It's always educational to have some fundamental contrasts that you can explain. The short is what I was doing today. The #2 vestibule in the 36 still needs to be repainted. All this piping and other mechanical objects make it a slow task, but it's getting sanded down and primed, slowly.
It's kind of a shame that these nice brass fittings have to be painted, but that's life. Incidentally, I have no idea why these otherwise identical castings on the same door frame are a different color. As Buzz says, it's a different copper content, but how that could happen is a mystery.
And at the other end, the scrap fuse box was installed. There's a pipe clamp to the right of the box, of unknown function. None of the other cars have this. I sure hope it wasn't just installed at Cleveland for some stupid reason.
I also spent some time finding a new cut-out cock for the 36, to replace one that was leaking, but I didn't start to install it, since we may want the car to be operational tomorrow. But that's all I accomplished. Pretty short, I admit. For the long, let's look at what everybody else was doing.
The 4000's were running, with Joel as motorman and David Streeter as conductor. It doesn't seem so long ago that nearly every weekend, the 160 and 714 were one train and the 4000's were the other. Nowadays we have a much greater variety of mainline equipment out.
I must say that I always liked the way the 4000 cabs were set up.
And then the IT Geep was pulling the heavyweight train. For a Diesel, it's pretty good-looking.
Trolleybus service has been suspended, due to the installation of new streetcar tracks. (Where have you ever heard of that before???) So, Chicago Motor Coach (the "Boulevard Route") is filling the gap with luxurious motor coach service.
You won't find customer service like this at any other museum.
I wandered over to the steam shop to look in the technical library. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, probably my favorite steam engine, Burlington 637, was sitting outside.
Aha, I think I see a problem. I'm no expert, but I believe the tender should be at the other end of the locomotive. I'll mention that to Tom next time I see him.
Finally, the biggest effort today was probably going into cleaning up the material yard. The Track Dept. and B&G are cooperating to clean up and sort all all the stuff located in the west yard, south of Barn 8. Here we see some of our stockpile of girder rail; to the right, the crew are holding a job briefing prior to starting work.
Ties are being sorted out, and mechanization speeds things up a lot.
(L to R) Bob Olson is running the big forklift, and Dave Diamond and Jerry Lynn are helping stack ties more efficiently.
All day, as I was working in the 36, I could hear the constant "clank.....clank.....clank" as tieplates were being sorted into piles. That's got to be an awfully monotonous job. But luckily, the track guys are doing it, and by the end of the day, there's a large pile of carefully sorted usable material, and a huge pile of scrap metal is inside the gon, waiting to be turned into money.
And a good portion of the material yard is now clear. Well done! There are lots of possibilities for improving this area south of Barn 8, if it can be cleaned up.
Frank DeVries, head of the Track Department, showed me what had been done, and explained what the plans are for the future. Among other things, he wants to set up a switch stand display, similar to our signal display, using all these old switch stands that we don't want to use for actual operations.
But more importantly, we want to construct a Track Barn, east of the connector track, to store the track machines and material and free up the space which is currently being used, rather uncomfortably, in Barn 2. This is now part of the Master Plan and they have started serious fund raising to make this possible. First, however, the east material yard needs to be cleaned up. Almost everything in the west yard is track material, so the Track Dept. can do that themselves, but in the east yard, there's a huge supply of old electric car and steam dept. parts, so it will take a group effort to sort it all out. I'm certainly willing to help, whenever the time comes. How about you?
In the meantime, we still have a good-sized section where trees are growing up through the abandoned parts that have been sitting here for eons. To me, this area has a mystic, poetic feel to it, especially at dusk, so I guess I'd better enjoy it while I can.