Restoration of the Santa Fe Chief - Alco PA #59

Restoration of the Santa Fe Chief - Alco PA #59 The Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas, is undertaking the restoration of one of the last remaining Alco PA locomotives - AT&SF #59.
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Alco Builders Plate. Have made a urethane mold from the original 59A builders plate, cast a wax positive, and made a fir...
05/14/2019

Alco Builders Plate. Have made a urethane mold from the original 59A builders plate, cast a wax positive, and made a first pass at “editing” the digits to 76535- the correct build number for 59L. Pretty pleased with the results!

More amazing donations!!! I just drove 1900 miles round trip from Texas to Illinois and back to retrieve these goodies! ...
05/06/2019

More amazing donations!!! I just drove 1900 miles round trip from Texas to Illinois and back to retrieve these goodies! Original stainless steel Alco PA grab irons, and the builders plate from Alco PA 59A ( on loan for duplication). What a joy it was to meet the donor in person- Mr. David Thompson, and his family. We are incredibly thankful for those wonderful people who make the choice to help solve the challenges involved in restoring a 70 year old locomotive!!! As an aside, the short grab iron is from the 51 LAB set- the first PA’s ever!!!

This Lovely Lady got a full days worth of attention today. More good progress made on the Santa Fe PA 59L ✅
04/06/2019

This Lovely Lady got a full days worth of attention today. More good progress made on the Santa Fe PA 59L ✅

Awesome scene yesterday of father and son admiring the PA 59 during a Museum of the American Railroad tour. Historic Pre...
03/23/2019

Awesome scene yesterday of father and son admiring the PA 59 during a Museum of the American Railroad tour. Historic Preservation of priceless artifacts is vitally important as it inspires future generations to reflect on the past as we look forward to future innovations. Further work was done on assessment of the damage to the engineer’s side of the car body, as seen in the subsequent images. ( ...permission was granted by the gentleman to share the image of he and is son).
More information on touring the Museum can be found here:
http://www.museumoftheamericanrailroad.org

03/20/2019
Shining Rails: Railroadin' Electrically - 1950

For the historians out there, we found this interesting 1950 film from General Electric Co- which chronicles the transition from steam to Diesel Electric power. GE was an important partner with Alco in producing the “PA” locomotives. The film includes many rare, early vintage scenes, including Alco PA’s. Should you desire, the first Santa Fe PA imagery starts around 8:30 into the film:
https://youtu.be/WcmPwH3YK3s

From the GE Film Catalog: "A story of the backbone of America's transportation system - the railroad - this film traces the evolution of locomotive power fro...

This Joe Taul image shows Alco PA 74L after being involved in a very serious collision. 74 would be repaired and placed ...
03/15/2019

This Joe Taul image shows Alco PA 74L after being involved in a very serious collision. 74 would be repaired and placed back in service ( as linked) finishing her career in the late 1960’s- a real testament to the shop forces ability to repair damage- and inspiration for our project!

http://www.railpictures.net/showimage.php?id=532476&key=9794341

That pesky roof damage! We wanted to provide an update on the PA cab restoration, please refer to the photos as they rel...
02/10/2019

That pesky roof damage! We wanted to provide an update on the PA cab restoration, please refer to the photos as they relate to the following. So, the cab roof is a rather complex structure with compound curves which form a very pleasing contour for the roof, but somewhat complex to replicate. We have been working through engineering options for some time now, including having the roof contour surface modeled in 3D / CAD software based on original Alco engineering drawings from the 1940’s. So at this point, one of two things will occur this year- 1) a NEW roof will be reconstructed from steel, using the CAD data. Or 2) A donor roof will be obtained and installed as a unit replacement. Either way will work with good results. In the mean time, work continues on peripherals- collecting, restoring and remanufacturing pieces integral to the cab restoration. Rest assured, we are methodically moving through this phase to ensure the best results possible while being financially responsible with our many cash donations. Stay Tuned!!!

Beautiful, early detailed photo of a Santa Fe Alco “PA” locomotive. Images like this help us explore the essence of ...
01/26/2019

Beautiful, early detailed photo of a Santa Fe Alco “PA” locomotive. Images like this help us explore the essence of the original configuration- “as delivered”, and subsequent variations, and help us ensure historical accuracy in restoration of the PA 59L’s exterior. Image Eric Miller collection.

