Monday, July 21, 2014

Beauty and the Beast

Frank writes...

I was able to make it out to IRM on Sunday, and there sure was plenty to see!  I arrived just in time for the diesel pageant, the Parade of Power, which this year featured two new acquisitions.  The first, a C&NW Alco RSD5, I missed seeing in action.  The second, which we just got within the last week or two, is an abominably modern GE B40-8 from the Union Pacific.  It's seen in the background here passing Spaulding with a brand new (never even used in revenue service yet) UP diesel sitting on the west wye on display.

And while I was in the area I couldn't help but notice the newest feature to grace the museum's entrance.  Dave Diamond and his indefatigable B&G crew have had yet another historic sign rebuilt, this one from the Dempster Street terminus of the Skokie Swift.  It's been restored and placed on a pole at the front of the parking lot near the public entrance and not far from the in-progress trolley bus "west loop."  Pretty sharp!
Bill Wulfert once pointed out to me that for many years this very sign was joined at Dempster Street by two other signs, mounted on the same pole, advertising other businesses that also occupied the old North Shore station there.  The first was a Greyhound logo and directly underneath it was a big sign that said "Dog Grooming."  Quite the tie-in, that...
Anyway, while the diesel parade was going on I did some lettering on the 205.  I had previously made up stencils for the "PSC" that goes at either end of the car's letterboard.  These were put on the car to indicate that ownership resided with Public Service Company of Indiana, the successor to Interstate Public Service.  Above, the inner and outer edges of the silver outlining have been drawn onto the car; below, the green has been applied and the new lettering is visible over the doors.
And then after that I ran the 36 over to the pit lead and did some needle chipping, through I didn't get as far as I had hoped I might.  I was running out of daylight at this point so I only did a few feet of the R side sill and part of the #2 end anticlimber.  Oh well, there's always next week.  Nick showed up on the golf cart with a couple of visitors from Branford, Denny and Rob, and we ended up going for a test trip with the 36.  Richard Schauer and Greg Kepka came along to examine the car in operation and identified a minor issue, a broken return spring on one of the trucks, which will need to be fixed.
The trip did afford us opportunities for a couple of nice photos, including the above "beauty and the beast" shot showing the newly-acquired UP diesel passing us at Johnson Siding and the below shot with the brand new UP "loaner" sitting on the interchange track ready to go back.  The two pieces of equipment in this shot are separated by 112 years, well over half the entire history of railroading in the United States.


Anonymous said...

Randy, thanks for the mention about our "Swift" sign being returned after a few years vacationing in the City. It should be mentioned that we removed it from CTA property in 2000. It has been restored externally and fitted internally with white LED's similar to the original florescent, but much more efficient. We will strive to keep our neon signs original, but when restoring other signs, we will use energy efficient components. Thanks to Bill Wulfert, we will be adding the missing CTA Metropolitan Transit logos on each side of the sign, very soon! It also should be noted that this project to the tune of $10k has been entirely funded by the IRM sale of obsolete surplus signs donated by CTA and others, no budget funds were used. Dave D

Anonymous said...

it is great to see some progress on the #205. Like the old saying goes, "You have come a long way baby!"

Thanks for the good work.
Ted Miles
IRM Member