We were contacted by a friend in the hobby about the opportunity to purchase a 7.5” gauge Big Boy project during the summer of 2021. After some haggling and discussion, we ultimately struck a deal which resulted in the purchase of this steam project.
Our friend Darwin had purchased this project to save the engine from being scrapped as the builder’s health had begun to fail. The two machinists that were building this Big Boy project were fabricating everything based on drawings using stock materials and scratch made patterns to cast custom driver castings for the project. Darwin ultimately decided a Big Boy project was too much to tackle with the other projects he had going already and wanted to ensure it was passed on to a good home.
At the outset, we had intended to purchase this project only for the centipede tender to use with 844.
What Is Machined:
- The Frame Rails
- The Pedestal Binders
- The Main Axle Boxes Complete With Bearings
- The Driver Castings Are Machined & Awaiting Quartering & Crank Pins
- Most of the axles are machined but are not yet keyed.
- A Good Majority of the spring rigging components have been fabricated including dummy spring sets, driver spring seats, and spring hangers. The original builders intended to put Big Boy on die-springs and not construct an equalized spring rigging setup.
The Future Of Big Boy:
At this time, I am not interested in committing the time or the resources to a single large project like a Big Boy. Such a commitment of resources would rabbit hole The Steam Channel on a single project for numerous years to come. My aim is to branch out the brands reach in the coming years into a variety of new content areas.
I am prioritizing infrastructure investments to ensure we can self-sufficiently produce quality rail action & How-To build content for decades to come. These investments will be necessary as we start video series highlighting the construction of passenger cars and other unannounced projects.
Once 844, her aux tender, and her primary tender are completed and that entire project is behind us - We will slowly look at building a plan of attack for the work on Big Boy. Our first task will be having a contractor quote out completing the Big Boy's tender.
Find Out More Information On Our Big Boy Project In The Video Below