Case Studies

Great Western Decapod No. 90 Washout Plugs

The Strasburg Mechanical team not only rebuilds and restores all aspects of trains, like the ones you ride in when you visit Strasburg Rail Road, but we can also custom manufacture parts, large or small, for your project. 

Recently our team made some brand new washout plugs for our Great Western Decapod No. 90.

Great Western Decapod No. 90 Train

A Brief History of Locomotive No. 90

Locomotive No. 90 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in 1924 and is a  2-10-0 wheel configuration, also known as a Decapod. This wheel configuration is good for hauling freight up mountains and steep grades, but it makes reversing difficult because of the lack of trailing wheels. 

Over the years, Decapods became nearly non-existent in the United States, and Locomotive No. 90 is now one of two operating Decapods left. 

Why Washout Plugs Matter

Washout plugs are an important part of the boiler and are used during a boiler wash. They screw into the washout openings in the boiler and firebox. 

A boiler wash is performed regularly and is mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration. It ensures the boiler is free from corrosion and mineral buildup from water impurities which reduce a boiler’s performance and can damage it if left untreated. 

To perform a boiler wash, you need to have numerous access points into the boiler’s interior to pour the water into, as well as places for the water to drain out. This happens by using removable plugs that can easily be replaced with a steam-tight seal.

Why Work With Strasburg Mechanical Services

These plugs are made from C95400 bronze and were machined onsite in our workshop. Our mechanical shop can manufacture these parts for your locomotive in any size you need.

We think all parts of a steam locomotive are essential and have made it our mission to help keep steam engines in the best working condition possible. 

Contact us today to see how we can help with your project. 

An image of washout plugs