Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Report

Today was another busy Saturday, as usual, and a lot got done.  I certainly kept busy.  I must admit that today's pictures are few, and far below our normal fine arts standards.  But that's the way things go.  Your money back if not completely satisfied.

Inspection on the 319 was completed, with the energetic help of Joel Ahrendt and Mike Blackwell.  We worked on the compressor and got it working well.  Also, we modified the brake system somewhat.

When the 319 was acquired from Cleveland, we knew there were motor and/or truck problems, so the car was put onto the 321's trucks.  Unfortunately, the trucks aren't quite as identical as you might expect, so we've had some problems with the 319 ever since.  There's too much lost motion in the car's brake levers, and as a result, it tended to set up slower than the other cars.  As a single car, that wouldn't be a serious problem, but in a train, it leads to excessive slack action.  

Last fall I measured the brake rods on the 319 and 321, and found that that the #2 top rod on the 321 was about 2" shorter than the one on the 319.  This ought to be enough to correct for the lost motion at the cylinder.  The rod is about 14' long and quite heavy, but with Joel and Mike to help, we were able to quickly remove the rod from the 321, bring it back to Barn 4 on the golf cart without spearing anybody on the way, and install it on the 319.  The results seem to be better brake response.  We won't know for sure until we have a chance to operate a multi-car train, but this can only be an improvement.  Joel and Mike also helped with lubrication and roof inspection.  Thanks!!!

And since the weather was nice, I did the necessary switching to put the 308 at the door.  It will be next up for inspection, starting on Wednesday or so.

Back in Barn 8, there was more exciting news while I was away.   Tim and Bill are working on getting the 1754 running again.  If you've been following the comment stream, we've been talking about commutators and so on.  The D3-EG compressor on the 1754 was very dirty and sparked badly when first tested, so I volunteered the use of my comm stone, as seen below, and with some cleaning it works pretty well.  It probably needs an overhaul, but for now it will be quite serviceable.

At least the car can be pumped up.  The brakes seem to work OK, and we started trying to get the control system to work.  This is not a very flattering picture, I admit, but Bill is looking at part of the control group under the car.  An automatic acceleration system is always going to be a complicated thing to debug.  But progress is being made.

 And I went back to the shop and put a first coat of finish red on the 319's controller cover, and installed the window shades and so forth in the car itself.

And in coming attractions, I borrowed the file on the Central Illinois Traction system from the Scalzo Collection, which was mentioned recently.  As time permits, we should be able to post a more complete account of this Illinois interurban line than has every appeared.

All in all, a very productive day.  Next week we'll start on the 308.  Stay tuned! 


Anonymous said...

It's nice to see more progress on getting the wood L cars running. I recall the 1808 was in pretty good shape, so with the 1754, all the Northwestern Elevated cars are going, right? Does that mean the Met cars are next in line?

Randall Hicks said...

Uh, no. First of all, the 1754 may be able to operate under its own power again, but only on a limited basis until major repairs are made. The car itself needs a few years' worth of work to restore it for passenger service. And the 1808 was only "pretty good" compared to the other wood L cars before Tim started on them. The Met cars are probably going to be a much bigger challenge. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

"Tim was working on various details on the 24."

The gold pin-striping on 24 looks excellent. Congrats on a job well done.