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Restoration Update - May 20th

Well, I've learned that the restoration process is a lot slower than I expected.  It seems like I work on X201 every spare minute I have but don't have much to show for it.  Since the last update, I have begun the long, tedious process of sanding and priming all of the surface rust spots that have accumulated on X201.  Overall, the caboose body is in good shape.  The existing coat of paint from 1979 has held up pretty well so I decided against sandblasting the cab.  I used a wire brush attachment for a pneumatic die grinder on the rough spots and then came back over them with a pneumatic dual action sander.  I sanded down to bare steel before applying the primer. 


The primer I used was a red ICI (Glidden/Devoe) brand, Alkyd Metal Primer.  Since using the red primer, I was advised that a gray primer would work better on the portions of the caboose that will be painted yellow.  This will reduce the number of coats of Safety Yellow topcoat that will be required to cover the primer.  The primer was applied with a brush to get a thick coat.  I will lightly sand the brush strokes before adding the topcoat.   


On the interior, I installed the air gage.  I had planned to use one of the two green-faced Salem air gages, native to Southern equipment, that I have collected over the years.  But, I ran across a black-faced Westinghouse air gage at a flea market for $8.00.  It was missing the glass lens but I had one cut at the local glass company for $3.00.  This particular style of gage was also used on Southern cabs and the bracket on my locker matched this gage.  This was the only piece missing from X201 besides the EXTREMELY rare lamp that was mounted over the conductor's table.  


Also, since the last update, I charged X201's air reservoir and tested the brakes.  Besides some leaky angle-cocks, the air system functioned perfectly, even after sitting for 15 years!

I'd like to thank Mark Walker, owner of Southern X461, and John Cudd, owner of Southern X445, for their continued advice and assistance in the restoration of X201.


Southern Railway Historical Association