One of the challenges of being an operating railroad museum with operating equipment is that even the best maintained equipment occasionally suffers a breakdown.   In the midst of tamping our new siding west of the LA&L, our Jackson tamper had such a failure.   After 20+ years of faithful service to our museum, it began to make an awful sound while operating.  It was still running, but was quickly shutdown. 

After removing and dismantling the engine, this is what we found:

The broken crankshaft from the museum’s tamper.

The crankshaft broken in three pieces!   Yikes!  

Luckily, we have several qualified diesel mechanics who have already been hard at work on the engine, but have also been searching for parts for this two cylinder Detroit.   Parts have been located alas at a cost of $1600.00.   Since we need the machine, we have made the parts purchase, but we could really use your help to Donate-A-Ton.    The money we raise for ballast frees up other monies to repair and maintain our equipment like our tamper.   Thanks for your consideration and here are a few more images of the work on the tamper and its engine.

Tamper minus one engine.

A little tight on space in the shop, a work bench has been placed behind our Gradall which is also seeing work.   Volunteer, Bob Ziegler (left), is leading the rebuild effort and is working here to disassemble the lower half of the engine to remove the crank.
Engine with the broken crank removed.   The new crank is on order, and the engine will soon be back together.