Monday, May 15, 2017

Coal smoke over the cornfields

Frank writes...

Sunday was a gorgeous Mothers Day and I was fortunate enough to be able to make it out to IRM by mid-afternoon. The highlight of the day was the 1630, which was doing some testing and training runs. As always, it was the subject of great interest from the public - and from the volunteers, yours truly included. From the sounds of it, the locomotive ran great and no issues were found.

I spent a bit of time working on a replacement steel plate for Shaker Heights 18 in the shop, which has been rearranged as shown below. This is part of an ongoing project which is not yet done. The benches have been moved around (and more benches are yet to be moved) so that shelving racks and most of the power tools will end up located along the walls. Of course the cherished "chair museum" still reigns at the east end of the shop.
Some of the regulars were working on the CTA 2400s, which I was told have a problem with their inverters. Whatever it is, it sound unnecessarily complex and failure-prone, said the GE Type M aficionado. Anyway, besides that Bob Sundelin showed me some newly-machined adapters that will allow us to use modern resistors to replace old failed ones on the Illinois Terminal Class B, while one of the younger guys working on the Michigan car was also out. Tim Peters was not around but there's been quite a bit of activity on the 1754, as shown below. The siding and roof boards have been removed from the west end of the car and Tim has already started replacing car lines. Like the 1268, this car will be backdated to full-height end windows.
And then there was the endless switching. I helped retrieve the North Western wood caboose, which will be one of many highlights of next weekend's C&NW Day festivities, from its spot buried on Track 83. Both the 101 (below) and ComEd 4 were used as tow motors for parts of this move. The 2400s were also put back into Barn 8 for the moment. Just another day at the railway museum.

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