Wednesday, April 28, 2010

309 Inspection, Cont.

Inspection on the 309 continued today, and with a few minor exceptions, everything is done. No problems were found, and the car should be ready for service beginning Memorial Day weekend. Al Reinschmidt helped with this, so it went pretty quickly.

Lubrication is always an annoying job. I seem to be a magnet for grease and dirt, but it's done for this year. Of course, we next need to do the 308, but at least it only has two motors, so there's less work.

After putting the 309 back in Barn 8, Al and I went over to look at the 319. As mentioned earlier, the buzzer cord was broken in two, because for some reason they had been using clothesline. After the rigors of inspection, this seemed like a fun thing to do, so we removed the old buzzer cord and installed a piece of the correct wire-core rope from one end of the car to the other. Attached to the cord in one vestibule there is a leather strap, held on with metal clips, which I'll need to replace, so I took it home. Charlie is still working on the 319's paint job. He's going back to work soon, but promises the 319 will be painted.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lukin for Good Food?

Al Reinschmidt reports from London that one of our long-time members now has a second career. Looks like a great place to visit next time you're over there!

Monday, April 26, 2010

309 Inspection

The 309's annual inspection started today. Mostly what got done was the hard parts for which the car needs to be over the pit: removing the bottom motor covers, check pole piece clearances, tightness on all axle caps and other bolts, visual inspection, and brake adjustments. All four motors were done, and everything seems fine. I'll try to finish this up on Wednesday, when I'll have more time and maybe a helper or two.

I also took my weekly hike out to the 321 to check the tarp and look for parts. Both the buzzer cord and the panic cord on the 319 are broken in two, so I picked up the extra lengths of buzzer cord that we had on hand. These cords have stranded wire down the middle so they're hard to come by. (And don't use them for trolley rope!)

Meanwhile, Barb Lanphier was hard at work on the various flower beds in the vicinity of the office. She wouldn't let me take her picture, but here is part of the results. The grounds are starting to look much better.

And we have lots of nice wildflowers, too!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In the Light of Day

My primary goal in going out to IRM today was to work on the step well for the 319 (see below), but the highlight of the day was seeing the car itself towed outside Barn 2 for the first time since February. The purpose was to examine one possible match for the "Aurora Grey" color in natural light, but it was nice to see the car in its approximate final appearance outdoors. Charles Strong is doing a terrific job on it; it will be spectacular when painting is complete!

I spent much of my time wire-wheeling the step well seen at left, formerly of the 321 but soon to be fitted to the 319, and priming it. Note that the treads themselves will simply be spray-painted; in the 1950's the treads and leading edges were painted Aurora Grey, rather than silver as in earlier liveries. I also went on a trip over to the 321, which is currently stored in Yard 14, to look for spare bus jumper receptacle parts that will be needed for the 460.

There was a crew of people working on the 460 including Dan Mulvhill, Stan Wdowikowski, Greg Kepka and two people from the Diesel Shop. At right, Stan and Dan are seen attaching a brace for the step well; both step wells, their braces and the pilot were fitted to this end of the 460 over the course of the day.

I also took a peek in the smoking compartment of the 749, where Joe Stupar had spent much of the day installing seat frames that had been rebuilt some years back. This is the last part of the car's interior to be completed. Below is a photo of the smoker with the car's main compartment in the background, with Joe unsuccessfully ducking out of the photo in the background.

Illinois Terminal Class C number 1595

On Saturday, April 24, 2010, the Illinois Traction Society convention visited the Museum of Transportation. Conventioneers started the day with a bus tour of the high line in the city of St. Louis, a drive over the McKinley Bridge, and a visit of former IT sites in Granite City. That afternoon, they arrived at MOT, and we had a surprise:

The previous Thursday, MOT traction volunteers pulled the Class C out from it's normal position, under cover, and spotted it for photographs. We even erected a set of stairs, so conventioneers could tour the inside of the Class C. I didn't get a chance to take a peek inside, as I was running the regular service streetcar.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Truck Swapping

Norm Krentel was there today, so he and I spent all day working on the 36 truck swap, as explained earlier. This is more complicated than it sounds. First of all, we need to pull the 303's motor truck out from under the 36 so it can be prepped and have the motors installed, so we need to find and prep a temporary shop truck for the carbody to sit on. And so that can happen, a motor truck from the 319 which was sitting in front of the 141 needs to go elsewhere. When the 319 arrived, we started work on removing the motors, but this job was abandoned. These motors are spares, so they might as well be stored on the truck. I installed most of the necessary bolts so the truck can be moved when we get a chance.

