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The brake beams on the locomotive as we received it were of two types: I-beam, and railroad rail. None of the brake beams were in serviceable condition. Those of rail were torched in order to fit into ridiculously deformed brake shoe holders, and were corroded beyond belief, to boot. The I-beam versions were all bent and ruptured adjacent to the brake rod hole, plus corroded. One I-beam was beefed up by riveting 3/4 by 3 inch flat bar inch-wormed up over the brake rod, and even this one bent and ruptured, just like all the others. All the old beams were tossed, and it was decided to replace them with 8-inch beams. To prevent splitting at the hole through the flanges, 1/2 by 3 inch plates were welded to each beam, prior to drilling for the brake rod. Considering that even the reinforced original beam broke, it was decided to rivet a stiffener to the middle of the beams.

The beam shown is neither welded or drilled for the brake rod.

Photo by Rick Brigger
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