Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Cheer

Wednesday was the annual holiday party in the woodshop for all of the Wednesday volunteers and employees.  As always, there was plenty of good food and fellowship. 
Of course, Bob Kutella could not be there due to his recent accident, and it's not the same without him.  On the other hand, George Clark, who has been out for a couple of months with health problems was able to attend, so it was good to see him again.  There was plenty to eat.  The Hicks Car Works brownies disappeared, so they must have been popular.  I need to find some way to imprint the company herald on them.

OK, back to work.  The bolts that hold the third rail shoes to the beams have these metal inserts to prevent the bolt head from turning in the mortise.  I don't know if these have a name; I've never seen them apart from this specific application.

After a lot of chiseling into the iron-hard white oak,  it looks like this.  They later are covered with a thin piece of wood for insulation.

By the end of the day, the assembled beam looks like this, and all the metal parts were painted with primer.  Jon Fenlaciki helped me attach the scraper; it's not easy, because you have to pull the rod out against the spring inside the cylinder.  So it's a two-man job.  And I did some more work on the roof of the 319.

And work has started on preparing the parts for the next third-rail beam, including the mortises.

On Thursday, the first beam was painted black, and is essentially ready for installation.   Also, the lower tack molding strips for the 319 were painted so they can be installed next time.  And I kept going on the flashing on the clerestory, so the lower canvas can be installed.

It's hard to believe the year is almost over.  The time to send in your tax-deductible contributions to the Museum is now, friends!


Anonymous said...

if the hardware can be found maybe a section of dummy third rail can be built for the 50th Avenue station.

Didn't the C, A & E cars as well sa the Chicago Transit cars use it?

One of the 1001 things that happed to restore the SN 1005 was restoring Sacramento norther third rail shore to the car. When i arrived at Rio Vista it had Key System shoes for the Bridge Railway.

Merry Christmas to you and the family!

Ted Miles

Anonymous said...

Hello Ted, Randy, and all.

Merry Chirstmas to all of you and yours. All of you are in my prayers, particularly Bob Kutella.

Ted, a section of track with "dummy" third rail would be great. But I would be scared of using a section of LIVE rail for this! First, I personally wouldn't want any of our visitors crouching and examining track on which a train could pass bo. It just doesn't end well. Second, not every piece of rolling stock will clear a third rail. Remember the CA&E interchange gage from an entry or two ago; the DID reject some interchange cars or cross-load because of this.

Clearance issues with non-third rail equipment is the lesser of the two reasons you will also never see LIVE third rail at IRM. The more important is that we don't want to have 600vdc on the ground where visitors, volunteers, casual tresspassers, etc can make contact with it. The CTA has the city, Cook County, and millions of dollars behind them to deal with bad publicity and third rail contact lawsuits. We don't.

CA&E and CNSM used third rail when traversing the city. CA&E used catenary only on the outer branches of their line. CNSM used more catenary; the Skokie Valley route was catenary north of Howard until just a few years ago, well into the CTA only era. CNSM had some streetcars that never went south of Howard that were trolley pole only. All the rest of the CNSM rail fleet and all the CA&E rail fleet were third rail capable and ran with third rail.


Brian J. Patterson.

Joe S. said...

Actually, the long term plans for 50th Av called for the installation of a demonstration 3rd rail on the L (east) side of the platform. This rail would not be energized of course. The west side will also have an L compatible track along with the existing gauntlet track for SSL/IC cars.

Long term plans also called for the installation of L signals at the North end of the station leads as well. However, that is relatively minor priority, with lots of other big projects keeping volunteers busy.

For now, you can watch the cars ride the great wooden 3rd rail in station track 1. The edge of the platform is in about the right positiion and height that most of the cars will actually have their shoes riding on top of this board.


Randall Hicks said...

But I would say that's a bug, not a feature. The edge of the platform should be farther from the rail and several inches higher, to make boarding easier.