Monday, September 11, 2017

A switch in time saves nine

Frank writes...

Sunday at IRM was a gorgeous day. When I first arrived and drove onto the property I was surprised to see West Towns 141 going around the car line. It turns out the car was in use for a charter; I was able to grab the below photo below of the interior. The car is in very limited use because the springs fitted to its trucks are much too strong, so the body sits too high and rides roughly. Specs for new springs are being drawn up, after which the trucks will be pulled and disassembled, the springs replaced, and everything reassembled. Then it should be ready for revenue use.

After that I spent a few minutes on Shaker Heights 18. Some additional fitting work was done to the steel plate I've been working on and it was successfully test-fit, as shown below. The next step is to drill a few more holes, procure the necessary hardware, and then paint and install this piece. Then that little project will be done, at least, and the interior of the car at this location can be put back together.
But most of my time was spent switching. There were a couple of switch moves that needed to be done. First, we needed to extract a couple of pieces of equipment that were buried deep on track 83 so that they can be used during the coming few weeks. Formerly the lineup from east to west (from the door) had been the CTA 2200s, IT 101, the C&NW bay window caboose, CRT 1808, and TM M15. But the caboose is wanted for a demonstration freight train to be run next weekend with Charles City Western 300 and the M15 is wanted for Milwaukee Transit Day in early October. So several pieces of equipment that don't operate very often were scurrying about the yards. Below, CRT 1808, which is tired but definitely operational.
And then there's the M-15, our homely homebuilt freight-motor-slash-line-car from the Milwaukee Electric and later the Municipality of East Troy Railroad. Bob Bruneau used to refer to this thing as the "M-ugly." It's seen out and about rarely enough that one of our regular operators who was putting his streetcar back into Barn 7 called on the radio to ask "what that green thing" was.
As that switch move was finishing up the CA&E wood cars came out. The order (from the door) had been 36-319-308-309 but we wanted to run 308-319 during the day next Saturday and 36-309 at night for museum members. We also needed to wye the 308. So the cars were reordered as desired, however we discovered something dismaying: one of the contactors on the 36 is acting up. It's not anything we can't fix (we'll need to diagnose the exact cause but that should be doable on the inspection pit) but without much time before Members Day it's doubtful the car will run next weekend. But that's the nice thing about having four wood cars - there's always a backup! So right now the tentative plan is to run the 308 and 319 for both day and nighttime operations on Saturday - weather permitting, of course. In the meantime I got the nice photo below of the 308 just west of the tower during its wye move. This car doesn't get around solo very often since it's a half-motor.
Thanks to Nick E and Greg who buzzed around in a golf cart getting switches for this move. Thomas, Richard, Joel, and Jeron were all heavily involved with the various switch moves throughout the afternoon as well.


Kirk Warner said...

Nice job on the steel replacement! Is there any project d date to test to operation of the 1218?

Anonymous said...

Could you not run the 36 as a trailer for the showcase weekend?
C Kronenwetter

Frank Hicks said...

At this time there's no projected date to make the 18 (ex-1218) operational. It's something of a back-burner project at the moment.

And you're correct that we could run the 36 as a control trailer, but doing so would put extra strain on the 309's motors. We'd like to avoid that, if we can, so for the moment we are tentatively planning on only running the 308 and 319.