Yesterday was unseasonably warm, so most of the day was spent in sanding and painting.
But first, we have news of a new invention from the Hicksco Laboratories. The CA&E steel cars are equipped with special Tomlinson couplers. These have the advantage over the Van Dorn design that there are no loose parts that might be missing, but on the other hand they are very difficult to uncouple. The standard process requires two qualified people in addition to the motorman, one on each side, to reach in between the buffers and pull the uncoupling chain while the cars are separated. And that chain requires a great deal of force.
This is a problem due to the typical labor shortage: it's usually not easy to find two qualified members to show up just to help uncouple two cars. It also involves some risk, which we would like to avoid. So these couplers are very unpopular.
Our answer is a wooden frame which can hold the uncoupling chain out to put the coupler in the release position. It needs a little more adjustment, but this should make it possible for a single motorman to uncouple cars, and no one needs to put himself in danger. This one is shown on the 431.
Once one has been made for the 409, we should be able to actually test them.
The 451 and 460 are equipped with chains and levers so that the couplers can be released while standing clear of the cars. This was an improvement in terms of safety, but still requires three people. We'll have to look into this next.
Mostly I was working on the vestibule of the 319, but there was one door in the 36 that still needed blue. Here's the first coat. Now there's only some lettering to complete at the #2 end.
And I keep picking away at the 319. The pull switch for the buzzer cord is back in place.
I didn't get over to the shop to see what the others were doing, so sorry, you'll just have to use your imagination. However, some of them came over to barn 8 to check the compressor on the M-15. This one has two motors on the same shaft, so that it could easily be switched between 600V and 1200V. According to our roster, this is a D3-N CC4.
And all the barn doors were opened to air out the barns in the balmy weather.