A lot has happened in 2018- Stick around as we continue in 2019 on the journey to return the 59L to her Warbonnet glory!...
01/01/2019

A lot has happened in 2018- Stick around as we continue in 2019 on the journey to return the 59L to her Warbonnet glory!!! Many have made year end donations, thanks much! If you haven’t- C’mon!!! Happy New Year!

Excellent post by Jim Wrinn / TRAINS MAG / PA 59L $10,000 donor (!) on year end giving- please donate as you are able. I...
12/26/2018
Railway preservation’s end of the year dollars and sense - Trains Magazine - Trains News Wire, Railroad News, Railroad Industry News, Web Cams, and Forms

Excellent post by Jim Wrinn / TRAINS MAG / PA 59L $10,000 donor (!) on year end giving- please donate as you are able. If you have already given- thank you!!!

http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/staff/archive/2018/12/26/railway-preservation-s-end-of-the-year-dollars-and-sense.aspx

Trains magazine offers railroad news, railroad industry insight, commentary on today's freight railroads, passenger service (Amtrak), locomotive technology, railroad preservation and history, railfan opportunities (tourist railroads, fan trips), and great railroad photography.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the Museum of the American Railroad- home of Project Alco PA 59L! Thanks to all of...
12/25/2018

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the Museum of the American Railroad- home of Project Alco PA 59L! Thanks to all of our friends for your support. Let’s make 2019 an exceptional year for this important restoration project!!!

More work! “As advertised”, work continues to remove the damaged 3/16” steel “skin” from the engineer’s side...
12/01/2018

More work! “As advertised”, work continues to remove the damaged 3/16” steel “skin” from the engineer’s side of the 59. Following our plan and Alco blueprints, the damaged structural supports are carefully being exposed so repair or replacement can be done as needed. Several braces are displaced inward. The fireman’s side is in good condition, so between engineering drawings and the existing good side we should continue to make good progress on repairs and accurately reproduce the beautiful curve of the classic PA nose. The cab roof will be next. This work is funded by individual cash donations and the generous TRAINS MAGAZINE annual restoration grant- for which we are very thankful!!!

From time to time we are encouraged to “get in touch” with Doyle McCormack to help with the PA 59L project. Rest ass...
11/29/2018

From time to time we are encouraged to “get in touch” with Doyle McCormack to help with the PA 59L project. Rest assured “Mac” is very connected to the Project! He has been to Texas, and we have been to Portland several times to exchange information. His PA restoration progress is being closely communicated and offers a great template for our success. Of course he owns the only other Alco PA in the United States- representing “NKP190”- as a tribute to his Father. And he is largely responsible for bringing these two units back to the United States from Mexico. There are many other experts we collaborate with as well from a variety of disciplines for which we are infinitely grateful. Shown in the image is Doyle McCormack (L) and Project Manager Robert Willis (R) taking a moment to pose for the camera during one of Doyle’s consulting trips to Texas.

We are looking for one of the original Alco builders plates for the 59L- should be number 76535 / October 1948 ( the one...
11/26/2018

We are looking for one of the original Alco builders plates for the 59L- should be number 76535 / October 1948 ( the one shown is from ATSF 66L). Since it’s likely it is long gone we could reproduce the original if we could locate a donor plate from the same era. This could be 3D scanned or imprinted to make a mold.

***Even if someone simply loaned us one that would work as well*** We would be happy to return it after scanning. Please send us a message if you can help!

Getting Serious! We have started removing the damaged “skin” on the engineer’s side of 59L. The steel plate is thi...
11/17/2018

Getting Serious! We have started removing the damaged “skin” on the engineer’s side of 59L. The steel plate is thicker than we thought- a full 3/16” thick! Alco was serious about building a stout locomotive!!! This material weighs around 7.6 pounds per square foot so it is being removed in relatively small ( and manageable) pieces. This phase represents the next major step in effecting significant repairs to the cab of the locomotive. Once all the damaged steel is removed repairs will be made to underlying structural members and a new steel skin will be applied.

PA 59- In order to get the engineer’s side of the cab looking as good as the fireman’s side, we will go through a se...
11/06/2018

PA 59- In order to get the engineer’s side of the cab looking as good as the fireman’s side, we will go through a series of detailed steps including removing damaged parts, incorrect parts, creased sheet metal, Etc. Structural members will be repaired or replaced as needed, utilizing data from the left side and comprehensive engineering drawings like the one shown. The damaged sheet metal and door frame will be replaced. This is all part of the core plan of Phase 1, which is to get the cab essentially ready for glazing and paint. We don’t normally show this detailed information, but thought some may find it interesting, and will help you follow the progress by looking back through the timeline of images while seeing the vision for the future. Thanks for liking the page and your cash donations- they are funding this work!!!

