Saturday, February 8, 2014

2 > 1

Today would have been a day like any other day, except that I had a new helper.  Larry Stone is a fairly recent member who's been on operating crews during the past year, but today he had a chance to come out to the Museum, so I put him to work.  We were refinishing windows for the 36, as usual. And we can always use more volunteers, there's a lot to be done.  It's really appreciated!

Larry got a brief tutorial on painting, and then went to work putting white primer on several frames.  He seems like a quick learner. 19 and 20 were installed in the car, 23 and 24 were removed and taken to the shop for stripping, and four windows got new paint on both sides. 

Sanding the old paint off is an unpleasant task, to say the least, so I decided to do it myself.  But if Larry ever comes back, heh heh heh.....   Anyway, things went smoothly, and with two people, the work gets done quickly.  And we can even take pictures of each other.

 I'm really not sure if there's much difference between one frame and the next, but we might as well keep them in order.

The snow appeared to be falling heavier than predicted, so rather than start on another project, we decided to leave early.  Ugh, it's like 1979 all over again!

It almost seems like half the membership have been nominated by other members for the open positions on the Board this year.  Tim Peters pointed out that my son Frank had been nominated, and wanted to know whether he, being a CA&E fan, was going to be running on a high-level platform or a low-level platform.

So if you were wondering why nobody nominated Tim (or me, for that matter), wonder no more.


Bruce Duensing said...

Looking at the impressive progress on this project brought to mind the sort of initial assessment that is done when equipment arrives and if this is reflected in a formal inventory on a "to do list"?
Also, is there a complete listing ( which I have not been able to find on the IRM site ) of dedicated fund accounts for specific cars?
I have seen them here or there only by happenstance.
Thanks for any answers..

Randall Hicks said...

Bruce: Sure, initial assessments are done whenever possible before acquiring a new piece of equipment, and then after it arrives a more thorough inspection is usually possible. These assessments are generally not written down, as the experts are capable of keeping the salient facts in mind when planning a project. In the case of the Trolleyville collection, for instance, we were able to inspect all of the cars beforehand to some degree except the 36, and we knew we wanted it in any case due to its historic value. The 409, 460, and 319 required relatively little work to make operational, and of course they all required repainting. There are always some unknowns, such as specific motor problems in the case of the 409 and 319.

As for the restricted funds, a list of the funds and their balances is posted monthly in the office. It's not available online. One reason for that, I suppose, is that we don't want people to think that if you send in some money to just any existing restricted fund, that project will magically become active. In many cases, even if we had the money we still wouldn't have the necessary parts, volunteer labor, shop facilities, plans or technical know-how, or whatever it takes to do a restoration.

If anyone has questions about a particular piece of equipment, we can usually tell you either that it's on the to-do list, or what the obstacles are that prevent it from being worked on.

Bruce Duensing said...

Thanks..that clarified my own confusion over how all these projects get done. It sounds as if a volunteer takes on a leadership role in a specific project the ball gets rolling. What drew my curiosity as well was the CL&E freight motor currently in storage as well as your own projects.It all came down to questions of how one thing gets done , or is being done versus another which to an outsider seems somewhat a mystery.

Randall Hicks said...

Wow. I was afraid somebody would bring that up. No comment.

As for my own projects: when I joined the Museum 40 years ago, in theory whatever was not required was forbidden. But Bob Rayunec continued to work on the 309 at odd times when he could, even though it was an "illegal" project. And of course he wasn't the only one. These illegal projects were not exactly well-kept secrets. So I started helping him and Barb. I then inherited the project a few years later when they got married and Bob became head of the Line Dept., and have kept at it ever since. It's somewhat a mystery to me too.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what the status is concerning the New York city redbird cars and also the cta 2000s and 2200s?

Joe S. said...

The New York Redbirds were taken out of operable condition about 1-2 years ago so that some significant steel work could be done. Large portions of rusted out steel under the windows were cut out and new is being welded in. The not operable was mostly due to the pair being separated to allow work on 1 car at a time. The cars have been switched around with a locomotive several times during the work.

The 2000s recently returned to operable condition after several years sitting. Trolley poles and retrievers were installed, a traction motor was replaced, and some control issues were repaired. I believe 1 car still has faulty air conditioning, but the plan is to repair it with components from the "South Side" 2000s which are slated to be scrapped.

The 2200s are pretty much in operable condition. Work was done to re-attach components removed for shipping such as the pilots. Their control systems have also been verified and maintained using a stinger since they are 3rd rail only at the moment. A crew has been working steadily in the shop to make the components to install poles and retrievers on these as well.



Anonymous said...

i was talking to a friend from Seashore Trolley museum who asks if IRM has any Birney safety cars?

Speaking of the IRM roster. As far as I can see none of the C,A & E cars from the Trolleyville collection are on the roster.

Maybe you can joggle the elbow of whoever does the roster? I am just making an observation; not a judgment!

Alternately you might add a history to this blog.

Be careful in all that snow!

Ted Miles

Randall Hicks said...

By Jove, Ted, you're right! I hadn't noticed that. This lamentable oversight needs to be corrected. Jogging elbows won't work at IRM, we're a pretty rough bunch. I'll have to kick them in the shins or try strangling them or something.

As for Birneys, we have an Illinois Terminal Birney that ran in Galesburg, the only Birney from Illinois to be preserved. Frank wrote up a nice history of it here:

We've been slowly working on acquiring the parts needed to restore it.

Anonymous said...


What ever happened to the latter day pantographs that were on the CTA Yellow line cars? I know after 2004 that equipment was not needed as 3rd Rail was energized across the remaining yellow line.
Are the pans still available, and would they work on the 2200's instead of trolley poles?

Ken MacLeod

Randall Hicks said...

Ken: Yes, we do have some CTA pans in storage, but the overhead on our railroad is not compatible with pans in many places, and operation of cars equipped with them is very limited. The IC and South Shore cars have to be pulled in and out of the barns with a locomotive, they have to drop the pans at switches, etc. So trolley poles are the only way to go.

Chris said...

That roster is badly out of date, I have been hoping for an update for a long time. So many new things are on the property, or have been backdated to a different railroad.

For the 2200s, how does the power supply get fished from the roof?