Saturday, May 24, 2014

Smoke Over the Prairie

It's finally a reality: after many years of effort, our Frisco Decapod is once again steaming in revenue service.  It's hard to put into words just how important this accomplishment is.  We all owe a great debt of gratitude to the Steam Team who have made this possible.

Before steam passenger service started, they made a test trip with the engine running light, then with the train but no passengers. 

 The Steam Coach department are seen taking their lunch break, waiting for the steam locomotive to go by (among other things).

And here we are starting out on the first revenue passenger trip.  We seemed to have an excellent crowd of visitors today, and everyone was of course excited about the return of steam to IRM.  I don't claim to be a great photographer, so I'm glad to include a few pictures of other railfans taking pictures.

Meanwhile, I had work to do.  The three blue cars were switched around; the 308 and 309 are now ready for revenue service on Monday.  Don't just sit there, make plans now to be on them!  I had to finish up some lubrication work on controllers and armature bearings and so on, but that went quickly.

 Lots of other projects have been going on over the past week or two.  Our office has been remodeled, and now looks like this.  Much more professional.  (Except for the "Nick Bucks" sign, but some things never die.) 

And Tim Peters just never quits, so here most of one side of the 24 now has its new tongue and groove siding.

And with much of the afternoon free, I was able to finish tacking down the lower canvas on one side of the 319.  It needs some more woodwork on the upper deck, but that will happen soon.

Finally, I mentioned that we had a good crowd of visitors.  Here is Kazu, a friend of Randy Allegrezza, who flew here from Japan just to visit IRM.  (Randy says he had frequent flier miles to burn, but still....)  So I guess he wins the prize for today.  And he certainly seemed to be having a great time.  Now I would guess that you are a heckuva lot closer to IRM than Japan is, so what's holding you back from visiting this weekend? 


Anonymous said...

Congrats to all of the steam Team and to others like you who helped.
1 hope the locomotive gives 1472 days of good service!

Ted miles
IRM Member

Anonymous said...


I was on a mission to Janesville, WI from Portage, MI. On My return trip I was able to catch the last steam train of the evening on Sunday.
I only wish I had more time to check out all the changes to IRM. I'll be back again for Museum showcase weekend.
Ken MacLeod