Saturday, May 21, 2016

Almost Ready for Service

Today the weather was beautiful; we seem to have gone from winter to summer in one week.  I was able to complete the inspection of the 308, except for lubrication.  I hope to do this on Wednesday if I can get some help.  Anyway, the air system was checked out, the feed valve was carefully adjusted from 74 to 72, and everything seems to work fine now.  I also installed some new contactor tips.  We had a number of new DB-131 tips made, since the 409 needed them, and some of the spares come in handy on the 308.  With luck, I'll be getting a picture or two of myself working on this from our staff photographer, Chuck Amstein.  And I checked the controllers and the roof hardware.  Then I couple up the 319 and checked that the hoses and electrical connections are all working properly.

The bigger the blue flag, the safer.

Later in the day, I repainted the piping under the motorman's valve that we had worked on last time.  It would be annoying to have it look like the shutoff valve on the piping in your basement, but it doesn't look nearly so ugly after painting.  In any case, IRM is on the job.  Rod was telling me that he's been working on a solution to this problem.  We have a new volunteer who has access to a 3-D metal printer.  He's been able to "print" a new coach key that works, and they are planning to design and print a replacement handle that will look much like the original that can be attached to the new cutout valves.  That will be a noticeable improvement.  In the meantime, what we have now will be acceptable.

Inspection continues on other cars; here Dave Fullarton is working on installing hoses for the sanders on the Budd cars.  The sanders were removed a while back, and we will probably not use them very much, but it might be nice to be able to sand the rails once in a while.  

In property improvement news, here is the frame for holding up the Santa Fe sign near the entrance.

A couple of years ago, we acquired the letters from the top of the Santa Fe office building, or Railway Exchange, downtown along Michigan, and for many years this was a noticeable part of the Chicago skyline.  We don't have a tall building (yet) on which to mount the sign, but it will soon be placed where visitors enter the property.  "Santa Fe, all the way!"

 Work steadily progresses on the Cleveland PCC.  It looks like the control stand is going together nicely.

 The Russell plow makes a stunning display at the front end of Barn 8.  This is a popular place for families to pose their children.

We had a pretty good number of visitors, and revenue operation was in full swing, with two streetcars, the Diesel coach train, North Shore, and L.  And next week is Memorial Day weekend.   Where does the time go?

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