Tuesday, February 24, 2015

36 Report

 The last two third rail beams for the 36 are nearly complete.  Today the fuses were installed, as seen here.   Unfortunately the fuses may lead to an electrical dead end for the foreseeable future, but we can always pretend they're connected in back somehow, right?

 Tim helped me get them off the bench, since that's valuable real estate, and they're now sitting on the floor near Bill's workspace for CRT third rail beams.  Once the weather warms up, which may happen some time later this calendar year if we're lucky, they can be mounted on the car.

After that, it was time for more work on the vestibule.   The flag box was put back in place and painted blue.  Then the rest of this side of the vestibule, down to the floor.

 And more primer on parts of the front window frame, etc.  There is no real way to speed up this process very much.

Meanwhile Tim continues to work on the bowling alley seats.  Here he has rigged up a system of clamps to compress the springs on this 15' long seat frame so the new rattan can be attached under tension.


Anonymous said...

With the museum moving toward steam heat for late season trains what heating systems are used on cara like the 36. Are there heating systems currently available on these cars? What type of heat was provided during the cars regular service days? Mark Becker

Randall Hicks said...

Now that is an excellent question for day like today.

All of the CA&E cars had electric heat from the beginning. On the wood cars I have preferred to keep the heaters non-functional. Although the danger of fire is small, it's not zero and I prefer not to take any risks. I know the heat works well on the 431, and the same is probably true of the steel cars we got from Brookins, but I don't know for sure. Most of the North Shore cars originally had hot water heat, and many of those were later converted to electric heat. Some of the North Shore cars have working heat, but somebody who knows them better would have to tell you which ones.

All of the Illinois Terminal cars had hot water heat. Back when I was working on the 277, I started looking into the heating system, which is intact. Since the system relies on convection rather than pressure, it's probably pretty safe. It was drained, of course, and looks like it shouldn't leak anywhere. But in order for convection to work, you need to eliminate all air from the system when filling it with water, and I'm not even sure exactly how to do that. But it would certainly be entertaining to have a working Peter Smith heating system in at least one car, burning coal!

Most of our modern L cars have electric heat, and that's what we use for the holiday operations. The West Towns car has a big coal stove right in the middle, and it would also be fun to see that in operation some time.

Joe S. said...

Being from Northern Climates, virtually all of the electric cars have some form of heat, and all have the same heat they ended service with. As Randy mentioned, some have been upgraded over time.

We have used the heat in all of the North Shore cars, CA&E steel cars, IT 415 and 101, as well as most of the Chicago L cars. These all use forms of electric heat.

Something else worth mentioning is that there are two basic types of electric heat. One type uses exposed coils of wire wrapped around ceramic blocks, the other are sealed metallic strips with terminals on the ends. The North Shore cars and some of the CA&E cars like the 431 are equipped with the strip heaters, which are a bit safer. The CA&E wood cars and the 409 use the older type heaters. When the heat in 409 was tested, it worked briefly until one of these wires broke, severing the 600 volt circuit in a spectacular bright flash.

All of the cars we operate in October and April tend to have working heat, as well as the Christmas train.