What’s Next for 59L??? Y’all have seen the recent  work on the Fireman’s side of the locomotive, it’s now stable...
11/04/2018

What’s Next for 59L??? Y’all have seen the recent work on the Fireman’s side of the locomotive, it’s now stable enough to start addressing the engineers side. This side will be completely reskinned, requiring most everything you see from the yellow ladder back to the rear of the cab door to be removed and replaced. No biggie- this is work we are familiar with. We typically prepare a photo with work “call outs” as shown for the fireman’s side to help guide our progress and for contractors when needed. When repairs of the structural damage in the carbody begins, these call outs will be much more technical. Progress is being made!!!

October 2018 marks PA 59L’s 70th Birthday!!! Please consider a “Birthday Gift” donation to help restore this beaut...
10/29/2018

October 2018 marks PA 59L’s 70th Birthday!!! Please consider a “Birthday Gift” donation to help restore this beauty! Here she is posing in 1949, not even one year old. Any amount is good- just click the “donate” button above- it will walk you through the process. Thanks to the great many who have already given- work is moving right along!!!

What exactly is the “Alco PA 59”? Some perhaps might believe this locomotive is a “Tribute” or a “Clone”. It...
10/26/2018

What exactly is the “Alco PA 59”? Some perhaps might believe this locomotive is a “Tribute” or a “Clone”. It is in fact very much an original Santa Fe Alco “2000” Series “PA” locomotive! Here is her timeline:

1) 10-25-1948, delivered as 3 unit set 59, 59A, 59B . 59 ( cab unit only) cost $217,218.00 and remains as Alco serial number 76535
2) 12-16-1967, sold to Delaware & Hudson Railroad for $30,000, and arrived at D&H Colonie Shops
3) 10-1978, sold to the National Railways of Mexico ( NdeM), and placed in service early 1979
4) 1981, Unit wrecked in Mexico and stored out of service.
5) 4-23-2000, 59 & 62 arrive in Albany, Oregon after an extensive effort to bring the locomotives back to the United States by Doyle McCormack, Bill Withuhn, and others, to be restored as Santa Fe 59L
6) 2-1-2011, loaded in Oregon for transfer to Frisco, Texas
7) May 2011, arrived via BNSF Railroad ( shipping donated!) in Frisco, Texas and stored.
8 ) 3-12-2014, moved into permanent home at the new Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas. Restoration begins!
Alco PA 59L Photo Credit: F. Waddingham, 11/27/ 1959, Barstow, California

Long 10 hour day spent yesterday refitting the nose door on the PA 59. Previous wreck damage required fairly extensive r...
10/24/2018

Long 10 hour day spent yesterday refitting the nose door on the PA 59. Previous wreck damage required fairly extensive reworking of the door mating surface on the nose, and adjusting the door swing. By dusk the door was fitting very nicely with good gaps. Seals will be added soon, and glass applied to the headlight openings.

Where we are as of October, 2018, and where we started. Your generous financial and in-kind support is making a huge imp...
10/22/2018

Where we are as of October, 2018, and where we started. Your generous financial and in-kind support is making a huge impact- Thanks to all of our donors!!!

Today’s work session. After a long hot Texas summer, and recent flooding (!), we are back at it! Today was spent conti...
10/22/2018

Today’s work session. After a long hot Texas summer, and recent flooding (!), we are back at it! Today was spent continuing with nose / cab work- fireman’s side air intake was blanked over, as was the nose MU Access door. This is consistent with our “as delivered’ presentation of the PA 59L, circa 1948. More good things to come- thanks for following, liking and most importantly a huge thank you to those who have donated!!!

Most everyone is familiar with the damage to the Alco PA 59. The good news is we have many fantastic engineering drawing...
09/22/2018

Most everyone is familiar with the damage to the Alco PA 59. The good news is we have many fantastic engineering drawings from all aspects of the locomotive, this being just one example. This is allowing us to produce CAD Drawings to assist in repair and replacement of damaged areas, leveraging the efficiency of modern fabrication practices. We are also hopeful that more “donor” parts donations will be made to further expedite the restoration process. Thanks for taking this journey with us and your financial support!!!

