Friday, July 7, 2017

Quiet Before the Riot

Day Out With Thomas is always a riot (in a good sense!) and that starts tomorrow.  But today was relatively quiet, as most of the preparations have already been done.  It was hot and humid, to discourage much heavy lifting, but I managed to accomplish a couple of things.

First of all, I dropped off heavy boxes of Happy Holiday flyers to hand out during Thomas.  It's hard to believe we're already working on getting ready for Christmas.  And then there were a couple of issues with the 36 that have been briefly mentioned before.

The controller at the #2 end has a worn collar casting that causes the throttle not to close completely on the first point.  Part of the brass is worn away with years of use, as indicated by the yellow lines in this picture.  We've seen this problem before, but this particular model of C-6 has a rotating collar, so the parts are not interchangeable with most of our spare controllers.

I looked at our supply of spare controllers, but decided it was unwise to try to move them around by myself without help.  So the ones that look promising are in sight, but not accessible yet.  

And I trimmed the plastic inside the molds for 309 motor bearings on the big rotary sander.

Joel had swapped out one retriever, which is a big help, except that it's the wrong shade of blue.  In person, it looked rather purple, as well as dirty.

But that of course is easily fixed.  This is the same blue we used to paint the car, so when it dries, it should be a perfect match.

Maybe it's time for a new "Wet Paint" sign.

The heavyweight train (Percy) is quite impressive sitting there on Station 2.  The Bessemer combine, two Lackawanna coaches, the DM&IR coach, and the Santa Fe combine.

And on a smaller scale, I looked at the G scale layout being set up by the Kenosha group.  This is always popular with the Thomas crowd.

And finally, if you're not on the IRM email list, here's what you're missing.  There's news here you won't find on this blog.
e-Newsletter for July 2017
Day Out With Thomas™ is here!
Day Out With Thomas™ is the next two weekends! If you haven't already reserved your seat, make sure to do it today at - most morning trips are already sold out but midday trips are still available. And don't forget to schedule a ride with Percy too. It may be most convenient to ride the Percy train first. Contact our office at 815-923-4391 ext 452 with any questions or to reserve tickets by phone.
Many other museum events are coming up too. The Vintage Transport Extravaganza will be on August 6th, then on August 12th & 13th will be Diesel Days. You won't want to miss all the action!

  • Day Out With Thomas™ tickets are selling fast for all dates - July 8th, 9th, 15th, and 16th
  • Vintage Transport Extravaganza is on Sunday, August 6th
  • Diesel Days is on August 12th & 13th
  • New acquisitions arrive at the museum in late June
  • Santa Fe "Warbonnet" locomotive #92 is being restored
  • Restoration progress on the North Shore "Electroliner"
  • IRM needs your help to save a TP&W Alco "Century" locomotive
Vintage Transport Day August 6th
The largest antique vehicle show in the state is at IRM on August 6th. Hundreds of antique cars, trucks, and buses will be on display. The steam train and Nebraska Zephyr will be in operation as well as streetcars, interurbans, and "L" cars. If you'd like to bring an antique vehicle, contact our office at 815-923-4391 ext 2. The event is open to everyone so come and enjoy this fascinating look into our transportation past.
Diesel Days August 12th-13th 
The Illinois Railway Museum has the nation's best and largest collection of vintage diesel locomotives and they'll be on display during Diesel Days. See these giants of the rails pass in review, ride behind historic locomotives like the E5 "Silver Pilot," see demonstration freight service, and feel the ground rumble beneath your feet as tens of thousands of horsepower passes by during the "Parade of Power."
New historic acquisitions
In late June, the museum acquired three new pieces of historic equipment for preservation. The first is a trolley bus from Seattle which was built during World War II and helped pioneer off-wire battery operation technology. The others are 1940s Milwaukee Road streamlined coaches built in that railroad's own shops. All three pieces are complete and in good shape but need some paint and refurbishing before they can be operated at the museum.
Warbonnet rebirth
Rebuilding work is starting on the museum's iconic Santa Fe "Warbonnet" locomotive, FP45 #92, which is 50 years old this year. Funding is in place to procure a new prime mover and main generator but additional money is needed to complete this engine's operational and cosmetic restoration. The plan is that IRM will soon have a fully restored and operational FP45 engine from the Santa Fe.
Work progresses on the 'Liner
One of the jewels of the museum's traction collection is the famous North Shore "Electroliner," built in 1941. This streamlined articulated electric train, which had its body rebuilt by the museum in the late 1980s, is now being mechanically restored so that it can run again in Union. Truck and motor work have been completed by an outside contractor but we still need funding assistance to reassemble the train set. With your help, the 'Liner can run again in 2018!
Help us to "Save the 800"
IRM needs your help to preserve a piece of living history - and we need it now! Toledo Peoria & Western 800, a fully operational Alco C424 "Century" locomotive, is being retired by a railroad in New Jersey and it will be scrapped if we can't purchase it for preservation.
Click to learn how you can help Save the 800
Illinois Railway Museum | 7000 Olson Road, Union, IL 60180 | 815.923.4391 |


Anonymous said...

could the collar on the controller be rebuilt with weld?
C Kronenwetter

Joel Ahrendt said...

If you need help with retreiveing a controller, let me know, I'll be around the shop tomorrow and Sunday.

Randall Hicks said...

It needs to be brazed. That's not easy, but if we can't find a reasonably good replacement, that's what we will have to do.