Thursday, August 28, 2014

Clear the Deck

One priority today was to change the order of the blue cars, so that 308 and 309 will be ready for service this weekend, weather permitting.

Switching now requires the cars to squeeze past the 4001 with about 3" to spare.  At least they aren't getting fat in their old age like some of us.  And it's nice to see the 4001, or what's left of it, out in a position to be photographed.  As you should know, this is one of the most historic streetcars at IRM!

I spent most of the rest of the day removing the running boards and other hardware from the roof of the 319.  It's not easy, but progress is being made.  Another day of work should finish the task.  Then the roof will be painted, and then the canvas can be stretched! 

In other news, the contractors are making good progress on the new cutoff to the south yards.  How many other museums often bring in ballast by the carload?


I was too tired by the end of the day to photograph it, but they have also finished one track of yard 15, and panels for completing 13 have been put in place.  Maybe next time.

And Tim, of course, is still hard at work on the 24/1024.  There was lots of wet paint, so I took a grab shot of the interior. 

This weekend should have lots of interesting things happening.  As I mentioned before, we still need people to sign up for crews.  One way or the other, you should be there!


Anonymous said...

Is the new south yard you are talking about the location of the two new Car Barns that are going to be built?

or is this track for the proposed extension of the streetcar loop?

Ted Miles
IRM Member

Randall Hicks said...

Yes and yes, I suppose. The two new barns will be in the south yards, 13 and 14. Eventually an extension to the streetcar loop will encircle the south property and return via Main St. Somewhere we must have a map I could post that would be worth at least 500 words.

Joe S. said...

The two barns are being constructed over yards 13 and 14. Yard 14 is built (and currently full), yard 13 is mostly built.

At the same time, the lead to the future yard 15 and one of it's tracks is being constructed off the switch to 14 and the future car line. This track will hold some of the overflow equipment during barn construction, and allow future construction of yard 15.

Some day, another switch will have to be put in to construct the future car line extension, which will basically be the south-most track on that edge of the property and circle yards 12-13-14-15. If you walk on the south property, you can kind of see that the grading for the future yards and car line has been done.

Anonymous said...

Randall, such a map does exist. On IRM's web site, click on "Site Index". On that page, click on "View a map of the IRM grounds" and presto! There it is, showing all proposed trackage as green dotted lines.

Mike G.

Anonymous said...

A question about roofs: most pictures of in-service CA&E rolling stock depict black (or dark) roofing. And some of the roofs that you have removed for replacement were also black. Yet, some of the newer re-roofed cars have what appears to be plain canvass. So would the black (painted or tarred) roofs be in keeping with original, or is it a maintenance issue, since removing plain canvass is obviously easier than tarred?

L. Wells

Randall Hicks said...

The subject of canvas roofs can easily get into lots of detail which most people will find boring, so I'll try to answer your question briefly.

A wooden roof would not be covered with bare canvas; the canvas would always be painted with a canvas paint of some color. It's difficult to determine exactly what colors were used in the early days. The earliest known aerial photograph of the CA&E in 1906 (from a balloon) clearly shows that cars had at least two different colors of roof already, although the road had been in operation for only four years or so.

For the blue paint scheme, most cars had a light grey color roof, most of the time. (With the CA&E, there are exceptions to every rule.) By the early 50's, they had started applying a black tar-like substance called "Liquinoleum" to the roofs and any clerestory parts. Almost all cars painted in the final red paint scheme would have had black roofs.

Anyway, when we're restoring cars, we try to match the original colors as closely as possible, based on photographic evidence and archeological digging. For the 319, black is correct.

Hope this helps.

Darrell Klompmaker said...


I have purchased canvas paint from APCO in Schaumberg in the past. It appears they have closed. Do you know what they mixed to come up with "canvas paint"



Randall Hicks said...

I meant to ask yesterday, but forgot. Anyway, we can still get canvas paint from a supplier, but I don't know the details or whether we want to reveal "trade secrets" in a public forum.