Saturday, October 31, 2009

Update: News From Cleveland

Nick Kallas, Stan Wdowikowski, Joe Stupar, and Jeff the truck driver went to Cleveland this weekend to start working on loading up cars and parts from the Trolleyville collection. Our open car was closest to the door at the warehouse, so it will be the first out. We are planning to move it Sunday, and if all goes well it should arrive at the Museum on Sunday afternoon.

Update: the 19 has been loaded and should arrive at IRM this afternoon. It will go over the pit.

They also loaded up parts for the CA&E cars. We'll have more details as they become available, so don't touch that dial!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kauai Plantation Railway

Hawaii is not often noted for its railroads, however many of the islands had small networks of narrow guage trackage. The man purpose of this was to serve the sugar industry, often carrying sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill. The finished product was then transported to the docks to be loaded onto ships bound for the mainland United States and other parts of the world.

Most of Hawaii's railroad trackage was abandoned in the 1950s. One notable exception is the Hawaiian Railway Society, located on the island of Oahu. Another notable exception is the Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad, located in Maui, a railroad built in modern times as a tourist attraction.

On the island of Kauai, there are two rail-related attractions. I was able to visit one of them during my visit. First, the one I did not visit is part of the larger Grove Farm Museum. As part of the museum, they occasionally operate one of several 30 inch guage steamers. All of the major sugar cane railroads on Kauai were 30 inch gauge.

The attraction I did visit was the Kauai Plantation Railway, a newly-built 36 inch guage operation. The railway is located on the historic Kilohana Plantation. The plantation originally grew sugar cane, but has now diversified its crops to include many fruits. They have laid about 1.5 to 2 miles of track around the plantation in a double loop, complete with two wyes, to give varied length trips. The power for the day of our visit was a 25 ton GE locomotive, imported from another Hawaiian island. The other locomotive is Whitcomb industrial locomotive of similar configuration.

Our train comprised of an open car and a closed car, both newly built. The roster includes two other closed cars and another open car, as well as two flat cars. The steel flat cars appear to be White Pass and Yukon steel flat cars built to haul containers. These flat cars were the genesis of the open and closed cars used on the train. The trucks are interesting in that they have wooden journal box covers.
Overall, the trip was good, the plantation is fantastic. For the more adventurous, they offer a 4 hour train ride and hike that explores more of the plantation. I opted for the 40 minute train ride and tour.

I'm Back!

Greetings,

Just a short note to the readers of this blog (all 2 of you other than Frank and Randy) that I am back safe and sound on the mainland United States.

I spent all but one day of the honeymoon on the island of Kauai, known as the "Garden Island." I managed to visit 1/2 of the rail attractions on the island as part of our touring. Photos, commentary and other information will be forthcoming.

As fall marches on, expect to see more Dave's Depots posts, book reviews, and other "quality" content that you have come to expect from this blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

He's Making a List

We don't have to wait for Christmas to get presents, not at IRM!

The tarp for the 321 that I had ordered online arrived via UPS, so I moved it over to the car, and Stan helped me load it onto the platform. It's 40'x80' and weighs 136 lbs. OK, so it wasn't gift-wrapped. It was still nice to get.

I also found out I won't have to travel to Cleveland this weekend; we got a message from Bill Wall with further plans on the move, so Nick and Stan should be able to handle the tasks for this weekend. That's a relief. The major parts distribution will take place in two weeks, so I'll go there then, along with several others from IRM. And I can't make any promises, but if you're all good little boys and girls we may be getting a really nice present sooner than you might imagine! For more Trolleyville updates, watch this space.

I also removed bolts from the one remaining step well on the 321; one of them is frozen, so it will have to be torched or ground off. Otherwise the car is ready for the truck swap and then the tarp. And I spent the rest of my time sorting parts for the IT cars.

Meanwhile, the new car shop extension is making great progress. At 11 AM, here's what it looked like. The workmen were starting to close up the gap with the existing shop.






By the end of the day, the exterior appeared to be complete. (R) Inside, here are the concrete footings for the truck rebuilding facility. The cement truck also poured concrete for Barn 11, I believe, but I didn't get a chance to check it out.






Finally, here's a little fall color.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn at IRM

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day, at least in the afternoon. But my camera battery died, so I don't have any pictures of fall color on the property. Maybe next time. The 714 and 3142 were in service, and by the time I left, the actors were busily preparing for the evening's Terror trains.

I removed some more tools from the 321 and made sure nothing will fall over when the car is jacked up for the truck swap. I also removed the brake hoses, since they'll be in the way. Stan and I went out into the field and looked at the trucks. One of the 318 trucks is on track in Yard 14 and easily accessible, but the other is stuck in the middle of a swamp in the material yard. Since it continues to rain, we have no feasible way to extract it. But we'll find something to put under the 321. The tarp has been ordered and should arrive Monday. And I did some more straightening and rearranging inside the IT cars.

Next weekend several of us will be traveling to Cleveland to inspect the cars, collect all the spare parts our cars need, and prepare for the move. I'll make sure my camera is working by then!

