Sunday, September 17, 2017

Showcase '17

Frank writes...

The Saturday of Museum Showcase Weekend seemed to be a great success. As I was arriving, at about 9am, Tim Peters and Joel Ahrendt were pulling Chicago "L" car 1754 out of its spot on track 42. This car is Tim's current project and he has largely rebuilt one end already. The end shown below is the other end of the car. This end of the car had its windows shortened in height later in its service life, as was done with most Chicago Rapid Transit cars.

And below is the end that is largely rebuilt. Note the taller windows and tongue-and-groove siding. While the car has quite the split personality, with all of the significant rebuilding work, it's still fully operable at the moment and moved itself over to the 50th Avenue "L" station under power.
For most of the day, the 1754 and Northwestern Elevated Railroad 24 were spotted next to each other on the 50th Avenue west track as a "before and after" example of what Tim and his assistants are capable of. Car 1754 is currently in need of funding to continue restoration work so hopefully additional interest in the project was raised. Below are the two cars on display. In the middle of the afternoon the two CRT cars, 1268 and 1797, were run over to 50th and coupled to the 24, after which the three-car wood "L" train made a couple of main line runs.
And after the 1754 left its customary berth the front of Barn 4 looked like this. On the left is an Electroliner "A" car, which was opened for tours on Saturday, with WEPCO L4 behind it; straight ahead is Michigan Electric 28 with its end largely disassembled; and to the right is Veracruz 19, with Illinois Terminal 1565 behind it and Cleveland PCC 4223 behind that.
Over at Barn 8, before the CA&E wood train left to go into service, I got a shot of the 308 alongside the newest member of the "GE Type M club" to enter service, Charles City Western steeplecab 300. The 300 made its public debut on Saturday, pulling the C&NW wood caboose on a few revenue trips on the main line.
And here's the CA&E service train: the 308 and 319. Andy Sunderland was the motorman and my father was the morning shift conductor, working from 10am to 2pm. During part of that time I was working with a cameraman to film scenes for a planned IRM TV commercial. Stay tuned to see how it turns out! And many thanks to Joe and Jill, who came out along with their daughters to volunteer as "models." They were tremendously patient and helpful. A number of IRM volunteers were instrumental in making it all work including Zach, Joel, and Rob S. When filming was done I signed in as the afternoon shift conductor while my father took an "interim rest" break until after dinner.
After a few trips in the afternoon, mostly well patronized given how many trains were on the railroad, we stowed the train on the inspection pit lead during the members cookout dinner. Afterwards the marker lanterns and headlights were retrieved from storage. Below the markers, as well as the bulls-eye marker lantern in the foreground, are arrayed ready to be lit.
There were four trains out at night, including the steam train, Zephyr, and the North Shore cars as well as the 308-319 (there were also three streetcars on the car line including open car 19). But we were able to run a couple of nighttime trips which were well received.
We've got night operations with these cars down to a science. The train runs with four markers, one at each corner, and we can use the flip-up red gels built into the lanterns to change them from red to white and back again when we change ends rather than carrying the lanterns through the train. We also run with a headlight at each end ready to go. True, the bulls-eye light (shown below) does need to be carried end to end, but it weighs less than the markers or headlights.
As usual we saw a lot of friends during the day, both from the area and from further away, including our good friend and fellow blogger Al, who was able to make it out for a little while around lunchtime. A good time was had by all. We should do this again next year!


Joshua Sutherland said...

Do you have a list of what operated on the showcase weekend?

Randall Hicks said...

I think Frank has almost everything you need listed already, but let's see if we can put it in tabular form. I'll have my own pictures up later today.

Main line:
1630 + coach train, including dynamometer and RPO
9911A + Zephyr
CCW 300 + C&NW 10304 (debut)
CA&E 308, 319
CRT 24, 1797, 1268, and 1754 on display
CTA 2153, 2154 (and two others?)

Car line:
VC 19

Plus NS 718 and 749 in the evening, also the bilevels

Am I missing anything?

Frank Hicks said...

That's NS 714 and 749 in the evening, plus C&NW 411 and the bi-level set also made a night trip. There was also the CMC motor bus and Seattle trolley bus running during the day and the Chicago Marmon trolley bus ran at night.

Joel Ahrendt said...

Don't forget Jaron as my conductor on the VC 19 for those commercial trips.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the link to the list of equipment scheduled to operate on Members' Showcase Weekend 2018 won't take us to the 2015 list (like it did this year and last year). Maybe you can nudge the right elbow there, on behalf of our website visitors?

Mike G.

Randall Hicks said...

It took me a minute to realize you must be referring to the list on the site. Sorry, we have no control over that. But we can pass the message on.