Saturday, November 21, 2009

319 Progress

It's time for a new label, because progress on the 319 is really what we're talking about.

The weather was just perfect today, so I was able to move both motor trucks out of the barn for lubrication and cleaning. The car mover, shown leaning against the truck, makes quick work of moving it by hand. I oiled up all the pins and bushings I could reach for both the suspension and brake rigging.

I also cleaned the commutators with Carbosol, so they look much better. The slots are good. By moving the truck a foot or two, the armatures are rotated 90 degrees so the entire commutator can be inspected and cleaned.

I also meggered the motors. Here's a view of the Car Dept. megger, which we've been using for at least the last 35 years. It tests insulation by generating high voltage (if the resistance is high) to make sure there won't be any breakdowns when 600 volts is applied to the motors. The black lead is grounded to the motor frame, and finding a reliable ground is often the most challenging part. The red lead can be placed right on the commutator, or as in this case, to a brush holder lead (if the brushes are in place.) You also need to check the field connections. If the resistance is much less than 1 megohm, there's a problem. All of the motors for the 319 are OK.

Finally, we had to wye one of the trucks. They were both pointing the same way after being removed from the 321, but when the 319 arrives, it won't be possible to wye the car while one end is on a truck and the other end is on rubber tires. Tom Hunter and Adam Robillard, some of our friends in the Track Dept., volunteered to bring the Burro crane over to move the truck around. So that went well. Now we're all set for whenever the 319 arrives on the property. Thanks, guys!!!

In other news, here's a view of our new light tower in the parking lot. This tower is made of Bates expanded poles., and was originally at 40th and Halsted, near the stockyards. As I understand it, the original tower had three sections and was 90' high, but we're using just two to make it 60' high. But even so, it's a nice addition to the property.

Frank Sirinek was heading up an effort to clean out the new Shaker PCC. And Buzz lettered the east end of the 972; here's a view of the work in progress. The drop light is mostly there to warm up the work surface.

Finally, we must report that Nick has bought the farm. The Siegel farm, that is. On behalf of the Museum. More details here. We are now the proud owners of 89 more acres, including this homestead. I must say it's not obvious whether it's currently occupied. In any case, it's great that we will be able to keep this property in use as farmland.


Pete Pedersen said...


Thank you for all your extra efforts on the CA&E Cars. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Also thanks for all the reports and pictures. I haven't been able to come out much lately so this is very nice to to stay in touch with things. Glad the 972 is finally getting done and the motors are good for the 319. Nice work as well on getting the tarps on the other cars. Glad that we are using them and not just leaving the cars outside.

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...

I googled Carbosol and found they stopped making it in 2006 for EPA type reasons.


Randall Hicks said...

OK, I gave the wrong brand name. I actually used a similar product I bought recently at the hardware store, I think it's called "Lectra-Motive" or something like that. Same idea. They say you can spray it on the commutator while the motor is running, but I haven't yet figured out how to do that with a traction motor.