But I still need a picture. So a propos of nothing, here's a mechanical marvel: part of a switch on the Pike's Peak Cog Railroad.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Preparation

I installed some more carpeting on the roof of the 321 today, so I believe it is ready to tarp. The used carpet came from an anonymous donor down the street from me. And then I spent most of the rest of the time removing my personal belongings and tools from the car, since it will be very difficult to get inside once the tarp is installed. That took longer than expected. For the time being, the baggage compartment of the 277 will be my workshop. Not much to see here, so let's look around a little.

On Sunday the crew did some switching, and the 205 was moved from track 81 to track 73, among its fellow streetcars, where it fits in much better. It also relieves the worries I had about backing the IT cars into it! Here (L) it is on 73, just about where the 309 and 321 lived for many years. The PFE reefer was then moved to track 84; here it is between the 218 and the IT train.



And contractors are making progress on framing the car shop extension over on the south side of Barn 4.




Preparations for moving the Trolleyville collection are in progress, and the excitement is building. I'll be going to Cleveland for the weekend of the 31st to help collect the parts that belong to our cars. News and views will be posted here, of course.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Congratulations!

Congratulations to David and Katy on their marriage this past Saturday! David has been volunteering at IRM for a few years now and has been a regular contributor to this blog. The wedding was great and we wish the happy couple a fun and relaxing week in Hawaii!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is blog founder and fearless Hicks Car Works leader Randy Hicks' birthday; he's turning 39, just as he has for the last 20 years. Seen above is evidence of his longstanding affinity for looking out the doors of railway equipment.

As his son, I feel kind of ashamed - all I got him was a card, but all of YOU who donated to the Trolleyville Fund got IRM two more CA&E wood interurbans for my father to add to his "to-do" list! Who could ask for a better birthday present? A giant thank you to everyone who contributed to the Trolleyville Fund to help preserve these historic CA&E cars!! (And if you want to get in a late birthday gift, we still need donations to help move and house the Trolleyville cars - just click on "Help Protect the Trolleyville Cars" in the upper-right corner of your screen to help out!)

History of CA&E 319

CHICAGO AURORA AND ELGIN CAR 319
AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY

(Joe Testagrose collection, via Dave Mewhinney)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(Each one is a link)


FOREWORD

Wood was one of man's earliest building materials, and the only one that was useful for transportation purposes. When carefully chosen and properly seasoned, it is strong, durable, lightweight, and easily repaired. On the water, the first crude rafts evolved into the magnificent wooden clipper ship; on land, wheeled vehicles developed from primitive carts into the final wooden passenger cars with their decorative moldings, inlaid marquetry, and graceful arched windows. And it was not until well into the twentieth century that wood was finally replaced as the basic material for railroad car construction. The last wooden cars were the pinnacle of a long development process, and the survivors are valuable examples of the woodworker's art.

The subject of this study is one of a group of six cars ordered from the Jewett Car Co. in 1913; the 319 was delivered early in 1914. It ran for 43 years in daily revenue service, and was still in use on the day the railroad suddenly stopped passenger service. All of the cars in this order were preserved when the CA&E was abandoned.

The single most important event in the development of the passenger car was the transition from wooden to steel construction. By 1914 steam railroads had been ordering all-steel cars for several years, and many interurban lines had also begun to do so. Thus when the Aurora Elgin and Chicago received new wooden passenger cars at this late date, they were almost immediately obsolete. They survived in regular passenger service as long as they did, however, because the railroad could never afford to replace its obsolete equipment.

The 319 represents an interesting stage in the transition from wood to steel. The side truss is a ¼" steel plate that extends from the floor nearly to the belt rail, the entire length of the car side. This replaces the earlier forms of wooden compression trusses built into the side of the car, as on the 308, 309, and other older wooden cars. There are also steel angle plates built into the car at the corners.

It is instructive to compare this car with two others in the Museum's collection: Michigan Electric #28, built in 1913, and North Shore #160, built in 1915. Both are of steel construction with arched roofs, and much more modern in appearance. Another point of comparison is with Illinois Terminal #277, built by St. Louis in 1913. This car presents a different type of transitional design. On the 319 wooden siding conceals the partially steel structure, while the 277 was built with sheet metal sides concealing a basically wood structure. (Like the 319, the 277 originally had arched stained glass windows in the best interurban tradition, but these were covered over in a later rebuilding.)

The Jewett Car Company was founded in 1894 and originally located in Jewett, Ohio. It relocated in 1900 to Newark, Ohio. Jewett was known as an interurban specialist, and its equipment was widely used on lines in the Ohio-Indiana network. The firm also produced a large quantity of rapid transit and street railway cars. The 1917-1918 period was difficult due to a combination of circumstances: the secular decline in the interurban industry, lack of orders due to war-related uncertainty, and the general inflation caused by the war. Several car builders went out of business at this time, Jewett among them[1].

There are at least 41 cars built by Jewett presently preserved in North America[2]. These cover a wide range of designs; some are stored inside and in good condition, others are in very poor condition due to neglect.

CA&E #319 is one of seven Jewett-built pieces currently in the IRM collection. They offer a good look at the variety of equipment the firm produced.

* CA&E #321 is another car from the same series; see its history here.

* Chicago Surface Lines #2843 is a 1903 deck-roof streetcar that was completely rebuilt (at least once) while in passenger service, and then converted to salt-spreader service. It is on display, but not restored or operable. (It is equipped with the CSL's streetcar wheels, and so cannot be operated on the Museum's standard railroad tracks.)

* Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern #53, built in 1906, was originally a standard wooden interurban (single-end combine) of a somewhat earlier design than the 321, but it was heavily modified by the railroad and converted to one-man operation. When the car was discarded by the Indiana Railroad, the body was sold for use as a summer cottage at Shafer Lake, Indiana. It has been mounted on shop trucks and tarped, and is not on display.

* Chicago Rapid Transit #1754 is a wooden rapid transit car, also from 1906. This car has had some restoration work done and is displayed, but not normally operated. It requires extensive interior work.

* Finally, shortly before going out of business, in 1917 Jewett built an order of steel interurban cars for the North Shore, which included seven combines. The 251 and 253 are the only combines from this order to survive. Railroad modifications to these cars were relatively minor, mostly involving moving the bulkhead to adjust the number of seats vs. baggage space. The 251 has been repainted in its Silverliner paint scheme and is operated occasionally; the 253 has been cosmetically restored and is on display.

Except for the THI&E #53, all of these cars were used in railroad service for at least forty years before acquisition by the Museum. Thanks to the North Shore's meticulous record keeping, we know that combine #251 ran over 3,300,000 miles in service, more than any other car in North Shore history.

It should be noted that while the Chicago Aurora and Elgin was the last American interurban to operate wooden coaches in regular service3, these cars were generally modified much less than similar cars on other interurban lines. The Museum has several examples of wooden cars that were completely rebuilt. Some were covered with sheet metal to make them appear to be constructed of steel. (Often, the sheet metal was attached with round-head wood screws; the slots were then filled with putty to make them appear to be rivets.) Railroad (clerestory) roofs were converted to arched roofs, doors removed or added, and single-end cars reversed in the process of making them operable by one man. Trucks, motors, and control were often changed.
For the most part, the CA&E did not do these things. All wooden cars had the streamer sash removed. Otherwise, two wooden parlor cars were covered with sheet metal, received new couplers and control, and were used as part of the steel fleet. The 319 is one of only three wooden cars that received new motors and contactor groups. The rest continued to operate until the end in their original configuration, with the same mechanical equipment they had been built with.

A total of eighteen passenger cars and one work car from the Chicago Aurora and Elgin have been preserved at six museums, nine of them at IRM. All of these cars are now stored inside and well cared for. Currently, about ten of them are in operable condition; the others are being restored as conditions permit.

HISTORY
CONDITIONS IN SERVICE

As mentioned above, the 319 was used in daily revenue service for over 40 years, from 1914 until passenger service was stopped on July 3, 1957. The car could operate singly, of course, or in trains of up to eight cars (limited by the length of station platforms). The 319 could train only with other wooden cars, not the steel equipment, that had different couplers and type of control system.

Before the arrival of steel equipment in 1923, this type of car was used in both local and express service over all parts of the railroad. (Except, perhaps, the Geneva branch. Pictures of this branch during the wood car era seem to show only "shorties". If so, this was probably due to sharp curves in the streets.) After that time, it was generally used only in Chicago to Wheaton service. Most often, the 319, 320, and 321 were used in express service to Wheaton, generally with trailers 105 and 209 sandwiched in. Particularly in the last few years, the car would have made only rush hour trips.


Julie Johnson collection


The cars were probably delivered to Wheaton on their own trucks. Unlike previous orders, they came equipped with the dash lights and folding destination signs, also the bus jumpers and anticlimbers (based on the advertisement picture of the 318). The railroad probably had little to do before putting them in service. The cars were stored outside in the yard at Wheaton when not in use (or, during the day, at other locations); there was no inside storage except when in the shop. As a rule, the pumps and electric heat remained on so the cars would be ready for service. (Pictures always show a pole up when under wire.)

The car was completely resided at least once during its service life. As detailed below, it was completely repainted about once every ten years, and the roof canvas was probably replaced about as often.

The upholstery fabric was replaced at least once, but the seat cushions and frames were unchanged. The structural members and interior finish of the car are generally as built in 1914, with the exception of the platform ends. All surviving wood cars have new wood spliced into the door posts in the vestibules.

It was the practice to turn the cars around on the loop at Wheaton once a month to equalize wear and tear on the paint job and running gear. After 1953 this was no longer necessary since the cars turned around on every trip to Forest Park. In the absence of detailed mileage records, the total mileage this car accumulated in regular service can only be estimated; it was probably between 1.5 and 2 million miles.

The 319 was used on a 1942 CERA fantrip coupled to two box motors, which would have required an adapter coupler, of course.


Photo from Malcolm McCarter via the Van Dusen collection, at Strahorn Library, provided by Carl Lantz.

