I made it out to IRM for the first time in some five months on Sunday afternoon. I thought that I might end up helping with switching, but the weather was pretty crummy so there was a break in the action on that front. But I did get a pretty good series of tours of progress being made on multiple fronts at the museum.
And right across the aisle, Tim was working on the gate car, fitting some fixtures recently overhauled by Bill Wulfert and later painting more truck parts. What we see here are the newly-turned motor truck axles that will be used on the car. These axles, along with needed motor components, were acquired last year from the Museum of Transport in St. Louis. Word also has it that motor work for this car's GE 55 motors is moving along steadily at the motor shop.
This is not a very good photo, but it shows the end of CTA "single" car 30 with newly-mounted saddles and roof boards. (The white ends of the roof boards are in primer will be painted green.) And if you look closely, you can see a pantograph shoe, albeit upside down with the horns pointing upwards. Richard, Greg, Joel and others have been working on this car over the winter to outfit it with prototypical Skokie Swift rooftop equipment. For the first 25-odd years of service on the Skokie line, the CTA used a fairly unique bow trolley system for current collection. The plan is to restore all of this apparatus to car 30 as a representative example.
And Richard and Greg had some other parts of the system in the shop for overhaul. This is a motorized trolley catcher; the motorman on the car would push a button in the cab to raise or lower the bow trolley.
And here are the latches, which were homebuilt in the CTA shops when this system was adopted. There's a solenoid for latching down the bow trolley as well as a limit switch that tells the motorman when it's latched down. The motorman won't get a "clear" signal from the car unless the front trolley is locked down as a way to prevent back-poling (though this can be overridden in an emergency).
I also toured barns 13 and 14. The latter is largely full, though a fair amount of rearranging is yet to do. The former, shown here, is largely empty at the moment, though that certainly won't last long. We're standing at the northwest corner in the company of a few electric cars that have been switched into their proper assigned spots, including IT 1702 to the left and South Shore 504 and CSL 1467 to the right. The cabooses in the distance have just been spotted in that location for the time being to facilitate switching. What a blimp hangar!
As always, there are plenty of other projects going on. Joel showed me windows he recently installed in Milwaukee Electric steeplecab L3, currently spotted at 50th Avenue. I tagged along on a fact-finding mission to CSL 144, which will soon have its rebuilt air compressor re-hung. Annual inspection work has also started, with the 3142 currently on the pit.