Saturday, August 6, 2016

Exciting Action

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!


Anonymous said...

You said that the Northwestern Elevated Railway used trolley poles; wouldn't an elevated railway have used a third rail?

I any case, the car has to have a trolley pole to run at the museum. What a grand sight; a wooden car from 1893 running in the 21st century! Good work everybody.

I was out to Rio Vista tody and did a car Barn Three tour; the visitors really enjoyed out two Elevated Cars from New York and in WWII; the Richmond Shipyard Railway!

Ted Miles, IRM Member

Joel Ahrendt said...

The Sante Fe Lounge car had been undergoing intensive rehab over the last few years, and as such wasn't able to run. It is now able to be put back in service. More details can be obtained from the Coach Department.

Randall Hicks said...

They used both. Basically, third rail was used on the elevated structure and trolley wire for most of the ground-level trackage. Car 24 was built without trolley poles, and they were added in 1908 for use on the Evanston extension.

Anonymous said...

The Northwestern 'L' required overhead wire, as the extension north of Wilson Avenue was via Milwaukee Road trackage at ground level. After elevation, third rail was used to Howard St., except for track 1 which was also used for freight trains. The north side 'L' delivered freight for the Milwaukee Rd. with the two Baldwin-Westinghouse electric locos. Evanston continued to use trolley wire until 1973 when the CTA converted that to third rail and was able to retire the last of the 4000 series cars.

Lake Street also needed trolley poles, as they ran next to the C&NW first at ground level. The C&NW built an embankment, but the 'L' ran right next to the street through Oak Park. The CTA moved the tracks to the C&NW embankment in 1962.

Niles Center (later Skokie) trains required trolley wire where the North Shore Line changed to trolley wire.

The Ravenswood, Douglas and Garfield Park lines were able to use third rail at ground level.

Bill Wulfert

Jeron G. said...

Randy, Thomas and Percy will be operating starting August 13th. Tickets are still available.

Randall Hicks said...

Yikes, you're right! That's like five days from now. Where does the time go? Anyway, we should try to talk it up more.