Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thrills, Chills, Spills

The thrills are real, the chills are real, the spills -- not so much, fortunately.  But you'll have to watch TV to see how it all turns out when a train of Chicago Commuter Rail Authority bilevels hits an exploding tank car or two, derails, and runs into a building.  I'm sure glad my wife rides Metra instead.  They don't seem to have problems like this.

But Friday night it was time for more tangible thrills as Terror on the Railroad started up again.  This year it's bigger and better than ever.  there's a tent full of unknown frights.  The Train of Terror is sitting there on the west wye, waiting to petrify you. 

And the Screamliner is ready to transport you to destinations not shown on any timetable.  I was one of the crewmen, along with Mark Gellman, Fred Zimmerman, Ray Erickson, and engineer Jim West.  And of course there were many others making all this possible.  I believe we have several new actors this year, so that's good too.  We can always use more help from IRM volunteers to keep things going smoothly, so sign up today!  With the intermittent rain, attendance on the first day was down, but we believe it will improve.  Visitors on the whole were very positive about the experience, so you should experience it for yourself.

Ghostly locomotives blocking the main in the gloom.

In odds and ends, I noticed that we now have a small parking lot behind the Schroeder Store.  I think the gas station will be isntalled just to the right of this.

And the turntable had to be moved from the place it's been sitting for 20 years or more, since this is where the TV show is being filmed.  As a result, it's now more securely mounted near the throat of Yard 13.

Today I spent a few hours training new motormen on the CA&E wood cars.  Due to the threat of rain, we had to be satisfied with one mainline trip on the 309, but that should be sufficient.  The rest of my time was spent on the roof of the 319.

I worked on the toilet ventilator; it's now loose, and can even be rotated a little, but not removed.  So I don't know what's holding it in place.

While we're up here on the platform, let's just turn around.  Here's a detailed look at the hatch on an ice reefer, if you've ever wondered exactly what they look like.  It ha a simple system for opening the hatch, and also for holding it partly open for airing out the compartment.

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