Friday, April 29, 2016

Don't Blow a Fuse

Please don't blow a fuse if these first two pictures look like the same old stuff.  Every car on the CA&E had a little box just for saving the scrap copper when fuses blew, as they must have quite often.  You would really have to crank up the controller to blow a fuse, I would think.  We basically never blow fuses here at the Museum, although partly that's because of our nice modern substation, which will drop out before a 700A bus fuse could possibly melt, as well as careful motormen.  Anyway, this little tin box can be taken home for relettering.

Meanwhile, in the shop, Rich is repainting these beams that support the motors on the Electroliner.  Work on the Liner of various sorts is progressing steadily.

 And then the usual Michigan crew were at work on the 28.   You can see the gaps where the bad section of the side sill has been cut, and there is also a chalk line on the siding, towards the upper left of the picture.

Our new Museum president does not allow vast power, prestige, and authority to go to his head.  He is still eager to pick up a grinder and cut on the dotted line.

It took all day, but after a couple of hours of surface prep, followed by painting, all surfaces in the vestibule now have at least the first coat of finish blue, and many have two.  More painting will still be required, I'm afraid, but it looks nice.  If I may say so myself.

Well, after all that work, it was time for a change of pace.  Because I've been putting so much time and effort into this car, I decided to paint my initial over one of the doors.   That seems only fair.   I sure hope nobody blows a fuse.

We can use volunteer help of all sorts, especially now that inspection season is in full swing.  You can learn a lot by volunteering, and we can find tasks that are suited to each person's abilities and interests.

Remember:  At Union, we put U first.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Another Palimpsest

When I arrived in the morning, Bob Olson was hard at work unloading rails we got from Chicago Heights in a special deal of some sort.  These will be used on the main line and in yard 15.  If you look closely, you can see him running the big forklift.

The major remaining part of the 36's vestibule that needed preparation was the inside of the train door.   I removed the hardware for cleaning with a putty knife and wire brush.   If Bill Wulfert were helping me, these would probably get done better, but they're just going to be painted again, so this is good enough.

With the hardware in place, the yet-to-be-painted door looks like this.

"Palimpsest" is a Greek word: "palin" means again and "psestos" means scraped or sanded.  In ancient times, parchment was valuable, and old documents would sometimes be reused by sanding or scraping off the original writing and relettering it.  Unfortunately, valuable writing, such as a lost play of Aeschylus, might be replaced by something of much less interest.  So scholars can have years of fun trying to decipher the original writing on a palimpsest.

Having said that, I have a palimpsest door for you right here.  There's no real doubt as to what the original writing said, but it's nice to have it show up clearly.   The car number at the top of the door is exactly the same for both the black and the earlier gold lettering:

But the warning message down the side is located differently.   In the first picture, after just a little sanding, the gold lettering can barely be seen:

But after more sanding, it's clear enough to trace.  Now if anybody has some old parchments lying around, I'm ready to start working my magic on them.

When the 319 was painted back in 2010, there was some red overspray on one of the train door windows, as perhaps you can see here, although photography is difficult.  Not a major problem, but just enough to be irritating.  None of the other windows on the car had this problem.

So I brought out some chemical stripper, and after a little work, it's gone.  

Back in the 36, the train door and a few other areas in the vestibule were painted with primer.  Everything except the floor now has primer, and next time it will all be painted blue.   All that's left is lettering, and the car will be ready for revenue service this year.

Let's visit the 24 while Tim is busy back in the shop.

Under one of the long "bowling alley" seats, we see the triple valve, and also a Van Dorn link.

The interior is a very fancy design, but especially for a rapid transit car these bulbs sticking out of the ceiling and the many straps hanging from a slender wooden rod are just asking for trouble, it would seem to me.  Trainmen will have to watch the passengers closely.

Looking in through the doorway at the small motorman's cab.

And through a window in the bulkhead at the large motorman's cab.

John Arroyo is working hard on the Electroliner.  New window sills are being made and fitted.

And the window frames are being repaired and refinished.   It'll be beautiful.

Speaking of ancient parchment, that's what these fragile old blueprints from the Dayton trolleybus system look like.  Rich Schauer was carefully laying them out, hoping we can decode some useful information from them.  Good luck!

And after the primer was dry, or at least tack-free, I did some more second finish blue in the vestibule.  These vestibules are tiny, so photography is difficult, and you will have to see it for yourself.  

Finally, the east wall of Barn 9 is complete, and the contractor is working on the south end.

Monday, April 25, 2016

CA&E Slides from the Heinlein Collection

This is a collection of CA&E color slides taken by our old friend Bob Heinlein during the last days of operation, and some taken after abandonment.  Some of these have already appeared online via the Johnson website, but unless I'm missing something, most of them have not.  So rather than try to figure out which have or haven't, it was easiest to scan them all in and present them here.