For a temporary shop truck, we have chosen a 4000 trailer truck sitting just outside Barn 4. We spent some time making careful measurements under the cars and of the available trucks, and this is the best choice. We also found the correct body center bearing, and this will be attached to a wooden shim when it's installed under the 36. Rod will help with the drilling and installation. I learned that when the trucks were swapped at Cleveland, it was the body bolster center bearings that were changed, not the truck bearings. That makes it somewhat harder. In any case, we're making pretty good progress on this project. It's a high priority because we have a definite drop-dead date to get everything ready.

Charlie has been painting the 319, meanwhile. He has put a first coat of red on the north side of the car (L) and the west end (R).

And on the south side, at least a first coat of the Aurora Gray. Jamie said they had wanted to pull the car out of the barn to look at it in natural light, but didn't because of the rain. I'm not sure that's necessary, but whatever. It looks good to me!

Thanks also to Stan and Joe who did some switching in Barn 8, and put the 309 at the door on 83. I'll start inspection on Monday.

Note from the IT department: we encourage constructive comments, and a couple of people had complained about the word recognition step. I've disabled this for the time being. We'll see if there's a problem with too much spam. One thing I learned from other bloggers is that you should leave comment moderation enabled for posts older than 7 days or so. For some unknown reason spammers tend to post comments to older messages. I've already gotten four spam comments to older posts, all obviously advertising porn, some in Spanish. Go figure. But that's not a big problem, so I hope you appreciate our continuing efforts to serve you, the viewer!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Neuhaus Photos

Bill Wulfert sent us a small collection of (mostly CA&E) photos from the Ray Neuhaus collection. These were scanned in several years ago by the late Pete Vesic. I've expanded them by a factor of two for better viewing.

The 309 in front of the shop.

These all seem to be taken near the end of service.

The 321 on the ready tracks north of the shop.

The two 4000 locomotives ("boomers") pass a fan trip. I'll guess this is near Wayne.

Frank points out that those "END OF BLOCK" signs would useful at each end of our manual blocks. I might actually remember to release one some time.

The Illini fan trip with 318/300 at Batavia.

Car 11 in front of the tin shed.

And finally, I saved the best for last. An aerial view of IRM circa 1965. Yes, friends, that's all there was: a string of cars on what is now the main line west of Olson.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CA&E Truck Swap

One major task remains to be done before our acquisition of the Trolleyville cars is complete: we need to get the correct motor truck for car 36. But that has been arranged and should be done in June. Why is this necessary? That's a long story.

Cars 36 and 303 were part of the Brookins collection at North Olmsted, and when time came to find a new home back about 2003, it was arranged to move these two cars to the Cleveland RTA and run them on the rapid transit lines to generate interest in the plans for a waterfront trolley museum (the Lake Shore Electric.) The 303 then had one pole replaced with a pantograph, since trolley poles would not work on the overhead, and the 36 took power through the bus jumper. At that time the motor trucks were swapped, so that the 36's recently rebuilt motors would be under the 303 if it needed to run by itself. (Both cars have only two motors, with one motor truck and one trailer truck.) The center bearings are different, so the body bolster castings also had to be swapped. And indeed, once service had started, one motor under the 36 soon flashed over. The 303 continued to run, and was used occasionally at Cleveland up until the day it was moved to the Connecticut Trolley Museum at Warehouse Point earlier this year.

When the Trolleyville cars were being moved to their various destinations, there was no opportunity to swap the trucks back, so our car is now sitting on one truck from the 303, plus one of its own. The 303's original truck had its motors removed and rebuilt, but they have not yet been installed. We spent some time looking at pictures like these and analyzing the situation, and decided the only correct course of action was to swap trucks with CTM. They agreed that we'll both be better off if our cars both have the same correct trucks. In June, several of us will be flying out to Connecticut to make the swap; the 303's motor truck will be reassembled.

Rod Turner and Stan Wdowikowski went out to Warehouse Point this past weekend to check that everything is OK. The actual truck swap is scheduled for the weekend of June 19. Planning to participate at this point are Norm Krentel, Jeff Brady, Dan Gornstein, Frank Hicks, and I. Trucking will be provided by Jim Lillie, we believe. And as always, Julie Johnson has provided historical info and financial support.

Making the 36 operational is still a ways in the future. The control system was disassembled, and some of the parts are missing, although I believe we have spares. We will certainly be able to put it back together, although we can't commit to any schedule. Exactly which period and paint scheme the car will be restored to is still under discussion.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

451 Roof Work

I spent most of the day helping Frank Sirinek on the roof of the 451. He and Mike have been steadily progressing over the past couple of weeks. I finished nailing down the south side, so both sides of the roof are tacked; the ends still need to be completed. I then started with a first coat of black canvas paint. The canvas paint is very thin and soaks in rapidly. Two gallons covered most of one side of the roof, perhaps 120 sq.ft. We will put on a second coat before installing the saddles and other accoutrements, but the second coat should go faster.