And finally, the 319 was used with the 320 in the very last passenger movement on the CA&E, for a fan trip on December 7, 1958. [Plachno pp. 462-463]


MODIFICATIONS DURING SERVICE
  1. Removal of window guards (between 1915 and 1925)
  2. Removal of coupling chains (between 1915 and 1925?)
  3. Removal of motorman’s cab doors
  4. Motors changed to GE-254A, control system changed to single contactor set with DB-260 contactors, DB-409 reverser, and automatic field tap control. (1921) [This car originally had GE-66B motors and double control equipment, like all the other wood cars. The same applies to the 320 and 321.]
  5. Installation of retrievers (c. 1925)
  6. Installation of clerestory ventilators, clerestory sash fastened shut (c. 1925)
  7. Exterior window sills modified to be continuous along the length of the car; as built, they were in sections under each pair of windows (between 1932 and 1936).
  8. Trolley wheels replaced by shoes (between 1932 and 1936)
  9. Sheet metal plates installed on ends over the door/windows (between 1932 and 1938)
  10. Streamer sash removed, replaced by wood siding (1940)
  11. Side doors replaced by CA&E design (1935-1940; motorman's side doors were done first)
  12. Pilots modified to provide better third rail clearance (second bar from the bottom was shortened, 1941)
  13. Oval window (on side ‘L’ only) replaced by square window (c. 1950)
  14. Flag/marker light brackets were moved down about 15" (c. 1950)
  15. Controllers changed from C21 to C6 (c. 1950)
  16. Headlight plug receptacles in door post at each end replaced by wooden block (c. 1950?)
  17. Removal of dash lights and folding signs (1953)
  18. Interior repainted tan (1953)
  19. Outer storm windows removed, and replaced with brackets to hold removable storm sash. (1953). The interior windows were replaced, and the replacements have different hardware.
Most of the dates for these modifications were inferred from the photographic record.


CA&E PAINT SCHEMES

There were five or six basic paint schemes during the car's service life:
1. Green: Entire body was Pullman Green; doors and window sash were brown; gold leaf lettering and striping. Roof color was probably buff. The vestibule interiors were also Pullman Green. All interior walls and trim were stained and varnished mahogany; ceiling was light yellow, with extensive stenciling around the edges of each panel. As built, until c. 1920.
2. Red: Entire body was red; doors and window sash were brown; gold lettering with black outlining. Roof color was probably also red. Probably no change to vestibule or to interior walls and ceiling. Until c. 1932.
3. Maroon ("coffee and cream"): Body and window sash were maroon, except for the letterboard, end windows, and window sills that were cream; doors were light brown or tan; gold lettering with black outlining. The "Sunset Lines" herald on this car had a black background. Roof was painted maroon.

4. Blue ("Early American"): Body was dark blue; side windows and posts were light grey (not white); ends were bright red, with red stripes below the belt rail and over the windows; yellow lettering with black outlining. On this car the Sunset Lines herald was painted over blue, with no background. Roof was light grey. The interior walls were painted a peach color above the window sills; the lower walls remained stained and varnished. The ceiling was painted white. The vestibule interior was the same blue as the exterior. Until November 1953.
* Note that the red is not the same red as in the final paint scheme - although it's close.
  • Car 319 in Paint shop 9-7-40
Start Burning off 9-9-40

Top White
Center Peach
Bottom & Racks Stain

Completed 10-29-40

In 1950 the car was repainted in the same paint scheme, but without the "Sunset Lines" herald.
  • Car 319
in Paint shop 5-24-50
interior paint Smoker sides only + Touch up Main compartment
exterior Paint roof 1 coat 1 side Deck mix canvas paint 2 coats
exterior Sand putty + Glazed paint Blue
Red + Gray - paint Vestibules + platforms

Completed 6-15-50

Photo by Bob Selle
from the Julie Johnson collection



5. Scarlet: Ends, doors, and sides below the belt rail were bright red ("Brilliant Red"), windows, posts, and letterboard were a light blue-grey ("Aurora Gray"). Yellow lettering with black outlining. Roof was black (coated with “Lucas” paint, a tar-like substance). The vestibule interior was the same red as the exterior. The entire ceiling was painted white, including the molding strips. The interior was painted tan ("buff"), including the stained glass windows and all woodwork. Until end of service.

  • Car 319 in paint shop 11-16-53
Start sand + Washing 11-16-53
Interior Sanded headlining 2 coats White Gloss
" painted sides 2 coats Buff
" Seat frames 1 coats Heaters + Guards 1 coat Black
" floor paint 1 coat 61 P+L Brown center 2 coats Sealer
Exterior sand 1 coat 1/2 primer 1/2 Surfacer Mixed
" Roof 1 coat Lucas paint
Paint red - 3 coats
" Gray 3 coats
" underframe 1 coat

Completed 12-10-53


Photo by Bob Selle
from the Julie Johnson collection





MISCELLANEOUS MODIFICATIONS

Several other modifications were made over the years.

It is possible that the vestibules were rebuilt by the railroad to narrow the ends of the car slightly, presumably to provide sufficient clearance for the high level platforms on the elevated. The end doors taper inward about two inches, unlike the earlier wood cars in our collection. Since the Jewetts are longer than the earlier equipment, perhaps the railroad found it necessary to modify them. Because of the various rebuildings that were constantly taking place, it is difficult to know what the original design was in this case. The steel cars, which are even longer, have a much greater taper to the ends.

Like the 308 and 309, the 319 originally had a fare register system; the hole for the rod is still apparent in the smoker bulkhead. It also had coat hooks under the side lights.

The headlight wiring was probably changed by the railroad in the same way as for the 309. Of course, the electrical cabinet wiring changed quite a bit when the control system was replaced.