The slides are arranged geographically from east to west, starting at Forest Park.  Every slide is carefully marked with the exact location and date it was taken.  As is common with old slides, some of them could benefit from color adjustment. I've tried to fix a few of them.  The images with captions are the unadjusted scans, with revised pictures to the right.

   Our heartfelt thanks to Bob for permission to post these pictures here.   Enjoy!

All images copyright Robert D. Heinlein
May not be reproduced or distributed without authorization

Sign - Forest Pk Terminal   Apr 21, 1957

405   Forest Park    Apr 22, 1957

429  Forest Park   May 18, 1957

422   5th Ave - Maywood    Apr 20, 1957

422    7th Ave - Maywood   Apr 27, 1957

427   8th Ave - Maywood   Jun 29, 1957

459   8th Ave - Maywood   Jun 29, 1957

430    9th Ave - Maywood    Jun 29, 1957

421     9th Ave - Maywood   Apr 20, 1957

422    9th Ave - Maywood    Jun 29, 1957

432    9th Ave - Maywood    Jun 29, 1957

400+402 --  410+453    9th Ave - Maywood    Mar 30, 1957

404   11th Ave - Maywood    Apr 20, 1957

401    11th Ave - Maywood    Jun 29, 1957

424    11th Ave - Maywood    Jun 29, 1957

407     11th Ave - Maywood    Jun 29, 1957

452     17th Ave - Maywood    Mar 30, 1957

453+410     Bellwood     Mar 30, 1957

417     Eastern Ave.  Bellwood     Oct 6, 1956

410     25th Ave - Bellwood    Jun 29, 1957

421     25th Ave - Bellwood    Jun 29, 1957

426     25th Ave - Bellwood    Jun 29, 1957

430     25th Ave - Bellwood    Jun 29, 1957

431     25th Ave - Bellwood    May 18, 1957

457     25th Ave - Bellwood    May 18, 1957

400    Bellwood Sta    Oct 6, 1956

401    Bellwood Sta    Oct 6, 1956

318     Roosevelt Rd.   (Mt. Carmel Cemetery)    Apr 27, 1957

318     Mannheim Rd.   (Mt. Carmel Branch)    Apr 27, 1957

427     W. of Mannheim         Mar 7, 1955   (Jim Heinlein)

403     W. of Mannheim         Mar 7, 1955   (Jim Heinlein)

433+417     Hillside - Garden Home    Mar 30, 1957

405     Spring Rd.    Apr 27, 1957

406+452     Glen Oak            Mar 30, 1957

416     Glen Oak         May 19, 1957

309+310     Glen Oak       May 19, 1957

600          Wheaton Shops     Apr 27, 1957

407     Wheaton     Jun 30, 1957

414     Wheaton      Apr 17, 1957

452      Wheaton Shops      Mar 30, 1957

451       Wheaton      Jun 30, 1957

309 - 454         Wheaton      Jun 30, 1957        

307 - 317       Wheaton      Apr 21, 1957

455-452-459        Wheaton       Jun 16, 1963

410     Wheaton      May 5, 1963

433     Wheaton      May 26, 1963

454     Wheaton      May 5, 1963

408     Wheaton      May 5, 1963

420     Wheaton      May 5, 1963

430 - 457      Wheaton      May 5, 1963

430 - 401       Wheaton      May 26, 1963

433     Wheaton      May 5, 1963

457     Wheaton      Jun 16, 1963

460        Weisbrook Rd.     Oct 26, 1958

460        Weisbrook Rd.     Oct 26, 1958

309     Warrenville      May 19, 1957

433      Williams Rd.       Mar 30, 1957

427      Williams Rd.       Mar 30, 1957

455    Batavia Jct.    Apr 17, 1957

405    Batavia Jct.    Apr 17, 1957

318      Glenwood Park    Apr 17, 1957

318      Glenwood Park    Apr 17, 1957

310      Glenwood Park    May 19, 1957

460        Aurora Ave.     Oct 26, 1958

460        Aurora Ave.     Oct 26, 1958

424      Aurora, Fox River       Apr 21, 1957

459      Aurora Station       Apr 21, 1957

460      Aurora Station       Apr 21, 1957

460        Aurora Station    Oct 26, 1958

460 Cab      Aurora Station    Oct 26, 1958

417       Wheaton - Liberty Drive      Mar 30, 1957

410       Wheaton - Liberty Drive      Mar 30, 1957

457       Wheaton - Wesley St.      Jun 30, 1957

4005-4006       Wheaton - Wesley St.      Jun 30, 1957

405     Geneva Jct.      May 19, 1957

454-456        Lakewood        May 19, 1957
430       Smith Rd.       Oct 26, 1958