Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spotlight on Samson (No. 25)

Samson's Story

Samson is the BC Forest Discovery Centre's most famous locomotive.  Samson No. 25 was built in 1910 and purchased by Grant Small & Company, a construction contractor based in Washington.   In 1920, S.S. Magoffin Construction purchased the locomotive from the Vancouver Machinery Depot for use in the construct of the Great Northern Railway (now CNR) grade through the Fraser Canyon.  Later on, Samson was used to transport fill for the construction of  the North Vancouver harbour facilities
The locomotive saw little service after the 1920s and was facing the scrapper’s torch when purchased by Gerry Wellburn, BCFDC founder in 1955.  The tender which is used to carry a fuel tank, also holds a water tank and duplex-pump for fire fighting purposes.  It can also “water track”, which utilizes nozzles on the back of the tender to prevent fires that could be sparked by the train in hot and dry conditions
Samson is the same class of locomotive as Percy from Thomas the Tank Engine!

Technical Data

Designation: Class C-6, 0-4-0, Saddle Tank Engine
Weight: 18 tons.
Cylinder dimensions: 10x16
Boiler pressure: originally 140 pounds per square inch – now 150 psi).
Gauge: Narrow (36 inches).
Fuel: Originally coal – now #2 Furnace oil.  It burns about 62 Gallons a day.

Steam locomotives require constant maintenance.  Samson requires a boiler washout once a month to keep her in working condition.  This year, the BCFDC have replaced two stay bolts in the boiler, calibrated the steam pressure gauge, and replaced a journal bearing on the tender.

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