top of page

Restoration Update: The Geared Wheel Trucks of Engine No. 9

The geared wheels of Mt Tamalpais & Muir Woods No. 9 make it a hill climber. It is an early “all-wheel-drive” vehicle, an unusual thing for a steam locomotive.

All 8 wheels on No. 9 are connected together by gears and a driveshaft. All those wheels working together helped Heisler steam engines climb hills. Regular “side rod” steam engines would just spin their wheels. Adding a little sand between the wheel and the rail would improve traction but geared locomotives were the best climbers.

On No. 9 we had to open up the geared wheel trucks, clean the out old grease and repair broken parts, including creating 16 new springs.

Once cleaned, everything was primed and painted and returned to the Millericks for rebuilding.

We truly appreciate the donors that make this work possible.

February 1, 2023

An unusual thing for a steam locomotive. Inside each wheel truck gear case the Millerick brothers found a mix of grease, oil and destructive sand. Some of it can be seen in the foreground. Delta Sandblasting pressure washed everything, cleaning out a century of grit and goo.

November 26, 2022

For comparison, here’s No. 9’s frame and wheel trucks. The next photo shows them after cleaning.

March 22, 2023

Cleaning and painting were delayed by the heavy spring rains. Here is No. 9’s frame, primed with green zinc primer and the bare unpainted metal of one of the wheel trucks.

May 3, 2023

In early May, Robert Sanders of Delta Sandblasting delivered the cleaned, blasted, primed and painted frame and wheel trucks of Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods engine No. 9 to the Millerick Brother’s yard. Jeff Millerick and David Waterman take a moment to consider the lift points before moving the trucks to the tracks in the Millerick Brother’s yard.


bottom of page