In previous installments of the Fred Gurley story, we looked at the
engine's early history on a Louisiana sugar plantation (link:
Part One), and followed her through
her rebuilding by Disney in the late 1950s (link:
Part Two). We also began to detail her more recent
years (link: Part Three), including an exclusive look at her rebuilding in 2007 and 2008. We now
continue with the Gurley Story.
On April 10, 2007, Phase Two was awarded to Paul Boschan, President of
Boschan Boiler & Restorations, Inc. in Carson, CA. Tom Gazsi notes that Boschan
"really won the prize of the job--the rebuild. Paul is a capable man and
has a strong reputation in the boiler and restoration field." Longtime readers
and Disney fans may recall that Paul Boschan's company rebuilt the Ward
Kimball in 2005.
This time, unlike with the Ward Kimball project, Boschan knew to a "T"
what needed to be done, and he also knew about Disneyland's sometimes-peculiar
way of doing things. As a professional boilermaker, he performed a boiler
survey, and determined that a new boiler would be required. Boschan, a licensed
professional boilermaker, built a brand-new boiler to meet stringent state and
federal boiler codes.
One of Boschan's crew works on the Fred Gurley's newly constructed
boiler in September 2007. Photo courtesy Matt Walker.
Several other components would need to be completely rebuilt as well. The
Park's mill re-created the engine's cab down to the last detail. Boschan's shop
built a new swing bolster truck would be installed to eliminate the frame stress
that had caused the cracking noted earlier (a swing bolster truck had previously
been constructed for the Gurley, but was instead used on the Ward
The new "swing bolster" rear truck (wheel set) that will
Gurley's tender. Photo courtesy Matt Walker.
A close-up of one of the tender wheels. The journal (bearing) cover
bears the impression "Lovsted, Seattle" (inset lower right). This is the company Disney Imagineer
Bob Gurr contracted with to supply locomotive hardware when the trains were
built. While Lovsted is out of business, Disney still has enough surplus parts
on hand for projects like this. Photo courtesy Matt Walker.
New drivers were cast at Vancouver Iron & Steel in Portland, Oregon, from
wooden patterns created by Gary Martin of Martin Model and Pattern, also in
Portland. These wooden patterns were pushed into a bed of moist sand, and then
removed, leaving impressions of the spoked driver in the sand. Then, molten
steel was poured in and allowed to cool. The results are a perfect driver center
needing just some machining to clean it up.
The patterns used to create these
wheel centers were the same ones used to make the Ward Kimball's
wheels--but because the Gurley is built to the same design specifications
as the Kimball, this was acceptable.
A newly cast wheel center for the Fred Gurley. It still needs
minor machining. Molten lead will be poured into the three small holes on the
left to add weight to the counterweight portion (which offsets the weight of the
engine's side rods). Photo courtesy Matt Walker.
New tires were also made (yes, steam locomotives have tires, albeit made of
steel!) These steel tires are made just slightly smaller than the driver center.
To put them on, the tires are heated with a gas flame, so that they expand.
Then, they're slid onto the driver center. When the tires cool, they shrink
solidly to the driver.
Daniel Vazquez prepares to lower one of the Fred Gurley
driver centers into the tire, which has expanded through the use of a fire ring.
Once the tire cools, it will shrink solidly onto the driver center.