Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Longest Day

The longest day of the year sure got here soon, it seems.  I was able to make good use of all this daylight, as you'll see.

The first job was to patch up some gashes in the canvas on the 308.  Last year a trolley pole got pulled out of the base on the 319, and it hit the 308 on its way to the ground.  So we need to apply some patches.  This happened all the time in regular service.   In B105 there's a picture of the 309 in 1911, when it had only been in service for three years, and there are two obvious canvas patches on the roof.   So this is a routine repair.  

 Before work starts, the canvas looks like this:

Patches are cut to size, applied over caulk, stretched as well as possible, and nailed in place.

After the caulk dried, two coats of canvas paint were applied.  This will be darker after it dries, but it's still probably too light in color.   However, at least it will keep the roof from leaking if the car should get caught in a sudden rain.  And I'll try to find some darker grey canvas paint.

Car cards are a recurring subject of conversation in the car shop.  I brought out several I'd had at home that we won't need for the CA&E cars.  And while we're at it, for most of the last 40 years the smoker of the 309 has been decorated with this advertisement.  I no longer clearly recall how or why it got there.

The main objection is that Cudahy was a Milwaukee-based company, and it's unlikely that they would have been advertising on the CA&E back in the old days.  So I decided to replace it with this:

Something that's happening at the Coliseum, and which you can get to via the CA&E, seems much more satisfactory.

On a more important subject, Frank and I were discussing the problem with the 309's bent coupler over breakfast, and decided to install one from the 321 if it would fit, at least as a temporary measure.  I walked over there and checked, and the coupler on the west end certainly appeared to be the right size.  The 321 won't be going anywhere for a while, and even if it does, the west end doesn't need a coupler right now.  So I started by removing the nuts and springs and so forth.

Under the coupler you can see one car of our park train stored there.

Then I got Nick Espevik to help me, using the golf cart to transport the coupler from Barn 11 to Barn 8.  It's good to have somebody younger and stronger available for this sort of work.  Thanks, Nick!

Then Nick got to test his skills in maneuvering the car through Barn 8, and helped me install it on the car.  Then I finished up by attaching the various parts, tightening the nuts and bolts, and it's ready for service!  

Some empty space in Barn 9 enabled me to get pictures, such as they are, of the 3007 and 2903.

John Faulhaber is finishing up adjustments to the new door for the MD cars.

Jack Biesterfeld is making good progress on the interior of the 110. 

 And our friends at Arden are working on the parlor car Toledo, and wanted some advice on installing C6 controllers, which were removed many years ago.  I don't really know how Toledo Railways might have done things, but this is how controllers are installed on the CA&E.

 The base of the controller is attached to the floor with two through bolts.  At the bottom, these should go through a steel plate, part of the underframe.  The main control circuit grounds through the controller case, through at least one of these bolts, to the frame.

Here we're looking straight up at the bottom of the platform.  The bolt holds a wiring lug for the main ground cable, which runs from end to end of the car and is connected to the controller frames, the motor circuits, compressor, truck frames, etc.  If this wiring is missing or loose, you could have serious problems, such as zapping the motorman.

 The frame is attached with lag screws on either side of the case to the wall of the vestibule.  Behind the inner siding there should be a horizontal wooden brace let into the posts, to anchor the lag screws.  Also, I might point out that you can see a loop of wire at the top.   On the CA&E, at least, the ground wires for the lighting and buzzer circuits come down through a conduit and are attached to the controller case to provide a reliable ground.  It seems like an indirect way to get a good ground, but there it is.  All the cars are like that.

Next, we're looking straight down behind the controller.  The lag screws have a tube to act as a spacer between the back of the controller case and the wall.  This space is conveniently located so the motorman can spit out his chewing tobacco and throw all kinds of trash.  I've read that this was actually a serious problem in the old days, and the space behind the controller could be very disgusting.  We don't have this problem at IRM -- we're all very genteel.

Finally, this now counts as IRM progress.  We're in the planning stages for a new building which will include a model railroad display, with as many scales as possible.  I get to be the resident expert on S gauge, reporting to Henry Vincent.   Henry recently acquired an AF Northern for the Museum, and gave it to me to fix up.  Here it is on my test track:

It isn't running yet, but I'll have it fixed soon.

And if you couldn't care less about toy trains, don't worry.  They will appear very seldom.  Our blog will continue to focus on the important things in life, such as finding car cards for cigarettes and booze, and taking pictures of each other in our spiffy uniforms.


Richard Penn said...

Hello Randy. When I was reading about you repairing the AF Northern for the collection I remembered that there will be a model railroad building. Do you know how much is needed before the building can begin? When I was last out at the museum I saw and looked at the pictures on the store, the main street will look very nice.

Randall Hicks said...

I believe all of the money needed for the building is already on hand or committed. The specs have been provided to the architect, and it's now in the design stage.

Kevin Brown said...

Cudahy was a major packing company that sold pork and bacon nationwide. They were in the Chicago market thru the 1970s. There's a Cudahy Hall and a Cudahy Library on the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University Chicago, but Loyola's website doesn't say if the buildings were named for the meat packing Cudahys.

Randall Hicks said...

You may well be right, Kevin, I was basically just repeating what Bob Rayunec said about it. But this is too obscure a subject to start arguing about. On the other hand, now I'm wishing I had ever been inside the Coliseum.