Strasburg Rail Road’s Mechanical Shop Restores the Baldwin #152

Strasburg Rail Road is known for its authentic steam locomotives and signature train ride to Paradise and back. As America’s oldest operating railroad, people come from all around to see Lancaster County by train and experience the historical and educational value of the railroad. Aside from the events hosted throughout the year, there is plenty more to explore during a typical day at the railroad, including the guided mechanical Shop Tour.

The tour offers a unique behind-the-scenes look into the railroad’s mechanical shop. The shop works with railroads across the country, along with their own steam engines, to restore historical locomotives and build new ones. The Railroad’s mechanical team rebuilds and restores all aspects of the trains, including the construction and refurbishment of wooden passenger cars, like the ones you ride in when you visit Strasburg Rail Road.

Strasburg Rail Road has recently completed a restoration contracted by Huckleberry Railroad, located in Genesee Charter Township, Michigan. 1920’s Baldwin steam engine #152 had been out of commission for ten years prior to Strasburg Rail Road’s refurbishment. #152 was used in World War II to help build the Alaskan Railroad, and years later it was discovered in a junkyard of old tires. Upon inspection, it became apparent that the steam engine required a lot of work. 

The project given to Strasburg Rail Road took place in the mechanical shop. The pictures below are actual footage and descriptions of the 1920’s Baldwin steam engine #152, preparing to make its come-back to the rails. 

The lower half of the front flue sheet was replaced, several areas of the side sheets and crown sheet were also repaired, and new stay bolts were installed:

 
front flue sheet refurbish by mechanical shop

New and original lower half of the front flue sheet.

 

Strasburg Rail Road machined a new steam dome lid:

 
steam dome lid manufactured by mechanical shop

New steam dome lid.

 

The rear flue sheet was removed and replaced:

 
original flue sheet removed by mechanical shop

Boiler with original rear flue sheet removed.

 
rear flue sheet installed by mechanical shop

New rear replacement flue sheet installed.

 

The door sheet on the #152 was original to the steam engine and needed to be replaced:

 
boiler door sheet removed by mechanical shop

Boiler with the original door sheet removed.

 
fabricated door sheet by mechanical shop

New door sheet fabricated by Strasburg Rail Road’s mechanical shop.

 
New door sheet installed by mechanical shop

New door sheet installed.

 

The original turret was replaced with a new turret constructed by Strasburg Rail Road:

 
steam engine turret removed by mechanical shop

#152’s original turret.

 
steam engine turret refurbish by mechanical shop

Newly constructed turret by Strasburg Rail Road.

 

Strasburg Rail Road’s mechanical team who completed the restoration of the Baldwin #152:

 
mechanical shop team photo

 
After the detailed and lengthy project, Baldwin #152 was returned home to Huckleberry Railroad. On August 4th, 2018, the Baldwin #152 took its first ride on the tracks in over a decade.

The Shop Tour is the perfect experience for any train fan who wants to learn how steam engines are manufactured and refurbished. You might be amazed by the type of machines used and the size of the tools needed to work on a steam engine. The tour is scheduled at noon on days when daytime trains are running, making it simple to experience this unique activity during your time at Strasburg Rail Road. Due to the popularity of this attraction, we recommend booking tickets prior to your visit.