ACQUISITION BY GERALD BROOKINS COLUMBIA PARK AND SOUTHWESTERN

When the CA&E cars were made available for preservation in late 1961, the 319 was purchased by Gerald E. Brookins of Ohio for his projected trolley line, the Columbia Park and Southwestern, along with two other wood cars and five steel cars. This line was intended to be not only a tourist attraction, but also to provide transportation for the residents of a mobile home park which he was developing, allowing them to access the shopping center at one side of the park. The car left Wheaton via the C&NW in a seven-car train, which included most of the preserved cars heading east, in May 1962.

The 319 shortly after arrival at North Olmsted. Note the ornate bracket arms on the line poles, which came from Cleveland. Car has been repainted but not yet relettered. Photo from the Bill Volkmer collection, via Dave Mewhinney.

Mr. Bookins was a successful businessman and was able to devote resources to this project that no other museum at the time could match. A storage barn with an attached workshop was built to store the collection. He had several full-time employees on the payroll in the early years to do construction, maintenance, and restoration work. The "Columbia Park and Southwestern" name refers to Columbia Rd., the main nearby thoroughfare, and the Cleveland Southwestern and Columbus interurban line which had run through the area.


The 319 was repainted in an adaptation of the blue-and-grey paint scheme, as seen here. The interior was not painted, except for the floor, which was painted red like most of the other Brookins cars.

(Photo from Dave Mewhinney)

It was operated occasionally over the next thirty years or so. It was stored inside and well maintained. All of the CA&E cars had their third rail beams removed, and they were never reinstalled during their time in Ohio. Otherwise there were few modifications other than paint. The 319 had dash lights and folding signs installed at North Olmsted, one of the few modifications made to backdate any of the cars.

Gerald Brookins died in 1983 and for several years the Trolleyville operation continued, with volunteers doing much of the work. The Brookins family continued to oversee the operation. Cliff Perry was the general manager during the later years.

In 1995 the 319 was repainted in a maroon paint scheme with tan roof, doors, and windows. The interior and vestibules remained in their end-of-service paint. In 2001, however, the family decided to sell off the North Olmsted property, and it was necessary for the trolley operation to be evicted. At that time a deadline of five years in the future was set.

A volunteer organization was formed with the name "Lake Shore Electric Railway" to provide a new home in the Cleveland area for the Brookins collection. The collection would be based near the lake shore in downtown Cleveland, and the CA&E cars would be operated occasionally for excursions on the Greater Cleveland RTA system. The 319 was moved to Cleveland in 2006 and stored in a subway tunnel on GCRTA tracks, but never operated in revenue service.


ACQUISITION BY IRM

The overall success of the Lake Shore Electric project had always been contingent on substantial investment by the city government of Cleveland, which never happened. By early 2009 the city's financial crisis had destroyed all hope of this possibility, and the decision was taken to wrap up the LSE project and dispose of the collection. The Brookins collection of 35 cars or so was put up for sale to qualified non-profit museum groups, and Bill Wall was tasked with organizing a consortium of museums to distribute the cars to the most appropriate destinations.

Car 319, four other CA&E cars, and an open car from Veracruz in Mexico were awarded to IRM in October. Julie Johnson provided most of the money (at great personal sacrifice) and much of the impetus behind these arrangements.

On December 17, 2009, the 319 was moved to Brookpark Shops to be prepared for movement to IRM. It left Cleveland on Dec. 28, arrived at IRM the next day, and was unloaded on the 30th and stored in the barn. The car was placed onto the 321's trucks, since they were known to be in good condition and operable.

Due to the rebuilding in 1953, the only authentic paint scheme for this car would be the final Brilliant Red and Aurora Gray. Work therefore started on stripping the car. Also, the dash lights and folding signs had to be removed.


All of the lettering had been done with decals, and they were quickly removed. We also started stripping and repainted all of the windows, and repairing the worst seat cushions.


(January 2010)





At the end of February, the car was moved into the Diesel shop at the east end of Barn 2, so it could be repainted by a contractor, Jim Followell. He and his employees finished the tasks of preparing the surfaces, and painted the red and gray. (He also repainted the 409, 451, and 460).


The car emerged from the paint shop for the first time on June 6. We then inspected the car and did the necessary work to make it operational, including the installation of trolley poles.
(Bill Wulfert)

However, it was later decided that this version of Aurora Gray was incorrect, and the car was put back into the shop for the gray to be repainted. On July 3, it was lettered by another contractor, Ron Coy. The car operated for the first time in revenue service at IRM on July 4th, after it appeared in the trolley pageant.




Over the winter of 2010-2011. the interior of the smoker and the #1
vestibule were repainted.  The car was again used in revenue service during 2011, and over the next winter, the first half of the main compartment was similarly repainted.  During the winter of 2012-2013, work repainting the main compartment was completed, although we would still like to add an additional finish coat.




APPENDIX A
MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT

Electrical:
Motors: 4 GE-254, 140 HP
Control: GE type M -- SB 2522
Contactors: 13 DB-260
Reversers: 1 DB-409K4
Controllers: 2 C-6 (C-21 until c. 1950)

Brakes:
Motorman’s Valves: 2 M23
Triple Valve: 1 M2-B, located under car
Feed Valve: 1 WH C8, located under seat #1
Compressor: 1 D3-F, 8.44 HP
Governor: 1 WH Type J, located under seat #28
Brake Shoes: 8 G4678

Seats:
Walkovers: 23 Hale and Kilburn

Footnotes

[1] Brough, L. A. and Graebner, J. H. From Small Town to Downtown: A History of the Jewett Car Company, 1893-1919 Indiana University Press, 2004
See also Jewett Car Company posted by Mid-Continent.
[2] See the Roster of Preserved North American Electric Railway Cars by Frank Hicks and Jeff Hakner.

