Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Inspection #3

Today was the start of inspection on car 308.  Here it is before being moved into the barn.  Everything so far seems to be fine, and no inspection issues were discovered.

Fifteen years ago, I was doing the woodwork to put this end of the car back together.  It's held up well ever since, although at the time I was a little worried about the long-term stability of the body.

Speaking of inspection, did we ever talk about brake adjustment?  This is one of those jobs that is just so much fun, and yet I almost never have to share it with anybody else.  Usually I get to do it all by myself.  Let's see:

At the top is part of the truck suspension system, and below that is the turnbuckle that forms part of the brake rigging.  Below it are two hooks as a safety feature in case a pin broke, to keep the truck from pole-vaulting itself off the track.  On either side of the turnbuckle are two large lock nuts.

First you make sure the air brakes are in release, and loosen the lock nuts.  This requires a large wrench, and usually a long pipe for added leverage.  Then both turnbuckles are tightened until the shoes are against the wheels on both sides of the truck.  

Then the turnbuckle is turned to loosen each end 1 1/2 threads, or 9 flats.  And then the lock nuts are tightened onto the turnbuckles, which usually requires the use of both wrenches at a time.  It's a blast! 

Luckily I was able to complete all the work on the #2 truck before it started to rain, so that the car was already safely inside the barn.

Here's one of the DB-131 contactor boxes.  Some but not all of the arc chutes have been restored and repainted in past years.

And the standard DB-20 reverser.

Tim was working on various details on the 24.  Here's the motorman's compartment:

And the gold pinstriping is done:

And then, we have news of a couple of new projects.  I happened to run into my old friend Jack Biesterfeld.  He's pretty much done with the interior of the B&M diner, so he's started cleaning up Green Bay & Western coach 110, one of our few wooden passenger cars.  There is no decision yet on exactly what will be done with it.  This car has had a rough life, but at least some thought will be given as to long-term restoration prospects.

First, he had to remove all the gore.  The car was full of blood, severed limbs and human heads, and so on.  Pretty disgusting, but somebody's got to do it.  (These were left over from the Train of Terror, of course....)  Now, at least, it has some interior lights.

And all the comforts of home. 

This is one of the bay windows from when it was used as a caboose.

The one remaining washroom, now a closet.

I hadn't focused on this before, but I suppose this false ceiling also has to do with its use as a caboose on the GB&W, or perhaps M&HM.

Metal plates in the ceiling mark the locations of the original Pintsch gas light fixtures.

These baggage racks have castings that are similar, if not identical, to those in CA&E 36.  Here, the original wire rope netting has been replaced with perforated metal plates.

 And then, Henry Vincent has started cleaning up the interior of the North Shore caboose in Barn 6.  Many years ago it was open for visitors to walk through, and they're hoping to make that possible again.  Once the car is cleaned up and modern light fixtures and so on are removed, that may become a reality.

Norm shows the latest pieces on the Michigan car being installed.

And several of the usual projects, such as the Cleveland PCC, were in progress.

And I put another coat of paint on the 319's controller cover.  I noticed while working on the 308 that it's missing the motorman's window shades at each end, something I'd sort of forgotten about.  We have several spares for the numerous side windows, but the motorman's shades are rare.  I have a couple of spares, but they're too wide for the 308, which seems to be a different size from the other cars.  So I sorted through the available parts, and took home a kit so that I can put at least one usable shade together.   More on that when it happens.  Don't touch that mouse!


Anonymous said...

The IRM Equipment Roster web pages have little information on the Green Bay & Western 110. The date 1915 and builder American Car & foundry can be discovered in the printed roster.

Wood cars are great! I hope some time and money can be found for it!

Ted Miles, IRM Member and preservationist.

Randall Hicks said...

We will see what can be done. The car was built for the GB&W by the St. Charles plant of ACF in 1915 as a coach. This seems to have been a follow-on order to previous purchases of wooden cars from Central (Hicks) Locomotive and Car, but the company had already ceased passenger car building, as detailed in our online history, so ACF was selected instead. Frank and I have joked that it should be considered an honorary Hicks car. In any case, about 1947 it was rebuilt for use as a caboose, and an accommodation car for any passengers on mixed trains, I suppose. It was acquired by the Marquette and Huron Mountain tourist line, and after that operation ended, IRM bought it at auction in 1985. As mentioned, it's had a hard life.

Anonymous said...

This car had a picnic table that ran the length of the car when it arrived at IRM. I believe it was used for the logger's breakfast trains. Wish I got a chance to have some Marquette pancakes.