Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Lies Beneath?

Saturday was another very busy day at IRM.  Several things were going on, any one of which would be more than enough for most of our fellow museums.  The woodworkers convention was going on in the woodshop, but I never had time to visit it.  I'm sure Bob will be posting plenty of pictures, though.  And then there was the CERA visit, which we've already mentioned.  And the movie crew was still there, although I'm not sure what's going on just now.  As I understand it, they're making an educational film about the physics of AC voltage conversion (anyone want an explanation of Lenz's Law?), but I could be wrong about that.

Personally, though, I'm mostly interested in replacing the compressor on the 36, and the car needed to be wyed so the compressor is on the south side.  And it happened to be convenient to do this in the midst of these other activities.

With trolley wire over the connector track, we can turn cars around without using the wye.  Chris Buck was supposed to be running the 3142, but the car line was blocked by the Zephyr, so he was at loose ends.  And he had a radio, so he was a great help in helping me run the 36 and 309 around the loop to South Jct., and then back into the barn.

The next really big project, however, will be to recanvas the roof of the 319.  The canvas was replaced at North Olmsted in the early 90's, but not correctly, and we have always needed to redo it.  Exactly where the new canvas will be applied is not yet definite, but at least I can start by removing most of the old canvas and fixing any of the underlying wood that needs repair.  The morning's switch move also put the 319 at the west end of the string, so it was right up against our scaffold.  

After a few minutes of work, I was able to reveal some of the wood structure.  It basically looks pretty good, which is what we were hoping for.  The car has been stored inside since about 1963, so little damage from the weather has been done.  It is frighteningly easy to pull the old canvas off, since it is held on by very few tacks, and some staples.  (!)

I was surprised to note that the boards on this end are not cut at an angle to match the curve of the tack molding, as they are on the other cars I've worked on, including the 321.  But that's the way it came from Wheaton.

 The places where the upper roof meets the lower at each end are always a weak spot in the whole structure, and it's not surprising there's some damage here.  This can be patched up, however.  Of course, the old tack molding is in bad shape and should never have been reused.  I've already made most of the replacement pieces, which have been gathering dust in the Lean 3 for a couple of years.  And I have all new saddles, most of which I made back about 1976 for the 321.

But then it was time to get ready for the CERA charter trips.  I was the conductor on the three-car CA&E steel train, with Dan Buck as motorman.  In our previous post, you can see plenty of excellent pictures of the operation taken by Chuck Amstein.  I was too busy to take more than a couple.  I believe the last time the CERA made an official visit was in early 1998, for the 60th anniversary.  At that time, the 431 was undergoing restoration and was not accessible.  The 309 had been completed, but was running on only two motors, so I did not want to try operating it in service.  It was pulled outside for pictures, though.  Our CA&E collection has come a long way in the last 15 years.

And we had a good number of CERA members, as well as a good crowd of other visitors, with whom I had several good conversations.  A good time was had by all, I'm pretty sure!


Stephen Karlson said...

There was a CERA event in late September of 2008, the museum rolled out Indiana 65 and IT 101 and I think that was the first passenger trip of Sand Springs 68 that day.

Randall Hicks said...

OK, thanks for the correction. That CERA event must have escaped my notice.