Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sparks flying

Frank writes...

I was out at IRM again on Sunday and worked on a few different things down at the south end of the property. Job one was cleaning up from our tarp removal project the previous week. A group of us including Joel, Greg, and Richard, plus Brian and Jeron from the Passenger Car and Diesel Departments, folded up the remains of the old tarps that had been removed from the THI&E cars and from CSL 4001 for disposal. We also took a look inside THI&E 50. The structure of this car is in very poor shape but the interior is impressively complete and original, not ever having been painted since it left service. Below, Joel takes a look at a bracket in the back corner of the car which stumped me until Joel pointed out that it was designed to store the stick for adjusting the ceiling ventilators. To the right of Joel is the car's toilet compartment.

And then it was on to car work. Richard and Greg led up an effort to remove a badly rusted steel plate just inside the door of Shaker Heights 18. After a fair amount of fighting with rusted bolts, we ended up cutting the heads off of the bolts. Below Richard is shown using a cutting wheel to make the sparks fly; below that is a photo showing the final results. The reason this work is necessary is pretty obvious! The plate is still in place because we need to drill out a row of screws along the top (they're wood screws but are amazingly stubborn) but once that's done we'll get a new plate fabricated and installed. That will be one step forward.

And there was also some inventorying work, which is significantly less odious than you'd expect when you're a "parts fan" like myself. Basically it means checking through some of our storage areas in search of needed mechanical components. As Bob Bruneau always used to say, "parts is parts!" It never hurts to have spares on hand. And that leads us to this week's Trivia Question:
What in the world is this?
Submit a comment with the answer... the prize is absolutely nothing. Did I mention we're cheap?


Anonymous said...

At first it looked like a GE "L" controller. However the ratchet detents are not in the same direction. I would guess a crane controller of some sort or maybe a drawbridge or turntable.

Anonymous said...

it is for a crane, drawbridge, or turntable.

Frank Hicks said...

Okay, for the answer, we have a winner! We got an e-mail from regular reader and IRM volunteer Walt Stafa, who correctly surmised that this is indeed an L-2 controller. It was acquired by IRM back in the 1960s or 1970s from a work car of some sort; Bill Wulfert may have more information. The cover is missing and some of the innards are loose but it's largely complete. The indicator dial is mostly hidden behind the ratchet on the top; on the right side of the thing is the reversing lever. There are very few cars in existence that ever had L-controllers and one of them is Northwestern Elevated 24 at IRM. However there are no plans to backdate the car that much - it's staying Type M!