Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cold Hard Facts

The fact is, it was a good day to stay inside.  The bitter cold, biting wind, and blinding sun outside were brutal.  But at IRM we're lucky to have a nice warm shop to work in, so we made a lot of progress on making new third rail beams for the 36, among other projects.

In the morning I even had a new helper for a while.  John Heid has been a long time member and blog reader, but was living in New Jersey until recently, so he hasn't been volunteering for very long.  He's a member of the Steam Team, which is fine, but due to the Board meeting there was nobody in the steam shop in the morning so he wandered over to the car shop.  And I put him to work wire-wheeling third rail parts.

Wire-wheeling is done out in the barn, but it isn't quite as cold and of course there's no wind so it's not bad.  John did a very good job on the first two or three parts that had to be prepared.  Thanks!

Don't worry, the parts are not actually this blurry.  If only I knew someone who could reliably take good pictures....  Sorry, Chuck, that was a joke, of course.

Larry Stone was out again today and he and I worked on the wooden beams.  We did some more drilling, chiseled out mortises as needed, and checked that the parts will fit together as planned.

Then we started painting the wood and the cylinders with first primer.

So by the end of the day they looked like this.  Next time I can bolt them together and put on another coat of primer to seal everything.

But probably the most dramatic project recently completed is painting of the markers for the 24.

Tim can be justly proud of this accomplishment.  As he says, nobody has seen anything like this for the last hundred years.  And Rod did all of the machining to make this possible, but prefers to avoid the limelight.

The next step is making the handles to rotate the markers.  The lights are mounted on the roof at the ends, and the shafts extend down through the ceiling of the open platform vestibules.  Then you have these handles, as seen in a catalog illustration from 1898 or so.  And Rod is machining the parts to make it all work.  It doesn't get any better than this!

The other regulars, such as Buzz, Victor, Rich, and several others were out working on various projects, so it doesn't get lonely.  But of course, we can always use more help.  Come on out!


Anonymous said...

So how did they determine the colors to use for the marker light assemblies since presumably there were only b&w photos to work from?

Randall Hicks said...

The colors are described in the CRT rule books and instructions from that time. Red is used at the rear of the train, and the other colors at the front indicated which route the train was taking, so that the towermen could set the switches. During the day the painted color is visible, and the lenses would match that at night.

Anonymous said...

Randall, what replaced these lamps when they were removed from service?

Randall Hicks said...

Good question. From pictures, it appears they were replaced with ordinary marker lights mounted on the corner posts. Bill?

John Heid said...

Hi Frank, was a pleasure to work with you this weekend. I'm sure our paths will cross again and I'll help in the car shop when the Steam Team doesn't need me.

Anonymous said...

The electric markers were only on the motor cars, and were replaced by oil markers with small levers to change from clear to red or green. There was no yellow lens. During the day they used flat enameled metal paddles, again with only white, red or green. Various combinations including red were used to identify the destination of the train and was used by towermen at junctions. The north side wooden cars had an additional bracket added to the left side to increase the combinations. 4000's had an extra bracket on both sides for more choices due to subway routings. Trains to Wells St. had a white lantern on the end chains. Bill Wulfert