Monday, July 18, 2016

The flip side

Frank writes...

So for a while now I've been meaning to paint the other side of the car orange. It's true that "one-sided cars" are a longtime IRM specialty and that most people probably haven't even noticed that only one side of the car has been cosmetically restored, but the other side of the car really isn't in bad shape and there's no particular reason not to get it painted and looking nice. Even if it's years or even decades before any visitor sees it, it's something that will be good to get done. So when I was out at IRM on Sunday I decided to get started on this.

Here's part of the "other" side of the car before I began.  By the way, did I mention that I was talking about Lake Shore Electric 150? One side of this car got nicely painted back about ten years ago but the "flip side" is still partly in the same paint it wore when it was a flower shop at Station Square in Pittsburgh in the 1990s. While the color scheme is generally similar to LSE colors, the photos here (flower shop colors) and here (post-repainting) show that there are some marked differences. So the first job was to put a coat of white primer over the orange window piers so that the finish cream color will cover better.
There, that's better! Then I started in with brown primer on the window frames, which will get painted tile red. I was using a 1-1/2" brush so the edging wasn't all perfect, but I'l be able to clean that up a bit when I put on the finish paint.
Now it's starting to look more like a proper Lake Shore Electric car. As mentioned before, it's unlikely any visitor will see this work anytime in the foreseeable future but it's still good to get it done. Dan Mulvihill helped out some with this painting work and within a couple of hours it was all ready. Next I'll need to clean up the belt rail a bit and prime the bare spots there before starting in with finish paint.
There was plenty happening out at the museum on Sunday. The big draw was that it was the 50th anniversary, to the day, of the first "real" train operation at IRM! Our first-ever trip with a piece of revenue equipment was July 17, 1966 at exactly 11:27am and the car to make that trip was the old reliable IT 415. There were three motormen on that first trip in 1966: Roger Smessaert, Bob Kutella and the late Dave Shore. Bob has been in poor health recently but Roger was at IRM and ran the 415 on a commemoration trip that left the depot at the same time as the original trip. Unfortunately I didn't arrive until a couple of hours later but they did have the 415 out all day in honor of the occasion.
And there was plenty happening in the electric car shop. Norm and Jeff were hard at work on cutting and drilling new pieces of structural steel for Michigan Electric 28. Across the aisle from them, I noticed that John Faulhaber has been painting the trucks on Lake Shore Electric 810 green, as shown above. This freight trailer is getting very close to completion.
And here's Tim Peters, wasting away in the car shop. He's actually working in winding and tying new bundles of waste for the axle cap bearings on the truck for the 24; it's a laborious job but somebody's got to do it. Below, one of the new waste bundles goes into the axle cap to test the fit. These need to be packed tightly into the axle cap housing so that constant and relatively even contact is made with the axle surface to keep it oiled.

And then a small crew headed by Richard Schauer and Greg Kepka were working on the Metra (ex-Illinois Central) "Highliner" MU cars, which had been brought over to the pit lead. We acquired four of these cars with the idea of keeping two and scrapping the other two for parts, but the decision of which to keep and which to scrap won't be made until we have a better idea of the condition of each car. To do that, we need to get them up and going, and Saturday and Sunday were spent doing just that. This weekend focused on the westernmost car, 1534, and after quite a bit of fiddling and some fighting with the motor-alternator set, they eventually got the car to run. Behold: the first "Highliner" to run in a museum!
That maniacal laughter is courtesy of Diesel Department volunteer Jeron, who took a break from preparing for "Diesel Days" next weekend to come over and check out the MU cars. The 1534 isn't quite ready for prime time, as it needs a little bit of work with finicky air valves and the MA set, but given that virtually no changes were made to adapt it to 600-volts, it seems to be doing admirably so far. Work will continue on inspecting and testing these cars to make sure that the museum ends up with the pair in the best shape.



Do you plan to run the Highliners on the line eventually?

Lucas McKay

Anonymous said...

I was watching the Spaulding Tower webcam yesterday, and it appeared that the Union F.D. ambulance met the 415 in front of the depot. Any idea why?
Mike G.

Anonymous said...

Not to Nit-Pick, well yes I am. You mention that Tim was creating waste bundles for the armature bearings, but later on you correctly identified them as being for Northwestern Elevated 24's axle cap bearings.

Also, I saw John Faulhaber painting the 810's trucks on Saturday morning.

Bill Wulfert

Anonymous said...

Lucas: We sure do. Lots more work needs to be done, but we do plan to run them eventually. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step! Thanks for your interest.

Mike: The ambulance was there because a person had a medical emergency. (Isn't that the usual reason that ambulances are operated?)

R. W. Schauer

Frank Hicks said...

Oops - corrected, thanks Bill!

Anonymous said...

i believe the #24 has two motors; are they two in one truck or one motor in each of the two trucks?

I am glad I do not have to pick them up!

Ted Miles, IRM Member

Randall Hicks said...

Ted: Two motors in one truck, as you will soon see.