History of CA&E 36

CHICAGO AURORA AND ELGIN CAR 36
AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
(Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Johnson collection)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Each one is a link)


FOREWORD

When the new Aurora Elgin and Chicago railroad was designed in 1900-1901, it was an engineering pioneer in several respects. Much higher speeds than on any existing electric line were required. In many respects the engineering followed rapid transit and steam railroad designs rather than the early interurban roads of the period, which were based largely on contemporary street railways. The first cars were ordered from the new Niles Car and Manufacturing Company, which was a pioneer in adapting the construction standards of steam railroads to interurban car design. The motors and control (GE-66 motors, C6 controllers, DB-15 contactors, etc.) had just been developed for use by New York rapid transit cars, where the motor cars were geared for low speed and intended to pull trailers. By changing the gearing and giving most cars four motors each, high speeds could be accomplished. And third rail appeared to be the only method of providing the heavy currents required. So the AE&C had more in common with rapid transit lines than with the typical side-of-the-road interurban, such as the Fox River.

Stephenson builder's photo from the Julie Johnson collection

The new interurban planned to begin operations with 30 cars ordered from Niles. But for reasons lost in the mists of history, Niles built only ten cars of the initial 30-car order. The other twenty were built by the Stephenson Car Company in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to essentially the same design. One car of this group has been preserved: #36.

These cars were completed late in 1902 and shipped to Wheaton on their own wheels, where they were put into service during the first few weeks in 1903.[1]

There were some changes from the original Niles order. The first ten Niles cars were built with the arched end windows in two parts. The original third-rail shoes, whistles, and headlight mountings over the train doors were quickly replaced. So the Stephenson cars were delivered with more normal accessories, based on builder's photos.[2]

Another Stephenson car in the IRM collection is horse car #8 from the North Chicago Street Railroad. This was originally built in 1859 at the New York plant; the car was completely rebuilt by CSL about 1934 for the World's Fair. These two products of the same company could hardly be more different. (When the AE&C cars were being built, Stephenson took a publicity photo of a horse car, a standard streetcar, and the new interurban car next to each other and labeled "Past," "Present," and "Future." We could, in theory, present 2/3 of this lineup!)[3]

CONDITIONS IN SERVICE

The 36 was used in daily revenue service for more than 54 years, from early 1903 until passenger service was stopped on July 3, 1957. By this time, as mentioned above, the Chicago Aurora and Elgin was the last interurban to use wooden coaches in regular service. The car could operate in trains of up to eight cars (limited by the length of station platforms.) The 36 could train only with other wooden cars, not the steel equipment, which had different couplers and type of control system.

Before the arrival of steel equipment in 1923, this type of car was used in both local and express service over all parts of the railroad. After that time, it was generally used only in Chicago to Wheaton service, mostly locals. Particularly in the last few years, the car might have made only rush hour trips.

In the early years, Sunday was actually the busiest day for the railroad, since many people took trips on their one day off to amusement parks and/or cemeteries served by the AE&C. Later, of course, Sunday riding fell off, and the service on that day would usually have been provided by steel cars. Saturday was a work day (or half a day) for many people until well after WWII.

The cars were stored outside in the yard at Wheaton when not in use (or, during the day, at other locations); there was no inside storage except when in the shop. As a rule, the pumps and electric heat remained on so the cars would be ready for service. (Pictures always show a pole up when under wire.)

The car was completely resided at least once during its service life. As detailed below, it was completely repainted about once every ten years, and the roof canvas was probably replaced about as often. The upholstery fabric was replaced at least once, but the seat cushions and frames were unchanged. The exterior window frames were replaced at least once. The structural members and interior finish of the car are as built in 1902, with the exception of the platform ends. All surviving wood cars have new wood spliced into the doorposts in the vestibules.



It was the practice to turn the cars around on the loop at Wheaton once a month to equalize wear and tear on the paint job and running gear. After 1953 this was no longer necessary since the cars turned around on every trip to Forest Park. In the absence of detailed mileage records, the total mileage this car accumulated in regular service can only be estimated; it was probably between 1.5 and 2 million miles.


