Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lightning Strike

Lightning struck Barn 8 on Tuesday evening, causing severe damage to the electrical systems and burning a hole through the skin of the barn, as seen here, but otherwise we were very lucky. Fire did not start, although parts of the wood frame around the junction box were charred, and there was no damage to the equipment. I was glad to see that the damage was not as great as I had feared.

I won't presume to speculate on what changes, if any, should be made to the electrical system. But we were thinking that if might be better to have the CA&E collection more widely dispersed.

Frank and I were planning to do inspection on the 319 today, but we were unable to come up with a way to get the cars out of the barn, so we left, and Frank went back to work. Maybe sometime next week we'll be able to do it.


Scott Greig said...

One thing that should be looked into pronto--since this event suggests it doesn't exist at present--is lightning protection. I imagine it can't be that expensive or complicated to install on our barns...and consider the houses that just this spring have been lost to lightning (the one in Elgin and the Jones' house just down the road from us).

Anonymous said...

The most important step that should be taken soon is to adequately ground the carbarn buildings. This will generally provide sufficient lightning protection for a metal shell building. We at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum found that our original carbarn, which is a metal sheated pole building, was not adequately grounded when a live pole came in contact with the shell and it failed to draw enough current to trip the substation.

We installed ground rods about every 25' on each side of the building, connected them to the side sheets, and wired them together for added conductivity.


Anonymous said...

Will the 308-309 operate in light of this event for July 4th? I can attest to the horrific weather last night. With close to hurricane force winds and blinding rains, near downtown Chicago was an absolute mess.

Frank Hicks said...

The 308 and 309 will definitely be out for the 4th - weather permitting, of course. The hope is to have a three-car train including the 319 but that will depend on inspection schedules. There has also been a proposal to have the cars run on the 3rd but I believe that has not been finalized nor a crew assigned.