Memorial Day weekend started off well at IRM, with lots of activity and a good crowd of visitors.
First of all, the big turntable was successfully unloaded on Thursday, and here it is set on concrete. How long it sits here depends, to some extent, on you.
A lot of cleaning up got done. The Track Department were out in force, helping B&G by cleaning up OTM from the material yard, sorting out what can be used, and dumping a lot of scrap iron into a gondola. I meant to get a picture of the gondola but didn't -- sorry!
That helped inspire me to do a couple of hours' cleaning inside the barn. When I had all four cars pulled out last Wednesday, the area looked like the aftermath of a tornado -- rather embarrassing. I cleaned up a lot of stuff, but more needs to be done. It's the thought that counts.
Nothing I did today was worth taking a picture of, but I cleaned up the two service cars, 308 and 319, and made sure they had everything needed for operation, such as flags, and checked the oil, and sorted parts, and retrieved some things from the 321, and so on.
But perhaps the most dramatic event is the return of steam this year. The 1630 was fired up and used on the coach train, to everyone's delight.
Down by the station, it was a lot like Wheaton back in the 40's. The CA&E cars are loading for a trip east, while just to the north the steam train is waiting for its departure. And then two CSL cars were providing streetcar service, within walking distance this time.
And two of the newer CTA cars were running a shuttle service from 50th Avenue to Union. As a result, the new crossing gates were operating on a regular basis, keeping our visitors safe. Just like downtown!
Among other things, I spent some time talking to a couple of visiting railfans from Ireland. They were quite impressed with the size and scope of the collection, as who wouldn't be? So all in all, quite a good day
The 308 and 319 will be operating on Monday, weather permitting. Don't miss it!