Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Train Shed steel

The Train Shed construction is continuing to proceed but some of the most impressive work takes place in a manufacturing facility. Take the steel columns and girders as an example, part of the Varco-Pruden brand building designed for the Museum. They are being fabricated at Wick Constructor's subconcontractor BlueScope Buildings NA, Arlington, Washington facility, about 90 minutes north of the Museum.

Ironically, the BlueScope Buildings NA facility is located adjacent to the BNSF Railway and a section of former Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway that is just about the same physical distance the Train Shed is being built from the Museum's section of former Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway. And for the record, mill steel is still delivered to the BlueScope facility by rail however the Train Shed is being built with components fabricated from American-made sheet and roll steel delivered by truck.

A recent tour of the BlueScope facility conducted by mill manager Phil S. revealed a plant dedicated to quality and safety. Much of the welding is performed by automated machines however due to the custom design of many buildings there were a number of welders manually completing the fabrications by hand. The actual Train Shed components were on the floor in fabrication and it was really interesting to see the transformational process from basic steel plate to finished column or girder. At the end of the production line, the components were physically dipped into primer to ensure full coverage of all surfaces.

The Train Shed fabrications are nearly complete and structural steel is scheduled for shipping to the Northwest Railway Museum on Friday, 4 December 2009. Train Shed erection will begin on Monday, 7 December 2009; assembly will take approximately three months.

Additional images are available for viewing on the Museum's WASteam web site.

No comments: