Last weekend my job had me in Baltimore, so of course I had to drop by the Baltimore Streetcar Museum and visit our friends there. Dave Wilson, Buster Hughes and Abe Zumwalt were there taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to get some car work done. But first they showed me some track progress.
The museum has recently installed a street railway (i.e. girder rail) crossover encased in concrete, just like you'd see in the city. This is pretty unusual: while several trolley museums use girder rail track, I honestly don't know whether any others have built switches encased in pavement like this. IRM just recently constructed some straight girder rail track in pavement but no switches. Anyway, it looks impressive and is quite the throwback to what was once an extremely common sight.
And then I got to see what they're working on in their shop. Work on their single-truck Brownell-built 1896 open car, car 554, is in the finishing stages. Attention is now turning to another Brownell single-trucker, this one a closed car built in 1898, car 1050 (photo here). Work on this car had actually begun a couple of years ago before funding became available to rebuild car 554, so work on 1050 was suspended for a time. Now they're back at it, concentrating on interior work when I was there. Above, Dave and Abe look on as Buster strips old paint off of a piece of trim from along the floor. This car had longitudinal seating with, essentially, carpeted wooden benches - the same as our 1895 Chicago single-trucker. And they were also discussing how car 1050 will be painted when done. I was reminded that when someone in Baltimore says they're restoring the car to its appearance "in the late '90s" they don't mean the same '90s as we at IRM - with our modern "L" cars and diesels - do!