Pretty much the first thing I did this morning was to unload the heavy roll of upholstery material from my auto into the 150 for storage. I hadn't noticed yesterday that it was directed to the "Illionis Railroad" -- I can only hope that was meant to be us, but in any case, it's ours now!
Early in the morning, the contractors are already hard at work. Here a workman using a jackhammer attachment is knocking concrete from the girder rails we got from Pittsburgh. We'll see more of this later.
And this picture speaks for itself:
Today's most popular activity seemed to be finding and fighting leaks. As in air leaks that rob your brake system of its efficiency and reliability. I was fighting leaks on the CA&E cars, Pete Galayda and Wes Lloyd were fighting leaks on the Charles City Western 300, and John Faulhaber and Gerry Dettloff were fighting leaks on the LSE 810. I wound up replacing both control pipe hoses on the 36 with ones from the 309, so the three-car train works much better. The 309 is temporarily disabled, but we'll get to that. The 300 had a large number of leaks, and unfortunately it will not be ready for Showcase Weekend, but Pete and Wes are continuing work on it.
The insidious thing about leaks is that you can't see them, so there was nothing to take a picture of.
Something we can see, though, is work on welding the girder rails for the streetcar line. All of the joints will be welded with thermite, as was usually done in the old days.
Bob Olson can explain better than I exactly how this process works, but after it's done, we have a firm, reliable joint that will never work loose. That's important, of course, for paved track.
The rails will be joined with threaded gauge bars through the web of the rail. The rails will be spiked without tie plates, because tie plates are designed to tilt the rail slightly, and we need these girder rails to be perfectly vertical. With a little experience, this welding process should go much faster.
The paint gets chipped off, partly by people's hands with rings, or objects they're carrying, and partly by mounting and removing the Kevin signs. People's hands I can't do much about, but over the winter I'll develop a better mounting system for the Kevin signs. I don't want to have to keep doing this.
Start with a coat of spray primer, which dries quickly.
And then a coat of Fleet Grey. Painting these rails is not quick or easy. The result is hardly perfect, but it's a big improvement. We'll be running this Saturday, so you can see for yourself!