Saturday, June 14, 2014

Change for the Better - Updated

 Today we accomplished an important change for the better: replacing the 36's defective compressor with one that will work.  Once some connections are made, this will be our oldest operating car.

In the morning, I pulled the three blue cars over to the pit lead.  Frank finished needle-chipping one side sill, with a little help from his father.  It's really an oppressive task if you ask me.


 By the way, here are some pictures of a partially-disassembled compressor (D3-F, as it happens).  On the left, the armature has been removed, and you can see the lower field coil at the bottom of the motor case.  The end plate includes the armature bearing.



On the other side, we see the large gear that drives the crankshaft, with the cover removed.  To its left would be the pinion on the armature shaft. 


Replacing the compressor on the 36 was not an easy task, but it went better than I had feared.  Joel Ahrendt drove the big forklift and did most of the skilled labor.   I was too busy to take any pictures of the process, unfortunately.  


Anyway, once it was more or less done, it looks like this -- not a lot different, but this pump will actually produce compressed air for the car's brakes.   You may notice that in order to move the compressor in and out, we had to drop the truss rod on this side. 

Besides Joel, Frank and I were helped by several others on this project, including Mark Gellman, Greg Kepka, and a couple of newer members whose names I should have recorded but didn't.   IRM is fortunate to attract new members all the time, including some younger people.  That really bodes well for the future.

Frank adds...

I was able to get a couple of photos during the air compressor transfer.  At right, my father unbolts the compressor cradle holding the old compressor from the car.  To the left of his elbow you can see the fork of the forklift holding up the cradle.


And at left Joel operates the forklift to carry the old compressor away from the car to swap out.

There were various other people working on projects at the museum, as usual.  Tim was working on the 24, a whole crew of people were out on the line car repairing the overhead, and a recent acquisition was also receiving attention.  Frank, Mike, Steve and Bill were all hard at work on New Jersey Transit 4, our recently-acquired PCC.  The current goal is to get it repainted and make repairs necessary to put it into service; at some point, when funding becomes available, the eventual goal is to backdate it to as-built Minneapolis condition.  Below, Steve and Bill are shown working on getting the car's M-G set functioning.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The picture of the disassembled air compressor is a Westinghouse Air Brake D3-F from CTA car 4412. The compressor that you just put on CA&E 36 is a D3-EG, most likely from a CRT wooden 'L' car or a Baldy. Bill Wulfert

Anonymous said...

That's Steve I Believe! working on the 4 with Bill

Randy Anderson said...

Glad to see that you got the compressor changed out on the 36. When you dropped the truss rod did you have any sag in the side sill? Also what kind of problems did you have cracking loose the turnbuckle to relieve the tension in the rod?

Randall Hicks said...

Randy: Good questions! There's no noticeable effect when the truss rods are removed; I believe on these cars, with their 9" I beam side sills, the truss rods are mostly there for esthetic effect. There's seldom any problem in turning the buckle, but if you tried to tighten it enough to actually deflect the carbody, I'd bet the rod would break somewhere first.

Randall Hicks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Randall,
the Elgin & Aurora #20 is at your other nearby trolley museum.It came from the same builder and the same order as IRM's #36.

Is there a way to tell which one was built first. Usually they did not build the cars in a given order in numerical order. Any thoughts?

Who has the oldest operational Interurban in North America?

Ted Miles
IRM Member

Randall Hicks said...

Ted: Honesty compels me to admit that the 20 is undoubtedly older than the 36, by a few months. It was delivered from Niles on July 29, 1902, and operated on the first day of passenger service, August 25. The first cars from Stephenson were completed late in 1902, delivered in early January, 1903, and entered service shortly thereafter, but we don't have exact dates.

As for who has the oldest operational interurban, this seems to have no clear answer. Frank and I cannot even agree on this simple question. I would say it's the Shelburne Falls combine #10, built in 1896, but Frank denies that this is an interurban car, and would class it as a streetcar of some sort. The next oldest candidate is CA&E #20. Which is it? You decide!

Anonymous said...

Randall,
I forgot about the Shelborne Falls combine. Which has seats in it; but does not run between towns or cities.

I think the C A & E # 20 is the oldest Interurban until something else comes along.

We have a 1903 car, Petaluma & Santa Rosa #63 at RJV which is also rather ancient.

The elevated cars have the Interurbans beat. Car G at Shore Line Trolley Museum is 1878 and Key #561 and %63 at RJV are built in 1887. But I do not think any of the three can run.

The C A & E 20 and 36 have another claim for long running because they ran from 1902 to 1957, the entire life of the railway.

Ted Miles
IRM Member