We'll start today by looking at the progress being made by Volkmann Railroad Contractors on the south yards and the new car line.
And this is looking west.
And here is the right-of-way for the new streetcar line, which will pass south of Yard 15. This is probably a much better roadbed than most interurbans ever had. And it appears to be wide enough for two tracks.
Looking east towards the curve.
And they are putting in the switch for the car line on the lead to 15.
I went over to Barn 11 to do some more cleaning in the 321. If I do a little each day, perhaps it will eventually get done. I ran into Dave Rogan and Victor H., who are working on the Pennsy bobber.
Here Victor points out all the fixes made to the platform. You've probably never been inside the car, so come on up!
Much of the ceiling structure had to be replaced; the new boards are evident.
And likewise at the other end.
Looking up into the cupola.
This is an authentic PRR stove.
The tan color is the final finish.
And later, in the shop, Victor showed me one of the grab irons from the car, an unusual type of casting which will have to be reproduced.
Then I wandered over to Barn 4 to see what was happening. Pete Galayda was working, as usual, on the Charles City engine.
Gerry Dettloff and I helped out with sequencing the control, with Mike McCraren recording the data as the sequence proceeds.
It's not as easy as it is on the passenger electric cars. The contactors are under this hood, which cannot be disassembled, so two of us have to squeeze into this narrow space and watch the contactors operate on 600V a few inches away as the third person operates the controller. Pete helpfully explained that "nobody has been zapped yet." There's not much room, and all you can do is crouch there and hope that the electricity doesn't leak out.
(Illustration by James Thurber)
As before, the contactors sequenced in series but not in parallel. So we got out the circuit diagram and traced the parallel control circuits to find the open. It turns out there's an interlock on the reverser which is connected to the motor cutout switches. This engine has four 600V motors in two permanent series pairs, for operation on either 600V or 1200V trolley. Motors are cut out not by opening the connections, but shorting across the pair of motors. So if either pair is cut out, and you try to advance beyond full series, nothing happens due to this interlock. I crawled back under the hood; this part of the reverser is in the most inaccessible location, but I was able to fix it, and now everything sequences properly. So that's a big step forward. We should be able to test the locomotive for operation soon.
Jon Fenlaciki is still working on Indiana Railroad 65; there are still a few details to be taken care of. The seats all had a small metal pamphlet holder attached to the back; here's one of the many Jon has been painting. The IRR put out a newsletter called the "Hoosier Traveller" for passengers to read, much as Metra does today, and they fit these metal holders exactly. And Jon asked me to point out that the 65 project is still in the hole, so your donations would be most appreciated.
The rest of the day was mostly spent sanding and painting in the #2 vestibule of the 36. Here it is after the flag box and the shelf have been removed. They were taken over to our nice air-conditioned shop for further work.
It usually isn't necessary to remove all of the original Pullman Green paint in the vestibules. This stuff is like glue and very hard to eradicate.
And here's some more brown primer on the ceiling and other parts of the vestibule. This will continue as time permits. But this Saturday will be Thomas again, so I don't know what I will be doing. But we'll post it here, newsworthy or not.