Monday, May 27, 2013

Founder's Weekend, Pt. 2


It was thirty-five years ago today that we first got the 309 to operate at IRM.  Fixing the mechanical and electrical systems was the easy part, repairing the car itself would take much longer.  So I wanted to be able to run it in revenue service for the occasion.  And in spite of the dreary weather, we were able to pull the car out for several trips. 

I decided not to bring the 308 along, since ridership was somewhat low due to the weather.  The first trip, at least, was nearly full, and everybody who rode seemed to be having a good time.



And besides myself, here's our crew: Frank was the conductor, and Joel Ahrendt the motorman.

And since this was Founder's Weekend, there was an emphasis on running equipment acquired during the early days at North Chicago.

Earlier in the day, Frank and Joel were running the 431 (and 409), and the Museum's first car, Indiana Railroad 65, ran all day again.

But beyond that, perhaps the most noteworthy accomplishment was the first use of the West Towns car #141 in regular service.


It was running all day, carrying passengers and training motormen.

Frank Sirinek was responsible for heading up this project over the last 15 years or more, and naturally he was having the time of his life.  Restoring this car to operation from only an empty shell was really a miracle of determination and effort, and Frank has a lot to be proud of.  Of course, many other museum members put in a great deal of skill, expertise, and effort to complete this task.

Even though attendance was limited due to the weather, everybody who showed up at IRM got a good show.  The Zephyr was running, along with a coach train and the various electric cars.  So all in all it was another great day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

IRM is the closest thing that I have ever experienced to a real Time Machine. It is like opening an old railway book and actually capturing some essence of what was.

For me, it is the North Shore and CA & E cars from my child hood. Now some one can add the ride to La Grange and Brookfield Zoo.

And just look at the dozens of other operating memories.

WELL DONE all!!!

David Church