Sunday, July 29, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
I did get out to IRM on Wed and due to the heat spent time in the woodshop. I started out the day helping Dave Rogan get some beams and other metal parts for CTS 4223 primed. These beams will be mounted on the roof and become part of the trolley base assembly.
In spite of the heat the B&G group was doing some landscaping between barns 7 & 8. I guess I hadn't thought too much about it but visitors continue to make positive comments about how neat and clean the grounds are. Many thanks to the B&G folks for their continued work on this aspect of the site.
Prairie Scale Model Railroad Club . Wednesdays are their group work night. I won't continue to blog on the work here but I'll give you a brief glimpse of this operation. It's located in the basement of an apartment building right next to the CA&E right of way in Lombard. There once was a bowling alley in that space but now is being put to much better use as a model railroad. Only about 25% of the eventual route is operational but that takes almost 30 minutes to get around. The club is still rather new so there is still a lot of work to be done and the scenery is still rather basic. I won't turn this into a model railroad blog but just give you an idea of how my Wednesdays are spent.
BTW Adam Robillard (who I think many of you know) lived in this building and didn't realize for several years there was a model railroad there.
Also, the cars are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday of the following week. More crewmen are needed then also. Sunday, August 5th is the Transport Extravaganza. You won't want to miss it!
While we're on the subject of operation, it's interesting to read the 1951 ICC report on CA&E operations; it's posted as part of the Johnson Collection under "Mechanical Dept." I was astounded to notice this:
In the make up of trains at Wheaton it was noted, at the time of inspection, an employee makes the electrical connection between the cars and couples up the air hoses after which the motorman sets the air brakes making a twenty pound reduction and opens his controller a few points to ascertain if he has brakes.
Yikes! Don't ever try this at IRM! Anyhow, the ICC persuaded them to change the procedure and visually inspect the brakes on the rear cars. That is, of course, our standard required procedure.
Posted by Randall Hicks at 12:06 PM
Thursday, July 26, 2012
And I've started on end #1. One gets used to the steamy weather after a while. Did you know that IRM is affiliated with the prestigious School of Adversity and offers several advanced programs in overcoming hardships of all sorts? This is training you cannot get online, by the way. If you're interested, Dean Kallas will be glad to send you a brochure!
So let's see what the indefatigable Tim Peters is up to. He's making great progress on the interior of the 1797. I had never really focused on the modifications to the ceiling inside this car. After a heater fire in 1938, it was heavily rebuilt by CRT with a drop ceiling, blocked-off clerestory, a new ventilation pattern, and bulls-eye lighting.
(L) This metal duct serves only as a mounting for the light fixtures.
(R) The framing for the drop ceiling can be seen clearly here, I hope. The original ceiling was removed after the fire, we should think, and this framing was installed. A layer of Masonite will be attached to it.
Friday, July 20, 2012
And I looked some more at the 36's compressor. The commutator is badly worn, would need slotting, and is shorted to ground. Ugh. I removed a cover plate for the armature bearing, hoping the shaft would have something I could put a wrench on, but it doesn't. It's not obvious in this picture, but there's a brass expansion ring of some sort that came loose and is dangling inside the bearing case. That's not good, but I couldn't get it out. It appears that this compressor has had a hard life, and probably deserves retirement. So the "Now Hiring" sign is out.
Posted by Randall Hicks at 3:48 PM
I was able to make it out to IRM on both Wed and Thur. Wednesday was slightly shortened due to evening commitments. Many of the folks that were out were engaged in inspecting freight cars for use in the freight trains that will be operated in conjunction with diesel days this weekend.
I resumed work on the door from the 36. On Wednesday I was able to get all the metal parts off the door and most were wire wheeled to get the paint and 100+ years of crud off of them. I also got most of the paint stripped off the wood.
Randy was busy sanding and priming some of the windows that have been waiting for attention.
Taking a walk around the property I found that the Cleveland RTA PCC, 63, was out in the open with its tarp having been removed. This car is significant in that it represents the only "conventional" PCC in the collection. All of the others have some nonstandard feature of one sort or another (this includes the other Cleveland PCC which was built by Pullman rather than St. Louis). Here are a couple of detail photos to illustrate a couple of the unique operational characteristics of the former Shaker Heights system.
The fare collection is unique in that fares are collected on boarding on the outbound (eastbound) trip, so it is enter at front. On the reverse trip fares are collected when alighting, hence center entrance boarding on westbound.
The inner part of this operation operates over the rapid transit so the PCCs were equipped with trip stops. The application looks a little basic but I guess it gets the job done.
It would be very nice to see this cars restored as Twin Cities Rapid Transit as #352.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
We welcome Al Reinschmidt to our hoity-toity list of bloggers. Al is recently retired from a career with the AAR, and has been helping us a great deal recently. But there's a danger here, and I need your help. If we're not careful, we may start seeing articles about buses on this blog. Be on the lookout!
There are two firsts represented with this post. It is my first post as a member of the Hicks Car Works reporting team. Secondly I'm reporting on my first day working in the Operating Dept. at IRM.
I was scheduled to serve as Conductor on the CA&E wood car train on Sat. utilizing the 319 and the 308. However as I left home I checked the radar and noted a storm line moving NE from the Peoria area heading right for Union.
320. So we walked him over to barn 8 and went into the 319 to have a look.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Did I ever tell you I have unique psychic abilities? It's true! As I gaze into the future, I can see clearly that this would be a good weekend for you to visit IRM and bring as many friends as you have. You won't be disappointed. On the other hand, you could of course ignore my advice and stay home. In which case, you will probably fall down the stairs or meet with some other karmic misfortune. Don't say the Swami didn't warn you!