Monday, April 10, 2017

Prototypical Train Day

Frank writes...

I wasn't able to spend much time at IRM on Sunday, but the time I did spend was mostly spent helping with a switch move. Joel, Jeron, and Richard did most of the work of moving cars around and in the end most of track 83 was emptied and then refilled. The purpose, of course, was to re-create some prototypical interurban trains of days past!

First, we have an authentic Trent Tube Employee Tripper consist from the days of the Municipality of East Troy Railroad:

And then next up is a Federal Yard caboose hop from the joint Illinois Terminal-C&NW operations in Alton: you're not buying that, eh? Well, your skepticism is well-placed. These strange trains are just results of unusual car placement on track 83. The goal of the switching was actually just to swap the positions of Milwaukee Electric (later METRR) box motor M15 and wooden "L" car 1754 so that the latter is under wire. As such the 101 was used to tow out the North Western caboose, which was behind it, and the same with the M15 and the 1754.

Speaking of unusual operations, there's a CC4 air compressor that's been sitting just inside the door at the east end of barn track 43 for many years. With the M15 out of the barn the decision was made to put the compressor into the car, seeing as the M15 is one of only one or two cars we own that has a CC4 pump. So the 43 east doors were opened for the first time in years, presenting the sight above (the air compressor in question is in the right foreground). At the front left is a trap from CA&E 318, hiding for quite some time behind the quantity of "stuff" at this location. So THAT'S where I left that!
And here's here's Richard on the forklift and Joel inside the M15 loading the CC4 into the car. After this operation was concluded all of the cars went back into track 83, with the M15 now right behind the Russell plow and out from under wire (though it can easily be retrieved if and when we want to run it again). The 1754 is now a bit closer to the door, under wire, which will allow some electrical issues that cropped up the last time it ran to be diagnosed and, hopefully, fixed.

As usual, other projects are seeing progress as well. Inspection work on the 4391 is being done, work is progressing on the Kansas City and Cleveland PCC cars, and the indefatigable Norm and Jeff were hard at work on the front end of the Michigan Electric car as usual. And the big news for Sunday was that the 1630 passed its hydro test! So mark your calendars now for Memorial Day Weekend, which is the first scheduled steam operation for 2017.

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