Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's Not Bayonne Hope

IRM has just received another PCC car; this one is from the Twin Cities Rapid Transit by way of the Newark Subway.  This car operated in Newark until 2001, and was later stored in Bayonne for possible use on a streetcar line there.  But all of these cars have now been distributed to trolley museums across the country, in another giant operation coordinated by our friend Bill Wall.  This car was numbered 323 in Minnesota, and 4 on the Newark line.

This car was modified much less than the TCRT car we got from Shaker Heights, and is probably in better condition mechanically.

Here's the interior, with the shrink wrap tarp blocking the center aisle.

I went over to see it in Barn 6 with Bill Wulfert, Tim Peters, and Joe Reuter.  Here Bill tries out the motorman's position.

The car will be repainted in its TCRT paint scheme, and Frank believes we should be able to get it operating relatively soon.


Anonymous said...

Is IRM planning to keep the TCRT PCC from the Brookins collection?


Anonymous said...

The last day of PCC operation in the Newark City Subway was August 24, 2001. Bill Wulfert

Anonymous said...

At this rate, IRM may be on its way to being one of the biggest operators of PCC cars in the country :)

Chris said...

I like how 70s-80s "modern" graphics look on PCC cars. NJT, SEPTA, MUNI, and PAT are the ones I can think of. But yes, put it in its original scheme if it would be accurate for the car's configuration.

Randall Hicks said...

We already have a TCRT car (#352) which was later Shaker car 63. Shaker modified the Minnesota cars much more, adding couplers, bus jumpers, changing seats, and so forth, so the Newark car will probably be restored first. I believe the main limitation is the availability of enough good motors and wheels for our PCC fleet.

Chris said...

Would restoring the Shaker car as a Shaker car be practical?

Randall Hicks said...

Practical? Perhaps. Popular? Probably not!

Anonymous said...

So eventually 2 PCC cars painted in TCRT livery? How about doing what Kenosha and San Fran have done - painting in the livery of "choice" - honoring other large cities that had PCCs?

How about Cleveland to go along with the recent acquistion of 1218? Perhaps honoring Brookins? Or, as suggested keeping as a Shaker car.

It would be a shame to use it for parts.


Randall Hicks said...

It's not my decision to make, which should be a big relief to everybody. Any one of these projects requires volunteer time and expertise, money, parts, shop availability, and so on, and Rod has to juggle all the competing demands for resources. So decisions will be made when inspections have been done and we have better information.

In any case, the Cleveland PCC is still progressing steadily. I just haven't mentioned it recently. Sorry.

Bruce Duensing said...

Reading the impressive list of ongoing acquisitions, the thought occurred to me in the form of a question, which is not to be construed as a criticism. How much is too much? Based on the finite amount of volunteers and funding, are other portions of the collection in a semi-permanent state of being on hold due to this?
I suppose its an unanswerable question due to the subjectivity involved but it occurred to me none the less.

David Wilkins said...

1. The TCRT/Shaker/RTA/Brookins car has a lot of problems, including body rot in inoppertune places, such as the curved section where the roof meets the sides. It also had the wiring for the back door hacked out at some point. Compared to the 4, it'd take a lot of work to get it operable.

2. When is too much too much? It's a good question, but IRM is a member-operated museum. Voting members elect a Board of Directors who enact museum policy. Given the requirement that new acquisitions must pay "track space" and other considerations, it'll be up to the membership and BOD to decide when enough is enough.

Chris said...

Let me just say, I don't care what paint scheme is selected for any piece of equipment, as long as IRM stays with its policy of "concours" quality ongoing restorations that are as accurate as possible for a certain point in time in the artifact's working history. That kind of structure sets a museum ahead.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Bruce Duensing and all.

1. I suppose the answer to your question is: "There may be 'too much,' but we're not there yet!" Ultimately, that question will be answered by our donors and volunteers. So long as there are sufficient volunteers willing to learn and correctly perform the tasks of restoring, preserving, displaying, and operating our exhibits, and so long as there are additional donors to fund what the volunteers don't pay for out of pocket, we will continue to grow.

2. The first step to preserving a piece of equipment for future generations is to GET it. The second is to store it in a manner that further detereoration is minimized until restoration takes place. After restoration, you need to properly store and display the equipment to ensure enjoyment by future generations. Some projects have "stalled" for years. Others have TAKEN years to ensure a correct restoration. But in the end, even the "stalled" projects are restorable, instead of being Toyota enging blocks, pop cans, or mulch.

3. This blog mostly reports on PART of ONE department of the museum. While there is always competetion for funding within the museum, you can rest assured that CA&E 36 is not slowing down CRI&P 2612, neither are slowing down Frisco 1630, and none of them are slowing down the CNW Bi-Level Commuter Train or the Strahorn and Pullman Libraries.

4. As for volunteers, by having a wide range of projects, we can have our volunteers work where their interests and talents take them. Not every trolley fan wants to work on a steam powered yard switch, and vice versa. With two libraries as part of the museum, you don't even have to get your hands dirty. And, with a Solar Farm and 1890s-1910s Main Street Display being part of our near future, you don't even have to paticularly like trains! Though, with us being a RAILWAY museum, you would have to have some fondness for them.

5. We always need to be reasonable and prudent with volunteer time and donated money. After, we have to ask politely instead of demand. However, if we become "timid" in acquisitions, we will not only stop growing, but may in fact shrink. If we used "finite resources" as an excuse, we would be a footnote in the history of North Chicago, not the nation's largest railway museum by number of exhibits.

4. So, what are _you_ doing this Saturday? In your evaluation of worthy causes to give tax-deductable cash and material donations, have you evaluated railway preservation and education of future generations? We are always looking for volunteers and donations. And, you would be suprised at some of the skill sets we can put to productive and rewarding use. Not every donor CAN volunteer. Not every volunteer CAN donate much beyond their time. But all "help" is greatly appreciated.


Brian J. Patterson.

Anonymous said...

Thank you; that was well said. no museums collection can remain static! It has to grow or it will lost its following of art lovers, trains, ships or airplanes.

since we are talking here about electric street cars and artifacts; there is not shortage of soon to be retired LRVs from San Diego, Sacramento and other cities. They are just starting the waterfall folks. PCCs are no longer the source of street cars.

Ted Miles
IRM Member