Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Memories

Our Memorial Day operations went very well this year, the weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.  For once, there were no open slots for operating positions, so I spent most of the day taking pictures and otherwise goofing off.  Why not?

The 36 and 319 were in operation, and everything went well.  I must say it's very rewarding to be able to stand back and watch these cars in operation.

Signal department members John Wells and John Naglich are hard at work repainting signals while the trains go by.

The Zephyr passes by on its way into Station 1.  John Wells, on the ladder above, could have reached out and painted the engineer's face as he went by.  

And we don't often see the 1374 in operation.  The motorman is Steve Jirsa and the conductor is Tom Slater.

And later, here's the interior:

Then the three-car IT train pulls out of the barn.

This doesn't look much like downtown Chicago, but it's quite pleasant nonetheless.

Oh, and here's our operating crew.  (L to R) Chris Buck, Dan Buck, Pete Pederson.   Pete is a long-time member, but I hadn't seen him for several years and didn't recognize him at first.  They did an excellent job of operating the train.

One of the most intellectually challenging aspects of operating the wood cars is that locking and unlocking them is different for each car, for various historical reasons.  So I hopefully made these new laminated instruction sheets to make the process easier.

We had a dedication ceremony for the Robert Bruneau Electric Car Shop.

Speakers were Joel, Norm, and Gerry.

Then everybody boarded the IT 101 for a trip.

Meanwhile, the 1630 was another center of attention, as usual.

Since I wasn't in an operating position, I had some time to check on the displays in the old Art Train cars.  The people who have organized this over the past several years have done a wonderful job.

There's an interesting set of displays about George Pullman and his company:

And then lots of railroad china:

The china display is stunning.  If you know what to look for, you could probably spend an hour studying the details.   Then there are hand lanterns:

And extensive displays about Chicago's various railroad terminals, most of which are no longer in existence.

And then builder's plates!

 I actually did do a little real work.  The bent coupler from the 309 was taken over to the Steam Shop, as explained earlier, and I went over to talk to our friends there.  Of course, they have much more important things to do most of the time.  However, after looking over our collection of Van Dorn couplers in the material yard, I realized that this is what's left of a coupler from the 318:

The end casting was destroyed in the wreck at Indianapolis in 1971, but the shaft itself is not bent.  If the shaft could be removed from the hanger casting and the springs, it could perhaps be a better solution than trying to straighten out the bent coupler shaft.  I was unable to remove the cotter pin or nut at the end of the shaft, but I showed Gerry what needs to be done, and he will try to get to it next week.   Thanks!!!

Gerry also pointed out some of the current Car Dept. projects.  The side doors for the 451 were received from the painter, and we're hoping to organize the restoration for that car.

And then, these are the Electroliner motors.  These are due to be moved soon to Avalon Railcar in West Allis, where the trucks have been rebuilt.  Avalon will install the motors in the trucks for us, and then they will be returned to IRM to be placed under the various sections of the train.  That's very encouraging.

Finally, I stopped off at Seeman Road on the way home.  The Zephyr is passing by.

Here at Johnson Siding we have Lake Johnson, I guess:

And then the CA&E train meets the Zephyr.  What a great day!!!

And in addition, our friend Chuck Amstein has posted a great many excellent photos here. Enjoy!


Chris said...

The lantern display should probably include a barn lantern with a big sign that says "NOT A RAILROAD LANTERN".

Kirk Warner said...

A very nice update. What has to be done to get the 451 into service?

Anonymous said...

Kirk, remember what Bob Bruneau would always say; "Who's going to do the work?" Lack of workers would be the first issue. The roof has only canvas on it. It needs trolley boards, ventilators, bases and poles and of course the doors. This project will take some time.
Gerry Dettloff

Anonymous said...

If you go over to the Railway Preservation News web site; it seems the Mid-Continent Railway Museum has just cast up a set of Hicks Car Works seats. They say it is the first time in 107 years!

Sorry I do not know how to give you a direct link to the site.

Ted Miles

Anonymous said...

Ted: Yes, that is very impressive. Our 309 was always equipped with Hale & Killburn seats, so we haven't needed these castings. In fact, several years ago we bought a set of seats from car 300 from MCRM, as it happens, mostly as spares to replace broken castings in the 309. Bill and the rest of the team are doing a great job, as always.