MODIFICATIONS DURING SERVICE
  1. Peckham 30 trucks replaced by Baldwin MCB (c. 1906?)
  2. Two motors and their control system removed (early, perhaps c. 1904)
  3. Original straight air brake system replaced by AMM (1905)
  4. Third rail beams and MU jumper receptacle covers replaced (?)
  5. Installation of dash lights and folding signs (c. 1911) [8]
  6. Installation of louvers, clerestory sash fastened shut (before 1920)
  7. Installation of toilet compartment (before 1915?)
  8. Removal of window guards (between 1915 and 1925)
  9. Removal of coupling chains (between 1915 and 1925?)
  10. Removal of National fare register and installation of ticket clips (between 1922 and c.1925)
  11. Installation of retrievers (c. 1925)
  12. Installation of windshield wipers (c. 1925)
  13. Trolley wheels replaced by shoes (c. 1935)
  14. Side doors replaced by CA&E design (1935-1940; motorman's side doors were done first)
  15. Painting over all of the interior trim (1939?)
  16. Rebuilding in Nov. 1946 (removal of streamer sash, anticlimbers installed, etc.) [9]
  17. Removal of toilet compartment (1946)
  18. Pilots modified to provide better third rail clearance (second bar from the bottom was shortened, and the vertical bars were moved inward about 2"; c. 1940-1945)[10]
  19. Flag/marker light brackets were moved down about 15" (c. 1950)[11]
  20. Removal of dash lights and signs
  21. Steps (grab irons) added to the ends
  22. Block receptacles installed for headlight plugs
  23. Rain gutters installed over train doors
It also appears that this car had a toilet compartment installed against the smoker bulkhead at some time during its service life, and this compartment was later removed. The place where the transverse wall was attached to the side wall is evident, and the baggage rack at this location is missing.

This is the only preserved wooden car that did not have Utility ventilators installed.

Also, the control system on all of the wood cars was modified so that one line was used for the buzzer. This change was effected by adding new interlocks on one each of the series and parallel contactors. This allows C6-equipped cars to be trained with cars equipped with C21 controllers.


CA&E PAINT SCHEMES

There were five basic paint schemes during the car's service life:

1. Green: Entire body was Pullman Green; doors and window sash were brown; gold leaf lettering and striping. Roof color was probably buff. The vestibule interiors were also Pullman Green. All interior walls and trim were stained and varnished mahogany; ceiling was light yellow, with extensive stenciling around the edges of each panel. As built, until c. 1920.

2. Red: Entire body was red; doors and window sash were brown; gold lettering with black outlining. Roof color was perhaps also red, but we are still unsure of roof colors for this and the following paint scheme. There was evidently no change to the interior finish or (probably) the vestibules. Until c. 1932.

3. Maroon ("coffee and cream"): Body and window sash were maroon, except for the letterboard, end windows, and window sills that were cream; doors were light brown or tan; gold lettering with black outlining. Roof was also maroon. No change to interior or (probably) the vestibules. Until June 1939.
  • Car 36 in Paint Shop 6-19-39
Start Burning off 6-28-39 Start again 7-8-39

Spec Aluminum #1 End) Pratt + Lambert
#22893 Finish (1 coat Varnish over Aluminum)
Horns Aluminum paint #2 End.

Top. Tint of Blue
Center + Racks deep Blue left over white + Raw Umber
Bottom deeper Blue Burnt Umber Raw Umber Prussian Blue finish
Chrome Yellow Med [?]

Out 7-28/39

4. Blue (“Early American”): Body was dark blue; side windows and posts were light grey (not white); ends were bright red, with red stripes below the belt rail and over the windows; yellow lettering with black outlining. Roof was black. The vestibule interior was the same blue as the exterior. The interior walls and ceiling were painted in various shades of cream. Until August 1950.

  • Car 36 in house 11-10-46
Start priming 11-15-46
Primed new wood 11-15-46
Stop account finishing 315
Start washing 11-25-46 -(a/c complete washing Storm Sash)
New canvas roof + sides

Interior Top cream
Center deep cream
Bottom deeper cream

Completed 12-24-46

5. Scarlet: Ends, doors, and sides below the belt rail were bright red ("Brilliant Red"), windows, posts, and letterboard were a light blue-grey ("Aurora Gray"). Yellow lettering with black outlining. Roof was black (coated with tar), including the clerestory windowpanes. The vestibule interior was the same red as the exterior. No change to the interior. Until end of service.
  • Car 36 in paint shop 8-28-50
Exterior washed
Remove 1/2 - 1 side
Sand putty + Glaze
1 coat 1/2 pimer + surfacer
2 coats Aurora Gray
2 coats Brilliant Red
1 coat #2 Black Liquinoleum Roof
Paint underframe
Touch up interior

Completed 9-6-50

3 gals Aurora Gray
4 gals Brilliant Red
5 gals #2 Black Liquinoleum



THE STEPHENSON CARS


The group of twenty included fifteen motor cars, numbered (even only) 30 to 58, and five trailers, numbered (odd only) 101 to 109. Thus #36 was the fourth car of the order. There was no apparent difference between the carbodies of the motors and trailers. All of the motor cars originally had four GE-66B traction motors, but many of them, including the 36, were later converted to half motors as equipment was swapped into newer cars.

Car 40 in the early days; photo from Dave Mewhinney.
Note the well-dressed motorman!



Car 38 had its end windows replaced with rectangular windows; no other wooden car ever got this modification, for some reason. It seems like a very easy change to make.

In 1906, car 109 was selected for conversion to a combine for funeral service, which was operated in conjunction with the Metropolitan rapid transit company. As a result, it was equipped with motors and controls of Met design, and could no longer train with the other AE&C cars. It was used in this service until about 1932, then stored. In 1937 it was converted to a flat car, and later scrapped.

Car 109 after suffering collision damage. Note the rapid transit-style third rail beams and safety springs. From the Julie Johnson collection.




In fact, this group of cars had more than its share of hard luck cases (or "hoodoos.") Cars 32, 40, 42, 58, and 103 were destroyed in wrecks or fires; the 107 was damaged in a wreck and rebuilt to an express car in 1914, then wrecked again.


