Medco 4 Restoration  -- Disassembled
Pieces of the Willamette everywhere

To the casual visitor at the Medford Railroad Park, it would appear that the Willamette is being scraped.  Parts lie everywhere, and no progress towards rebuilding is apparent.  Time and the elements have certainly taken their toll on the old girl and it now looks like her human caretakers are delivering the coup de grace.   But a closer look at her boiler reveal that steps are being taken that will eventually result in her rebirth as a living, breathing creature that will once again steam through the woods of southern Oregon.

First a look at the pieces set about a quarter acre at the Railroad Park.

Click on the pictures below for full size images.

Tender, cab, fuel tank In the foreground rests the fuel tank, still sporting the bronze plaque affixed when the locomotive was donated to the City of Medford by the Medford Corporation.  To the left and rear of the fuel tank sits the cab.  Still resting on the locomotive frame the water tank rises above the cab.  Little will be done with these components until the boiler and running gear are reworked.
Peticoat pipe, smokebox front, fire pan At the bottom of this picture is the smoke box cover plate. Along with the smokebox door (not shown), it forms the front end of the boiler assembly.  On top is the petticoat pipe which is suspended in the smokebox and directs steam exhausted from the cylinders up through the stack.  It is designed in such a way to use the venturi effect to suck combustion products (smoke, heat, gasses and flame) through the boiler flues and tubes.  This creates the chuff, chuff, chuff sounds so characteristic to a steam locomotive.  At the top of this picture lies the fire pan.
Stack, air tank, steam dome cover The object in the foreground is the smoke stack.  The large bulbous spark arrestor required for locomotives to run in the woods in the summer has been removed.  Behind the stack is the air tank and beyond that is the steam dome cover.
Backside of engines on frame The three engines (piston, cylinder, rod and valve assemblies) are securely bolted to this sturdy steel stand.  This is the back side of the engines; rarely seen unless removed from the locomotive.
Front side view of engines in stand A more familiar view of the the engines.  

For those of you not familiar with the principles of a geared locomotive, steam introduced into each of these cylinders (at the top) forces a piston and rod downward.  The rod is connected to a crank shaft (at the bottom) which transfers the up and down motion into lateral rotational motion just like in an automobile engine.

Locomotive frame, air pump, front truck Little is left on the frame except for the air pump (middle of this image) and air tank brackets to the right of the air pump.  The engines mount to the frame and boiler just to the left of the air pump.

The crank from the engines connect to the universal joint (resting on blocks below the air pump) which drives a shaft to the truck under the front (at right) end of the frame.  Pinion gears then turn each axle to propel the locomotive.

Locomotive frame, middle truck The middle of the frame and middle truck.  The cab once sat in the middle of this picture.  That white thing is the Johnson Bar (reversing lever).

The engine crank also connects to another universal joint (under Johnson Bar) to provide power to the rear trucks.  Both axles of all three trucks receive power from this drive train arrangement.  With additional U joints at each truck this type of locomotive can negotiate uneven track pulling loaded cars up steep grades.

Locomotive frame & water tank from fireman's side The fireman's side of the frame is pretty plain with none of the gears, shafts and universals of the other side.  On the left are stacked the flues and tubes which came out of the boiler.
Follow the progress on the
Medco 4 Boiler Work Page
SOC/NRHS Home Page Medco 4 Page
All images and text Copyright 1999, 2000 by the Southern Oregon Chapter, National Railway Historical Society.

This consist created by Larry Tuttle and  last yarded on April 9, 2000