Thursday, June 26, 2014

Visit by Bob Bruneau

On Wednesday, Curator Emeritus Bob Bruneau was able to the visit the Museum and see the progress that has been made recently.  He certainly enjoyed being able to be here again, accompanied by his son Chris and his wife, and a professional caretaker.


He was able to have lunch with several old friends, such as Nick.  

 He wanted to see the Brookins collection, so we pulled a couple of the cars out for him.  I did not want to go too far with the 319, since I was in the middle of locating the new canvas on one side.

And then we had a special charter trip on IT 101, which Bob bought back in 1956 with a loan from his parents. 

Among other things, I wire-wheeled the side sill of the 36 which Frank had needle-chipped last time.  I have mentioned that this side sill has a splice about 10' from one end.  The rest of both side sills on this car have "PHOENIX" cast into them, but the short piece says "CAMBRIA", upside down.   This wasn't noticeable before, due to the many layers of paint.  I take it as confirmation that this is a repair due to a serious wreck at some point.  It also proves that the rest of the car's underframe is in fact Pre-Cambrian.  That's older than we thought!

After several hours of work I was able to stretch out the second piece of canvas and caulk and nail about a third of the upper edge, as seen here.  And also a short section of the lower edge.  It's going well.

 We hope to run the 36 along with the 308 and 309 in revenue service on July 4th and 5th, so there are several minor tasks to take care of first.  I fixed a leak in one of the whistle valves, and checked the rest of the system for slow leaks, nothing too serious.  I started installing the new bolts and nuts that Rod ordered for the compressor mounting.  These are a big improvement and will make it easier to replace if we ever have to do that again.  The side sill got a first coat of primer.   And I even started washing windows, something that hasn't been done since the car arrived, I'm afraid. 

Tim continues to make amazing progress on the 24; here the east end of the car is being put back together.  It really looks great.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Bob was able to make it out.


Joel Ahrendt said...

I so was hoping to make it there before Bob left, but when I called, he had just walked out. I'm glad he was able to come out.

Randall Hicks said...

Roger Smessaert writes: Bob was the General Manager at IRM in 1965 when I started. He was the driving force behind the Museum at that time, right there in the middle of the work building track and whatever needed to be done. He was totally committed to IRM at Union and went home (grudgingly) only a few days during the week to make enough money to get by. At the time I was still in college and living at home on Chicago's North Side. Every Wednesday Bruneau, Bob Rayunec (his driver) and I would meet at certain places for beers, pizza, and a live band. Many IT, NSL, and CA&E stories were told! IRM had NO buildings back in those days. Bob worked so hard to get the mainline built so that operation could start to bring some cash fare income to IRM. I am still very proud of what we accomplished back in the "Old Days". I NEVER would have imagined IRM as it exists today.

Anonymous said...

Pre-Cambrian, great one!