Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Smoke Over Sangamon Valley

Last weekend we once again visited the Monticello Railway Museum to see and ride behind Southern 401 in steam.  The weather wasn't the best for photography, but it was still a very rewarding experience.

Among other things, I walked over to see their one piece of traction equipment, CTA car 53, a three-unit articulated.  It has been heavily vandalized, with doors, windows, controllers, and other parts removed, and various items torched out of the ends.  Fortunately for us, though, these "vandals" are actually IRM members who have made several trips downstate to remove parts.  Monticello has generously made this car available to us as a parts source for our 52.  The next step will be to lift the bodies off the trucks.  The aluminum bodies will be deposited in the nearest pop can recycling bin, and the trucks and motors taken to Union.

For more pictures of the steam locomotive, click here.

I hadn't noticed before that this Baldwin has an Alco power reverse gear.

In downtown Monticello several antique autos were on display by the station, and there was an opportunity to visit the cab.

The train consisted of this steel caboose, two IC cars, and the flat car with railings and benches behind the engine, where we rode.

Parallel to the IC branch used by the passenger train is the old route of the IT main line.



patentable said...

Aren't 53 and 53 products of Pullman and St. Louis respectively with different motors/different trucks? Are parts from one going to be readily interchangeable? It will be great to see 52 potentially run at IRM.

Great work by the IRM team.


Randall Hicks said...

Yes, it's true that they are from different builders, but the motors and control appear to be the same. Many of the other parts may be interchangeable also. I'm sure our L car experts know what they need, and I've learned my lesson so that's as far as I'll go on this one.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Randy.

Great report from Monticello. Do you have any idea why Monticello bought 53 in the first place? As far as I knew, Monticello never operated "under wire." And, while their ex-ITCO right of way DID have ballast, the trolley wire was long gone.

As per www.chicago-l.org, 5001 and 5002 were Pullman-Standard, and 5003-5004 were built by St. Louis Car. The 5000s were based on the Clark "Bluebirds" purchased by the BMT in 1939, and used PCC Streetcar technology. The Pullman-Standard cars even used Clark trucks. The 5000s were the "test-bed" cars for what became the non-articulated PCC based 6000 series, and the 1-50 single cars. The cars were renumbered on to the "end" of the 1-50 series when they were "shopped" at Skokie in 1964 for use on the Skokie Swift.

The cars were retired from CTA Service in 1985. Car 51 is at the Fox River Trolley Museum in revenue service, Car 52 is at IRM on display, Car 53 is as shown at Monticello. Car 54 was sold to an unidentified Indiana Museum, but was later scrapped after becoming "unsightly." Thanks. Brian J. Patterson.

David Wilkins said...

The SLCC-built 5000s were originally built with GE control. During their career in Skokie Swift service, they had Westinghouse control installed to match the Pullman-built 5000s. Other parts are probably similar, as both Pullman and SLCC sourced parts like fixtures from third party sources.

Randall Hicks said...

Brian: Nobody at Monticello can now remember exactly why acquisition of the 53 was thought a good idea in the first place, since there was never any plan for electric operation. That's why it is being disposed of. As for the track on the IT alignment, I helped build some of it back in the 70's. It is now only used for freight car storage, for which the museum receives a good rental income.

And thanks to David and Brian for the details on the electrical parts.

Al Reinschmidt said...

I worked on the "rebuild the IT"' track gang as well.