Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visit to North Freedom

On Saturday, a crew from IRM appeared at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisc. to pick up the carload of North Shore seats we've been talking about. Rod Turner, Frank Sirinek, Mike Stauber, and Gwyn Stupar left early in the morning and drove to Baraboo to get a U-Haul truck.

My wife and I made it a mini-vacation: we drove up on Friday and stayed overnight at the Dells. We then met the others on Saturday morning. (Photos by Margaret Miller.)

The seats were already neatly stacked inside the car shop barn, and we had only a short distance to move them.

But they quickly get heavy!

By 11, loading was finished, and the truck headed back to the property to be unloaded by another crew.

Our thanks to Bill Buhrmaster and the others at Mid-Continent who helped make this possible. We're also talking about cooperating on other future projects.

And, of course, our thanks to those who contributed to the seat fund. This will provide us with spare parts for our North Shore fleet for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looking for Bargains?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and typically stores are advertising all sorts of sales on anything you might want to buy. Me? I'm driving up to Wisconsin with some friends to pick up some used furniture! You could help -- there's still time!

And I did some more painting today; another section of the center ceiling, seen here (R) part way through.

And I also started on arm rests.

Meanwhile, work is continuing to fix up the front of the Schroeder store, although the contractors didn't seem to be there today.

We call it the "Schroeder Store" because that's what it was when it was located in town, but when it opens on Main Street the name will probably be changed. Something like "Diamond's House of Bargains" would be good. We'll let you know when it opens!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Holidays Will Be Here Soon

We're all set to drive up to Mid-Continent Railway Museum next week and pick up the North Shore seats I've been talking about. We can still use your financial help - thanks!!!

I spent most of the day, as usual, painting the main compartment of the 319. This time it was mainly the ceiling. As seen here, another center ceiling panel and the clerestory have been finished.

Among other things, I had to wire-wheel and repaint another buzzer cord hanger, like the one to the left.

The next one in line, however, is different from all the others. The strap is leather, rather than brass, and the castings are completely different. If you look closely, you can see where the screw holes for the original hanger were filled in. So now the question is whether this was replaced prior to July 3, 1957. It's easy to imagine the brass hanger could have been stolen while the cars were stored at Wheaton after service ended, and a replacement was installed at Cleveland. Who would know? I have a replacement of the right sort, and I'm inclined to install it if only because removing the old paint from the leather strap is impossible. And the leather strap is liable to break during revenue service, which would be embarrassing.

Lots of other activities are going on; this one caught my eye. It's sort of a truck kit, located here in our new truck shop. This is for the 972; it's the famous St. Louis EIB (Elliptical Integral Bolster) design. Bob Kutella has more info on the department blog.

It seems like Halloween was only yesterday, and yet everywhere you look people are getting ready for the holidays. IRM is no exception. If you have any young children, the Happy Holidays Railway event is an excellent activity!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

319 Report

It was cold and wet today, but the car is tight enough that a space heater does a good enough job of warming up the car for painting. Tim Peters continued work on the 1797; he just never quits.

I took the four repainted windows from the shop and put them in place in the 36. Two more were taken from the car to the shop for rebuilding, whenever Rich has some spare time. Thanks!

And then it was time for more filling, sanding, and painting in the 319. Here is a before and after comparison. Today was a primer day.

As you can see, I hope, the painting is slowly making its way along the main compartment.

Meanwhile, the M-37 has been moved outside the barn, probably due to complaints by the neighbors.

And I took a couple of pictures of trees, since there was some actual color to be seen. These will be added to the Scenery Album.

And last but not least, contractors have started rebuilding the front of the Schroeder store. There's a lot of wood that needs to be replaced. But when it's done, it will be a pillar of the Main Street business district.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Think "North"

Today was mostly more painting; the weather is seasonable and things went well. I put a second finish coat on the four windows for car 36. I also decided that the 36's interior color is different from the 319, so I'll have to get it matched sometime.

And then more painting of the walls in the main compartment.

And I walked out to 14 to check on the 321; all is well.

Bill Wulfert handed me a card which he had found; it's a standard Bob Bruneau color card. One side is a solid blue of a familiar tint; the other side has this label in Bob's handwriting. What's interesting here is the date: this is just two weeks after the 309 burned. Evidently the idea of repainting the car blue had surfaced immediately after the fire.

The word for today is "North." As in North Shore seats. I spoke to a couple of people today, and plans for transporting the seats are in good shape. If anyone wants to help, let me know. And North Freedom, where we'll be going. And maybe even as in North Pole. Remember, Santa's gonna find out who's naughty or nice, so it would be nice if you made a donation!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We Get Results

Gerry Detloff and several others have finished applying the rubber roof to the M-37. I'll post some more on what was done and what we learned after consulting with Gerry. And watch for an article about this project in Rail & Wire. In the meantime, here's a couple of views of the completed car. The rubber membrane was attached with contact cement, and there's also a plastic furring strip attached along the lower edge on each side.

Later in the day, the repo man came by to confiscate the powered lift which they had borrowed to work on the M-37.

It was sort of a grey day, so that gave me an idea: grey paint! Rich Witt has been working on four windows for the 36; he stripped them, applied glue and filler as needed, and then painted them with white primer. This seemed like a good time to apply a first finish coat of grey; perhaps I can paint the second coat on Saturday, so the windows can be rotated out of the shop. Thanks to Rich and Bob for their help!

The rest of my time was spent on the 319 again. Some more white primer on various parts of the ceiling and walls, then I finished another ceiling section with a first finish coat. Also sanding and filling, and fixing a door closer which was out of adjustment.

Excitement is growing all across the land about the North Shore seats we will be acquiring! Have you made your contribution yet????

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's a Big Job!

Courtsey of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority comes this training film made by the Lost Angeles Transit Lines. Lots of neat stuff, including that 4-letter word the bus. We all need some refresher training from time to time, so let's sit back and watch this three-part film.

Part I

Part II

Part III