Thursday, April 25, 2013

36 Report

 It's too bad we missed "Talk Like Shakespeare Day" this year.  I might have had something eloquent to say.

Instead, it'll be all business as usual, and all about the 36.  I'm glad to report that the remote control projects are progressing nicely.   On the train door, I decided to install the kick plate, which was already in primer, and then put a second coat of red on the outside.  I would like to be able to put the door back on the car soon.  Henry Vincent and his grandson have done a lot of good work on it.

And then Paul Cronin and Joel Ahrendt have been working on the defective grid box.  Here we see some piles of defective grids, reusable grids, and replacement grids from stock.  The rubber tire goes to something else, I hope.  We really appreciate the help we're getting from the guys in the shop.

However, the grids won't do us much good unless they can be energized.  I spent more time working on the control system, without making a lot of progress.  One intellectual breakthrough was to realize that the center junction box, which connects the control system to the contactor drum switch, is wired backwards.  The ten terminals are numbered 0 to 9 on the standard GE base, but the wires are connected as though it was rotated 180 degrees.  (This is the fault of Wheaton, not Cleveland, I should point out.)  This junction box is not easy to get to, as it's right over the brake rigging.  In the picture above, that's the live lever on the right, blocking your view.  But I already have a list of things to do next time, including bringing some Vaseline to clean the controllers.

While we're down here, let's look around. This is the brake cylinder, with the marking "6-57" plainly visible.  That must have some mystic significance.  In front of it is the tie rod.  I might point out that the brake cylinder on this car is mounted such that it's remarkably hard to see from outside.  When doing initial brake tests, it's good for the trainmen to be able to see the brake cylinder clearly, but on this car you have to know just where to look.  Sorry!

We talked before about the wooden beams holding up the grid boxes.  One of the reasons new 2x4's were sistered onto the old beams is that they were partially burned by an overheated grid, as you can see here.  Of course, the best way to make a fix like this is to drill a hole right through the weakest part.  Be that as it may, operators should take this as an object lesson in what may happen when you stay on resistance points too long.  Replacing these beams may be another major project.

So let's turn to some easier tasks.  One of the next contactors in line for installation had an arc chute box that had come apart (L), but fortunately we have some spare arc chute assemblies ("bird houses") on hand.  Replacing the arc chute was quick and easy  -- THAT doesn't happen very often! 

In the #2 vestibule, where the train door is in the shop, here's the lettering above the door.  If you look very closely, you may be able to see that there's an earlier version of "#2 END" below the later black on red lettering.

Sand it down carefully, and sure enough, the yellow on blue lettering appears.  That's good enough to be traced. This is about the best we can do here.  As usual, the surface of the underlying wood is not completely smooth, due to the vertical planer marks that you should be able to make out.

And even on a Thursday, there are other projects in progress.  Maybe we haven't seen Tim Peters recently.  Don't worry -- he's hard at work on rebuilding the roof structure on the 1024. 


Joel Ahrendt said...

Next time. I want grid plates that have easier to read numbers. I'm really hoping that other one was the correct one.

Colin said...

Hi Randall

Is the 6 . 57 the overhaul date of the brake cylinder I wonder. I.e. June 1957. Or is the date mystic for another reason. Either way, it's got my brain cells working.
In Portsmouth Hampshire over here 657 means a whole lot to the soccer viewing public. Synonomous with a certain train which the fans took to London for away matches and it's association with tribal behaviour.

Thanks for the DB-15 pictures too, I like the Bird Cage name colloqualism.

Best wishes



Randall Hicks said...

I was joking about the mystic significance, of course. The CA&E famously stopped service without warning on July 3, 1957, so June 57 was the last time this brake cylinder was serviced at Wheaton. Not quite as exciting as football hooligans, I'm afraid.