Things seldom stand still at IRM. Today was another day of interesting and productive activity out at the old railway museum. Tomorrow will be the Transport Extravaganza, and a lot of effort was directed by B&G towards getting ready for that. We should be there, how about you?
Apart from the Kevin signs, and a few minor details, this could almost be Wheaton...
... until you turn around. Yikes! Percy and Thomas are hiding in plain sight. They'll be in operation starting Saturday, Aug. 13th.
I spent the first part of the day painting the vestibule floor of the 36 with a first coat of finish grey. It will be darker than it looks here, due to the ambient light.
Anyway, then I went to our parts storage facility for spare controllers, and picked out a replacement for the handle shaft of the controller at the #2 end of the 319. As I mentioned before, this part was badly worn. It's not obvious from this picture which is better, but at least they're the same part. Not all C6 controllers are identical. It's a good thing we have a supply of spares.
Here's the partially disassembled controller. After swapping out parts, it works much better. The original part was taken to the shop to be brazed as time permits.
Tim and Bill were working on the 24, which is now operational. For the time being, the car will have a trolley shoe at one end and a wheel at the other, until they decide which is best. The Northwestern Elevated used both, as I'm told.
Here's a video of one of the GE-55 motors in operation on the car. This is low speed, to be sure, but it's remarkably free of sparking for a motor without interpoles. With the motor covers and hatches off, you get lots of realistic noise from the brushes rubbing on the commutator. These motors are really beautiful.
Meanwhile, lots of progress is being made on the property. The concrete bases have been poured for the Santa Fe sign near the entrance, and Dave says it should be installed next week.
And then we have this nice new decorative fence between the playground and the car line, running between the Depot St. stop and the pump house. It's a good safety feature.
And alongside the office building, concrete bases have been poured as an improved base for the memorial benches.
We had a good crowd of visitors today. The 1630 was running, and people always like to look in the cab, as seen here.
The North Shore cars were running, and as you can almost see, at the end of the coach train was the Santa Fe combine.
This is a nice heavyweight car, and I'm not sure why it isn't used more often. I suppose I could ask.
The main compartment. with plush seats:
And the smoker, with black leatherette. My, that looks familiar.
And then the baggage compartment.
Meanwhile, Tim was hard at work on the roof of his car, adjusting the poles and tightening the bases.
This is the original stepping relay from the 24, which didn't work right. Fortunately we had a spare in stock, and once it was found and installed, the automatic acceleration feature works flawlessly.
The track guys were installing the spring switch mechanism at the switch from the car line to the steam leads for use during Thomas. In the past, it's been necessary for someone to be stationed there to throw the switch a couple of times every half hour -- I've done it myself once or twice. Having a spring switch will eliminate that job and speed things up.
And during another multi-car switch move, my favorite IT train was pulled outside.
And finally, we have NWERR 24 in operation around the car line. Not something you see every day!