Our friends at Hillcrest Shops have now completed the frame and running gear for the Skallywag Bay train. They also carefully measured everything up and passed those numbers on to us. This means we can now go full blast on the top portion of the Pirate locomotive. It was no small task to cram all of the components into as small a space as possible. Those dimensions governed the envelope we had to build around. There were more challenges to be met as well.
The engine will be powered by a diesel/hydraulic system which means that the heat from those systems has to be properly vented from the engine bay. The builder's calculations revealed that we needed four square feet of opening to properly dissipate the heat which will be generated. With the train operating in the tropics this was critical. That much venting was a challenge and made us put on our thinking caps. But as always, there was a solution. By widening the barrel at the back a large vent was created where the staves now go past the front of the cab. Two large unseen spaces will be created on top of the barrel behind the steam dome and inside the cab. We will also leave a half inch gap between the staves. Further venting is to be created around the base of the steam dome and through the top of it as well. The entire bottom of the engine bay will be open as well. We'll do our best to keep the openings subtle and hidden but they will add up to the required four square feet. Our crew applied the base coat of sculpting epoxy to much of the barrel today and it won't be long until this thing looks like a pirate train. We'll be delivering the train body to California where it will be fitted to the chassis and tested before it travels once more on to Trinidad. I can hardly wait for the test drive!