a refinish. All the sheet metal associated with the cab was rotted away and is being replaced. The wood pilot beam is being replaced, the wood drag beam is being repaired.

In the photos below you can see the present state of the project. Disassembly is complete and we are set to begin cleaning and reassembling components. In fact this has already started with cleaning of frame, axleboxes, pedestal liners and wedges. The big surprise here was that such a tiny locomotive actually had refinements such as liners and wedges.

The four leaf springs have been disassembled and cleaned. We only found one broken leaf which is being replaced by a local spring shop. Our thanks go to John Hatsios at Hardick Spring for expert advice and assistance.
The next challenge is the state of the axle journals which are heavily corroded. It seems likely we will need to re-machine them and fit split sleeves to bring the diameter back up. There may be other options and we are looking into alternative approaches to this. If anyone reading this has applicable expertise, please contact me off list." - Michael Guy

Posting and images by Michael Guy
 Click on each image for a closer look!

News and Events About Us Museum Collections History Links Contact Us Resources Home