Saturday, April 13, 2013

Repair or Replace

 It was snowing when I left Naperville this morning, but at Union it was much nicer, partly sunny but unseasonably cold.

So if you want to do any painting, the shop is the place to be.  A first coat of finish red on the 36's train door seemed like a good place to start.  Red is always a relatively transparent color, so this first coat is only a start.  But it would be nice to be able to install this door sometime soon, and I really appreciate all the work Henry and Jonathan have been doing on it.

I discussed the grid box issue with Bob Kutella, and so the worst of the boxes was brought to the shop.  Paul volunteered to start work on it.  He put penetrating oil on the various parts that will need to be disassembled, so that's a step in the right direction.  We have a couple of other grid projects in progress right now, such as the 141, which is of course a much higher priority.

I then spent some time testing and trying to fix the 36's control system, without making much progress.  But another idea came to me on the way home, so I will certainly keep plugging away at making it operational.  I also tested the brake system, with better results.  The standing travel is too large, so adjustments will be needed, but that should be fairly routine.  Otherwise the brake system is in good condition.

 While I was stuck under the 36, a new member named Brian Patterson came along and offered to help.  He had been working with the cleaning crew most of the day; they were cleaning the various steam road cars for service.  Great, have I got a deal for you!  Here is something I'd wanted to do for a while, but needed a helper.  One of the grid boxes on the 319 was defective, and had been "fixed" at Cleveland by shoving a spike into it, as seen here.  We really don't want to have a car in revenue service with this hokey repair.  Ironically enough, all of the grid boxes under the 321 are in good condition, so the best solution would be to swap out the corresponding box with the 319.

Brian and I drove out to 14, and were able to remove the box from the 321 without too much trouble.  We carried it back to barn 8 and started to remove the box from the 319.

Sorry, the drop light is obscuring the determined look on his face as he works on dropping the old box.  The nuts and bolts are rusty, of course, but the job progresses steadily, and soon we're ready to install the replacement box.

Here's a somewhat better picture.  In about 2 1/2 hours we had the new box in place and connected.  It's gratifying to be able to make a constructive repair like this after struggling with a screwed-up electrical system.  Thanks, Brian!

Did I ever mention that new members are always welcome?  It's safe to say we won't run out of interesting projects for you to work on in the foreseeable future!  And various other exciting things were going on all day, which I was unable to photograph.  You just had to be there!

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