Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mysteries Solved

Frank writes...

My trip out to IRM today was all about solving mysteries.  The first mystery: what is what disc of metal cast into each of the axles on the 972 trucks?

Answer: it's part of how the motor is kept from moving laterally on the axle and provides a shoulder for the "thrust collar" to jack against.  As shown above, this thrust collar (obviously installed since yesterday) serves as an adjustable spacer between the nearest axle cap bearing and the cast disc.  If the motor were larger, the thrust collar could just line up to the back of the wheel itself.  On large interurban motors, like those on the 309, the motor is wide enough that the axle cap bearing is up against the wheel on the non-gear side and no thrust collar is needed.
This was pointed out to me while I was helping Rod and Greg to install the second motor in the 972's truck.  As shown above, the truck now has both motors fitted.  There are still some final pieces of the puzzle to fit together, but without too much more work this truck will be ready to put under the car.  The other truck is currently disassembled in the "lean-three" but I believe the plan is to reassemble it this winter.

The second mystery: what's the identity of that shiny orange streetcar in Barn 7?
Answer: as visitors will now be able to see, it's the 205!  When I first arrived at the museum I cut out the stencils for the numbers over the end windows of the 205 and then traced all four of the numbers (two on the car sides and two over the end windows) onto the car in pencil.  After helping out with the 972 motor I got to work with a paintbrush.
So the car is now identified as IR 205.  I still need to paint the striping onto the car - it gets a stripe the length of the body at the floor line and one at the belt rail - but other than that, which should be pretty straightforward, the lettering is ready for outlining.  I am hoping to hire a sign painter to do the 1/8" thick silver pinstriping that outlines all of the car's lettering.

And a final mystery: what's going on in that little building west of Barn 9?

Answer: as was shown during an early-evening "railfanning" trip over to the Steam Shop, a lot!  The 1630 was sitting just outside the shop, ready for service next weekend during Museum Showcase Weekend.  Inside, the first engine in evidence was Rock Island 938, which is in the shop for cosmetic repair work.
This is the museum's only Pacific and was once a very attractive passenger engine.  Time has not been kind to the 938 but the Steam Team is hard at work reversing the effects of weather.  And beyond the 938 was J. Neils 5, the museum's Shay, which is undergoing restoration to operating condition.
Though it looks like it's being launched, the Shay is just jacked up to permit removal of the front truck, which has been rebuilt.  UP 428 is also in the shop undergoing work on the axle boxes and a small crew was working on repairs to a large lathe.  All in all, an interesting trip to another of the museum's numerous shops.

1 comment:

Joel Ahrendt said...

Next winter? Naw we are working on that truck right now. Hopefully will have that one together before too long.