Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Al Reinschmidt Remembered

 A friend sent us this link to an article in Railway Age, announcing the establishment of a scholarship fund in memory of Al Reinschmidt.

Al was a good friend of many of us, and a frequent blogger on this site until his death three years ago.  He joined IRM after his retirement, and helped us a great deal with the restoration of the 36 and 319 after they arrived from Trolleyville.  He will probably be best remembered for his enthusiastic participation in Day Out With Thomas, among other things.  He was also widely known in the railroad industry, and we are glad to see a tangible reminder of his contributions to railroading through this scholarship fund.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Year-End Clearance

 Yes, friends, it's that time of year again when we need to clean out our inventory of old, worn-out tools and supplies to make room for exciting new fashions and projects!  In my case, I wanted to clean up the scaffolding around the roof booth in preparation for installing canvas on the 453.  And after that was done, it was time to start cleaning the interior of the car.

I found a light string on one of the shelves on the platform, and installed it in the 453, with some new bulbs.  It's nice to have lights inside the car, especially at this festive time of year.  And of course it makes cleaning easier.  Several parts from the car were removed and placed on the correct shelf in the shop for refurbishing.  And then I did a lot of sweeping and so on.


The interior will eventually need a thorough restoration, but for now it's not too bad.

Now that the car has actual lighting, I noticed for the first time that there are a couple of car cards that look authentic but which I haven't seen in any of the other CA&E cars.  More on those later.


Meanwhile, the rest of the Tuesday crew were at work.  John is seen here patching up the frames for the arched windows in the 306.


Frank Kehoe was working on truck parts for the 1754, but I didn't get a picture of him at work.  Sorry!  Tim was working on more parts for his ticket booth, as usual.




And there were other people at work, but I don't have any pictures or details.  Unless they want to submit their own stories.

Monday, December 28, 2020

A little bit of everything

Frank writes...

A lot got done on Sunday on a number of different projects. I managed to keep moving.

This isn't going chronologically, but the big news happened in the late afternoon and evening. Greg suggested working on bending the steel that was obtained last weekend by Joel for Shaker 18. Our resident steel-working expert, Richard, manned the torch to heat up the two 2' long pieces of bar stock while Greg and I ran the channel locks. After a bit of work, this was the result.

And then after dinner Greg cut the new pieces to length on the chop saw. This is the final (to date) product, with two new brake bars sitting in front of the two old brake bars. The task for next weekend will be to drill holes and grind in some radii. These will then be ready to install in the 18. A huge THANK YOU to Greg and Richard for all their work on this!

Moving back to mid-afternoon, when I had arrived at the shop I found this happy sight: during the week Richard was able to separate the two pieces of the 18's tail light casting. The inner ring and outer ring shown here had been fused together by a mixture of rust and paint, but with a lot of patience and heat he was able to get them apart. He even drilled out the end of the crack in the inner ring and brazed that up.

In the previous photo you'll note there's a bit of a chunk missing from the outer ring. We were able to salvage that, so Richard brazed it back into place as shown above. Afterwards he sand-blasted the work and then I primed both cast rings. The next step in this little project will be to construct or procure a metal can about 7-3/4" in diameter and 2-5/8" deep to replace the hopelessly rusted original.
And as we continue to regress in time, when I first arrived at the museum there wasn't anybody around. Joel and Richard hadn't arrived yet while Greg and Good Nick were out working on DC Line Department projects (more on that later). So I grabbed some black paint and got to work painting the saddles for the 453. Here's the "before and after" when I was partway through; rest assured that I did finish painting all of the saddles. I also put a second coat of black paint on the "bird house" signal box but it really doesn't look any different than it did before so I didn't snap a picture. But it's definitely ready to hang on display somewhere now. Per Joel's recommendation I also put some aluminum paint on the base ends of the three trolley poles painted last week.
Of course everyone else was hard at work too. As mentioned previously Greg and Nick were out in the bucket truck doing line work. A replacement pole in Yard 6 needed to have the last of its hardware swapped over from the rotted original, so they completed than and then took down the old rotted pole. Meanwhile Joel is working on repair work on our old reliable, the 415. The step gearbox on one side failed, meaning the step just stays in the "down" position and doesn't raise when you close the doors. So he's disassembled the gearbox for repairs as shown here.
Ashton and Thomas were working for much of the day on DC Line Department projects too, in this case cleaning up wood strains. This isn't the most glamorous job but it's absolutely necessary if we want to keep our overhead in good repair. Richard was also out, of course, mostly working on projects for the 18. I also gave him the Scalzo 5x7 collection and took home the Scalzo 8x10's. So watch for some more interesting stuff to come.
And it was the last night of Happy Holiday Railway: The Holiday Light Experience. This was the oddest HHR yet but it worked out pretty well in the end and we got nothing but rave reviews from everyone who attended. At the end of the night, the electric cars got put back into the barns amidst a bit of freshly-fallen snow. The open car is pictured out on the tail track with the surrounding snow lit up by the car lights. Hey, is that guy qualified on this car?