Custom Matched Axalta IMRON Warbonnet Red paint sample with our beautiful, original Alco PA Warbonnet medallion which wi...
09/18/2018

Custom Matched Axalta IMRON Warbonnet Red paint sample with our beautiful, original Alco PA Warbonnet medallion which will be placed back in service on the 59L! We are most thankful for the private donation of this beautiful medallion- the epitome of Santa Fe style ✅

Here is another restoration project at the Museum which has enjoyed great popularity since completion. Note the amount o...
09/10/2018
Viewing Album: Project F-7

Here is another restoration project at the Museum which has enjoyed great popularity since completion. Note the amount of effort and support required! The PA 59 Project is significantly more complex but through hard work, networking and leveraging modern technology- it will be equally as stunning as our F7 49!!! The same team which managed this project is managing the Alco PA 59L work ✅

http://www.museumoftheamericanrailroad.org/Collection/RestorationProjects/ProjectF7/tabid/98/AlbumID/464-18/Default.aspx

In 2000, the Museum embarked on an ambitious plan to recreate the iconic diesel-electric locomotive that once adorned Santa Fe’s great fleet of Chief streamliners. While the railroad used several different models of locomotives to pull these trains, the General Motors Electro-Motive-Division F-7....

Hats off to retired Santa Fe Locomotive Engineer Dan Elwood for providing a copy of the 1953 Santa Fe Operating Manual f...
09/07/2018

Hats off to retired Santa Fe Locomotive Engineer Dan Elwood for providing a copy of the 1953 Santa Fe Operating Manual for System Diesel Locomotives- including the 51/ 52 Class PA’s. His father Jack operated PA’s for the Santa Fe Railway in Southern California for years- we are thrilled to have their support, guidance and friendship!!!

A Couple of Gems at the Museum of the American Railroad- home of the Alco PA 59L. Visualize for a moment the PA being co...
09/07/2018

A Couple of Gems at the Museum of the American Railroad- home of the Alco PA 59L. Visualize for a moment the PA being completed and added to this All Star lineup!!!

08/23/2018
Moving Big Boy #4018 From Old Dallas Museum Site 6/9/2013

We are still waiting on the nose contour drawings to be converted into a modern CAD “fabrication friendly” program- once done we will aggressively begin work on the cab roof. In the meantime ( thanks for your patience) check out this cool video of the PA 59’s “friend”- our F7A Warbonnet Tribute with Big Boy 4018. The 59L, 49L, FP45 107 and M160 will look great together! This video was shot as part of moving our 50+ piece collection from Fair Park to our new 14 acre site in Frisco, Texas:

https://youtu.be/Ml5lCmLBVxk

Museum of the American Railroad; Movement here is in preparation of coming relocation of the locomotive to the new Frisco, TX museum site

A while back we posted about our work on reclaiming the proper shade of Warbonnet Red for the PA 59L project, and other ...
08/05/2018

A while back we posted about our work on reclaiming the proper shade of Warbonnet Red for the PA 59L project, and other Santa Fe equipment at the Museum. We have been able to get very close! The Jobber used a photo spectrometer to scan several very clean examples of 1960’s era Santa Fe red paint. The first image has a Topeka Shops DuPont color standard / drift card for code 1863 ( left) placed next to our Axalta IMRON mix spray out ( right). The second image is the IMRON spray out next to a vintage Santa Fe horn bell, and finally an image of it next to a vintage cab door saved from a Santa Fe Alco PA. The results are outstanding, and consistently very close to the known vintage pieces. We can’t wait to put some on the 59L to see how it looks!!!

Greetings!!!It’s hot in Texas! Outdoor work has slowed down for the next few weeks on the PA as exposed outdoor surfac...
07/21/2018

Greetings!!!

It’s hot in Texas! Outdoor work has slowed down for the next few weeks on the PA as exposed outdoor surfaces are unbearably hot! However, networking with key partners continues to prepare us for resuming activities when it cools off. Other non heat sensitive work is underway as well. In the future most of the Museum’s collection- including the PA 59L- will be under cover, protecting both the equipment and personnel from the searing summer heat. More Information can be found here regarding build out of the Museum and related infrastructure:

http://www.museumoftheamericanrailroad.org/TheFriscoProject/ViewFriscoSitePlans.aspx

Address

6455 Page St
Frisco, TX
75034

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(214) 428-0101

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