This may come as a shock, but Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy will be in operation soon! If that doesn't spark your interest, nothing will. I'm already charged up about it, how about you?
OK, enough of that. I spent most of the day doing electrical work on the 308. First, I wanted to get all of the light circuits working. One of the keys to success was to replace one of the wall fixtures. The other day, while looking for controller parts, I found an original complete light socket. I used it to replace one of the fixtures with modern hardware-store insides, and it works much better.
I think historically this socket should be pointing down, but in that position the bulb and/or socket are liable to be damaged or destroyed when somebody carelessly opens the hinged window. This happened a couple of years ago, and the lights hadn't worked since.
One of the problems in an old wooden car like this is finding a reliable ground, but once that was resolved, all of the circuits work, as seen here in these unretouched photos.
Here's the smoker.
And the main compartment. Nice, eh?
The other project was rewiring the controller at the #2 end, the end that had to be rebuilt. One of the connections from the wiring harness to the controller was missing, and I had replaced it with an extra wire from the junction box up through the floor. There are no pictures of it because I had hoped nobody would ever notice. But finally I got around to rewiring the system correctly, and tested it. It still works correctly, and there is one less thing to worry about.
Say, have I ever mentioned that Thomas is going to be here soon? He'll be here this weekend, Aug. 13th and 14th, and the next weekend, the 21st and 22nd. Percy too! You'll want to be there. Kids of all ages will have a great time!
What else has been going on? I noticed that the posts have been installed for the huge Santa Fe sign out by the entrance. You will observe that some are taller than others, to support the upper-case letters.
Nearby, the Track Dept. guys were tamping down the west wye. Bob Olson is hidden somewhere inside the machine, with Mike Alterio helping on the ground.
By the station, a couple of youngsters hired by B&G for the summer are repainting the gift shop cars. This is a big and much-needed improvement to the appearance of the area. At some point soon, however, the stores will be moving to the Schroeder store, and these cars can go elsewhere.
The food court is being set up for the Thomas event.
And contractors are using jackhammers to drive metal stakes into the ground for another large tent.
Here's a tent for Thomas that has already been set up. Let's go inside and see what's there.
Max Tyms and Roger Smessaert are hard at work doing all the electrical work needed to make things run smoothly. Here Roger is turning the lights on, like a lamplighter, as he says.
The door prize will be this Model T. Remember, you gotta be in it to win it.
And some Thomas layouts are already set up. The temptation was hard to resist, I must admit.
Later in the day, Bob and Mike were hard at work finishing installation of the new spring switch mechanism at the turnout to the steam leads. These guys just don't give up.
Maybe I haven't mentioned it yet, but Thomas the Tank Engine is on the way. Tickets are still available. Or did I say that already? Senility isn't always everything it's cranked up to be.