Friday, May 31, 2019

Don't Give Up!

A few more documents from Rockhill:

One thing is still true: Your trains are 100% safe.  IRM inspectors see to that!

Then we have a visitor handout from the same era, including a complete IRM roster, about 25 pieces.  Almost all of this equipment is still on the roster, and much of it has been restored to operation.  The NSCA had to give up, but IRM didn't!

Finally, a nice picture and a drawing of the South Shore 700-class, originally built for the NYC in 1930 and rebuilt by the South Shore in 1955-58.  

The physics teacher in me immediately latched onto the idea of a "max. radius", actually a maximum curvature.  25 degrees corresponds to a radius of about 230', which seems rather optimistic.  But unfortunately none of these were preserved, so we'll never know.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Rockhill Collection, Pt. 4

Next we have a nice set of large (mostly 8x10) prints.  Again, mostly IT, with a few obvious exceptions.

L. O. Norman   Taken at Decatur prior to 1915

Springfield   10-30-48

Here's the first 300:
L. O. Norman    Danville    Taken prior to 1930
(By the way, the lettering on this car is pretty interesting.  On the front, along the bottom of the side, "ELECTRIFIED LINES"  (Don't run out from under the wire!)  At the rear, "IT INC LESSOR".  Above the rear number are destination signs: WESTVILLE GEORGETOWN OLIVET + RIDGEFARM   for the branch running south from Danville.)

And some views of the second, better-known 300:

The unknown photographer writes:  "City of Decatur" on maiden revenue run Nov. 7, 1948.  This picture was taken by me astride a block signal north of Lick Creek Siding south of Springfield.

E. Peoria frt yards    10-30-48

E. Peoria frt yards    10-30-48

And some miscellany:

And this isn't even traction, but it's still pretty neat:

Car Department Report

I was out at the Museum yesterday, but what I was doing wasn't very photogenic.  So there isn't much to look at, but keep reading.

In property news, work continues on preparing the foundation for the new building.  This has been delayed somewhat by the incessant rain, but in the distance here you can see one of the Bakely guys, I think, spreading gravel along the outside wall.

The next step will be to install all the underfloor piping for electrical and plumbing needs, then the floor itself can be poured.

It was pointed out to me that this should be referred to as the Multi-Purpose Building (not the model railroad building) since it will also include the Pullman Library, facilities for archive storage, and so on.  It's about 13,000 square feet of space, I believe.

I did inspection on the 309, everything that didn't require the pit.  Here, for instance, you can see the calibrated air gauge attached to the brake pipe glad hand, for checking the feed valve setting and the accuracy of the gauges.  Everything was OK.

Bob Sundelin has moved the new casting, now securely soldered into one piece, over to the big lathe in the machine shop area.

In other Car Dept. news, Chuck Meter continues to rebuild the PCC truck, Pete Galayda is doing a great job on the interior of the 160, Tim is installing new windows in the 1754, the Electroliner project should have some significant progress soon, and so on.

And I started cleaning up and sorting parts in CA&E 451, our next project.  Gerry helped me with this and gave us a shelf in the Lean-3 for temporary storage.  Work on this car stopped a couple of years ago due to other department projects, but I should have some time to spend on getting it ready for service eventually.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Rockhill Collection, Pt. 3

Today's selection of photos is entirely Illinois Terminal, plus one mystery.

Morton     7-24-52

Springfield - of course this is the 233-234, both of which are now at IRM

Springfield, with the 234 closer to the camera. The cars were in an unusual livery of blue with silver letterboard at this time.


Springfield Yard

Xmas 49

301-303     Springfield Station

518 at St. Louis, 11-48 - This car is at IRM in essentially this condition

4 car NRHS trip  9-6-53

7-24-52, Springfield - one of the ex-C&LE freight trailers

E. Peoria       Decatur Local

E. Peoria

This one is the mystery. The car has the IT oval on the side but doesn't appear in Jenkins' roster. Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Rainy Day Blues

The picture above says it all, I think: yesterday was not a good day for outdoor activities of any sort, including photography.  We had a few brave visitors, and many trains running.  And it never rained hard enough to cause real flooding.  The wood CA&E cars and the IT heavyweight train were cancelled, and instead we had the wood L cars and the 101.  

Here we are during a break in the rain.

However, in the afternoon Bob Sundelin came by and asked me if I wanted to help with the 309 bearing project.  Do I!  With only a few passengers, the Buck brothers were more than able to handle the train themselves, so I followed Bob over to the shop.   Here he is carefully leveling the lower casting inside the big oven. 

Then solder paste is carefully applied to the joint:

And the two halves are carefully aligned and clamped.  In the front on the left is Bob's thermocouple, to measure the actual temperature of the casting.   The temperature gauge on the oven is not very accurate, and in any case measures the temperature of the air, not the heavy casting.

Then we close the door, turn on the oven, and wait for the gauge to creep up to its set point:

Once the casting has exceeded the solder's melting point, and those in the know say that it smells like the solder has indeed melted, we turn off the oven, turn on the exhaust fan, and let it cool down enough to open the door.  It certainly looks like the solder has melted, and the casting itself has changed color, but it's still way too hot to handle.  In any case, this is exciting progress on the bearing project, and now we should be able to start machining out the bearing surfaces.   Watch this space for the results!

Finally, we also had visitors, including my granddaughter Vivian, on her first visit to IRM:

Frank adds...

We'd hoped that Vivian's first train ride would be on the CA&E, but the CSL is a solid second in my book of favorite electric railways so we went for a trip on the Matchbox. I suspect the length of the voyage was more to her liking as well. And of course we can't miss a visit to Grandpa, doing his best to class up the atmosphere in the car shop.

Monday Photos from Chuck Amstein

More excellent results from our official staff photographer, who writes:

"Attached are my photos taken on the official equipment waterproof test day.  Videos sooner or later."

Usual warnings against unauthorized reproduction are in effect!