Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two Firsts

There are two firsts represented with this post.  It is my first post as a member of the Hicks Car Works reporting team. Secondly I'm reporting on my first day working in the Operating Dept. at IRM.

I was scheduled to serve as Conductor on the CA&E wood car train on Sat.  utilizing the 319 and the 308.  However as I left home I checked the radar and noted a storm line moving NE from the Peoria area heading right for Union.

We don't want the woods out in the rain so got thinking about a plan B.  Sure enough had to stop around Elgin and put the top up on the car on the drive out.  Although the rain was not heavy, it was still wet. Got out to the Museum and met up with my motorman, Henry Vincent. Rod had decided that we would run with the steel car train (409 and 431).  I was pleasantly surprised to see visitors waiting for the gates to the parking lot to be opened in spite of the questionable weather.

The plan for the day was to operate the CA&E cars and a coach train powered by Milw 118-C. After the pre operating inspections we moved over to the station. Our first rip was about 75% full, but low and behold we had to turn passengers away for the second trip, and made that trip in a light rain.

One unexpected pleasure of the day was to watch the smiles on the faces of our passengers.  It really adds something to the job.  I did enjoy giving the car talks as well. A little quirk of the 409 that caused me a little confusion at first is the the trolley hooks are in different positions, the west hook near the center line of the car, the east end rather offset away from the motorman's side. Also noticed the slight difference in floor height between the 2 cars.

Phil from the Mt. Pleasant Iowa group had come out hoping to ride the 319 and look at the glass ceiling light globes. He hoped to have similar ones made for use in their 320.  So we walked him over to barn 8 and went into the 319 to have a look.

As it turned out the CTA El cars were outside so we had a good views of the south side of the 36.  Here you can really see the progress that Randy and I have mad in restoring CA&E colors to the car.

We made a final trip at 4:45 and after waiting for the Diesel  dept. to finishing some switching moves got the train put away at 6:30.  All in all a really great day


Joel Ahrendt said...

Yeah.. The trolley hook on 409 had to go where the good wood is. When money is to be had, we will be working on the roof of the car, and really confuse everyone by putting the hook back where it should go. At least that's the plan

Randall Hicks said...

The 36 has the same problem: the running boards are all in very good condition, except just at the two ends where the hooks were attached. I'm not sure why that would be. I plan to patch in some new wood there before the poles are installed.