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It’s November and in Northern California that means the start of the rainy season. This year for Engine No. 9 it also means a new coat of protective paint.

David Waterman applying rust stabilizing paint to exposed surfaces of the locomotive.

As part of the recently completed asbestos abatement project, we removed the outer sheet metal jacket that surrounded the boiler. The boiler was well preserved, but not having been fired up since the early 1950s, it was covered with surface rust. To protect the locomotive, members of Friends of No. 9 painted the century-old boiler and other exposed parts of the engine with rust stabilizing paint. The paint should arrest the rust and help No. 9 get through the wet winter months in good shape.

When the engine was working away the roaring heat from the firebox ensured that moisture was baked out, so rust was not a problem. Unfortunately, rust is an inherent danger for metal equipment left out on display. The engine was very well cared for during its time in Scotia and important rust preventive steps were undertaken. Steps like covering the smokestack and keeping rainwater out have kept No. 9 in remarkably good condition. Still, the locomotive is nearly 100 years old, so some rust is to be expected.

Thanks to Fred Runner and David Waterman for taking on this important project!


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