Friday, August 26, 2016

An Afternoon in the Blue Room

I hope that sounds more relaxing and inviting than it was in reality.  But the only way to make progress is to roll up your sleeves and get to work.  We would like to have all four cars available for service on Labor Day weekend, which is approaching quickly, so I wanted to finish the current round of painting in the solarium of the 36.  The vestibules are entirely blue, as you may have noticed.

First, the ceiling.  This first coat of blue does not look nearly so splotchy in person, at least when the car's inside the barn, but a second coat will undoubtedly be needed.  All the parts are in place.

And below the flag box is the left side window.

And the front wall of that side, including the hand brake.

And the left side looks like this.  Everything is painted except the door, which I plan to do in the shop over the winter.  OK, let's see what other guys are doing.

While wandering around looking for the B-71, I was surprised to see that our "new" wooden reefer has a nice new coat of white paint on both sides.   I didn't know anybody was working on it, although I could make a shrewd guess or two as to who it might be.

John Arroyo and Ed Oslowski are continuing their non-stop work on the interior of the Electroliner.  This is an extremely detailed and laborious process, and progress may not be immediately obvious.  But I know from experience just how much work a thorough interior restoration like this can take.

This is the (really cramped) motorman's cab, which John has been working on.  The big tube is just the exhaust for his portable air conditioner.  He's been cleaning off surfaces all over the cab with great care.  

The back wall of the cab.  The cab is so small, you have to see it in person.   They plan to have the car open for Members' Day, so don't miss it.

 Ed cleans up part after part after part....

And I should point out that this section of the Liner, our most modern-looking interurban, is sitting on an ancient truck built by the Gilbert Car Company, dating to 1893.   Best known for their line of American Flyer trains, Gilbert was also.... or wait, was that somebody else?

And it appears that track laying is more or less complete in Yard 15, and ballasting will come next.

As I was walking across the property this morning, I ran into a first-time visitor who started talking to me: "Man, this is exciting!   This is real history, you know!"   I learned that he grew up in Springfield and rode the IT to Chatham to visit relatives, his father worked for the C&IM, and so on.  It's all too easy to lose the sense of excitement I once had, but conversations with visitors often help bring it back.

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