Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Winter News

Tuesdays are typically a little slow, especially during the winter.   Most of the activity takes place inside.

I started by cutting out the arched pieces for two clerestory windows in the 150, as described before.  Our big bandsaw and sander work much better than anything I have in my basement.

And then the mechanism needed to be cleaned up.

I will finish cleaning it at home, then buff it to a nice finish.  The hinges hadn't hinged for at least fifty years, so they needed some heat.   They get painted, so I didn't worry about the finish.

Meanwhile, Frank Kehoe was helping Tim as usual.   Here he is finishing up the painting job on the slats for the outer platforms on the 24.   They're almost ready to install.

Tim is making new doors for the 1754.   It's a very complicated assembly.   He pointed out, for instance, that the main stiles on the door have two different profiles, above and below the center rail.

And the tongues of the capture panels are stepped, for some reason, as seen here:

And then Gerry was working on the side bearings for the 810.   He's making good progress.

It looks something like this.   There are no rollers, as are usual on passenger cars, but it should work fine.

The rest of my day was spent stripping and sanding inside the 319.   Not a lot to take a picture of.  Much of the original red paint is badly alligatored.

But that gets old in a hurry, so I attacked the door closer at this end, which never worked properly.   It always quickly slammed the door shut, which isn't good.   I tried again to adjust it without success, and finally went out to get a replacement from the 321.   It works much better, though not quite perfectly.   

All of the lettering in the vestibules on this car was painted around when a second coat was put on at some point.   I'm pretty sure this was done at Wheaton, not Cleveland.

During these cold winter months, do any of you need long-term parking for cars you won't be using?  We know how difficult that can be, especially if your cars have steel wheels and are bigger than the average parking space.  Talk to Friendly Nick!  He's got special deals on valet parking you won't want to pass up.  Just drop your keys through the slot in the door.

Anyway, I was glad to see we're collecting rental cars again this winter.  These make serious money for the Museum, as we've mentioned before.  I suppose we won't be able to start filling up the main line until after the Happy Holiday trains are done, but we have more yard tracks available than we did last year.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Let it snow

Frank writes...

I made it out to IRM for a few hours on Sunday, just in time for the first snowfall of the season. Given the weather, I ended up just hanging around and didn't really get anything accomplished, I'm afraid. The big thing going, of course, was Happy Holiday Railway. Jamie and Jeron were the engineers while Phil was conductor and Jen and others were on the train staff. Ray and Richard were driving trolley buses.

Through the middle of the day the snow was falling at a pretty good clip.
Later on it slacked off a bit; here Santa waits to board passengers.
And here's the "photo diesel" after dark. The red and green class lights were a nice touch.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Safety Messages

Today we have a couple of safety messages for you.  But don't worry, this won't be anything grim.  First of all, just to be safe, you should either sign up to help with the Happy Holiday trains or buy some tickets to ride, or else Santa may decide you don't get any nice presents this year.   These trains take a lot of effort, so thanks to all those who make them possible.   It seems that several people are running every trip on every day this winter! 

While waiting for the train to arrive, visitors get to take pictures of their families on the front platform of the engine parked near the loading area.

Here's the train approaching the loading platforms along Depot St.

We seemed to be having good crowds today.

Here's our friend Larry Stone acting as conductor.

The trolley bus carries people from the parking lot to the diner annex, where there's food and hot chocolate, and holiday entertainment and so on.

Our second safety message is this: "DO NOT PASS FROM CAR TO CAR".  Now I have a confession to make: I ignore this message all the time, even when the train is running.  But I work here, so do as I say, not as I do.  Anyway, this was the last lettering needed in the #2 vestibule of the 36, so today I finished it off.   

And then the blue sign was installed.

A few months ago we had to replace the whistle valve, and the piping hadn't been painted blue.

So with that done, this vestibule is finished.  The #1 vestibule needs a door or two to be repaired in the shop, so that will get done over the winter.

Meanwhile, it's time to start finishing up the vestibules in the 319.

Various parts need to be stripped, sanded, and repainted.

This may take a while, but as I have said, at least it's easy to warm up the vestibules for comfortable work, no matter how cold it may be outside.

And of course, other people are working in the nice warm car shop.  This is just a sample:

Buzz is making new doors for the Marengo Depot.  Here he is using our big mortising machine.

Jeff is drilling holes in one of the new steel beams for the Michigan car.

And Mike is outside, wiring up the signals for the new switch machine at the south wye.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

More Bill Wulfert Slides

Pictures of early days at IRM from the Bill Wulfert collection.

Illinois Terminal Birney 170, March 1974

North Shore 202, March 1974

Iowa Terminal 30 (CCW 300) Oct. 1974

PRR doodlebug 4668, July 1978

Bill McGregor with CSL 144 on Barn 4 curve, April 1979.  The car has derailed and needs to be carefully jacked up to get it back on the track.  Bill was the recognized expert at this. 

Baldwin VO-660, Youngstown Steel & Tube 607, Nov. 1983

South Shore car 8, Apr 1984

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Letters, We've Got Letters

Such as L and R, B and D, and letters like that.  We also get letters from you, our readers, which are much appreciated.   Anyway, I did a few different things today, of which the most photogenic was lettering the #2 vestibule in the 36.  It's warm and cozy in there.

Here are some pictures of our "new" Burlington baggage car.   This will go nicely with the Zephyr.

As usual, several different projects were going on in the car shop, but I only got pictures of a couple of them.  Rich Witt was refurbishing a door for one of the cabooses.

And Tim Peters was making new window frames for L car doors.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

LSE Shop Report

Last week while doing some cosmetic work on our Lake Shore Electric coach #150, I removed what appeared to be one of the better clerestory windows, but the sash came apart in the process.   Here's what it looks like after a post-mortem dissection.

From the outside:  The sash is hinged at the right.   Notice that there are four wood pieces: two stiles, a bottom rail, and the upper rail includes the arch.  It's tongued into a groove in the right hand stile.

From the inside:   There are several layers of paint from the car's days as a house in two different cities, and then as a flower shop in Pittsburgh.

There is a hole through the bottom rail for attaching the opener mechanism.

The mechanism looks like this.  The outside was so encrusted with paint I wasn't sure how it was attached, but it's just two large nuts on the outside of the rail, and one on the inside.

The last picture in this post shows how it looks when mounted on the car.

The car's interior finish is cherry, and I'm sure that's what the sash is made of.   In service, it had a nice bright stain, covered with varnish of course, and in several places it's still in good condition under all the paint.  See the interior pictures in the car's history.

It's hard to get a good picture of the etched glass at home.  Instead, I have a couple of pictures taken on the car.   The strange thing is that all of the clerestory windows on the right side of the car have a different pattern than the windows on the left.  On the right side, there is sort of a floral pattern, with a clear border around the edges:

And on the other side, it's just this wavy pattern with no border.   I have no idea how this came about. 

 Anyway, as time permits, I'll make a couple of new clerestory sashes, and the hinged one should have a working mechanism.