Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cosmetic Work

On Wednesday our Lake Shore Electric box trailer was brought out of the barn for the first time since painting and lettering were completed, I think, and it looks beautiful.  So that motivated me to do some more cosmetic work on our other LSE car, the 150.  It has no chance of ever being restored to operation, but it would be nice if it looked better.  And I have all winter to finish painting and lettering the vestibules in the CA&E cars.  It isn't hard to heat them up, no matter how cold it gets.  So today I continued work on the 150's "letterboard" that actually doesn't have any lettering.   Whatever.

The letterboard is in bad shape because when the body was being used as a house, it had some goofy wooden rain gutters nailed to it.   I removed the one on this side two years ago; the one on the other side is still in place.  So I need to fill in the holes and gaps in the wood with putty, sand it down, and paint it.

This work progresses slowly but surely.

For variety's sake, I decided to work on one of the clerestory windows.  This poor car is missing a lot of parts of various sorts, but for some reason all of the handles for opening the clerestory windows are still in place.  

Because this was a single-ended car that traveled in only one direction, the arrangements for ventilation through the clerestory are completely different than on the CA&E, for instance.

In each pair of windows, the rear or downwind window is permanently closed, as seen above.

The forward window is hinged at the front, and can open slightly using the handle inside the car to draw air out through clerestory.   This avoids having rain or other things blow into the car onto the passengers.  But over the years the whole structure has deteriorated.   I had thought this was one of the better clerestory frames, but it came apart as I was trying to remove it.   At least the nice etched glass didn't break.  The pieces are laid out on top of the roof, below:

 So I took it home to make a new frame.  It would be nice to have at least one frame that actually opens the way the builders intended.

By the end of the day, about two-thirds of the letterboard had been sanded down, at least partially filled, and painted with primer.  There's plenty more to do as time and weather permit.

Tim is continuing to work on windows for the 1754.

This work paused when it became necessary to change the knives on the planer.   (L to R):  Buzz, Rich, Tim, and Dan.

Bill was working on various L car parts, and here he holds up what's left of a 1754 clerestory window.   By LSE standards, that's pretty good!

Jack was in the shop also, doing upholstery work on his B&M diner.   The nice warm shop is much appreciated.

And after painting the letterboard, I spent some more time inside the 150, cleaning and straightening parts and tools.   Like most work areas at IRM, it tends to get cluttered in a hurry.


Anonymous said...

Are both Boston & Maine cars indoors; now that the latest two car barns are in use?

Nice work on the Lake Shore Interurban body. I think it already looks better!

Ted Miles, IRM Member

Brian L. said...


Yes. With the opening of the new Barns, the second B&M wood car moved inside, though it is in Barn 10 occupying space freed by equipment that went to the new barns.

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Brian. And Ted, also.

Anonymous said...

Brian and Randall,
there are several Boston & Maine cars at tourist railroads; but these two are the only ones in a real museum setting and getting property restored. There is no plywood on these cars!

Ted Miles

Lucas McKay said...

Why does LSE 150 have no chance of returning to operation? My guess is structural problems?

Richard Penn said...

Lucas I was waiting for someone to get back to you, but until someone else does I can tell you just by looking at the pictures on the website that this unit while it looks good from the outside needs help. As stated by Randal in the past this car was used as a part of a house/flower shop and so the interior is stripped of everything. The undercar equipment is also missing, so unless someone really wants to see it run and donates a literal ton of money I'm guessing that It'll never run again.

Here is the link to the cars photo gallery:

Randall Hicks said...

That is correct. The whole body structure is deteriorated, and several of the bulkheads were removed at some point, which doesn't help. As I mentioned, what was thought to be a good clerestory frame just fell apart when I tried to remove it. We're missing all of the underbody and electrical equipment, motors, seats, window hardware, light fixtures, you name it. And then all of the remaining interior woodwork is full of nail and screw holes everywhere, where I guess shelves and what not were attached when it was a flower shop. It's really screwed up.

I admit that's not to say it's impossible, just highly unlikely. The Talisman was no better when its restoration started, but after a very expensive effort the interior is still incomplete and the electrical and brake systems were never installed. So it makes a beautiful static display. If we had the resources available for a project of that size, I can think of several candidates just among interurban cars that would be more likely than the 150, since at least we have most of the pieces on hand: the 306, Peoria, the TM cars.... Only time will tell. Meanwhile, we will probably continue on cosmetic work here and there.

Matthew Gustafson said...

Will any of the cars that have been stored outside of barn 10 for many years finally get their turn to be undercover?

Brian L. said...


As I said above, the B&M wood diner is now inside. In addition, the AT&SF caboose is or will be going inside. The 2 Milwaukee Road F-units and the Long Island FA are now indoors. The Rock Island coach 2524 is indoors getting restoration work, and the steam pile driver is now indoors as well. I think that covers what was in yard 10 before the new Barns opened that is now indoors.

Richard Penn said...

Hello Brian I am just curious when you said 2 Milwaukee Road F-Units which ones were they (104C, 118C, 96B) or is one of them still out in the elements? Thanks.

Brian L. said...


All 3 Milwaukee F-units now live in Barn 11 coupled together as an ABA set. However, Matthew's question specifically pertained to the equipment that had been stored in yard 10, thus I did not list 118C as having been moved inside, as only 104C and 96B had been kept in yard 10.

Richard Penn said...

Thanks Brian for the information.

Matthew Gustafson said...

I know that the examples you listed there are definitely inside now with the exception of that ATSF caboose which I still saw outside back in September. But what about those other two wooden cabooses (The CNS&M 1002 and the C&NW 10494) and that CI&M Camp car, those C&NW ex City Of Denver MOW cars. That CB&Q Coach that was turned into a open air car, that IC Pullman "King Cotten", that green FM #409 and C&NW Baggage Mail Pullman 8609? what about those cars?

Randall Hicks said...

The wooden waycars are definitely inside, the open air car is still outside, and as for the rest, switching is still in progress so it's just not feasible to keep up with the status of everything. And since the Diesel guys do most of the switching, they would know better than I.

Richard Penn said...

Brian I do have another question for you. After years of being outdoors in the weather are both BN-1 & BN-2 finally indoors? Thanks in advance.

Brian L. said...

BN1 and 2 are still outside, however BN3 is now inside.

Jeron G. said...

All of those are still outside. The wooden cabooses are still on TK 100. The C&IM car and Vista Kallas (open car) are still in Yard 10. SWPC 409, the King Cotton, and the CNW cars all got moved to Yard 15.

Anonymous said...

In discussing the cars that could be restored to operation, and there are quite a few worthy candidates, I would not list the TM interurbans... I think the point of the question is, how many of the preserved interubans *with arched windows on the exterior* could be restored to operation? Of these, I think the AE&FR 306 may be the closest, however the Talisman would probably be the most impressive. You could potentially list a few cars which could have the arched windows restored to them, such as one of your CA&E woods or the IT 233. This is a topic which could be discussed ad naseum, or ad foameum, but it was nice to see your thoughts.

I think a list of the most worthy complete long-term projects, would include the TM cars, for certain.

Matthew Gustafson said...

Are there Plans Jeron G to move the C&IM car and wooden caboose to yard 15 as well? Those 3 wooden cabooses should get some indoor space before they end up like that Wooden Gondola that was scrap due to deterioration. Plus why is that White UP Mckean Boxcar shoved all the way back on beside Barn 10, I thought there was a restoration effort to restore that rare car.