Monday, September 9, 2013

Think Green

Frank writes...

I was out at IRM again on Sunday, and this time got to spend the entire time working on the 205.  During the week I picked up a gallon of newly-mixed Indiana Railroad Green from Diamond Paints, which allowed me to put a first coat of green on the anticlimber at the west end of the car (below).

Note that this series of car has a highly unusual "stacked" double anticlimber and that the upper one was painted orange while the lower one was green.  Bob Bruneau had looked at the car structure and concluded that the upper anticlimber was basically just cosmetic: no extra framing exists to support it, and in a collision with a high-floor car it likely wouldn't help any more than a normal steel plate in the same location.  But we're anticipating that this particular theory will remain untested.  I also painted the step on the car, as seen below.
Now we're not 100% certain what color the steps on this car were painted in service.  Very few cars that were painted by IRR had fold-out steps - none of the high-speeds or heavy interurbans did - and I haven't been able to locate any decent high-contrast photos of the 200-series cars in service.  For the time being the steps will be green, but if evidence comes along to the contrary we can easily repaint them orange.
As shown above, I also did some clean-up work on the interior.  This mainly consisted of installing the headliner planks over the windows on the south (right) side, which I had put off so that I could easily remove the side windows when painting the car.  I also installed the window track ratchets that had been removed to enable us to remove the car's windows (this was done back a few years when Jim Heinlein went through and stripped the Portland paint off of all the side windows) as well as the standee grab-irons screwed to the ceiling next to the bulkheads.
And then on to more "thinking green."  Indiana Railroad cars were lettered in dark green (same as the roof color) with silver outlining.  Using the stencil I had previously made up, I traced "INDIANA RAILROAD" onto the letter board.  I ran out of daylight before I could paint the name on the letter board, but that will wait until next time.  I also need to paint on the two pinstripes that run the length of the car, one at the belt rail and one at the floor, and I need to finish making up the "205" stencil for the side sheet numbers as well as another "205" stencil for the numbers over the end windows and a "P.SC." stencil that goes at the ends of the letter boards.
Ra-ra-ra for IRR!  I also reinstalled the car's two retrievers and put some rubber molding on the edge of the 205's metal display sign so that it won't scratch the paint, but that was about it for me.  It was a pretty quiet day at IRM, with relatively few volunteers out.  But we're looking forward to a great Museum Showcase Saturday, with the four-car wood train running in revenue service for the very first time.  But we need trainmen!  If you're not doing anything Saturday, or if you're doing anything less fun than riding CA&E cars (that pretty much covers everyone, right?), sign up today!


Anonymous said...

Great work! You are getting close to the finish line!

The problem with the IRM Roster is that it does not include former names of the cars. the IRR #65 was back dated from an Iowa car and the #205 was back dated from a Portland car.

Are there any other Indiana Railroad Interurbans hiding under paint in the IRM Collection?

Ted Miles

Frank Hicks said...

Good question; the answer is yes. IRM actually has eight cars that were owned by IRR at one time. A list is here:

Randall Hicks said...

By the way, you can easily get information like this for yourself whenever you want. At the bottom of our home page, click on "Frank's Complete Listing". Scroll down to the box labeled "Cars currently owned by" and choose Illinois Railway Museum. In the next box, "Cars currently or formerly owned/operated by" choose Indiana Railroad (or whatever). It's that easy! And there are several other search options you can use.

Bruce Duensing said...

I was browsing the internet tonight and found this photo which looks very similar. Looking at the side vents, it almost looks like it was converted to diesel power.

Anonymous said...

Ted, We actually do offer some detail on previous owners in the print version of the IRM roster. For instance it includes such ephemera as for IC&W 102 which was ex THI&E 53. To your specific question, the roster lists IRR 205 with the remarks "ex IPS 266, Portland 4003". That does not offer much help to those relying only on the web roster which often lags updates by months or years. But it usually has links to pics. You win some, you lose some.

Bob Kutella

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have a printed copy of the IRM Roster and it does indeed have more information than the one on the web site.

Thank you for the reminder.

A constant decision making process for the museums is which part of a car's history to show and tell.

I know of one Interurban at Travel Town that is painted for two eras at once ant it looks terrible. Something that never happened in the cars actual history.

Have fun this weekend!

Ted Miles
IRM member at a distance

Chris said...

The car in the photograph Bruce linked to is or was at Buckeye Lake in Ohio. It is an American Aggregates diesel locomotive converted from a Cincinnati and Lake Erie box motor. (I found out about Buckeye Lake from Flickr browsing recently and figured it out from PNAERC). IRM has another example on the roster, but I haven't seen it. Interesting piece.

Frank Hicks said...

Chris is exactly right. Of the five C&LE freight motors known to still exist, four of them are around because they were bought by American Aggregates after the C&LE quit and converted to diesels. Some, like the 637 in the photo, were cut down vertically to fit under gravel dumpers of some sort; others, including 639 also at Buckeye Lake, were shortened lengthwise.

IRM's 640 kept its original dimensions but had a very heavy underframe retrofitted, so it will need a lot of rebuilding if/when we ever get around to an operational restoration (more info on the 640 is at In the meantime it would make a good cosmetic display if we could put it indoors and repaint it. Don't forget Barn 14 the next time you've got that checkbook open, folks!

Bruce Duensing said...

For whatever reason the image on my computer was squashed to the extent, the front end looked like the Indiana car that was the subject of the post.
Thanks for the correction.It always struck me that for a interurban road of it's comparative size, the CL&E in terms of collections, etc, examples are comparatively rare. Or so it seems.