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Lake Linden & Torch Lake Railroad

Ex-Calumet & Hecla Number 3 (36" guage) is the star of the show in Lake Linden.

Calumet & Hecla #3 in her working days

#3 working between Lake Linden and Hubbell in the 1930's.
#3 working between Lake Linden and Hubbell circa 1930.

#3 working in a Calumet & Hecla Mill, in the 1930's.
#3 posed for a photo

Out of Service

Number 3 was probably stored in a C & H building for sometime after its retirement. In 1949, for a parade in the local area, and someone had an idea to put #3 on a semi-truck, fired up. 

#3 dolled-up for a parade in 1949
The circus train.

After its parade adventure, #3 was placed on display at the Arcadian Mine (sometimes called the banana mine, because someone once stored bananas in it to keep them cool.), in Ripley (now closed).  The saddle tank was left sitting on the ground, and the continual contact with the water facilitated the rusting out of it in places.

#3 stuffed and mounted. 1985 in Lake Linden.
#3 Stuffed and mounted. 1985 in Lake Linden.

Inspection Period (fall '98)

Cab, engineer's side:
Insulation (magnesium silicate) was not removed
inside the cab, thus promoting pitting of the boiler shell.


The smokebox was not properly cleaned or capped.
This resulted in extreme pitting.

Removal of the saddle tank was necessary in order to
permit an exterior inspection of the boiler shell.

Upon removal of a make-shift jacketing, most of the boiler
shell was found to be in sound condition.

Moving #3 to Calumet for restoration. April 24, 1999.
Moving #3 to Calumet for restoration.

Work Begins On Number 3

#3 at Universal Metal Works, Calumet, MI.
now the real work begins!

First boiler wash in how many years???
(with high pressure steam cleaner)


#3 is hydro'd to test for leaks.
With water squirting everywhere, failure is pronounced at 72psi.


The boiler was removed for cleaning and repair.

The boiler was sandblasted...

...and painted.  Note the severe pitting on the firebox.
This was a result of coal being left in the cab when the locomotive was stored.
Sulfur in the coal mixed with water, and produced sulfuric acid, ate the boiler away.


The frame and running gear were worked on separately.

Fall '99

In early summer '99, Calumet Machine transported the boiler to the fairgrounds in Escanaba.  Inspection cuts were made to assess the extent of the damage to the sheets. Repairs were made by Pentecost Construction, of Marquette.

There was a 1/2" hole in the boiler in the front
left corner of the firebox, because of coal that
was held against  the sheet by the grate holders.

Frame after sandblasting and painting (PPG epoxy paint, primer + top coat)


Eccentrics were babbited, machined, and scraped to size
by Calumet Machine of Calumet, MI.

Nearly $500 worth of new fasteners were put on this locomotive. Most components that used oil were converted to use grease.

Calumet Machine used chrome plated rod (1-11/16"
diameter) to fabricate new piston rods.

Winter 2000

New cylinder cocks, rods, balance springs and brake handle were machined with assistance from the Mechanical Engineering department at Michigan Technological University.

The valve stem of the yoke for the D valve showed extreme wear (as much as 1/4" off of the radius, which was not symmetrical). To solve this dilema without completely making new yokes, the old stems were machined down, and 1" stainless steel pipe was used for a sleeve, the turned to the required diameter.

In early winter (before the snow), the boiler was moved to the boiler welder's shops in Marquette. 

The boiler was completely retubed. Unfortunately, our boiler welder, decided the best way to install the new tubes was to hand roll, swage, and bead each tube. This boiler only has 65 tubes, but that's an awful lot to hand bead.  This choice in methods raised our price tag for this jobs to over 200% of the original estimated cost (from under $8.5k to over $18k)

During a meeting called in late January, the locomotive was inspected for hydrostatic pressure on the boiler. It nearly passes, but not quite - a small leak had developed near the mudring where the new welded patches are located.

The leak was fixed, boiler passes the hydro test.

State of Michigan boiler inspector for the Upper Peninsula, Gary Morgan

Newly replaced smokebox bottom.


Back in Calumet...
The repair of the running gear is nearly complete.

New shims have replaced old thin ones.

Main rods are ready to be installed.


In mid-spring, the boiler was brought back to Calumet, and installed on the frame.  Steam pipes in the smokebox were connected, and lapped in. The main rods were installed, and everything lubricated.  A fitting and valve were plumbed to the boiler, and a high capacity air compressor was hooked up and the locomotive tested with compressed air. It moved to and fro about 10 feet.

The saddle tank work is complete.  It has been tested, and holds water.


In December 2000, #3's wheels were removed, the locomotive was put on blocks, and wheels were loaded on a tandem axel trailer from Universal Metal Works of Calumet.  Dave Sladek, of Universal Metal Works, hauled the wheels down to Fenton for temporary storage in the parking lot of Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church. On Monday, March 5th, with the permission of Marty Knox, the wheels were taken to the Huckleberry Railroad and were cleaned up by volunteers Adam Wright and Bill Kay.

#3's wheel sets were turned in the 48x256" LeBlonde Lathe at the Huckleberry Railroad by John Hewlett and Adam Wright.

Work yet to be completed are as follows:
smokebox misc.: table, blower, petticoat; the brakes (steam), cab floor and cab housing, insulation, jacketing, front & rear bumpers, and construction of a tender; to allow an engineer and fireman to be in the cab simultaneously.

Future Plans

Rails, ties, etc. must be obtained for the laying of the mainline and yard/shop tracks.  This is an estimated total of 3500'.  Included are a number of switches.  A building will be constructed to house the locomotive on the museum's property, immediately behind the model RR layout room. A number of cars from the Quincy Mine Hoist Association have been donated to the museum for our use in our railroad. 

Donations are accepted and greatly appreciated. Use the "Contact Us" link below for more information.

Houghton County Historical Society
53102 Hwy M-26 Lake Linden, Michigan
PO Box 127
Lake Linden, MI 49945
(906) 296-4121

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