Thursday, September 5, 2013

More pilot work, or following the Primer Directive.

Al writes…

Went out yesterday morning with plans to do a bit more work on the 36's pilot. Arrived and found the shop building almost empty. It seems most folks were out helping to load that blue thing on a flatbed truck. The pilot had been moved and turned over so I had access to its backside so to speak. With the opportunity to wire wheel most of it although the structure that supports the trip lever prevented some access.

I then took the opportunity to give that side of the pilot a coat of primer.
Also displaying a fresh coat of primer was the roof of the Michigan Electric 28.

In the afternoon Bob Kutella's gang started work on the Great Northern tank car. Plans are to have the car sandblasted and to begin painting fairly quickly. Bob detailed the history of the car in his recent blog.

There were a couple of unusual sites around the campus. One was the UP turbine sitting on the main. This is a leftover from the 60th anniversary celebration on Labor Day.

Another was the unusual appearance of the Lackawanna  3001 box cab outside of barn 2. I don't know if there are any plans for it or it was simply outside to allow access to the 803 in the barn 9.


Bruce Duensing said...

That photograph of the Michigan Electric roof restoration that had the precursor of a photograph showing the exposed woodwork is living proof of some amazing craftsmanship and skill.
The patience this sort of project requires as well as others is simply exemplary.

Is there any sort of formal apprenticeship program at IRM?

Randall Hicks said...

There's a very formal apprenticeship program for operating trains, of course, but for car work in the Electric Car Dept., at least, it's pretty informal, I'd say.

New members are generally assigned to help other people with ongoing projects, so they don't have to guess at what needs to be done and how to do it. And most are smart enough to ask for help if they need it. If you've had technical training in the armed forces, for instance, maybe you don't need help to solder two wires together or drill and tap holes in steel plate. But it never hurts to ask for advice, and no one will mock you for asking. I've been around a long time, and I'm not ashamed to ask for advice on how to do things when necessary. So it's a combination of mostly on-the-job training and (to some extent) trial and error.

By the way, the guys working on the Michigan car have all been around for 40 or 50 years, so they have plenty of experience.

But wait, I forgot: we do have a formal apprenticeship program for the Executive Director position. First you have to be the General Manager for at least thirty years....

Anonymous said...

Hi Bruce, I think we have traded messages before. Randy is right in so many ways - no wonder he is a teacher of our youth. In the Freight car Dept (also including the Wood Shop) we try to welcome new volunteers and survey their interests as to particular job assignments. We try then to add them to a team already working on some project to learn the job, and where the tools are, materials that might be need3ed, etc. Most of them accept that process willingly and quickly advance to where supervision is not needed, and before you know it they are motivated and suggesting better ideas.

Bob Kutella