| January/February 1984

Since boiler care and maintenance is getting more important all the time, we asked Paul Rafferty, state boiler inspector for Montana, for some information on this vital subject.

Rafferty, whose office is in Helena, says the Montana inspections are based on the ASME Code, Section 1, relating to boiler repairs. He urges that anyone interested in the subject write to the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspection at 1055 Crupper Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43229.

We talked to Rafferty last year and this year. Jerry Lee, also an inspector took part in the discussion in 1982.

Nobody is replacing boilers, they said, but new tubes are being installed. Rafferty insisted that if any welding is done, it be done by a certified welder. He also emphasizes the need for operators to know the pressure limitations of their boilers, and to stay within them for safety.

Montana has 57 steam traction operators with licenses throughout the state. The number of engines is estimated at 70.

'Under our state laws,' Rafferty said, 'you must have six months of training under a licensed operator before you can take the state test to operate. We re-license every year.'