Flying Yankee

Just returned from Flying Yankee open house. The complete Flying Yankee is currently undergoing a rebuild at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln
New Hampshire. They erected a very long tent to keep the weather off while working. The exterior stainless steel skin is in fine shape, the metal is bright, no serious dents or blemishes. All the trucks are out for rebuilding, putting the whole train up on blocks. The engine is out of the power car, but the generator is still there. They are talking about replacing the original Winton with something newer. One car has been redone very nicely, original green and cream paint job, all the seats reupholstered. The seats are an art deco design bent up out of tubing. They don't recline, but with new upholstered cushions they are comfy as a living room chair. Windows are all sealed, the train had air conditioning. The trail car has been stripped out and the original stainless steel interior shows. The construction is just like an aircraft except in stainless rather than aluminum. For something 70 years old, it looks right up to date. The original cost of the trainset was $260K. They have spent $2.6 Mil rebuilding her and they estimate that there is another $1 Mil to go. I put $10 in the donation jar on the way out...
David Starr
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David - Out of curiosity, do you know just how long have they been working on the Flying Yankee up in NH? I thought I recalled hearing about restoration efforts starting around a decade (maybe more?) ago. If I'm correct with that figure, I honestly have fears full restoration could take longer than the folks involved are likely to live. I've seen more than a few such longterm volunteer locomotive restoration projects turn to dust with time. Do they have any sort of projected date for finishing it?
CNJ999
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CNJ999 wrote:

They (the current restoration group) acquired Flying Yankee from the Edaville railroad in the early 1990's. They plan to have her running under her own power in 2009. They told me the heaviest work was redoing the under frame which was badly rusted out. To move her, they have to put in an engine and replace the main generator, replace all the trucks, wheels, brakes, running gear, redo the interior on two of the three cars, and do whatever paperwork is required by the Federal Railroad Authority's safety regs. The outside of the trainset looks really good, the stainless steel is bright and mostly original. Window glass is in place.
David Starr
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Thanks for the additional info, Dave. A three-years-to-completion figure leaves me a little apprehensive, considering the amount of work you indicate is left to confront. If I recall correctly, I saw the Yankee at Edaville a couple of decades ago and, cosmetically, the exterior really looked pretty good even then! It will be interesting to follow further progress.
CNJ999
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