We are very grateful to those individuals and organizations that enabled us to acquire and move the #59L to its new home in Frisco. Obviously, much work lies ahead in order to restore this historic locomotive to its former Santa Fe grandeur.
We will tackle this massive project in phases. Phase One will entail repairs and restoration of the cab/nose section of the unit. This will involve replacement of several exterior compound steel panels on the cab roof and nose, along with the underlying structural skeleton to which they are attached. A replacement nose door will be located or fabricated and installed (the original door was stolen just prior to movement to Texas). Additional components are being repaired such as the MARS signal light, the signature rooftop number boards, horns (2 Leslie A200-156), and cab controls. The locomotive's pilot and anti-climber will also be repaired/replaced as part of Phase One work.
After initial repairs to the forward section are completed, work on the carbody will begin. This is undoubtedly the most challenging part of #59L's restoration. The carbody's underlying truss-work was heavily damaged in the 1981 derailment when the locomotive essentially rolled on its side/roof. Using the undamaged vertical posts just ahead of the cab side doors as a reference point, the truss-work will be realigned and/or replaced in order bring the carbody into tram from front to rear. All vertical truss members will be made plumb to the side sills and roof sills. A full set of locomotive prints has been secured from Alco Engineering Archives, which provides great detail of all aspects of the locomotive’s design and dimensions. Plans are also being developed to fabricate a suitable substitute for the side air intake grills. A sample of the original stainless steel grills is being used to develop a cost-effective replacement design.
After structural integrity of the locomotive's carbody has been restored, we will move toward the application of new roof and exterior side sheeting, including the stainless steel floating panels that were unique to Santa Fe versions of the PA-1s. Final cosmetic work will entail painting the locomotive in DuPont's Imron polyurethane enamel in the classic Santa Fe Warbonnet scheme (see Project F-7
Making the locomotive operational is almost a separate project from the carbody restoration. Ideally, a donor locomotive will provide most of the components necessary for operation, including a 12-251 prime mover, alternator, turbocharger, air compressor, control contactors, 26L brake equipment, fan drive, traction motor blowers, sanding equipment and truck parts including wheel sets and traction motors.
The locomotive will be placed on permanent exhibit at the Museum's new facility in Frisco. Interpretation will include its contribution to the post-war streamliner era of railroading and the legacy of Santa Fe's famous Chief
streamliners to California and Texas. The locomotive's years of service as Delaware & Hudson #16 "M.A. Davis," and National Railroad of Mexico DH-16 will also be included in its interpretation. If the locomotive can be restored to operation, it will almost certainly make appearances at events outside of the confines of the Museum.