Wednesday, September 30, 2020


We should make it clear that Dave Conrad has been working as a VOLUNTEER on the Ingersoll-Rand engine project, not a contractor as previously stated.  He has driven out from Connecticut several times for multi-week visits at his own expense, and has also donated generously to help finance the project.  This is effort far beyond what most of us could even contemplate, and is greatly appreciated.

  I apologize for the error.  I guess you can't trust just everything you read on the internet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Going Bald

 If that applies to you, you're in good company.  But actually, I was thinking of something else.  Today I managed to finish removing all of the roof boards, saddles, canvas, and other impedimenta from the roof of the 453.  We now have another Baldy on the roster, temporarily of course.  The center part of the roof is now ready for painting.  

At the other end, we still have one cable sticking out, and I left one grab iron in place so I can still get on the roof if necessary.   It can be easily and quickly removed.  We should be able to paint the roof from the platform, using long-handled rollers.  It took a while, but it's nice to have one phase of the project finished.

Of course, we now need to repair or replace the tack molding, and patch up the holes in the ends of the roof, as seen here previously.

Jon Fenlaciki is nearing completion of his roof.  Here he is painting the ventilators.

I also spent some more time trying to remove the ceiling panel in the #1 vestibule.  Gerry Dettloff and John Sheldon helped, but we didn't make much progress.  Rather frustrating.

I cleaned up around the platform, and went over parts of the roof, mostly the ends, putting shiny new nails into the boards where needed, and so on.  

I took some more measurements for filling in the holes in the ends of the roof with new wood.

And speaking of those holes, as I was walking around on the platform, it struck me that if we weren't careful, we could easily trolleyville the 757:

But I'm pretty sure that won't happen here!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Saturday Report

Another nice Saturday at IRM has come and gone.  More to show than we had time to record, but:
Here we see Bob Olson welding up some track parts in the Barn 4 shop.

I was working mostly on the 453, as usual.  Now that with some help all of the connectors have been desoldered from the roof cables, it was relatively quick to remove the castings and get them down into the attic and out of the way.  The longest one I was unable to push down; it will need to be pulled down from below.

In order to do that, however, we need to remove the ceiling panel in the #1 vestibule.

This is turning out to be harder than it ought to be.  All of the screws have been drilled out, but the panel is still somehow fastened over the pull switch for the buzzer cord.  Joel helped with this a little, but we're still stuck.

And I can't even remove the screw holding the pull switch in place, despite considerable effort.  But we won't give up.

Meanwhile, I removed all of the remaining tacks and canvas from the center of the roof, swept it off, and removed another running board and one more saddle.  Much of the roof is essentially ready for painting.

Revenue service continued, of course.  On Saturday the 4391 was running.

This three-unit lashup of Geeps paused in front of the station.

And the Shay was in passenger service again.

As well as two 4000's.

It's been a while since we've paid a visit to the Electroliner -- sorry!!  Let's see what they're accomplishing on the interior.   The ceiling of the A1 coach section, which has gotten the most thorough restoration, is now being repainted, and looks great.

Meanwhile, John Arroyo is now sanding down the ceiling in the smoker, and finds that under the thick layer of nicotine it too is, or should be, white.

New parts for the window posts:

And in the dining car section some of the new upholstery is in place...

While many other parts are stacked in the coach section awaiting installation.  The upholstery work has been done by John McKelvey and Jane Blackburn.

Back in Barn 4, by the way, the 431 and 409 were over the pit for work on the 409's air system.  It had several leaks that needed to be fixed.  

And of course there were plenty of other projects going on.  As usual, you had to be there.


Submit your own caption.

Frank adds...

I was out on Saturday this weekend too, but I didn't arrive until mid-afternoon. I spent most of the afternoon on the 18. Before we acquired the car, one of its large Agasote ceiling panels had come down (we believe it started to fall on its own and was taken down). It wasn't of use for anything other than a pattern but had been taking up a lot of space inside the car, so with my father's help I got it out and took it over to Barn 11 for storage.
Then it was on to the car's right side front dash panel, which had previously been needle-chipped and primed. As shown in the above link, this revealed a couple of spots where body filler had been used, so the trusty old Bondo can reappeared. As shown above, the dash is now (by outward appearance) solid once again. Next time I'll sand this down, fill in any gaps that reappear, and then it will be ready for a final coat of primer before Bankers Grey goes on. Using Bondo took me back it's almost like I'm back working on the 205.
While the Bondo was drying, I did a little straightening inside the 18. One of the relatively few things we are missing from the car is one of the light shades, as shown above (you can see that the fixture beyond is just a bare bulb). The car has six overhead lights but we only have shades for five of them; that ceiling panel mentioned earlier, when taken down, may have taken its light shade with it because that's the one that's missing. Anyway, they're about 8" in diameter; if you know where we might be able to find one, please drop us a line, or if you know of something close we can figure out more dimensions. I might also mentioned that I didn't notice until writing this post that this particular ceiling fixture has a doubler plate installed. The others don't have this, but this was likely done to stave off another ceiling panel failure.

After all of that, I spent a while helping Greg Kepka remove tacks from the south side of the 453. He's been diligently picking away at this project and we made more progress Saturday evening. It's pretty close to being done but there are still some tacks (and remnants of old CA&E canvas) at the southwest corner of the car.
And I too got a photo of the bus washing party, but figured I might as well include the sizable group of onlookers who were seemingly fascinated by the work going on. As the saying goes, I love hard work - I could watch people doing it all day.

Showcase Videos

Chuck Amstein has posted his videos from Showcase Weekend -- enjoy! 

2020 IRM Showcase Part 1 Day Operations:
2020 IRM Showcase Part 2 Night Operations:

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

News from Terre Haute

As mentioned earlier, Frank recently gave an interview to a reporter from Terre Haute about our streetcar, IRR 205, which he restored.   Here's a link to the article.   Enjoy!

Sunday Photos

Our final installment of Chuck Amstein's pictures from Showcase Weekend.  I've added captions to identify the people, where possible.  

Photos copyright by Chuck Amstein, cannot be copied or used without permission.

Zach Ehlers

We do our part, to be sure!

That's probably Jamie in front of the Rock Island Geep.

Jeff Fryman

What's wrong with this picture?!?

Andy Sunderland and Wes Lloyd

Larry Stone, I think.