The Tn’Vittles breakfast on this Saturday was at Monroe’s New Mexican food restaurant (16th St. and Lomas Blvd.) and was hosted by Tom and Cathy Miles. Five Model Ts were there that morning as well as 22 Tin Lizzies members and guests. Making his appearance for the first time at a Model T event was our guest John Covan (like many of our club members, retired from Sandia National Laboratories). Joining us also was Steve Bradford, a dedicated volunteer for the New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society, who gave us a talk about the 1944 Baldwin 4-8-4 steam locomotive (AT&SF 2926) restoration that is currently underway at the Albuquerque Railyard. For instance, this locomotive, and several others, were built to aid in the war effort. Even though steam technology was already being replaced with diesel, these locomotives were rushed into production anyway. Other interesting facts are that the locomotive engine weight is 255 tons! The tinder, the part that holds water and fuel, also weights 255 tons. In it’s heyday, this AT&SF 2926 was capable of 100 mph!
After the delicious breakfast, it was time to make the short drive to the Albuquerque Railyard for Steve’s guided tour of the locomotive restoration. The New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society started the restoration in 1990 when the Baldwin 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive and its tender were moved from Coronado Park at 2nd St. and I-40 (Albuquerque) to the current site at the railyard (8th and Haines Streets). After years of hard work, this project is approximately a year away from completion. When it’s running again, it will be the largest and most powerful steam engine in the world! The volunteers work two days a week on the locomotive and the quality of their work and their dedication are truly impressive.
Thank you to Tom and Cathy Miles for hosting this breakfast and for organizing the railyard tour and to Steve Bradford for giving us a thorough and informative tour of this unique Albuquerque gem!