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My Federal Signal Thunderbolt 1000B

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2023 10:04 pm
by traintraveler
Hey y’all! It’s been a long time since I really posted here, lol.

In my time of being gone, I acquired a Thunderbolt! Been wanting to do this for years but never could find one for a good price. It’s a 1000B from April of 1981 (serial is A008446 D81, if you’re asking). Came from TVA’s Browns Ferry plant in Decatur, Alabama. Originally removed in 2012, it sat in a field of a random farmer before Sam Compton heard about it and acquired it. Some time after that, it fell into my hands.

It was a very long drive from my home in Gainesville to Northern Alabama but it was well worth it in the end. I saw siren’s o’ plenty along the way! Even found a Model 2 in Henegar that nobody had known about. Alabama is truly a very siren-saturated state. Every time I go there I see sirens left and right.

It was certainly odd to see a Thunderbolt in the back of the truck. I certainly had never seen one in the back of one before and it looked absolutely stunning. I’m pretty sure some people had weird looks on their faces when we flew by them! :lol:

It was dark when we got home. It was probably around 10 o’clock or so. Nonetheless, it was amazing to see the siren in my driveway.
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The next morning, my dad and I were quick to get it out of the truck. By 9, we had her disassembled and down by the shed.
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For the next few weeks, we were hard at work repainting and making repairs to the Thunderbolt. Blower timing corrected, all parts tested and assessed, and then reassembled after being painted. After we finished, it sat in the shed for 2 months as there were other projects to work on.

As of a few weeks ago, we decided it was time to put her up. At around 5 in the afternoon, we had set up a pallet and a half-pole to mount it on. Put the blower frame on, then the head, entirely by hand.
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Last weekend, we assembled and painted the blower. It’s cosmetically finished now. Although I can’t run the blower because I don’t have the power requirements (will be replacing it with a gas engine) I know it will be very, very loud.
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For now, it sits high and pretty next to the Modulator.
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That’s all for now, see y'all later!