May 18, 2020 represents an important milestone for the 924: it returned to steam and operated under its own power in testing on the shop track. An inspection conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration observed that the boiler safety valves opened and closed at appropriate pressure levels, and the steam-powered air pump was able to deliver the required air flow. During the visit, Museum staff also demonstrated successful operation of both Ohio injectors, and the hydro-static lubricator, all of which were rebuilt by Backshop Enterprises. And an additional day under steam gave collections care specialists - steam specialists, really - an opportunity to perform additional testing and troubleshooting. Steven B., Josh K., Scott, and Gary performed most of the effort required to boil the boiler water, but dozens of additional volunteers and staff contributed efforts that allowed this to happen.
Work on the 924 is continuing and completion of vital systems is anticipated in 2nd quarter 2020. Work has been funded by contributions from individuals, companies, foundations, and government agencies including 4Culture, Washington's Heritage Capital Fund, the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association, Emery Rail Trust, Schwab Fund, and more. You can support completion of the project by visiting the Museum's donation page, making a pledge, and selecting the steam program here.