We began ultrasound testing mid-February. It was not uncommon for locomotive builders to add their own safety factor to the design by using sheets slightly thicker than the specs called for. The ultrasound testing has revealed that the boiler and firebox of the 700 are still thicker than the specs. We worked in teams of at least three people. A person to dab K-Y jelly on the spot. A person to hold the transducer on the spot and call out the reading. A person to record the reading. Other people might be needed to hold a light or do some remedial grinding.

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All photos by Terry Thompson unless otherwise noted.

Charlie Harrison smooths the spot on the grid to be measured.

Don Wheeler calls out a reading

This is a sample of our data sheet.

The part of the backhead below the cab floor has to be tested too. John Cox emulates Houdini as he gets that job done.

Don Wheeler records a reading for the backhead below the cab floor..

Linda Vanderbeck, John Cox, and Don Matlock.

A sequence of photos with John Cox reading and Linda Vanderbeck recording. Photo by Dale Birkholz

Photo by Dale Birkholz

Here's a sample reading. This spot was specified to be 9/16" or 0.5625 in. The reading of 0.661 suggests it was originally 11/16" or 0.6875 Photo by Dale Birkholz

Here John is on the other side of the tube sheet, inside the boiler. Photo by Dale Birkholz