Frank spent most of the day nailing down the canvas at the west end. This takes a long time due to the difficulty in getting the canvas to lie flat on the compound curves. Frank can do this better than anyone, so we appreciate his help on the new CA&E cars. Meanwhile, Jeff Obarek was working on the brass window sash back in the car shop.

And Charlie spent most of the day rubbing down the primer on the 319 in preparation for painting this side of the car. We looked at the paint samples again and I quickly agreed on the colors he had matched. The later Aurora Gray for the 319, 409, and 460 is definitely a greenish-blue color, but the original gray for the 451 is just gray, much like the color on the blue paint scheme. So there will be an interesting contrast.

And Gerry was working on the D13. I didn't get a picture of him at work, but as you can see here, one of the cabs needs a new roof. Luckily for him, it's a very small roof!

The next important item will be inspection of the 308 and 309. We should be able to put the 309 over the pit this Sunday.

And Frank announces that the Preserved Electric Cars database has been updated, so check it out!

Dave's Depots - Nashville Chattanooga and St. Louis Freight Depot, Paducah, KY

This edition of "Dave's Depots" takes us to Paducah, Kentucky. When most people think of railroads in Paducah, they rightly think of the Illinois Central. After all, the IC's main locomotive shops were located in Paducah, and were famous for the rebuilt steam and diesel power that came from its erecting halls.

Paducah, however, was served by other railroads, including the Burlington, which meandered to Paducah on its southern Illinois coal line. The Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis also came to Paducah, from the south. The line was a branch that came north from Tennessee, passed through Murray, Kentucky, and ended on the waterfront in downtown Paducah.

This branch has been cut back, and is currently operated by the Kentucky & West Tennessee Railway. However, the freight depot in downtown Paducah survives, as seen in these photographs, taken in February 2010. The depot sits about 1,000 feet from Illinois Central 1518, a 2-8-2 that is on display by the flood wall.

Monday, April 19, 2010

319 Report

It may be hard to believe, but it was only about a year ago that rumors started circulating again about the possible disposition of the Trolleyville collection. I can remember a couple of people asking me about this at the annual meeting, which was April 25. I just said we'd heard these rumors before, which was true. And twelve months later, look how much has happened!

But there's still a lot of work to do. So....

I put a first finish coat on three windows plus several window shade tracks. And I worked for a while on the next trolley base without accomplishing very much. The part that adjusts the spring tension is rusted in place and won't come apart, so it will have to be heated.

Mike Alterio made another locking bracket for me; this one is for the 319 (in yellow). I made the other half of it and adjusted it, and it works, as seen here. As long as the car is in the Barn 2 shop it doesn't need to be locked, but it's nice to have this done. Thanks, Mike!

Charlie has been doing some more testing with the Aurora Gray. Here's a section seen with and without flash. So you can't take the color seen under these conditions too seriously. I'm sure it will be correct.

And by the way, I bet you can't tell from this picture (L) which parts were replaced!

I also put a first coat of black on the window sills which had been primed earlier. I'll need a lettering brush to edge these properly for the second coat. Anyway, it looks much better than when we started.

Mr. Socks finds some unusual places to hang out, doesn't he?

And in other news, IC 201 has been switched out to the east end of Yard 5. The Soo Line caboose seen earlier is now in its place. This presented an opportunity to get a better picture of it. Is it on its way into a barn for better storage?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

CA&E Miscellany

My instructions from the 319 Project Manager for today were to clean up and prime the replacement step well for the 319, which originally was from the 321 and had already been brought over to Barn 4. I got it needle-chipped and partially primed (at right, after completion of needle-chipping) but ran out of time before I could prime it. I'll do that next time.

In the middle of the day, I got an interesting diversion in the form of a switch move involving the three CA&E wood cars stored in Barn 8. I helped Joel Ahrendt and Joe Stupar switch the 36 out of the barn for a Trains Magazine photo shoot, after which we brought the 308 and 309 up alongside for the photo at left (the 431 was at the barn door and had been moved out of the way). We ended up putting the 36 back into the barn behind the 308 and 309, which will be inspected within the next few weeks.

Before I left I took a look at Charlie Strong's progress on the 319 itself over in Barn 2. He finished initial prep work on the north side of the car and put a coat of primer on that side, as well as most of the west end of the car.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Louisville Bridge Car -- From the David Wilkins Historical Collection

This next photo from the David M. Wilkins historical photo collection comes to us from the same stack of photos I found wedged in a book a number of years ago. As always:

These photographs are copyrighted by the David M. Wilkins Historical Photo Collection
Do Not Reproduce Without Permission!

