Saturday, January 23, 2016

Looking Ahead

Our new source of rental income is being put to good use.  Several truckloads of ties arrived and were being unloaded by the Track Dept., and more are on the way.  These will be put to use building the next two tracks in Yard 15 and the southern car line extension, followed by the streetcar track down the middle of Main Street.  That's really exciting!  

Tim is making good use of the new pit heater.  Now that the 24 is over the pit, and won't be moving any time soon, it can be sealed up so the underbody will be warm enough to work on for the next couple of months.  The control system will require a lot of work.

Since most of the tracks are blocked by stored hoppers, which are earning us good money, it may be a while before anything can be moved into the new barns in any case.   I walked over to see how the electrical installation is progressing.  The recent cold snap has undoubtedly hampered the contractor's efforts.

In Barn 13, the south wall appears to be pretty much complete, and the north wall is in progress.

In Barn 14, materials have been set out, but not much has been done since Max finished installing the drop and the main junction box.

As for car 36, I first painted the remaining window shade tracks with a first coat of finish color in the shop, but forgot to get a picture of it.  After the car warmed up, I finished putting a finish coat on the rest of the ceiling.   This will probably be enough for most of it.

And I painted three of the remaining six arm rests before running out of time.


Anonymous said...

I hope there will not be a problem with CO buildup under the carbody there. We need to look out for the best interest of the volunteers, especially Tim!

Randall Hicks said...

That is a good point. It would probably be a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector. They don't cost very much.

CO is odorless and tasteless and hard to detect. It can sneak up on you and cause problems such as hallucinations and seeing ghosts. Let's not wait until Ray Neuhaus shows up and starts giving Tim advice!

Anonymous said...

So how well does the heater work? Can you really feel the difference under there?


Kirk Warner said...

Great updates on what is happening at the IRM. Is the electrician going to be installing lights over the aisles in barns 13 and 14?

Chris said...

Those ties look a bit soft. Still pine ties for "Main Street"? Hope it is well drained in any case.

Randall Hicks said...

Kirk: It doesn't look like it, at least not at this stage. It's not something we really need, and the installation is expensive enough as it is.

As for Main Street, Frank D. was saying they're still checking around and studying how exactly the girder rail should be installed. Basically nobody nowadays has experience in laying new girder rail track using old technology. I guess whatever modern LRV systems use isn't what we want. That's why we have track experts.

Anonymous said...

Once you have invested in a CO detector, you should also probably make it SOP to push the test button anytime somebody goes down into the heated pit. Having a detector whose status is unknown might breed false confidence.

Anonymous said...


With planned construction the southern car line extension and the main street tracks, Are the proposed curves too sharp for equipment the size of the Electroliner to negotiate?

Ken MacLeod

Randall Hicks said...

Ken, I would hope that somebody who's in the know could reply, but there has been talk over the years of having an extension of the present streetcar line that would be usable by the interurban cars, as well as some trackage built to CSL standards for wheels with smaller flanges and narrower treads, and perhaps sharper curves. But I'm not sure what the immediate plans are.

Brian L. said...

I'm not as familiar with the Electroliner as some, but it can take some pretty tight curvature, being able to run in the streets of Milwaukee and on the L structure in Chicago.

derrick recky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think the liner ran around the streetcar tracks in Waukegan so I don't think it would have a problem running on IRM curves.

Randy Stahl

Joe S. said...

The Liner was built to conform to L clearances, which is 90ft radius curves. The rapid transit cars in our collection have the same clearance. Currently, the only place this is an issue is yard 4 west where some of the tracks are slightly tighter. The North Shore standard cars were built to operate in Waukegan, and can tolerate much sharper curves.

If I remember correctly, the sharper of the two curves at Car Line Junction is also 90ft radius.

If you look at where the car line extension will go, my guess is most of the curves will be much gentler. The curve by yards 14/15 is pretty gentle, and there is no reason to make a sharp curve along Olson Rd. The only curve I'm not sure about is where the new car line joins the old one by the office. The S curve needed there may be fairly sharp.

I have not seen a plan for it, but I have heard discussion of having a smaller, isolated street railway loop in the Main St. footprint where we could operate cars with short flanges. There was even talk about having a small carbarn on Main St. where these cars could be stored / displayed. I would suspect this is likely a lot farther out than eventual car line extension unless someone makes a significant donation towards this.