Monday, May 2, 2016

"L" car interlude

Frank writes...

I made it out to IRM on Saturday for a few hours hoping to help with a series of planned switch moves.  This is all part of the massive "Switch the World" campaign to fill the new barns.  But I couldn't have picked a worse day; it rained constantly from late morning until well past dark.  While it's true that trains still run in the rain, many of the cars were were scheduled to be moved around do not have watertight roofs and the decision was made to put off switching until another day.

So for a lack of any better ideas I ended up helping with this.  What in the world is this, you ask?  It's what's left of the interior of CTA 1992, formerly known as CTA 2008, an "L" car built by Pullman in the mid-1960s.  IRM acquired a pair of 2000-series cars when they were retired in 1993 (and has recently repainted the 2153-2154 in original colors) but the CTA kept a second set sitting around Skokie for some 20 years.  This second set, 2007-2008, had been repainted in Pullman green and renumbered as 1892-1992 for the centennial of the South Side Elevated.  Gradually stripped for parts while they sat at Skokie, the shells were acquired by IRM a couple of years ago and our volunteers have been finishing the parts removal process in preparation for scrapping.  The 1892-1992 were fitted with crummy plywood tables by the CTA around the time of the "L" centennial; these tables will, needless to say, not be preserved.
Here's Richard, who is heading up the parts retrieval effort, peering into one of the door motor boxes. There are a lot of weird fixtures on these cars, everything from electronics boards to plastic extrusions for the lights.  Richard pointed out that as equipment coming to IRM gets more modern we are likely to have more trouble finding replacements for things as simple as random interior panels (on the 2000s these are marble-finish linoleum - good luck finding that) or Plexiglas light covers. There's plenty of stuff you just can't run off on a table saw.  So I spent a while helping Richard and Thomas to remove seat cushions and other similar interior appointments from this car for spares for the 2153-2154. Hopefully the weather will be better next weekend!

1 comment:

Joel Ahrendt said...

We did do the switching on Sunday, and ended up having two crews. The 321 is now inside in it's new spot at the end of the track. Other things got moved as well. Switching will continue for the next few weekends. Of course I'm going to try to keep the inspections going as well.