CAGNEY BROTHERS Vintage 1906 15" Gauge
Now that I have sharpened my pencil let us get started on a very informed Review & Guide.
On viewing a Cagney Steamer this week end in Yucca Valley, California that has been listed three times on eBay thus far. The Boiler shell readings above the waterline were all over the place yet above 0.300" for the most part. Down low in the water leg we got a reading below 0.200". One reading was as low as 0.194" in the water leg. This is well below 0.250" or a 1/4" which is State and Federal Boiler Code condemning limit. It was also stamped on a cover for the steam dome that the boiler had been hydroed 3 times in the last 25 years at 250 psig. This seems a bit excessive for an older riveted boiler. The maximum considered steam pressure would be 125 MAWSP at most. The most a riveted boiler of this age should have seen should have been no greater than 188 psig which would have been far less stress on an older riveted boiler.
The Saint Louis World's Fair was held in 1904. If an Engine was built in 1906 how was it able to attend the World's Fair in 1904? All Engines, Cars and Track were in service well before the Fair started and most or all of the equipment was sold used in the New York or Tri State area shortly after the fair.
When the owner of this engine moved it from Yucca Valley to Pioneer Town He smashed the Gauge Glass and shattered the cast iron cab side sheets. The cab sides or sheets are very thin cast iron and difficult to repair. It appears they are being stick welded with quite a few globs of weld stick by the owner. We usually Tig weld or Silver the pieces together for a clean appearance.
Most of the older Cagney Boilers built after 1913 appeared to be built from 3/8" plate as is customary for the size and pressure range. You need to pay close attention to wasting away in the water legs as a result of poor storage or improper wet layup procedures. If water is left standing in the water legs oxygen pitting and acid grooving will be heavy in these areas. Most live steam clubs do not do a full internal inspection as they usually go with a quick hydro yearly and would not catch this type of damage.
A quick example is Chet Petersons 1 1/2" Scale Daylight with an all steel boiler. Chet had a current non code boiler certificate at a local live steam club for years and hauled children around the club track at Griffith Park for free. Then one day the engine was simmering in the station the crown sheet let go unloading the boiler water contents onto the ground. If an internal inspection had been performed yearly the clogging of hardness scale and corrosion would have been caught. The local clubs response to this dilemma was not to change their practices to include an internal inspection it was to install a reverse osmosis unit.
It is also quite common to find patches in the fire box from wasting away at the coal burning area. Sulfur in the coal is usually the culprit in this case as care should be taken to use a low sulfur coal. The acid wasting is caused by the Sulfur in the coal ash and dust when it comes in contact with moisture this condition causes the formation of Sulfuric Acid. You can feel the inside fire box for the distortion of a weld patch. This was quite the common practice for many years until present. Most jurisdictions are not keen on repairs and in most cases older repairs do not have a paper trail and were not most likely done by a shop that carries an "R" Stamp for repairs.
The seller had this statement in his ad which he cancelled on August 25th 2011 "It has had a recent boiler certification." When I questioned the seller over the phone about this and asked if an NB Certified Inspector had seen the engine in the last year he said yes. I sent the seller a note stating that I wanted a copy of the inspection certificate. When I viewed the engine the seller did not provide me with this copy of the current permit or most recent inspection report this last Sunday. On contacting Enforcement they ran a check and no one is on record for a permit for this boiler as this boiler has no permit as well as no inspection on file. Some how that was not too big a surprise.
The third and current ad states, "I just had the engine checked by a licensed steam engineering company. For a Boiler 100 years old it past incredibly well." That is about as far from the truth as you can get and is not what we told the owner. I would be sure to ask who this company was and a phone number and name for verification of a visit. Probably the same out come as the Pressure Vessel Certification. This was quite a surprise since our visit was just last Sunday on October 2nd 2011. Be sure to ask for any Boiler Shell thickness readings taken on the exposed areas.
Also due to the riveting on the exterior jacket the insulation was most likely full of asbestos. This is something you need to be very careful of. This can be a very costly item to abate and in most cases is not worth the hazard to deal with. Abatement should only be handled by a Licensed Professional to avoid any Legal Problems at a later date.
A steam locomotive in this condition should never go for more than $3,000. to $5,000.00 at the most in the before mentioned condition. We have yet to see one of these engines of this age with a State Boiler Certificate yet people say they hold one yet cannot prove it or provide a photo copy as one is suppose to be posted on the engine in open view. Most of the Cagney's dont last long once recertified and that varies from State to State and the costs of recertification varies and is well over $20,000.00 in professional services and fees. X-Rays, mapping the boilers shell thickness for every square inch and so on. Not to mention the machine work on the running gear and all friction bearings, brasses and bearing surfaces. The cylinder drains were missing all together and were replaced by a myriad of plugs and low pressure pet cocks.
The valve gear and frame needed a complete disassembly cleaning and painting due to the scale and rust build up. This would be common for any engine of this age that has seen limited to no care. Most of the engines we have seen are in this shape. The owner is asking a minimum of $23,000.00 for this engine in this condition. For $23,000.00 to $24,000.00 you can obtain a new 15" gauge Cagney at 1900 pounds with a new code boiler good in all 50 States as well as Canada and Mexico. Not to mention a fresh coat of paint with your choice of color. Call Railroafd Contractors out of Cheyenne and ask for John. He will take real good care of you. John out of Cheyenne will also work with you on a payment plan for an easy $5,000.00 down (or less) to start work and will spread the payments out as well. A modern seal welded code boiler you can haul public with safely. You wont have to worry about the rotted out rivet heads below the water line or a seam letting go like the boiler in Medina, Ohio.
An early 1900 Class D Cagney has never sold for over $10,000.00 since the early 1980's. They continually decrease in value as the cast iron in them becomes more brittle with time. We have had to place tires on drivers, pilot wheels and coach wheels due to flange and wheel cracks. We have had to to cast and machine new drivers after they shattered being pressed on or off. This is quite common for equipment of this age. We have bought and sold several Class D's over the years. Just so you know.
We spoke with an associate this morning who saw the same engine and the not only is the boiler useless with illegal repairs the drivers and wheels are rotted and corroded beyond condeming limits.
Another helpful Guide by your "Licensed Steam Engineering Company." :)
Item Number: 110760856964