Thursday, September 10, 2015

Progress Reports

We have lots of different types of progress to report after the last two days.

Underbody Painting on 319

Gregg W. was out again on Wednesday, so we pulled the 319 (and 309) over to the pit lead for needle chipping and painting.  Both pilots, two stepwells, and miscellaneous parts were done.

This is a big project, and it really helps to have another person working on it. 

On Thursday I started painting some of it finish black.

Grid Box Repair on 36

I removed the defective grid box and took it to the shop for disassembly.

Gee, I wonder what could possibly be wrong?

This box has ten thicker grids, #4, and eight thinner ones, #7, so the magic formula for this assembly is 4A10-7B8.  

It had obviously failed in the past and been patched up.  That doesn't work forever.

 Luckily we have plenty of spare parts.  I selected replacement grid elements from storage and wire-wheeled the connection surfaces, as seen here.   The box itself was cleaned up and painted.

Frank should be able to start assembling the parts this weekend.

In other car news, I fixed a door on the 319 that wouldn't stay shut when the car was running on the main line.  At least it might be fixed; it's hard to say when the car is sitting in the barn, and it was raining.  And I installed and painted the new castings for the 36, shown earlier.  And I replaced a badly torn window shade in the 36.

New Barns

 The contractors are installing doors and other details.  I can't wait to move in!

L Car 24

Tim is installing the ribs on the floor (L), and all of the standee straps are in place (R).  It's going to be beautiful.  Prediction: the straps will not survive for very long in IRM service.

Russell Plow

The exterior looks great, the interior is even nicer.

ATRRM Convention

 As many of you know, this year's ATRRM Convention will be held at IRM, Sept. 17-20.  ATRRM is a combination of the old ARM (Association of Railway Museums) and TRAIN (Tourist Railroad Association).  Plans are still being finalized, but that weekend will also be IRM's annual Member's Day, and a lot will be happening.  Plan on attending if you can.

And we're working hard to make this a resounding success.  Don't miss the Hicks Car Works booth at the convention hall -- we'll have amazing demonstrations, magic tricks, raffles and door prizes, celebrities signing autographs, free food and liquor (if we can get Board approval), and lots of giveaways and souvenirs with our name on them.  It should be a real blast.


Anonymous said...

Having read a lot about grid boxes in the blog recently I am sorry to say I am not sure what the function of the grid box is. Obviously they are very important. Could you provide a brief summary of their function? Thanks.

Randall Hicks said...

Sure, I'd be glad to. Because of the way DC traction motors are designed, it's important to limit the current that flows when power is applied to a stationary or slowly-turning motor. This is done by sending the current through cast-iron grids; although they are conductors, their resistance limits the current. As the car speeds up, the resistances can be switched out one by one, and at full speed no resistance is necessary. That's good, because the grids are carrying a heavy current and heat up rapidly. If they are turned on for too long, the elements can melt. If a grid fails, the car cannot operate. Hope this helps.

Frank Hicks said...

Just for the curious, someone recently posted a link on RyPN to a series of interesting articles posted online by the Seashore Trolley Museum. One is on rebuilding GE CG-type grid boxes (the same as what's under the CA&E cars) written by Dave Johnston of Rio Vista:

Most of what's in here we're already doing, but there are some helpful tips that I'm looking forward to incorporating into our upcoming grid box rebuild.