Sunday, February 19, 2017

Safety First

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Randy- The Picky Details Dept. is here to offer another comment. The compressor under the floor is the Wabco D3N. The car has another compressor, a National CC4, inside the carbody.
R. W. Schauer

Randall Hicks said...

OK, that's interesting. So I take it the compressor inside the car is to run the platform?

Randy Anderson said...

That is a neat little device to assist in the uncoupling process. What is interesting is that the Tomlinson or at WABCO we called them a Flat Face Hook style of coupler is still in service today. Versions of this coupler are in use on the Dallas, LA, and San Jose light rail systems. It is also being used on several heavy rail systems such as Atlanta, Washington DC and others. Even the New York MTA switched over to the Flat Face Hook from the H2C design starting with the R142 series of cars.

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Randy, I didn't know that there were so many systems still using this type of coupler. I'd better patent my device quick.

Anonymous said...

Why would the M-15 need to have the ability to run on 1200V? That seems odd to me. I recall opening the barn doors in warm weather was as much to warm up the ice cubes of the train cars, as it was to air out the barns. Cold cars tend to sweat in the the changing seasons, which is about as bad as a leaking roof in a building.

Anonymous said...

Randy- I think the two compressors feed a common air system. Run either or both.

Anonymous- No idea why it has a dual-voltage machine. It was a surprise to see it. But there it is, and I don't think it was put on lately. The CC4 is, of course, 600 only.

R. W. Schauer

Randall Hicks said...

The western lines of the TM were originally built for 3300V AC, but this did not last long and they were soon changed to 1200V DC. It was not until 1927 that all of the company's lines were standardized to 600V DC. That explains the survival of some dual-voltage equipment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, learned something new about the TM. Perhaps one day on of you can jack up a whistle and get to work on one of the remainder of those interurban cars.

Randall Hicks said...

Only if we could be sure it still has the right whistle.