Monday, June 8, 2015

Solid Plans and Goals

Frank writes...

Sunday I was out at the museum working on some miscellaneous projects for the CA&E cars.  They were supposed to be in service, but there was a 90% chance of rain and threatening skies for the entire day so the operating crew wisely took out the North Shore cars instead.  This allowed me to install the recently-built grid box on the 308, as shown below.

I'm not going to be winning any photography contests, but you get the idea.  The box has been installed; to the left is the air compressor and to the right is the contactor box.  Note that the next grid box in line was already rebuilt by me at some point in the past.  "Doodlebug Dan" helped me lift the box into place and get it installed, while Richard, Greg and Joel helped with testing it out by briefly putting power to the motors and checking for sparks or arcing.  This little project is now done.
And then there were the flags.  My wife Bevin has been sewing new flags for the cars with the goal of giving each car a complete set (two red flags, two white flags and a blue flag), and I spent a little while Sunday afternoon cutting and tapering new flagstaffs and then distributing the new flags among the cars.  We are still short two white flags for the 319 (I just didn't get enough dowel to make the staffs for them) but that will be easy to do.  Each of the other cars now has a complete set of flags.  The 309 even has a couple of green flags made a few years back in case we need them.
And Joel dug this up, though I'm not certain where.  It's one of a handful of TWERHS relics that tend to surface on occasion at the museum, the result of IRM having acquired most of that group's collection of cars and spare parts in the late 1980s.  It reads (with punctuation cleaned up a bit):

To whom it concerns

This is the East Troy Trolley Museum
owned and operated by The Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society, Inc.
We are not affiliated with the Village of East Troy, or the East Troy Electric Railroad

For 13 years, until our contract to use the village owned track was cancelled in 1984, we operated along this line and made our museum world famous

On these grounds, we have assembled a collection of over 30 interesting pieces of equipment including electric locomotives, rapid-transit cars, interurbans and work equipment

We are a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to the preservation of Wisconsin electric railway history and, as such, are trying our best to preserve this equipment

We agree that it looks somewhat forlorn and would like very much to repair and paint it

However, without being able to operate, our cash flow is very limited

We have been devoting most of our efforts to finding a way to resume operation, restore our cash flow, and thus overhaul and repair the equipment

Those that know our history, will remember that most of this equipment sat idle in various railyards for many years until we rescued it and moved it here

Rest assured, although it is taking time, we do have solid plans and goals

Despite what our critics say there is no reason to scrap or give it away

In the meantime, we would be happy to arrange [a] guided tour for your group or show you around, and explain the equipment and our plans when we are working here

But, please be advised these are private grounds owned by Ralphs Inc and under the control of TWERHS Inc.  Entry at any other time may subject you to arrest and prosecution

Thank you

For a little background, TWERHS was the first group to operate a trolley museum in East Troy, setting up there in 1970 and contracting with the village to operate their cars over the village-owned line.  In the mid-1980s a second trolley museum group moved to East Troy and was able to get the operation contract transferred to them, leaving TWERHS with a sizable collection but nowhere to run it.  After a few years of inactivity, during which this sign was presumably posted for a time, TWERHS dissolved its collection.  A few cars went to the new trolley museum group in East Troy (the East Troy Electric Railroad, still operating) but most were bought by IRM around 1989.


Randy adds:

Another one of these relics from TWERHS serves as a decoration in my garage, since nobody else seemed to want it.  It's a sobering reminder that "solid plans and goals" are not enough.  (Also, perhaps, that you should sober up before starting to letter a sign....)

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