Okay, so Tin Pan Alley fans will know that I'm referencing a song about telephone switches and not railroad switches, but hey, it's a good song so who am I to be picky. Sunday I was able to spend a few hours out at the museum and mostly helped with switching. Equipment continues to move around the south yards, and one current project is emptying Barn 10 and moving that equipment into the new barns. Rumor has it that Barn 10 will become a shop building; regardless, some of our less renowned pieces of electric equipment had to be moved from there into Barn 13.
And then there was the real pride of the fleet, Gary Railways 19, sitting regally atop a Milwaukee Electric flatcar. That flatcar is actually slightly interesting; it was cut down from a freight motor which was itself rebuilt from an interurban car.
And here's the "roach motel" neatly ensconced in its new home in Barn 13. The Gary car acquired that nickname from the critters which were its main inhabitants when it was acquired during IRM's "body snatcher" period of carbody acquisition. See, you learned something new today!
Afterwards I wandered around looking at some of the recent progress on the property. A visit to the steam shop revealed some interesting work being done on the 1630. The valve chambers had been re-bored and while I was there a few volunteers were working on honing the liner surface. Above, we're looking through the valve chamber with the drill in the foreground turning the honing tool.
Here's the honing tool after it was removed.
And finally a portrait of the 1630 in the steam shop. Note that the piston valves are removed. The valve bodies are on the cart to the left of the locomotive. The steam guys have been hard at work, as always, and in addition to a variety of maintenance and improvement work on the 1630 they're also working on other projects including the Shay, UP 428 and a cosmetic overhaul of Rock Island 938. They were also out greasing and oiling locomotives stored on the turntable leads in preparation for switching. I believe that at least a couple of locomotives will be going inside now that the new barns are being filled. Stay tuned!