Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trolley Poles

The big news for today is that the 36 now has trolley poles.  It looks much better, like a motor car should.  There was a choice between installing the poles in the barn and doing it on the pit lead outside, and a combination of the damp weather and the hassle involved in getting the car over to the pit lead and back meant that the decision was taken in favor of the barn.

Unfortunately these bases have no latches, so they need to be held in the more-or-less down position with wood blocks as wedges.  So a long, but not too long, piece of pipe is placed in the base and pushed down against the springs until the correct blocks drop into place.  If you're lucky.  The other nice thing about doing this in the barn is that there's nobody around to watch things go wrong, offer unwanted advice, or make snide comments.  (Not that my fellow volunteers ever do such things, but there's always a first time.)  When the base is blocked correctly, the pole can be inserted and clamped into place.  By the way, of course the power to the barn is carefully locked out first!  And I should mention that this project couldn't have been completed without the help of Rod Turner and Joel Ahrendt.

After that was complete, the weather had improved a little, and I was able to switch the cars around for revenue service.  The old reliables, 308 and 309, should be running this Sunday for the Vintage Transport Extravaganza, and the train was made up and checked.

It will look like this.  Who among us doesn't like antique automobiles too?  This is, they say, the largest antique car show in Illinois each year, so don't miss it!   By the way, we still need two trainmen for Sunday, so sign up now while you still can.


Jeron G. said...

The photo of 36 reminds me of Randy talking about shims for one of the trucks in the trolley parade post.

When I watched the consist roll by at the west switch, it looked like the lower end of the car was level with the other cars. So wouldn't putting shims on the lower end make the entire car higher than the others and potentially look worse? It could also make more of a hassle for passengers boarding at 50th Ave. with the set platform height.

Why not try to remove the shims from the higher end?

Randall Hicks said...

Jeron: Actually this car is a few inches taller than the later models. You have to go by the height of the floor and of the couplers. The motor truck end needs to be raised, as both the floor and the coupler are too low. At the trailer truck end, there are no shims that can easily be removed, and we can see that it has not been modified for a long time. When the shims we have made are installed, I think everyone will be satisfied with the results.

Jeron G. said...

Sounds good. What's the plan for 1218? I know it's still in shrink wrap in Yd 8, but heard it's in operable condition. It would be a good high capacity car on the car line for Thomas.

Randall Hicks said...

The shrink wrap on the 1218 is a very effective covering but can't easily be replaced, so we don't want to remove it until inside storage can be arranged. And that's not easy to do. The best minds in the business are currently pondering this problem, and they'll let us know when they find a solution.

Joel Ahrendt said...

It is not in runable condition. The front truck Looks like it might have been pulled for some reason. As with all new arrivals, we have to run it through our own tests before it will be running. And as Randy said, Until we have a spot to put it, we'll leave the very nice wrapping on it.

Anonymous said...

If we were as lucky as the Federal Government to be able to have fancy printing presses we would just throw money at the 1218. The way things work, there are still transportation costs to be paid off, the Track Space assessment, and then it would be eligible to raise money to be applied toward a Barn Space under roof. If you had that on hand today, it might still be too late to get inside the next barn (14) which by my reckoning is fully committed. Not an easy solution.

As for using it for Thomas in two weeks I see no chance. Lots of tasks to be done on the existing equipment, not to mention the long list of other shop work waiting in line.

Bob Kutella

Anonymous said...

I have seen a fleet of cars with "very nice wrapping on it" at ORM.
They are all now in accelerated decay due to the time they sat with high levels of moisture underneath the plastic sealant. If the 1218 is breathing because of several carefully placed vents, then I would be mistaken, otherwise I would imagine it is suffering the same dilemma. Plastic covering is not a perfect tarp situation. ...My opinion from watching equipment in storage... maybe your experience is different.

Anonymous said...

The above poster has a good point. The National Air & Space Museum had similar problems with irreplaceable aircraft parts stored outdoors in a similar fashion, with no provision for ventilation. By their own admission, the parts would have fared better had they simply been sprayed with drain oil and left out in the open.

While I'm not recommending that, obviously, for a wood and steel car, some means of storage that will allow the car to dispel moisture is vital.