Meet the Team
Jake Davee is a fifth-year senior at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a minor in Electrical Engineering Technology. He has worked at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center as a research assistant and structural welder for three years. Jake was born and raised in Maine and enjoys skiing, cooking, and automotive performance work.
Ryan Lindsay Is a senior at University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He also works on campus at the Advanced Manufacturing Center as the student project manager. Ryan was born and raised in Maine, where he enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and modification projects on small engines.
Chris Daggett is also a senior at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. With a wide range of interests—manufacturing, transportation, electrical, and mechanical technology. Outside of school, he enjoys cooking, videogames, fishing, and other forms of outdoor recreation.
The steam pump restoration team’s goal is to restore a Westinghouse cross-compound steam pump into working order for New England Steam Corporation. A steam pump uses steam to compress dry atmospheric air for the use in the braking system of the locomotive. Maine Central Railroad #470, a steam locomotive that utilized a cross-compound steam pump, was decommissioned in 1954. New England Steam Corporation’s goal is to return steam power in hopes of bringing back fond memories and creating opportunities for education and involvement for newer generations.
Condition of the Steam Pump
The steam pump was delivered to the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) at the University of Maine on October 8, 2018. Upon visual examination, there appears to be extensive corrosion and grime on the exterior of the steam pump. The condition of the internal components has yet to be determined. The photos below show the overall exterior condition upon delivery.
The project is coming to a close we presented our project last Wednesday and now we are prepping the compressor to be shipped back to New England Steam Corp. The team is writing the final report and will be graduating at the end of the week.
The project is coming to a close and we are prepping the steam compressor to be shipped back to New England Steam Co. The team is preparing for our presentation of our project as well as finishing up our final report.
Here is a link to some recent pictures of the steam pump. In these pictures show the newly bored out cylinders as well as the removed intermediate valves. Included in the picture is the new main valve that was purchased from Backshop Enterprises.
Measurements of the cylinders were taken this week to determine our next step whether it be just purchasing new piston rings or buying whole new pistons. NESCo came to see the machining on the cylinders as well as discuss our next steps.
The cylinders have been finished being machined and are now back with the team. AC electric has removed the bushing for the main valve in the top head, and new bushings as well as a new main valve has been purchased for the top head.
Drawing of the missing Nathan lubricator handle has been located and we are discussing our next next with the handle whether we are going to re-manufacture it.
Leverett fernald of New Englend Steam Corp. has taken the valves and valve seats to machine new ones for us. The main cylinders has been dropped off at A.C. Electric to be bored out.
The main cylinders have been sand blasted as well as most other parts. A. C. Electric in Bangor has agreed to bore out the cylinders for us but there is a 2 month lead time on it. The Nathan lubricator has been been torn down and sandblasted and the condition of the parts have been assessed. We are currently try to find drawing for a missing handle on the Nathan lubricator so we can manufacturer it. Pictures will be soon to come
Parts of the steam pump are being cleaned up and inspected of their condition to see if they need to be replaced or repaired. To clean the part we are using a combination of sandblasting and pressure washing to clean them up. A small crack has been found on one of the mounting legs of the air cylinder and the team is discussing the best means of repair to the crack.
The team’s image upload limit has been exceeded! Please visit the link below to view Week 5’s progress photos. All photos from this point onward will be externally linked. The University apologizes for the inconvenience.
The steam pump has been almost entirely disassembled. The only remaining parts that have not been removed are the packing materials (connecting rod seals) that remain pressed into the center section of the pump. The team is optimistic! Most of the parts are in excellent condition, and have only been subjected to corrosion, dirt, and grime. No evidence of abnormal wear or broken parts have been found, however, it is clear that animals and rodents took shelter inside several of the steam and air passageways. Stay tuned for more updates as the team’s winter break comes to an end and their classes continue.
After attempting to use a two-jaw puller to remove the pistons and failing, it was decided that the next best plan of action would be to press each connecting rod and piston back towards the tops of their cylinders. Surprisingly, instead of the pistons moving to the tops of their cylinders, the air cylinders became separated from the rest of the pump while the rods and pistons remained in place. The casting was gently separated far enough to see behind each piston in order to determine whether or not it was safe to continue pulling the cylinders further. Heavy surface corrosion was found behind the piston in the high pressure air cylinder. Fortunately, the cylinder corrosion was able to be gently scraped free with putty knives, wiped clean with rags, and blown out with compressed air. With extensive oiling of the cylinders, the lower portion of the pump was able to be safely removed. The cylinders, upper gasket, and piston rings appear to be in good shape.
Further disassembly has continued. The final bolt was removed from the center piece using a sawzall, lubricating oil, and a pneumatic air hammer. Cotter pins as well as castle nuts have been removed from high and low pressure air pistons. Also removed a seized oil port plug, for further inspection of inside the pump.
A permanent working fixture was designed and built by John Davee and Sam McDonald. The fixture will allow for safe disassembly and a solid foundation that provides a mechanical advantage when encountering removal of seized parts. The disassembly has begun, starting with removal of the lower bolts, nuts, and lower head, as well as the main valve cover plate and main valve. One lower head bolt remains seized and will be revisited in the next coming week.
The Nathan lubricator was removed, and the exterior of the steam pump was cleaned. Handfuls of dirt, rocks, and grime were scraped from the center portion of the pump before vacuuming the remaining loose materials that were clinging to the outside surfaces. Approximately 6 hours were spent using a needle scaler to remove all remaining paint and rust down to bare metal, or in some areas, the original factory primer. All fasteners were lubricated.
Point of Contact
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New England Steam Corporation
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
P.O. Box 302
Winterport, ME 04496
- Advanced Manufacturing Center
- Providing necessary tools and designated work area
- Professor Keith Berube
- Providing guidance
- Noah MacAdam
- Locomotive enthusiast who helps with knowledge
- Sam McDonald
- Helping with frame construction
- Bradley Denholm
- Helping hand during dissembling