Monday, August 3, 2015

Trains, Grids and Automobiles

Frank writes...

As previously mentioned, the 308 and 309 were scheduled to operate on Sunday but didn't for lack of a crew.  Oh, well.  Fortunately, although the CA&E woods weren't out on the line, plenty of other stuff was.  The North Shore cars, CRT woods, the Zephyr and the steam coach train were all running along with a four-car train of stainless steel 'L' cars including the 2200s and, in their revenue operation debut at IRM, the Boeing-built 2400s.

I didn't take too many photos but I did snap this when I first arrived on the property around 2:30.  I haven't the faintest clue what those cars in the foreground are (though I'm sure our loyal readers will come to the rescue in the comments, hint hint!) but I can tell you that Richard Schauer's red Yugo is parked under the North Shore sign.  There were plenty of interesting vehicles scattered about, as usual, including an assortment of trolley buses on display along Railroad Avenue out from under wire courtesy of a stinger.  The weather was gorgeous.
There was a tremendous crowd and there was a lot happening, but the car shop itself was pretty quiet.  The only ones in there were Norm and Jeff, both of whom were doing steel work for the Michigan Electric car.  Here Norm is drilling holes in the old, rotted side sill piece that was removed from underneath the front baggage door so that the holes can be accurately test-fit and marked before the replacement side sill is drilled.
My project for the afternoon was the 36's grid box.  The grid elements from the original box were really shot; I'm not sure why they were so badly corroded but they were pretty emaciated-looking so I replaced them with ones from our store of spare parts.  After some time wire-wheeling the surface rust off of the contact surfaces they ended up as shown.
I also cleaned up the contact surfaces and hardware on the taps, and found a spare brace (basically a steel rod with shoulders and threads at each end to keep the box frame square) in storage to replace the one missing from the 36's original box.  Then it was time for primer, and once we put a couple of coats of black on these end castings we'll have the makings of a very nicely rebuilt grid box.  We're currently waiting on the new mica tubes and washers we've ordered, which we hope will arrive in the next couple of weeks, and once those are on hand it should be a matter of just an hour or two to reassemble the box.  Then it goes back under the car and - fingers crossed - the 36 will be motoring again.

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