Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Last Sunday

Frank writes...

Sunday was the last day of the regular operating season for 2017. Fittingly, one of the service cars for the day was the last standard interurban car built in the country, CA&E 460, shown below. It was a chilly day but bright and sunny.

It was also the end of an era: the last day that the baggage cars on the tracks next to the depot were open as the gift shop and bookstore. Next week, work will begin on moving the usable shelving, technology, and the stock from the stores over to the Schroeder Store on Main Street. By the time of the Christmas event the bookstore and gift shop will be located in the Schroeder Store, where they will stay for the foreseeable future. I'm not certain what the plans are for the cars next to the depot, which include a wood baggage car (storage), a steel heavyweight baggage car (bookstore), and a lightweight steel baggage car (gift shop) from the C&NW as well as a Pullman troop sleeper (bookstore annex). I'm actually not certain when the gift shop moved into these cars but I think it was around 40 years ago, give or take a couple of years.
Anyway, for me it was an afternoon of work on Shaker Heights 18. During the week the hardware needed for the steel plate that I'd ordered arrived, so that meant the thing could finally be installed. Amazingly, all of the holes lined up perfectly, and new volunteer Jon helped me get the plate bolted into place, as shown below.
After that it was drilling holes along the top edge and putting in some wood screws. I felt like I spent half the afternoon hunting for the right wood screws but did get the top of the plate fixed in place as shown below. There is a cabinet that sits on top of this plate; it's been pushed back a few inches but is visible in the photos. That got put in place but we didn't have the right screws to attach it so that will have to wait until next time. The same goes for reattaching the two seats forward of the doors, which were detached prior to the car coming to IRM. Thrilling, I know.
Other than that, there were a few other people who were out in the barn working. Norm, Jeff, and our favorite Ohioan Walt Stafa were hard at work installing rivets on the Michigan car. For a while Jon was also helping them out. Below, Jon gets ready to transfer a hot rivet into place for driving; Walt runs the torch to heat the rivet white-hot; and Norm and Jeff (the latter partly inside the car, so to speak) stand ready to drive and buck the rivet respectively. I wasn't about to just wander through this scene to get a photo but note in the background, over Norm's shoulder, that the end of the 1754 has a nice coat of Chicago Elevated Railways green and orange on it. The car really looks sharp in this paint scheme with those tall end windows.
Other than that, Bob was working on some of the metalworking machines while later in the day Gregg stopped into the shop after a day rebuilding the cab interior on Minnesota Transfer 200. Dan also stopped in after helping the steam guys with the brakes on the Shay and the Diesel Department guys were over in Barn 2 finishing up the paint job on the "bankruptcy blue" Rock Island GP7.


Anonymous said...

More riveting action from the Hicks Cark work blog!

-Other Stafa from Ohio

Anonymous said...


I believe the current gift store moved to its current location in May of 1982.

Ray Piesciuk

Bill Wulfert said...

The heavyweight baggage car C&NW 8728 (ex-X390778)arrived IRM in 1982. In Rail & Wire #107 (Sep 1982) "A former baggage car was converted into a bookstore car giving visitors two places to shop for souvenirs at the Museum." Troop sleeper 7271 arrived in 1984. Streamlined light weight RPO/Express/Baggage C&NW 8202 (ex-301030) arrived on 6/21/1984. And of course the wooden C&NW 1236 came from North Chicago in 1964.

Rail & Wire #119 (July 1986) "Museum store gets a new look with a deck connecting the two cars" That would be the TTX flatcar that was used as a base for the new deck between the two C&NW cars.