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.
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!