Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rarities on the move

Frank writes...

Sunday there was more switching going on, and this time there were some truly rare finds moving around Yard 7.  Most of the switching involved pulling cars out of track 74 including one car, the 2843, that hasn't been outdoors since (I think) about 1985.  But that's later.

When I arrived, the 205 was very nicely spotted in Yard 7 along with the 972 and West Towns 141.  It doesn't look half bad, I'd say!  Other than door edge rubber and silver pinstriping on all of the lettering, its cosmetic restoration is practically complete.
And then the interesting stuff started.  Rod Turner, Dan Mulvihill, Richard Schauer, Greg (two Gs) Kepka, Gregg (three Gs) Wolfersheim, and Joel Ahrendt were all on the switch crew. After using the 45-tonner to move the 144 (which has its air compressor removed for repair) and North Shore 354 we got to the unusual stuff.  Above is the Kansas City PCC; I gave this car a "broom job" in 2001 and it's actually held up pretty well.  Frank Sirinek and crew have been doing some spectacular work on restoring the interior of this car and have also given it a complete set of authentic KCPS windows with blue-tinted upper sections.
And our Detroit Peter Witt, the 3865, which hadn't been outside in maybe 10 years.  That Detroit brow - talk about a face only a mother could love!
Next up was a real rarity, Chicago Surface Lines 2846, a suburban car from an 11-car series known as "Interstates" that was built in 1908 in the shops of the South Chicago City Railway on Ewing Avenue just off the Calumet River.  This car came to IRM via the Electric Railway Historical Society (ERHS) in 1973 and has been kept inside ever since.  It's on shop trucks; ERHS bought it from the CTA with incorrect McGuire trucks but those turned out to be just right for West Towns 141 so they're now under that car.  Anyone know where we could get a pair of Taylors for this car?  Anyway, the 2846 was sent off to Barn 13.
While the switch crew was off in the south yards (and then shuffling some equipment on track 71), Greg Kepka helped me switch the order of the four CA&E wood cars.  We started with (from the door) 309-308-36-319 and ended with 319-308-36-309, which will allow us to inspect the 308 and 319 for operation starting Memorial Day Weekend.  With so many CA&E woods moving around Yard 8 it could almost have been Wheaton!

And then right before I had to leave they switched out one of the real hidden gems of the streetcar collection, CSL 2843.  I've written a history of this car here.  As far as any of us could recall, it hadn't left Barn 7 in at least 30 years.  It's going to stay in Barn 7 on display but will be on a different track.
And who happened to be hanging around but Nick Kallas, the last original voting member of ERHS (read the ERHS story here).  Here he is with a pair of cars that wouldn't be around today if it hadn't been for ERHS, the 2843 in the foreground and West Towns 141 (now fully restored from a car body) in the background.  Nick recalled actually running the 2843 at South Shops in 1958 before it was loaded on a truck to go to the ERHS site in Downers Grove.

In other exciting news, as of Saturday the 321 is now back inside!  I meant to go over to Barn 13 and remove the tarp(s) from the car but switching ran late and I needed to get home.  But soon we'll see how the car's nice paint job has held up during six years of tarped outdoor storage.  You'll find out as soon as we do!


Nick Gawriluk said...

Nick looks like he's lost some weight. He looks good.

Brian L. said...

Minor correction, both the 321 and the 2846 are in Barn 11, not 13.

David Church said...

Bet Wheaton yards never saw 4 woods that looked so good at one time.

Kirk Warner said...

What would be necessary to make the Kansas City pic operational?

Joel Ahrendt said...

I would take a bit of work. The 63 and 4 are quicker PCC's to get working. When you're out at the musuem, there's some that know more in depth on what it fully needs. I know we need 8 wheels.