Car 103 in 1952 after a fire (the photo caption is in error.)
Photo from Don Ross.





ACQUISITION BY GERALD BROOKINS
COLUMBIA PARK AND SOUTHWESTERN

When the CA&E cars were made available for preservation in late 1961, the 36 was the only car in this series still in operational condition. It was purchased by Gerald E. Brookins of Ohio for his projected trolley line, the Columbia Park and Southwestern, along with two other wood cars and five steel cars. This line was intended to be not only a tourist attraction, but also to provide transportation for the residents of a mobile home park which he was developing, allowing them to access the shopping center at one side of the park (also owned by Mr. Brookins.) The car left Wheaton via the C&NW in a seven-car train, which included most of the preserved cars heading east, in May 1962.
Car 36 in the first (lighter green) paint scheme. 
(Photo taken Jan. 1, 1963 by Richard S. Short, courtesy of David Sadowski)

Mr. Bookins was a successful businessman and was able to devote resources to this project that no other museum at the time could match. A storage barn with an attached workshop was built to store the collection. He had several full-time employees on the payroll in the early years to do construction, maintenance, and restoration work. The "Columbia Park and Southwestern" name refers to Columbia Rd., the main nearby thoroughfare, and the Cleveland Southwestern and Columbus interurban line which had run through the area. At some point the operation acquired the name "Trolleyville, USA" although no car was ever painted with this name, I believe.

The 36 was soon repainted in a dark green paint scheme, representing the original Pullman green with which it had been built, and lettered for the CP&SW. It was operated occasionally over the next thirty years or so. It was stored inside and well maintained. All of the CA&E cars had their third rail beams removed, and they were never reinstalled during their time in Ohio. Otherwise there were few modifications other than paint.

Gerald Brookins died in 1983 and for several years the Trolleyville operation continued, with volunteers doing much of the work. The Brookins family continued to oversee the operation. In 2001, however, the family decided to sell off the North Olmsted property, and it was necessary for the trolley operation to be evicted. However, at that time a deadline of five years in the future was set.

A volunteer organization was formed with the name "Lake Shore Electric Railway" to provide a new home in the Cleveland area for the Brookins collection. The collection would be based near the lake shore in downtown Cleveland, and the CA&E cars would be operated occasionally for excursions on the Greater Cleveland RTA system. As a preview of how well this idea would work, cars 36 and 303 were moved from North Olmsted to the GCRTA in 2003, and prepared to run two-car fantrips for the public.

Photo by Mark Brookins, via Dave Mewhinney.

The 303 had one of its trolley poles replaced with a pantograph, since trolley poles were not compatible with the GCRTA overhead. Fortunately, the 36 was spared this indignity, since it could receive power via the bus jumper. However, the GCRTA system operates on 750V DC, and this overvoltage caused several problems. One traction motor on the 303 flashed over and disabled the car, after less than a day of service on the rapid transit. It was then decided to swap motor trucks to keep the 303 running, and retire the 36. This required swapping truck bolsters, since the center bearings were of different types.

The 36 was then stored in the main shops of the GCRTA for the next few years. The motors were sent out for rebuilding. Beyond that, all of the contactors were removed and the control system was partly disassembled, since there were plans to operate the car regularly on the Cleveland RTA. And the RTA would not allow the car to run on its system with the antique control system it was built with. This project was never completed, however.

Dave Mewhinney.




ACQUISITION BY IRM

The overall success of the Lake Shore Electric project had always been contingent on substantial investment by the city government of Cleveland, which never happened. By early 2009 the city's financial crisis had destroyed all hope of this possibility, and the decision was taken to wrap up the LSE project and dispose of the collection. The Brookins collection of 35 cars or so was put up for sale to qualified non-profit museum groups, and Bill Wall was tasked with organizing a consortium of museums to distribute the cars to the most appropriate destinations.

Car 36, four other CA&E cars, and an open car from Veracruz in Mexico were awarded to IRM in October. Julie Johnson provided most of the money (at great personal sacrifice) and much of the impetus behind these arrangements.



Photo by Stan Wdowikowski

On December 17, 2009, the 36 was moved to Brookpark Shops to be prepared for movement to IRM. It left Cleveland on Dec. 28th, arrived at IRM the next day, and was unloaded on the 30th and stored in Barn 8.

In June, 2010, IRM was able to arrange a trade with the Connecticut Trolley Museum, the new owners of car 303. The motor trucks from the 36 and 303 were swapped back, so each car now has its correct equipment. Before the IRM crew left Warehouse Point, we even made sure the 303 was operable.

Stripping the old exterior paint from the 36 began in earnest in late 2011, as well as work on restoring the control system and other mechanical parts.  Reinstalling the contactors progressed slowly. 

During 2012 paint stripping was finished, and repainting started.  It was decided to paint the car in the Early American paint scheme to match the 308 and 309.  By June 2013 the body had at least a first coat of finish paint.  By 2014 the car was painted and lettered and able to operate under its own power, and the smoker compartment was completely restored during the winter of 2014-15.





Footnotes

[1] Plachno, Larry Sunset Lines, vol. 2, p. 207 American Bus Trader, 1989.

[2] Ibid., p. 220

[3] Ibid., p. 230