Saturday, April 18, 2015

Safety First

Today was a big day at the Museum: the rules review, the safety meeting, the rules test, and the annual membership meeting, all on the very same day!  And a lot of work got done in between.  I was too busy to take more than one lonely picture, but I can tell you about it.

In the morning I lifted the second pole onto the roof of the 319, basically completed tacking down the leather straps for the roof cables, and removed the rest of the plastic sheeting over the car.  When Frank arrived we worked on getting the poles inserted into the bases, but decided it was not possible inside the barn; we'd have to pull the car over to the pit lead where we could turn off the overhead power.  But by that point, it was time for the annual safety meeting.

And as usual, due to the annual meeting, there were several old friends on the property whom I don't get to see very often, such as Randy Anderson, Tom Hunter, and Charlie King.

The meeting was well attended and went well, as usual.  Harold Krewer and Jeff Fryman presented the changes to the rules, new features of the Museum's safety program, and encouraged everybody to continue our excellent safety record.  Our local FRA representative gave a brief explanation of last year's fatal accident at North Freedom, which was a sobering reminder of the dangers inherent in even routine switching operations.  Frank and I take the rules test in even years, so it was back to work!

We used the 309 to pull the 319 over to the pit lead, and it was then quick work to put the poles into the bases.  Luckily Kirk Warner was around to take some pictures of the process. 

The pole needs to be rotated so that the harp is exactly vertical, but that's not quite as easy as it sounds.  Frank is on the ground, giving me advice.

And I guess he wasn't busy enough, so he had time to take a picture.   I always like pictures of railfans taking pictures of other railfans...

Dad, do you really know what you're doing?


Eventually the pole gets aligned and fastened down.  Then the rope is attached.  Luckily, we had help.  Joel worked with the retrievers.  One of them wasn't operating right, so he replaced it for us.   And we had known that there was a grid problem, so we spent some time trying to diagnose that.  Greg Kepka spent some time helping localize the problem.  By the end of the day, we had made a temporary repair which allowed us to run the 319 back to the barn under its own power, which was very satisfying.  The grid box will be replaced with one from the 321.  Luckily it's not the same one we replaced with a box from the 321 a couple of years ago.

And Frank will be reporting on the results of tonight's annual meeting, so stay tuned!

Frank adds...

As mentioned, after "helping" with getting the poles put back on the 319 (mainly scrambling up and down the side of the car fetching tools), I stuck around for the annual meeting.  Congratulations and condolences to Dave Diamond and Bob Olson, who were both reelected to another term as board members.
But before the meeting there was more railfanning.  Shown above is a gratuitous shot of the 319 coming back into Barn 8 under power for the first time in a year and a half.  My, doesn't that roof look nice?
And Victor Humphreys showed me the progress made recently on the Russell snow plow from the Chicago Great Western.  He and the Freight Car Department crew are inching closer to completion, and it is really impressive how much work has gone into making this piece of equipment as good a new both inside and out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Randall and Frank,
That #319 sure is one good looking Interurban! You have to love all that red and black paint.

Ted Miles
IRM Member