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These Steam Train Fanatics Are Rebuilding This Speed Record-Chaser Train From Blueprints

A new group of international rail fans has pooled their funds to build a new T1 from scratch.

Reconstructing a T1 is handled by a nonprofit, The T1 Trust. Still, with its accumulated brainpower, original blueprints, and funding, progress is slow.

Loewy of Coca-Cola bottle fame designed the body of the vehicle. William Withuhn might have stated at one point that it was able to reach the speed of 140 mph. This needs verification as if it is found to be true, it would have broken a record.

One of the Trust members explained in a YouTube highlight that, “the problematic poppet valves will be switched to camshaft-driven rotary valves, thus simplifying service. Accommodations will also be made to upgrade from coal to fuel oil, like Union Pacific’s restored Big Boy 4014 did, or whatever fuels make sense in the years to come. These, along with the rest of the design tweaks, will be rigorously tested in simulations before any record attempt is made.”

However, this is all theory. Practical is still awaited. There is a lot of technical paperwork needed to build the locomotive. According to the group’s website, progress stood at 39 percent completion by tonnage in January.

The rest, however, the team had to reconstruct like the T1’s 68-foot frame. They are welding together segments—a method made that works in welding technology. Multiple parts are being manufactured across the country and shipped to Pennsylvania for installation.

The biggest thing delaying progress is the lack of funds. Despite having raised over $1.6 million to get the project here, the Trust still has more than halfway to go. At this speed, they won’t complete it in the coming ten years.