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Tree Limited

Here at the workshops we can't have a Christmas tree without American Flyer trains running around it, and this year we have my limited collection of Wide Gauge in operation.  Since of course the development of IRM's model train displays has been delayed by the virus, this is the best we can do.

Naturally, the larger trains tend to require more real estate.

Here comes a one-car branchline local, running extra on the holiday.

The locomotive is patterned after the early New Haven boxcabs, and dates to about 1928, as does all of the rolling stock, I believe.

And this is the freight train.

This might look like a boxcar and gondola to you, but according to the catalogs it's an Automobile Car and a Sand Car.  So the gon has a load of sand.

The tunnel was vaguely patterned after catalog illustrations, since authentic Wide Gauge tunnels are nearly impossible to find.  But it was fun to make.

Finally, you can even go for a ride in the cab by following this link.  Please remain seated while the train is in motion!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Greetings

Virgin and Child Crowned by Angels

(Colyn de Coter, Dutch, c. 1490)


And the grandchildren wish you all a safe and happy holiday season:

Scalzo Photo Collection - Unidentified Photos

We Need Your Help!

As part of our efforts to catalog and publish the collection of the late Steve Scalzo, a collection which was donated to IRM by Mr Scalzo's widow, we have begun to sort and catalog the sizable collection of photographic prints. (There are also thousands of slides that are part of the Scalzo Collection, and Ray and Julie Piesciuk have been working hard at scanning and posting them on the endlessly fascinating irm-cta.org website.)

As part of this effort, we are going to start posting unidentified or "mystery" photos that are in the collection of prints. Please let us know via comment or direct email if you have information on the cars in these photos so that we can accurately classify and file them. Photos that have been identified are listed at the bottom of the page. Your assistance is appreciated.

New photos added 12/24! Thank you to everyone who has contributed information.

All photos shown here are the property of the Illinois Railway Museum and may not be reprinted without written permission.


The car number appears to be 114 but there's no other ID on this one.

Admittedly, chances are slim that anyone will be able to pinpoint this one, but it's an engaging photo nonetheless, what with the guys in the mired wagon off to the side. "There's a muddy road ahead, detour..."

Here's a typical early GE steeplecab, unfortunately with no obviously visible lettering. Could this be Claremont Railway?

I'm not even certain what this is, much less where it is. It looks like some sort of derrick.

I have no idea on this engine house. There's no wire so it's likely not traction.

This is another old print adhered to heavy card, similar to the previously-identified photo (see further down on this page) of C&JE 252. It shows a single-truck work car numbered #55.

This neat old double-cab-on-flat appears to have been painted driftwood color at the time the photo was taken. Absolutely no idea.

This thing is so ugly it's almost not ugly. Almost. Pretty obviously some industrial operation, so this could be especially hard to track down. And this is why you don't go nuts with the tension on your trolley base springs.

And here is an international photo that appears to show some sort of commuter rail.

This one says "German gas car" on the back; anyone know anything more about it?

This one doesn't offer many clues, but those angled braces on the ends of the coupled cars might look familiar to someone.

There aren't too many clues in this interior photo of a classic interurban car. It's got rattan seats and dual sliding doors in the bulkhead, but that's about it.

This little critter is helpfully lettered "SHOP TRUCK" on the side. The sign on the building in the background is, unfortunately, not legible.

This crane has been adapted for snow-fighting with a plow cantilevered off the front truck. That neat cab has a very nautical, pilothouse look to me.

It wasn't terribly unusual to convert Birneys to work service but most didn't acquire a new I-beam underframe like this sand car did. John Myers has suggested that this car is from Tampa Electric - can anyone confirm?

This attractive California-style car looks like it might be a large cable grip car. I believe that Chicago had some grip cars of this general design but I don't know whether this is one of them.

This is an unusual one. It looks like a steam road depot in the background, but in the foreground is what appears to be a "signal garden" displaying various older-type signals. Except that, judging from the freight cars and overall appearance, this is likely pre-1950s. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

No idea here. It's a McGuire-Cummings snow sweeper with an arch-roof car behind it and a Woolworth's 10 Cent Store off to the right, but none of that narrows it down very much.


Photos That have Been Identified

Believe it or not, I've actually been able to identify this one. The photo was taken in Springfield, Illinois and shows a horsecar crossing a trestle to the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The same photo was printed in the Springfield Sun on September 15, 1966 but that version was much darker, revealing that those little spots at center top are actually part of the obelisk atop the tomb. A copy of the version from the newspaper was included in Steve Scalzo's file on Springfield.

