Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Museum Miscellany

While the Electroliner was the main focus of attention yesterday, there were other things of interest going on.  The Steam Shop inspection pit has been poured and backfilled, and the next step will be to pour a thick concrete slab around it to serve as a heavy-duty jacking pad.

And a contractor was working all day sand-blasting the UP rotary.  I didn't want to get too close because of all the dust, but it looks great from a distance - like an unpainted model.  Jeff says that they will start painting it immediately.

#900075 Rotary Snowplow Undec.
Also available in UP, SP, and DRGW

Then I would like to thank my friends on the Second Shift for fixing the windshield wiper from the 319.  It works great, better than the one from the 321, so I will be putting it back in place soon.   I took it home to touch up the black paint.

And in American Flyer news, Henry had a Franklin that was donated to IRM but would only run in reverse, he informed me.  I told him they never made a reverser I couldn't fix, so he gave it to me to take home.  This one was easy: it's a two-position RIT that was locked in reverse, and once it was unlocked it worked fine.  So I cleaned and lubed it, fixed the smoke unit, and it will be going back to Henry next time.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Electroliner - Together Again!

Today's big news was the reassembly of the Electroliner.  Many people helped with this project, and I'm afraid I may miss someone, but I hope not.  This was not just a Car Dept. project, but we had help from the Diesel, Steam, Track, and especially B&G departments.  Thanks to the confident wisdom of everyone, it all went smoothly.

The two big rented cranes were essential parts of the whole process.

Yesterday (Monday) a lot of switching was done to get everything into position.

Gerry Dettlof, Carl Illwitzer, Dave Diamond, Dan Fenlaciki

Gregg, Dave, Jeff Calendine

This is the idler truck, so you can see more of the suspension.

The B unit is lifted so the shop trucks can be rolled out.

This was under the 319, but the motors have been removed.

Bob Olson ran the big fork lift, to remove the shop trucks from the track.

Ed Oslowski was recently in hospital, but nothing could stop him from showing up to help.

The boys discuss whether this can actually work as a single-truck car.

Another view of one of the A units.  I can't tell them apart.

The idler truck goes under one end of B.

Paul Cronin was the dispatcher and coordinated most of the rail movements.

The Army Diesel, run by Ray Weart with Bob Albertson as ground man, did most of the work.

Jeff and Gregg move the big needle beam into position.  This is necessary because the cars were designed with holes in the frame for lifting hooks...

But at this end the North Shore installed some conduits and piping, so the holes are unusable.  Please stop laughing.

So the C liner is now in the air.

Bob and Bill Halsted help get the beam into position.

On the left, Jeron Glander.  The guys in the yellow hardhats are from Avalon.  And next is Jamie Kolanowski. 

He's working on the magic bowl for the joint between the units.

Jamie and a volunteer crane expert watch as the two units are put together.

Then it was discovered that one of the trucks had to be rotated 180, so that took some time.

But finally, we have two units together.   On three trucks.

Next up is the 801 A unit.

Jeron and an Avalon guy position the body over the truck.

The two center units are brought back in.

Meanwhile, the IT Diesel is brought in to move the other A unit.  Operated by Gregg Wolfersheim.

Nick Kallas and Carl discuss their next move.  I should mention that Nick went to get lunch from Subway for everybody, courtesy of the Electroliner project.  Thanks!

Finally, we have a three-quarter Liner.  Since both A units have to be facing the same way for the truck swap, at this point it was necessary to wye the train.  So us onlookers got to go for a ride.

Typical railfans in the front seat enjoy the fruit of their labors.

Here we are rocketing down the mainline towards Milwaukee.  Well, we can imagine.

The 802 is lifted off its trucks

And the other three cars are pulled into position

Another one of the golden bowls in place on the 802.

And finally, it's all back together!

Of course, a lot of work remains to be done to hook up all of the electrical, brake, control, air conditioning, and other systems before it can run under its own power.  But this will be a major priority for the department over the next several months.  Our thanks to everyone who contributed to this project!