Saturday, July 30, 2016

Car 24 on the Move

Tim sent me some pictures of the 24 on its way over to the pit track for the truck swap.

We're all hoping it will be in operation soon!

Motion In All Directions

Today was another great day out at the Museum.  We had a very good crowd of visitors enjoying the nice weather and all the displays and operations.   The wood L cars were running, along with the coach train; the 3142 was on the car line.

As mentioned before, Dick Lukin was visiting and got to operate the 460 on a fan trip.

And my daughter who lives near Phoenix is here for the weekend for a Hicks family reunion, and brought along my shiny new son-in-law, who had never been to IRM before.  I think he was suitably impressed.

There are lots of activities to report on.   The 24 is now mounted on its motor truck, and work is progressing to get it operational.

 Here Tim is trying to clean off the motor lead connectors.   "You would think 50 years' accumulation of corrosion would clean off easier than this, but nooooo!"

Looking straight down through the motor hatch:

I have almost finished patching up the hole in the roof of the 460.  It should now be watertight.  The rebuilt part of the drip rail is only in primer, but otherwise it's complete.  It's too bad it didn't rain while we were running the car, so that assertion could be tested....

There was a good number of Track and B&G members cleaning up the material yard today.  This has several benefits: it makes the place look better, usable material is located, sorted, and available, and scrap metal is removed for sale.  Here, for instance, we have a large number of old ties and bridge timbers that we will no longer want for new construction.  By building essentially a plank road, we now have a big shelf for storing track material that won't ever sink into the mud.

Also, I tested a control jumper I had rewired at home and now have that available.

And then work continues on preparing for building the frame to hold the big "Santa Fe" sign near the entrance.  Dave Diamond and Jerry Lynn were hard at work preparing the forms for the concrete.

And work is progressing on getting the IC Highliners operational.  That's Rich Schauer on the right, with a couple of the new guys.  Sorry, I should know their names but don't.  I was of course furious that they stole my big blue flag, but I guess I've calmed down.   Sort of.

And finally, there was a moment of pure Shakespearean terror.  Just as I was getting ready to leave the property, I saw this tree coming towards me.  It's too bad I didn't have time to set up for a video of it.  A moving tree, I tell you!  Who can impress the forest?  I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  

Well, maybe I'm doomed, or maybe it was just part of the process of cleaning up the material yard.   You be the judge.

58 Years Later

Dick Lukin, a long-time IRM member and an old friend of ours, was out at IRM today.  Dick has always been a great enthusiast of the CA&E, among other things such as the IC electric where he worked for many years.  Here are two pictures of him taken in 1958 at Wheaton, posing with cars 36 and 460. 

You can't keep a good man down.  Dick has been a generous supporter of IRM ever since, and today we went out for a fan trip on 460 around the car line and out on the main line.  We restaged the two photos above, and while the 36 is a different color, Dick hasn't aged much at all!

Thanks for helping make all this possible, Dick!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Help Wanted

The next operating date for the CA&E wood cars is the Transport Extravaganza, Sunday, Aug. 7th, and we need people to sign up.  I can take any open position, but Frank will be out of town.  Please help if you can.  The Extravaganza is always a great time for everybody.   Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Variety Show

Today saw quite a bit of progress on a few different projects.  The weather was not too bad for the middle of summer.  The first thing I worked on was to start painting the patch on the 460's roof with black canvas paint, which I managed to dig out of its hiding place in the 810.

Then I worked some more on the 308's lighting circuits.  The main problem is the side light fixtures; when we acquired the car, the light sockets were missing, and the available sockets from hardware stores are usable but not perfect.  They tend to rotate when the bulbs are inserted.

This fixture was loose, so Rod soldered it back together for me.

And then we started on fixing up the drip rail for the 460.  Rod's expertise at soldering copper pieces of this size was essential for getting it fixed.

After quite a bit of work, we got it into shape so that it fits the roof very well.  After painting, it will look just as good as new.  

Rod was also helping Tim fix up the motor truck; the main journal bearings needed some adjustments before they would fit properly, but that appears to be finished.  Tim wanted to move the truck over the pit, and we decided the easiest way would be to run it under its own power.  The usual car movers don't work very well with outside-hung brakes.

