Monday, August 31, 2015

Visit to MOT, Part 1

 Last week I had an opportunity to visit the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis for the first time in several years.  A lot of progress has been made and in less than two hours I managed to take over a hundred pictures.  This is just a start.

The new Orthwein visitors center is now open and is very impressive.  This wasn't even begun the last time I was here.  Visitor parking is now on the lower level in the area of the trolley car barn.

Since this is a general transportation museum, the main hall has a few antique autos on display, along with two very interesting old railroad cars.

The Boston & Providence car (c. 1835) is now on display.  This is, they say, the oldest railroad passenger car in the nation.  Its complicated history is well summarized in the accompanying sign.

And a local horse car from the early 1870's is on display also.  This was MOT's first piece of equipment, having been preserved by SLPS.

The center also includes a snack shop, gift shop, displays of railroad uniforms and china, and a separate children's play area, not shown.

 Outside the new visitors center, there is a playground, and the miniature railroad seen above, which circles the lower level of the museum grounds.  For the railroad displays, I think I'll start at the top (south) level of the property and work down.  This is the big Roberts building, an open-sided shed covering six or seven tracks, with a large number of locomotives and passenger cars, mostly restored.  As with most barns, photography is usually difficult, but I can't complain -- protecting the equipment is job #1.

The Daniel Nason is the oldest locomotive in the collection.

And this is DL&W 952, one of the few double-cab locomotives in preservation.

And then the Reading's unique Black Diamond inspection locomotive.

And while we're on the subject of little engines, the Lake Street Elevated engine Charles H.

 And we got a nice guided tour of several Pullman cars.

And there's lots more....

 And in the shop next door, volunteers are working on putting the next PCC back into service.

 (to be continued....)

Friday, August 28, 2015

But wait, there's more!

Frank writes...

I swung by the museum to pick up something I had left out there, and while I was there I snapped a couple of pictures of the remarkable progress on our new barns.  The sides and roof are completely installed on Barn 13, though it still needs ends and all of the doors, fixtures, etc.  And Barn 14 is going up!  It looked like all of the side walls had been put up and the roof trusses were on hand and ready to install.  I'm guessing that by Saturday the roof framing will be well along on the second barn.  It's exciting to see all of the activity!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tents Coming Down, Barns Going Up

 Now that Thomas Days are over, the tents are being taken down rapidly, and both Thomas and Percy were loaded today onto trailers for adventures elsewhere.

Meanwhile, work is progressing rapidly on Barn 13. 

By the end of the day, all of the roof trusses were in place.

Our friends in the Track Dept. have made this nice display for the Dodge inspection car, asking for donations for its restoration.  I would think this location will last only until the end of the operating season, then it's back to Barn 2.

I did a lot of cleaning up, straightening, and sorting parts, also a few odd painting jobs.  And I finished lubricating and adjusting seats in the 309.  We're getting ready for Labor Day weekend, and are planning to run all four cars over the three days.  Be there!

Help Wanted: We need a conductor for Saturday, and could use an extra trainman on any day.  Jim West is standing by to take your call.