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Progress on Restoring No. 460
The Lindbergh Engine ... September 2013

By Charles Fox, Museum Director

Side view.The comprehensive cosmetic restoration of PRR E6s locomotive No. 460, the famous "Lindbergh Engine," continues apace. 

Work began in earnest in the summer of 2010 with the removal of the locomotive's lead-based paint via spongeblasting - removal of the paint was necessary to permit the replacement of steel corroded from decades of exposure to the elements.  The locomotive's smokebox door was repaired, the blast nozzle was recast, and corroded steel was removed from the interior shell of the smokebox.  The locomotive's superheater tubes will be removed for cleaning and stabilization prior to reinstallation.

The barrel of the boiler was found to be in sound condition, but the backhead and boiler sheet metal jacketing, removed in earlier asbestos abatement efforts, has to be completely replaced.  A light metal framework has been installed to support new jacketing and new boiler hip castings have been procured. 

The internal framework of the cab has been repaired, and new cab windows, doors, interior paneling and seat boxes have been fabricated.  Corroded air piping has been replaced, and the original cab signal control box, which was not salvageable, has been reproduced and the original internals reconditioned and reinstalled.

460-100 4840 (1)
  • 460-100 4840 (1)
    Steam engine restoration expert and consultant explains how the drive mechanism works on Pennsylvania Railroad E6s Atlantic locomotive No. 460.
  • 460-100 4900 (2)
    Welding contractors work to fit boiler jacket support framing on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s PRR E6s Atlantic locomotive No. 460.
  • 460-100 5019 (1)
    Volunteers Jeff Westcott and Paul Wilcox install the pilot. Volunteers have been a major part of our restoration activities, and provide essential skill and manpower.
  • 460-100 5278 (1)
    The engine’s new tender tool boxes are installed. Components have been repaired or rebuilt as needed, observing the Museum's traditional restoration standards.
  • 460-100 5278 (2)
    Steve Meola and Sean Deemer install No. 360’s tender top sheet. All efforts are carefully planned and executed, with great attention to detail.
  • N&V-No. 460-1
    Volunteers Sean Deemer and Paul Wilcox install new drains on the tender tank top of No. 460. Also see repaired and repainted tank interior.
  • No. 460-100 5655
    Hot riveting underway. Here’s volunteer Paul Wilcox installing one of more than 1,000 rivets that will eventually be affixed to the historic Lindbergh Engine.

460-100 4840 (1)

Considerable attention has been paid to the locomotive's running gear – all rod bearings were removed, cleaned, and reinstalled, grease fittings were renewed, and all seized suspension equalization components freed from decades of rust.  To permit the locomotive to be displayed with its running gear in motion the locomotive's original pistons and piston rods were carefully removed, stabilized, and stored for possible future reinstallation.  New piston rods and rod supports were installed in their place, allowing the locomotive's drivers to rotate with minimal resistance.  The locomotive's pilot was also repaired and reinstalled.

Work on the tender

Out of necessity a great deal of attention has been focused on the repair of the locomotive's tender which was in comparatively poor condition.  The tender tank and frame were separated and tender truck suspension components repaired and/or replaced.  The interior of the tank was completely cleaned, painted and repaired, a new top deck was installed, and corroded steel replaced in the tank sides.  New tool boxes were fabricated and installed on the tender legs, and new hardware and a set of replacement steps were cast.  Replacement of approximately 1200 tender tank hot rivets is underway - each new rivet has been carefully contoured and weathered to match the surviving originals.

The restoration effort is now approaching it final phases.  The tender tank and frame will soon be rejoined and the tender restoration completed.  New sides and a roof will be installed on the cab, new sheet metal boiler jacketing will be put in place, and final smokebox repairs executed prior to the painting of the locomotive.  When finished the locomotive will represent as closely as possible its appearance during its final period of operation, 1952-1955, a fitting tribute to the ingenuity of the Pennsylvania Railroad and No. 460's 41 years of service to the railroad and the nation. 

Roundhouse.The project is on schedule to be completed in 2015, in concert with the completion of the museum's new roundhouse, where No. 460 will take occupy a place of justifiable prominence.

More Project Information
  Sept. 2010 status  
Museum's Restoration Program
  Selected Achievements  
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