Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clear the Track!

We're scheduled to run all four wood cars in passenger service on Saturday, so there were several things that still needed to be done.  First, there was lubrication: check three compressors and 32 main journals, seven of which have waste and need more careful attention.  Then the train was made up, and I checked the control systems and brakes.  And finally ran the train about a car length out of the barn, and back in.  Enough for today.

This was the first time I've had all 12 traction motors powering, and the train seems to run nicely, with little slack action.  Of course, it didn't go very far or very fast, but I can quickly tell if something's wrong.  So I'm confident we're ready for Showcase Weekend.  For a better view of the train, be there on Saturday.

Then it was time to go through the train, clean up, and make sure that we had flags, motorman's stools, and so forth in the right places, and remove anything not needed. such as tools and spare parts.

Over the years, we've collected a good number of small American flags for use on the Fourth and similar occasions.  (The two biggest ones on the left are 48 star flags, for historical purposes.)  They were usually stored in one of the toilet compartments, which always bothered me a little.  So I collected them all and moved them into the 150, where they are now on display.  Much better!

Lost and Found Department:  I also found the following items of value left behind by members, I would think: a nice flashlight, a "fanny pack" or similar item, and a man's necktie.  Identify them by sending me a PM and they're yours!

Then I worked on installing the angle braces for the 36's pilot, recently installed and painted.  One of the bolts I could not get loose, but one brace is now in place, and that will surely be good enough, since the 36 is in the middle of the train.

Finally, here's a picture of Barn 9: they've started moving things back in, but it's only about half full.  At one point the entire barn was empty, I'm told.  The reason may surprise you: it was due to a contamination scare.

Scurrilous rumors were spread to the effect that the building was contaminated with large amounts of ferric oxide (a toxic material sometimes called "rust") and that anyone entering Barn 9 was in danger of coming into contact with this rust.   So all of the equipment had to be pulled out of the barn, a thorough examination was made, and experts concluded that these fears were completely unfounded.  So that's a great relief -- we're safe!

Seriously, though, you won't have to worry about toxic contamination this weekend when we'll be showcasing lots of carefully restored equipment.  Bring your camera, you'll have a great time.  And we could still use another trainman or two!

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