Monday, June 24, 2013

Time For Some Canvass Work

Frank writes...

Sunday was an "all hands on deck" day for the Hicks blog team; as mentioned previously, my father was a trainman on the CA&E wood train while David and Al were running the streetcar.  I spent most of the day working on the replacement grid box for the 309 with the assistance of Dan Fenlaciki (shown below).  The components of the grid box had been previously assembled with the exception of the taps, which I procured from the electrical parts car and sand-blasted.  Then Dan and I painstakingly assembled the new grid box.  The old grid box came off pretty easily, but mounting the new one was a pain due mainly to a couple of the mounting bolts being ever-so-slightly bent.  With the use of the jack out of my automobile and a few choice phrases uttered when not in earshot of the public, we finally got it in place.  Dan works for Metra doing car maintenance, so his help was invaluable!

Afterwards we uncoupled the 309 from the 36, ran it back and forth on track 84 in the barn a few times to check for any arcs or sparks (there were none), and coupled it back up to the 36.  The original plan was to swap the order of the wood cars late in the day, so that the 309-36 were at the barn door and the 319-308 were buried, but a late afternoon line of thunderstorms came through and the service train had to scurry back to the barn.  The car order will be swapped later in the week.

In other news, you've read before on this blog about canvas, but what about a canvass?  I've recently started working on compiling a public survey of the museum's visitors.  This survey is not meant to be a customer satisfaction survey but rather is compiling information on how effective our advertising is as well as collecting e-mail addresses so that we can stay in touch with our visitors after they leave.  Dave Diamond has been tremendously helpful with this and procured a pair of survey collection boxes which I outfitted with signage - and, in the case of the one in the diner annex, a gently used stool.  As shown below, these boxes are being placed in the diner annex and in the main station; visitors will be handed a yellow survey form when they purchase their ticket and can fill them out at their leisure.  Attention operating crews: if you could remind your riders to fill out their surveys it would be much appreciated; mentioning this just before the train returns to the station from Jefferson Street is probably ideal when possible.  Thanks!!

And now for our Quiz of the Day.  The below photo was taken in which of the following:

a) IRM's new 1940s-themed cocktail lounge
b) one of United's new Boeing 787 airliners
c) Nick's living room
d) the Electro-Cafe
If you guessed (d) you were right!  Late in the afternoon I briefly helped a crew including Joe and Gwyn Stupar, Greg Kepka, Dan Fenlaciki and Warren Lloyd with moving some parts in our North Shore Electroliner.  The cafe car, shown here, and one of the end cars will be open for public viewing on North Shore Day, July 7th, one day after the "Trolleypalooza" super-pageant.  Don't miss it!

And finally, in keeping with the recent poetry theme on the Hicks Blog, David employs one of the new survey boxes to reenact Casey at the Bat.  Who says we're not erudite?

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