Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All Sorts of Progress

First of all, you'll want to hear about progress on our Chicago & West Towns streetcar #141. The rebuilt motors arrived a couple of days ago and work has continued since them to put them into the trucks and under the car. When I arrived, the car was up on jacks; one truck was already complete and in place. Frank proudly shows us the new underbody equipment.

Frank S., Gerry, Pete Galayda, and John Faulhaber work on adjusting the various parts of a traction motor in the second truck.

And here Rod and Gerry have raised the final motor and are moving it over to the truck.

By the end of the day the car was back on its trucks. Frank is sure he will be able to have it operating next year.

For me, it was pretty much more of the same. I had wanted to install a missing bolt in one of the steps on the 309. It had never seemed to line up properly, but after some more drilling and adjustments, I finally managed to get the bolt attached. This provides an additional margin of safety. And I walked out to check on the 321, as usual. Everything seemed to be in good order.

I then sanded down the remaining two windows from the 319, and put a first coat of white primer on the outside surface of the final four. I'm glad this job is nearly complete!

And here you can see that the foundation for the Schroder Store has been finished, so it can be set down sometime soon.

Attached to the side of the building is a printed sign: "This structure slated for DEMOLITION". I can only assume it's just typical IRM humor.


David Wilkins said...

All I can say is Wow! The 141 even has that "new streetcar" look on the underbody.

Joe said...

Does IRM own other old buildings for the Main St project? Will anything else be moved in the near future?

Art Belanger said...

I rode the C&WT streetcars (and probably 141) from Cicero to Berwyn to see my grandparents when I was a kid around 1940. Most of the people in both towns did, too, as they went to work at Western Electric.

I can't wait until I see it operating again. Thanks for the update.

Randall Hicks said...


We have a gas station, which I believe will go next to the store on the corner. I suppose I could take a picture of it some time. Most of Main St. will be new construction.

David R Church said...

Some still loves 321. I have been wondering... would it be at all feasible to restore 321 as a parlor car to simulate what CA&E once had. Need not be exact, but then maybe it could be used as a luxury car for special occasions or events. And give folks a sense of what CA&E Parlors were like?

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, but I don't think that's likely to happen. We have all the seat parts we need from the 318, and IF we could ever do the major structural repairs to the 321 and replace the roof, the ends, the walls, the ceiling, and so on, installing the seats would be relatively easy. The first thing we need to do is get it back inside a barn.

Anonymous said...

How are Barns 10 and 11 set up? Are they simlar to Barns 2 through 9, where one department has most or all of the space allocated to their equipment, or was it more of a situation where cars and locomotives that had their track space paid off were put in first? Also, are there any plans to ever expand Barn 10? Looking at the aerial pictures on Google Maps, it appears that 10 is less than half the size of 11.

Cliff McKay

Randall Hicks said...

Both 10 and 11 have an assortment of equipment. There are a few electric cars that are are not slated for work in the near future, mostly at the west ends of the barn where they're pretty inaccessible. Otherwise, it's mostly Coach Dept. and freight cars, with a few Diesels.

I don't think there are any plans to expand barn 10. This is probably due to the complicated zoning requirements, which I am unable to remember when Dave explains them to me. I think the next barn will be at yard 14.