This one took quite a while to figure out, so a big thank you to Mark Sims for solving the mystery. The photo shows the first car owned by the Midlothian & Blue Island Railroad, which ran 1-1/4 miles from the CRI&P depot in Midlothian to the Midlothian Country Club. This car was acquired from Chicago Consolidated Traction in 1911 when the M&BI electrified.

The company name can't be read on the lower panel of this car, but it's a perfect match for a different photo in the Scalzo collection showing Joliet & Eastern car 52. So I'm going to call this as a J&E (a predecessor of the Aurora Plainfield & Joliet) car.

I'm about 90% sure this is Springfield, IL and that this Birney is passing the Illinois State Capitol building on the right. Springfield's Country Club line, for which this car is signed, did indeed run down 2nd Street past the capitol. The car also has a slightly unusual truck design which appears to match the St. Louis 7 trucks on Springfield's Birneys and that paper-slogan-in-the-windows thing is known to have been done by the Springfield system.

I'm not absolutely certain but I suspect strongly that this is a Veracruz open car, and that it's very likely car 6. The photo looks "museum-y" to me, with rebuilding work apparently being done in a metal-clad building. The car is a single-truck (note the springs attached to the side sill) arch-roof open car, an unusual thing to begin with, and the post and step support spacing matches Veracruz practice. The only Veracruz cars I know to have been this heavily disassembled during the preservation era are 001, which was rebuilt in Mexico, and car 6, which was disassembled at the Texas Transportation Museum in the 1960s or 1970s.

Thanks to Richard Schauer, who has identified this trolley bus as a Duluth Superior Transit Brill-built T40 from the DST 1-9 series.

This photo was included in the Scalzo 4x6 print collection in an unidentified state but, as luck would have it, a larger print of the same image was included in the Scalzo 5x7 print collection and this time was identified. It turns out that this shows Decatur, Illinois streetcar 37.

Many thanks to Charlie Lowe of the New York Museum Transportation, a New York State Railways expert if ever there were one, for identifying this car as NYSR Utica Lines car 906 in the yard at Forest Park, near Utica. Thanks also to Joel Salomon for reaching out to Charlie on this one! Charlie writes about car 906: "Note the short tower on the roof; this car was being used as a line car. But, originally, it had been one of four Rochester and Sodus Bay freight motors. These were ordered in 1899 from Jackson and Sharp, and numbered 90-93. About 1906 or so, once R&SB and Rochester Railway Co. (1890-1909) had been purchased by New York Central, the Sodus freight cars were renumbered 903-906, but we don't know if they were renumbered in order. Jackson and Sharp issued shop numbers on the basis of one per car, so we lost which shop number went with each car when they were first renumbered. Car 906 was transferred from Rochester to Utica in 1918 [Receivers' Report, 12-31-30, p. 79]. At some point, maybe in the 1920s, the folding tower was added to the roof. This was not unique for NYSR; R&E work car 0, later renumbered 0205 and even later Rochester Transit freight locomotive 0205, had a folding tower in the late 1920s. Car 906 was scrapped in 1940, just before the end of all street railway operations in Utica (last full day was May 12, 1941)."

Thanks to Anthony Tieuli, who IDed this car as being a Fort Wayne, Indiana  single-truck car, and to David Wilkins for confirming that.

Many thanks to Stephen Cobb, who has identified this international photo Johannesburg, South Africa. On the back of the print it says "Crown Mines on Market Street, looks like EMB trucks, the first design of the 'streamliners.'" The fleet number is #2.

Stephen Cobb also IDed this one as Heidelburg, Germany.

Many thanks to Bill West for identifying this international photo as "Plauen, Oberer Bahnhof, the upper station in the town of Plauen, Saxony." The photo is dated 5.10.1991.

Thanks to Olin Anderson for confirming that this is indeed the incline in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Olin Anderson also confirms that this photo was taken in Lisbon, Portugal. The main identifying feature of Lisbon vs Oporto cars seems to be arch roofs in Lisbon, deck roofs in Oporto.

And Olin Anderson also points out that this is indeed Chicago, looking east on Cermak at the bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River. Olin writes "the track crossing the street is a CB&Q freight branch that still exists along the street and is turning on to Lumber St. The bridge is still there and and I believe the buildings still stand. The building on the left was (is?) a work-live loft building when I knew it, and it was featured in a scene of an overturning fire truck in 'Backdraft.'"

Thanks to Walt Stafa for pointing out that this is Monongahela West Penn 654, formerly City Lines of West Virginia 654. According to Don Ross it was homebuilt in 1921 and retired in 1947.

