Saturday, May 26, 2012

Who Could Ask for Anything More?

Every so often I ask myself: are you crazy? This is all so difficult, so tiresome, so dirty, so annoying, so boring! Is it really worth it? Does anybody really care?

A day like today provides the answer that keeps me going, and that goes for the rest of us too, I imagine. Everything went very well, we had a good-sized crowd of visitors, everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, and we put on a good show.

The Leviathan was certainly the star of the production, and we can't thank Dave Kloke enough for all the effort and resources he put in over the years to make this experience possible. He puts the rest of us to shame, I would be the first to admit. It was great to be running alongside this stunning locomotive.

Dan and Chris Buck were my conductors today. As always, they did a great job. The 309 and 319 ran without problems, like a fine Elgin watch. Almost every trip was nearly full. And of course all of the steam trips were packed.

Speaking of watches, I brought along my GPS device today for the first time to use as a speedometer. I guess the cars aren't quite as fast as I had thought. It's very difficult to get over 30 MPH in series. Based on this, I'd say any claims that the cars could do 70 or even 80 are probably an exaggeration. But nobody had any modern technology back in the old days.

But we can't all be railfanning. A large group of B&G guys and helpers were putting together Ray's playground. It's going to be a real asset for the Museum! Thanks, Ray!


Unknown said...

Randy, Great pics, kemep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I is wonderful to see the cars running again.

Ad how do you use a GPS to act as a speedometer?

Ted Miles
irm Member

Anonymous said...

Did the CA&E wood cars ever have field shunting? That would be the only way the cars could go over about 60mph if the speed at full series is around 30mph.

Also, for Ted Miles, every GPS I have seen has a speedometer function. It calculates speed based on change in position over the update time cycle of the GPS. Can give you funny numbers if you are going in circles!


Randall Hicks said...

Art: The 319, 320, and 321 have motors with field taps and an automatic ME-67 field tap control, which only energizes in full parallel. And on the 319 the valve was leaking so I disconnected the air pipe. All other wood cars had GE-66 motors without field taps. I'm not aware of any MU controls of that period that might have included field shunting, the added complexity was probably not worth it.

Randall Hicks said...

I should mention one other thing about the GPS, though. IRM is of course very strict about following the Federal rules against the use of personal electronic devices by operating personnel, which includes cell phones and any other device that can send or receive messages. But the rules specifically allow the use of a GPS as a speedometer. As long as it's not in navigation mode, it won't be telling you to turn left at the next grade crossing. It just sits there and displays the speed. So that's OK.