This car appears to be part of the suburban fleet that operated over the Big Four Bridge to Jeffersonville and New Albany. Photographer and date is unknown.

Louisville had two over-the-bridge lines providing interurban service to the three small cities across the Ohio River in Southern Indiana, New Albany, Jeffersonville and Clarksville. The line over the Kentucky & Indiana Terminal Railroad bridge just west of downtown was a broad gauge operation, using gauntlet tracks. This line is best known for it's later incarnation as the New Albany and Louisville, using Peter Witt streetcars and trailers leased from the Louisville Railway Company.

The other operation used the Big Four Bridge and dual gauge streetcar tracks in downtown Louisville. This operation eventually rated Kuhlman-built steel suburban cars, of which IRR 205 in the IRM collection is an example. This line went over the Big Four Bridge, and then headed west, down to New Albany. Thus, at one time it was possible to make a "traction circle" trip in the region using the two lines.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paint Matching

We are just about ready to finalize our paint formulas for the Aurora Gray color that will be applied to most of the Trolleyville cars. We learned that there was more than one version of this color over the years, so that makes it a challenge. The later version will be applied to the 319, 409, and 460, and the as-delivered version to the 451. Let's see what they look like.

For the 319, we're using as a guide this inner window sash from the 318. The upper half was always protected from the weather and never painted after it left Wheaton, so it's in good condition. (Red arrows) New paint for the later version. Note how well it matches the unpainted parts of the window. (Yellow) Our current match to a metal plate from the 451 (not shown). Charlie wants to make a slight adjustment, and it will be finished. (Blue) Earlier attempts at matching. (Orange) Orange paint in two different shades applied to the 318 while it was at Westport, Ind.

Charlie asked me to remove the remaining window shade tracks so all windows could be removed and masked, so I did that. The bent step was falling apart, and I was afraid somebody (including me) might get hurt, so I decided to remove it, with help from Charlie. A good replacement is in Barn 4, and the next time Frank is out, he plans to clean it up and apply primer.

Then I went over to the shop. Mike Alterio had the torch out for some other project, so I asked him to heat up the trolley base so I could remove the frozen set screw. Once that was done, it was easy to disassemble. Here we see the two parts; on the right is the upper half, upside down. Between the two parts is about three dozen 1/4" rods to act as roller bearings. This base had taken on water while it was out in the field, so I dumped it out and cleaned it all up. With some work, it could then be put back together. It needs to be packed with fresh grease, but none of us were completely sure what I should use. It has a removable screw on the top by which grease can be packed into it. I also started disassembling the other base; on this one, both set screws came out easily, so it won't be so hard. Gerry and Henry also helped me with this project.

Finally, by the time I had to leave, Charlie was starting to apply primer to the north side of the 319. It's going to look good!

Route via CA&E!

While going through my railroad and traction books, I found this piece of CA&E stationery. It came with a copy of Red Arrow I purchased several years ago. The piece of stationery had a note from the seller of the book, thanking me for my purchase. Thanks to the magic of computer photo editing, I was able to remove the note. The book came from a seller in New Jersey. I can only imagine that such stationery was handed out by traffic solicitation agents for the railroad.

Note the date line ends with "195__." Of course, the CA&E never lived long enough to print some stationery with "196___" on it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Louisville Railway Photos -- From the David Wilkins Collection

Many years ago, I purchased a book titled Ghost Railroads of Kentucky at a model railroad swap meet back home in Louisville, Kentucky. When I arrived home and began to look through the book, five photos dropped out. They were reproductions, printed on 8x10 photo paper and included these photos, of Louisville Railway Company cars. I have ohter photos that I will post later. I do not know who the original photographer was, but I thought I would scan these in after recently re-discovering them.

These photos are copyrighted by the David M. Wilkins Historical Photo Collection
Do Not Reproduce Without Permission!

Car 1026

Here, we find Louisville Railway Company car 1026. I believe this car is a product of the St. Louis Car Company. Notice the St. Louis # 47 trucks under the car. The location, I believe is along Frankfort Avenue, just east of Downtown Louisville.

Car 100

Louisville Railway Company car 100 was a special car, as it was the only Brill Master Unit on the property. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the company purchased a sample Master Unit and a "Rail Sedan" from St. Louis Car Company as trial cars to modernize the system. The Depression prevented any real modernization, and the "newest" cars in service on the system were a series of Kuhlman-built Peter Witt cars dating from the mid 1920s. This car ended up as a roadside diner in Frankfort, Kentucky, where it was unfortunately scrapped in the 1970s.

Of course, Louisville did purchase a small fleet of PCC cars from St. Louis Car Company. Some were even delivered, but only one made it off of the flat car before the entire order was traded to Cleveland.