Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Busy Wednesday

Today was another busy day at the Museum.  I probably missed several things, but here's a quick report on several different activities.  First of all, I wanted to pull all four cars out to check things out in preparation for service this weekend, and to switch the order of the two trains.  

But once I had got the 36 and 309 outside and backed them onto 83, I realized this wasn't going to work within the limits of Yard 8, due to various things blocking the tracks I usually use.  Suddenly it seemed like more effort than it was worth, so I put the train back into the barn.  We'll take care of this Saturday morning.  But first, some pictures of the interiors:

 The 308 and 319 were tested and checked in place.   All compressors were checked, I made sure each end of each train has two red flags, the headlights will be ready for Sunday evening, etc.

Tim wasn't out today, as he usually takes Wednesday off, but here's what the 24 looks like inside.  It should be ready for its big debut by Members' Day.

The other main activity today was helping Pete Galayda with the Charles City Western engine.  We started by retesting the control system with a light box across the open motor switch.  (This is something we should have done last week.)  The results were as expected: the lights don't light until the fourth point.  We then got out the megger and checked the continuity through the grids.  Several changes to the wiring had to be made, which Pete did efficiently.  

We did some more testing, and found one more change that had to be made.  It also was evident that the parallel points weren't working at all.  I guessed that this was due to the motor cutout interlock I had worked on last week, so I went into the hood and reset it by hand.  After retightening the grid connections and checking with the megger, we tried sequencing with the light box.  Everything appeared to work, so we're probably ready for operational testing again.  After throwing the reverser back and forth a few times, the parallel points went dead again, but this has to be because the interlock is mounted on the reverser, and must have come loose again.   I'll have to come up with a system to keep it closed.  Anyway, the locomotive should now be operational.   We hope.

The contractors were hard at work on this section of Central, digging out the old material.

Jeron Glander and Bob Olson were busy running the ballast train.

 The ballast cars get loaded from this pile of rock near the steam leads.

Then the train is run out to Yard 15, where the ballast is dumped.   By the end of the day, all of the new tracks, 151 and 152, had a layer of ballast.   Tamping will come next, I suppose.

Out by Barn 14, Jon Fenlaciki is loading up seats from the North Western bilevels to take to our seating company to be redone.   This is the same company that did the 65 and the 972, and will probably do the Electroliner when the time comes.

In Barn 11, Victor and Bill were working on the Pennsy bobber.   I did more cleaning in the 321.

Gregg Wolfersheim was working on installing parts on the 972, which is very close to being operational.  Only a few more adjustments to the brake system remain to be done, we believe.

Max is replacing poles near the diner.

 By the end of the day, new material was tamped down near the Central Ave. crossing.  

Lorne Tweed was working on windows for the Cleveland PCC, which can be rather frustrating at times.  He wants me to point out that Eric Lorenz has been doing most of the work, and has been doing a lot on the control position, as seen above.

And what did I miss?  John Arroyo and Ed Oslowski were working on the Liner, as usual.   Gerry Dettloff and John Faulhaber were working on the 810.  John McKelvey was doing upholstery.  And probably more.

Landscaping has been done around the posts for the Santa Fe sign.  I should point out that this is quite striking as seen from the road.  Even though it's not on top of a ten-story building,  it makes an immediate impression.  In fact, it almost looks like this is now the Santa Fe Railroad Museum.  I don't think anybody has a bigger Santa Fe locomotive than ours, at least.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dig This

Our friend Jeron Glander sends us pictures of another busy day at the Museum.   Since I don't live out there, I would miss a lot if I didn't have trusty reporters helping out with the breaking news.

Jeron, Rich Schauer, Bob Olson, and Gerry Dettloff helped get our little blue friend on his way.

At the south end of the property, work is progressing rapidly on the car line extension.

But even more astounding:

Work has started on installing the double-track streetcar line, working west from the Central Avenue crossing.  The street has to be excavated down to a stable layer of soil, on which the gravel roadbed can be compacted, followed by ties, rail, and pavement.  As Jeron points out, the view of the current wye track gives a good idea of what it will look like in cross-section.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Interurbans After Dark

For Labor Day weekend, we will again be having night-time operations at IRM for the general public.  On Saturday evening, the 1630 and two North Shore cars will be running until 9PM or so, depending on popular demand, and on Sunday evening, the Zephyr and two CA&E wood cars, weather permitting.  Otherwise I suppose we'll take the CA&E steels.  Last year we did this and had a great time, although we were basically doing it to entertain ourselves.  Nobody bothered to provide a ticket seller at the entrance.  So even if you're not a member, you might be able to get in for free again this year.   I can't guarantee that, of course.  But we can promise you'll want to be there.  Bring your camera!

Help Wanted

The CA&E cars are scheduled to run all three days this weekend, and we could use help on each day, particularly Saturday.  Contact Jim to sign up.  Thanks!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Visit to Monticello

I haven't been down to the Monticello Railway Museum for a few years; I used to go there every year for an annual steam fix, but that isn't necessary now that the 1630 is running.  But while on our way to visit relatives, I finagled an hour or so to see what's new, although I was aware the 401 wouldn't be running.

The new display barn at the north end of the property has been completed since we were last there.  It has three tracks, with two concrete walks between the tracks and elevated walkways along the walls.

The Wabash business car is on display, but not open.  

A view into the rear compartment from the platform.

 On the other track is a long string of IC varnish.

 Our freight car guys are working on the Pennsy bobber, so I took several pictures of this bobber from the B&OCT, which has been nicely restored and is open to the public.

And then here's a Russell plow from the CP, with a wooden body.

And I could tell you a fish story, about the one that got away...

The Shedd Aquarium's car for transporting rare fish.  I think even fish can get motion sickness.

 The 401 generally operates one weekend per month.   Here it is in the shop, sitting under its smoke jack in the building.   Note the full-length inspection pit.

 And one of the older carbarns at the south end of the property has recently been extended.  It was hot and humid, so at this point we decided to cut our visit short.  Next time we'll have to ride the steam train again.  If you're in the area, Monticello is well worth a visit.