Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Oldest Operating Car

... is now CA&E 36, built in 1902 by Stephenson.  Today it operated under its own power and by itself for the first time at IRM.  There are still adjustments to be made, of course, but we hope to have it in revenue service for July 4th and 5th, and a few times after that this summer.

In the morning I connected the air piping and electrical wiring, and was able to pump up the car.  The governor worked fine, but the feed valve was stuck open, not too surprising.  I took it apart and was appalled at how full of rust and dirt it was.  Must not have been cleaned since 1957.  Rod helped clean it, replace some parts, and reassemble it, and it worked fine.  I also received a rebuilt control pipe hose that the Car Dept. guys had rebuilt for me.  Thanks!  Above, we see the car posed at the south end of the connector.  Of course, its status as the oldest operating car will only last until the 24 (1024) is completed.  Maybe I'll start dropping banana peels in Tim's path....

Both the 36 and 319 needed to be turned around, for different reasons, so I ran them both partway around the car line.  Yeah, the 319 looks goofy with the plastic sheeting in place for roof work, but here are our two wood cars from Brookins in all their splendor.

These switch moves get ever more complicated and exhausting as the number of cars increases.  Luckily Rich Schauer happened to be around and helped a great deal with the work. 

The 308 and 309 should be operating this weekend.  We could use another trainman on Saturday, due to a cancellation for medical reasons, and we still need a conductor and trainman for Sunday.  Please help out if you can.  Thanks!


Brian J. Patterson. said...

Congratulations to the Hicks Car Works Team on the "completion" of the CA&E 36 Restoration. Completion is in quotes because you will always continue to improve the 36, like all the cars you work on. Keep up the good work!

Brian J. Patterson.

Frank Hicks said...

Thanks, but I wouldn't use the word "completion" at all. The car is fully operational now but there's still a great deal to do before restoration work is complete. Exterior repainting is not yet finished and interior repainting has hardly even begun. Both of those jobs will be time-consuming but fairly straightforward.

Joel Ahrendt said...

The Wheaton Shop is always happy to repair damaged items and return them to the use of the operations department.