Thursday, September 5, 2013

That Was Easy

Every so often, clean living seems to pay off.  I had been worried about what might be wrong with the 308, and what I might find when I opened the reverser.  There was a slight chance it was a motor problem, which would be awful, and otherwise it was either a blown operating coil, or wrecked contact fingers, or the blowout coil inside the rocker arm....

It took a while to find the problem, but it was just a couple of loose screws.  The contacts on the rocker arm are held on by flat head machine screws, and a couple of those for the control circuit had worked loose.  The finger then is resting on the screw, and if the screw is out far enough it's no longer making electrical contact.  So the problem had just been an open circuit in one direction, and no damage was done.  Once identified, the problem was easy to fix, of course.  After  careful testing, I ran the car back and forth five or ten feet a couple of times, coupled it back up to the 319, and decided we're ready for service!  (I also then checked the reversers on the 309, but they have contacts held on in a different manner, and it's not a problem.)    So.....

It can now be revealed that we're planning to run all four cars on Saturday, Sept. 14, for Museum Showcase Weekend (also dba Member's Day) and we need another trainman or two. Or even three, come to think of it.  For the first time we'll be carrying passengers in one of the oldest operating interurban cars, so you want to be there and help out, if you think about it.  Nobody else on the planet has anything like this.

I then worked on retrieving shims for the 36's side bearings from various spare trucks, but that will take some more time and effort.  And I bolted up the brackets that hold the motor leads more securely, and a few other boring tasks like that.  Nothing worth taking a picture of, I'm afraid.  So after the work is done, let's take a brief walk to cool off.  The weather is great, and there's a lot to look at.

That's funny, Yard 5 looks kind of empty -- what could be missing?

Oh, of course!  There's a UP turbine they somehow moved out onto the main.  With the Centennial behind it.  Now if we only had a long coal train, and some sort of mountain to pull it over....

Just east of it is this unusual consist.

Among other things, another movie crew was busy setting up today for a film shoot, and our guys were switching all sorts of cars around the property.   Back on the connector we have this string of tank cars.  Let's see, this must be where Bob keeps his wine, his molasses, and the last one is lettered for DoD, so maybe that's rocket fuel, I'm not sure.  Don't get too close!

And here's one of the world's most beautiful Hudsons.  The sand tower is always a nice accent to any locomotive picture.

 While it's true that we have not yet finished painting the 451, at least we keep it inside and out of public view, rather than rusting away not far from a busy highway.  There's no substitute for indoor storage.

Anyway, remember that Museum Showcase Weekend will be Sept. 14 and 15, and our showcases will be showcasing all the most showcaseable railroad equipment around!   Be there!


Stephen Karlson said...

All sorts of one-of-a-kind stuff at the museum. The only working GE Cold War motor in the Americas (there are two preserved but not operating in Brazil and the one stuffed and mounted in Deer Lodge), a Zephyr capable of track speed, and who else can roll out a Milwaukee Limited and a Wheaton Local? Good to hear that the CA&E car had only a screw loose.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Randy.

Indoor storage is great! We need to build more of it, in addition to Barn 14. Thanks for the picture of CA&E 458 at the Fox River Trolley Museum. It's sad to see the car deteriorating, but at least it isn't scrap yet.

One should say in their defense, however, that the Fox River Trolley Museum is a smaller museum than IRM in every possible way. They have neither the donor base, volunteer base, or the operating funds base to do better.


Brian J. Patterson.

Randall Hicks said...

Those are good points, of course. But I hadn't been by there in a while, and I was surprised by how bad the 458 looks, and that it's stored right out in front near the entrance. It used to be kept back by the barn. But you're right, I shouldn't be so critical.

Chris said...


Both museums need carhouse space.

458 is in better mechanical and aesthetic condition than Cleveland left it in.

With the same kind of help that IRM is looking for, more work on 458 can get done and stay done.