Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

For Independence Day, we always try to put on a good show.  This year, the 36 was leading the train for the first time.  It's our oldest operating car, and everything went very well. 

The 36 was trained with the 308.  Frank was the motorman, Larry Stone was the conductor, and Zach Ehlers the trainman.  I just came along for the ride, to offer discouragement.

And here we are down at Kishwaukee Grove.

And at Johnson Siding.  Say, did I mention that the 1630 was running?  Something for everybody!

We had a good crowd of visitors out today, and everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.

At least on the first trip, he said ominously....

For the second trip, at noon, we had our popular reenactment of the abandonment of the CA&E.  When the train arrived at "Forest Park", passengers were told that service had been cancelled and they had to get off.  You may notice that the infuriated passengers have already started tearing down the railings along the platform.

And here they are, helplessly watching the CA&E cars disappear.  In fact, of course, people were warned in advance and everybody enjoyed the reenactment.

And it wasn't long before the steam train arrived so they could get home safely.

Then the cars were spotted at 50th Avenue so the crew could have lunch.

 I must grudgingly admit that the steam locomotive is naturally the star of the show.  The stairs are set so that the future railfans of America can look inside the cab.

Nick and Tom carefully ignore the CA&E cars as they pass the waiting steam train.

There was a recent discussion on RyPN about Herb's water tank.  This is the foundation, which has lain here undisturbed at least since I joined 40 years ago.  I've thought this would make an excellent foundation for an observation platform, but as usual, we just need somebody to take a message to Garcia before anything gets done about it. 

 Here's an interesting historical detail.  We'd mentioned that Frank had removed a leaking motorman's valve from the 36 last week, and it was torn, either before or in the process of removal.  You'll have to take our word for it, but there's a small stamping on the gasket with the numbers 1 and 05, which indicate the month it was made: January 1905. Now we know that the cars were equipped with automatic air brakes in 1905.  For the first three years, they actually operated with straight air, as preposterous as that may seem.  But this rubber gasket remained on the car for more than a hundred years. 

Since the train was in good hands, I had a chance to do some more work on the roof of the 319.  I worked my way down to the corner, as seen here.

We had several visitors from far away.  Here's the contingent from the McKinney Avenue Trolley in Dallas.  Gary Johnson, Lynn Fleming, and one more.  Sorry!

And then some friends of Norm Krentel (and us....).  (L to R) Norm, Bill Fronczak from Arden, and Dave Buechler from Western Railway Museum in California. Here we see them admiring the 24.  

They came all the way, you can too!  Be there tomorrow for the Trolley Pageant.

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