 I helped by wiring up the motor to a welder, and I got to run the truck for about ten feet.   We believe that this is the first time any part of the (10)24 has run under its own power at IRM.  I hope you're impressed.

Tim then started attaching the gear pans, as seen here.

Another project in our continual property improvement is installation of concrete foundations for the framing of the big "Santa Fe" sign that we mentioned a couple of months ago.

Dave was checking levels for pouring concrete...

once all the water in the holes can be pumped out.

By the end of the day, I had one of the two defective circuits repaired, and working with the newly-fixed light fixture.  The other one just needs an improved ground connection at the #1 end.

And the patches on the 460 were painted with a couple of coats of canvas paint.  I found there was another small hole in the roof at this end, so this has been patched also.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hot time in the old town

Frank writes...

I was out at IRM on Sunday and boy was it hot! The heat index was up somewhere around 105, I believe, and the humidity had to be close to 100% with thunderstorms moving through the area (though it didn't rain in Union). I'll be the first to admit that I didn't get much done.

What little I did get done was on the 150, where I painted about half of the window frames on the left (wall) side of the car with a finish coat of Tile Red. I started with the oval window at the back left corner, which was originally the toilet compartment, and worked forward. Above, the first couple of windows done; note that a folding screen sits in one of the windows to keep air circulating through the car.

The big public event this weekend was Diesel Days, but I arrived while the "Parade of Power" was in progress and managed to miss it. The highlight, apparently, was an operating A-B-A set of E-units. People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing that they like. I believe this lash-up was a first for IRM, made possible by the arrival during the past week of our ex-Union Pacific E-9B. It left in July 2006 as a hollowed-out shell that had been converted to a steam generator car and returns from a 10-year lease as a fully functional B-unit. When can we try this trick with interurban car bodies?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Clyde's Engine

Over the weekend I  was downstate for my wife's family reunion, and we spent some time going through old photographs.  I'll spare you the pictures of her as a four year old, etc.  But in the midst of all the typical family photos was this postcard of Frisco 2002, an early 2-8-8-2.  Several years ago we found a postcard of Frisco 1241, which was posted to my Steam Page.   On this new postcard, the locomotive is labeled "Clyde's Engine" and we have a picture of Clyde himself.   The wife is the same person, and she now has a name: Edna.  We believe he was Clyde Compton, my late father-in-law's uncle.  Be that as it may, the 2002 is certainly another fascinating machine.

Wolfersheim's Windows While You Wait

Gregg Wolfersheim has sent us another illustrated report of progress on the UP doodlebug:

Last month I stopped to see an old retired friend from the railroad I work for. He does woodwork for a hobby. With a little charm, I talked him into making a replacement window for the UP doodlebug. We found a piece of cedar that would work, and the next day he had it all done. Thanks, Chuck! Here is a comparison picture of the rotted original, and the new one lying on the shop floor.

The new window already primed and now getting a coat of Armour Yellow.

The new window installed. This is on the left side of the car, above the air compressor.

At the same time, the front window was redone and installed. This is a lower sash on the front of the car. An upper sash can be dropped down for better ventilation. Unfortunately, it is missing. So, I'm hoping that Chuck can make another sash for me.

 Here is an outside view of the lower sash, with the new left side window in the background.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Early Boxcab Locomotive: the B-71

Our latest acquisition is this unusual early Diesel boxcab, built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in 1930.  It has been stored for many years at the Minnesota Transportation Museum in St. Paul, but now it's coming to IRM!   It has been loaded onto a flatcar there, and is waiting to be moved.  Nick sent us these pictures recently taken at Jackson Street.

This design was known as the "visibility cab" switcher, and this locomotive was a plant switcher at Armco, and was numbered B-71.  This one of two in existence; the other is at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Arden.

Here is a link to a website page with lots of great technical information on this design, and the history of this particular unit.  Of course, as usual we now have to raise the funds to pay for the move, the trackspace, and eventual restoration.  So your generous donations will be greatly appreciated.