Saturday, August 10, 2013

76 Trombones

This weekend is the Band Organ Rally, which we probably should have mentioned before.  Portable band organs from all over came to IRM and were playing their music all day.

I'm not sure how many there were, since I didn't walk around the property to find out, but I'd say about a dozen.  Many of them were playing at the same time, and as you walk along, three or four different organs are audible, all out of sync, of course. We had a good crowd and everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.  The band organs will be there tomorrow, if you have the opportunity to drive out to IRM.

Some of them are hand-cranked, most are electrically powered.  I bought a CD from the one that happened to be closest to Barn 8.  Music of all sorts, from "76 Trombones" and Sousa to the blues, was in the air all day, reminding me of the Sanfilippo estate.  This may not be great art, but I believe Charles Ives would feel right at home.

Say, that man in the Panama hat looks familiar.  OK, Buzz, enough goofing off.  We've got to get back to work!

For the 36 project, that means getting the replacement compressor to work.  I used Rod's impact wrench to remove the caps and check the valves, and they looked very good.  So it was time for a test drive.

This is our well-equipped compressor test station.  It provides the electrical connections, air intakes, a governor, control switch, safety valve, and two storage tanks.  A governor to be tested is usually brought in on a pallet and connected to simulate the load it will have on an electric car.

Jeron had been using the big forklift for a project to be named later, and he helpfully ran it over to Barn 4 to move the compressor in front of the pit, where it could be tested.

You'll have to take my word for it, but here the refurbished D3-EG is chugging away, blowing hot air out the exhaust port.  And thus verifying the laws of thermodynamics.  Rod, Joel, and I stood around for several minutes admiring it, and then decided it had passed the test.  Commutation is excellent, with no sparking.  Later Rich Schauer brought the forklift back to put the compressor in its spot outside.  Now the challenge will be to actually swap it out on the car.

The Lackawanna 3001, still in its Ingersoll-Rand paint scheme.

In other news, the Diesel guys were working on the South Shore 803.  In order to run it on 600V, the compressor needed to be changed.  The one that had been in the S motor was removed, and was being installed in the 803.  This should solve the air problems it had previously had.

From left to right: Dave Dote, Jamie Kolanowski, Jeron Glander.

And here are some views of the big motor you don't see very often!

It's not easy to tip over a big bus like this, but careless driving will do it.  OK,  buddy, where's the fire?  In this case, however, Rich used the big forklift to tip it over for scrapping, and here he is starting to torch off needed parts.

Thanks again to Jeron and Rich for helping with the compressor.

I then switched the cars around to put the 36 at the door.  Now that it has poles, I can run it as a control trailer with no problems.  And then I started on loosening the bolts that hold the compressor and its cradle.  So good progress is being made.

Don't forget our little blue friend.  If you have some small children available, buy tickets.  Otherwise, we can always use more help.  In either case, you've got to be there!


Bruce Duensing said...

That CA&E consist looks sharper than I imagined it could be. Wow..that is really some fine workmanship!

Chris said...

Is that a Waukegan bus? And, does the S motor still have its own set of parts available?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update of the Lackawanna Box Cab. even though I goofed up what I was trying to say!

Ted Miles
IRM Member

Nicholaus Gawriluk said...

Is there a plan to use 803 in revenue service? With it's weight could it do damage to the mainline? Thanks! Nick

David Wilkins said...


The 803 has operated before on the mainline with no damage.


Anonymous said...

803 is about 273 tons on 10 axles. BN 5383, for example, is 210 tons on 6 axles. 803's only problem for the track would be its wheelbase, which for a mainline without sharp curves is not a problem. Remember it was built for Russia and their railway was generally lightly built- 10- and 12-driver steam was common there to limit axle loading. R. W. Schauer

Anonymous said...

Interesting. IRM will have 2 operating locomotives originally built for Russia. What we need now is one of the more modern Chinese QJ's like Iowa Interstate runs periodically.

C Kronenwetter
IRM member

Anonymous said...

Chris, the compressor being removed from the S-motor is a very late modification that is woefully incorrect for most of its service life. There are other compressors available that are more accurate for the locomotive.

Randall Hicks said...

That's what I had understood about the S motor from the time it arrived. For a few years it was used as a portable air compressor because nobody cared if the compressor wore out. Then, however, a motor burned out and it stopped being portable. And changing out a bipolar motor would require the use of a drop table, which we didn't have until recently.

Its highest and best use is probably as a static display anyhow. With a short section of overhead third rail, too!