Monday, July 10, 2017

Blue is Back

Frank writes...

The first of two Thomas weekends at IRM is complete and overall things seemed to run smoothly. This year, for the first time, I was helping out at the public entrance, assisting with various ticket checking and customer service jobs. Richard Schauer was pretty much running things while Johnnie Naglich was managing the ticketing side of the operation. Other roles were filled by a mix of paid and volunteer staff.
I was out both days and both days things ran pretty smoothly, though we were a bit short on staff Saturday. The entrance for Thomas is at Gate B, which is directly west of the 50th Avenue throat at the trolley bus loop, rather than at the typical public entrance at the northeast corner of the parking lot. Above, a view of the Thomas train going past behind the new Santa Fe sign with various Thomas cutouts and toys in the foreground in the center of the trolley bus loop. The Thomas train looks really nice this year; the cars are all in pretty new or renewed (waxed, I assume) paint and the consist as a whole looks rather sharp.
And here's a view of the entrance looking out, with people coming in. The left lane is for will call and walk-up ticket sales; the right lane is for people who bought their tickets online, which was the vast majority of customers. Operationally, C&NW 411 was powering the Thomas train, which boarded on the steam leads and made trips to Jefferson Street and back via the west wye; the 1630 was powering the Percy train, which boarded on Station Track 2 and made trips east down the railroad, using the east switch to return to Station 2. And of course streetcars (144, 415, 3142 and 4391) were going around the loop both days. This arrangement avoids any sharing of track except for the stretch of the streetcar line from the steam lead switch to the south wye switch.
And who is this ne'er-do-well I found in the conductor's seat on the 4391 on Sunday?
And in other news, on Saturday evening the car shop crew reassembled the truck and rebuilt wheel sets for Sand Springs 68. It's not totally done - as of Sunday afternoon they were still working on putting the journal brasses back in and then of course the motors need to go in. But the car is very close to being complete and operational again. And even better news is that the other truck doesn't need any of this rebuilding work; when we acquired the car, the wheels in one truck were in very good shape and in the other truck they were in poor condition, so now the car will have two good trucks under it and should be ready for years of service.


Anonymous said...

Randy and Frank,
Thank you for leaving the older blog entries on the web site. I just re-read the 2009 entries about moving the C, A & E cars etc from Cleveland.

I am sorry that the #321 left the collection after Randy put so much work into it; but I suppose the #319 is a better car!

I read the blog every day; thanks!

Ted Miles

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Ted. The nice thing about most blogs, including this one, is that you have all of the back issues at your fingertips. Anyway, the 321 has not left the collection; it is stored in Barn 11. While it is probably no longer a candidate for full restoration, we hope to do some more cosmetic work on it as time allows.