Zach Ehlers confirms that this is, indeed, Rome (Italy, not New York). It's a 1949-vintage articulated PCC.

Zach Ehlers wrote in to say that this is Mexico City on the metro system there and that Line 8 opened in 1994.

Thanks to David Wilkins for identifying this as Hershey Transit 28, a utility work car.

David also figured out that this is Cook Transit 300, a freight motor that was used on the surviving stub of the Evansville & Ohio Valley. It would have run alongside the GE steeplecab that was scrapped two years ago in Noblesville.


David Wilkins also IDed these two photos as having been taken at the Keokuk Dam, which had an electrified railroad across its length and used a cab-on-flat work motor now preserved in Mt. Pleasant, IA.

Many thanks to Charles Sontag for tracking this one down. It's the Rochester Syracuse & Eastern, in a photo that appears in the CERA bulletin "TravElectric" credit to Brill Magazine.

I was finally able to track this one down, again using the CERA "TravElectric" book. It's Auburn & Syracuse car 61, the only car of this design on the A&S so hard to ID unless you have a photo of this exact car. It was built by Cincinnati in 1907.

This photo was identified as Chicago & Joliet Electric 252 because it happens to also be on Dave's Rail Pix. The print is old, adhered to heavy card stock in a manner that leads me to believe it was probably printed pre-Depression.

It looks like this is a Chicago & Interurban Traction car based on this photo from Dave's Rail Pix. It may have even been taken at the exact same location, though the car looks slightly different (headlight vs no headlight, for example). Note that there are two wires like you'd see on a gantlet track; maybe a double-track line went down to a gantlet track at this bridge? Anyway, it seems that C&IT cars of this series were later sold to CSL and rebuilt as 5651-5665 series cars like this one.

Thanks to Paul Schneble for identifying this as a Dallas Railway & Terminal work car. He writes that this car "was built in 1913 and served until the city's last streetcar lines were abandoned in January 1956...DR&T's post-World War II, diamond-shaped logo is visible on the side of the cab." The photo is credited in an Arcadia book on McKinney Avenue streetcars to Walter H. Veilbaum, McKinney Avenue Transit Collection.

Elsewhere in the Scalzo Collection photos I happened upon a different photo of a car identical to this one numbered 215. That photo was also unidentified but the emblem could clearly be made out: C&J. Sure enough, this is a Chicago & Joliet Electric car.

And this is also a Chicago & Joliet Electric car, of a slightly different design but definitely with the same emblem.

Many thanks to Zach Ehlers for solving this extra-difficult international version of the challenge. This car is from Walthamstow, a borough of London. Eight of these cars were built for Oldham in 1902 and later spent time in Rotherham before going on to Walthamstow. The system was taken over by the LPTB in 1933. 

Zach Ehlers also IDed this photo as Bloomington Pontiac & Joliet 201 "Dwight." The photo was taken in Pontiac at the corner of Main Street and East Madison with the car northbound on Main. It's a rarity, as there aren't too many photos of this somewhat eccentric little line.

Thanks to Mark Sims, who identified this as Des Moines Railway 59, a homebuilt crane car.

Curve-sider 44 is a car from the Stark Electric in Ohio.

This car must be a Cincinnati Newport & Covington car, probably a 500-series car; it matches this photo right down to the "spitball" herald and odd box up on the lower deck of the roof. Judging from the double overhead over the track in the foreground, I'm guessing this is Cincinnati.

This car has been IDed as Philadelphia & West Chester 17, matching the photo shown here. The older P&WC interurban cars like this were replaced by low-level but higher-speed equipment like the 80-series cars and Brilliners, I believe.

The lettering on that overpass is barely legible in the original but looks like it says Stony Island. I'm pretty sure this is the 63rd & Stony Island station on the South Side 'L'. At first I thought the 'L' continued into Jackson Park in this photo but it does look like the structure just goes over the road, ending (as it did for many decades) over the east sidewalk.

Fellow blogger David Wilkins has identified this as St. Louis Public Service 615 at the Museum of Transport in St. Louis. In the background can be seen CB&Q 9908 "Silver Charger."

David Wilkins also IDed this as the SLPS sprinkler car at the Museum of Transport.

This is confirmed to be Tulsa Sapulpa Union Railway 201, a box motor built by American in 1918. That seems like quite a lot of bracing just to put the trolley hook further out along the pole, but what do I know?

This is almost certainly the Waterloo Cedar Falls & Northern, probably car 102, which was popular for fan trip use. The observation platform railing matches this photo precisely. Anyone know what wye this might be?

Thanks to Bill West, who tracked down evidence that this Taunton plow is on the Androscoggin & Kennebec in Maine.

Thanks to T Rich, who suggested that this is Randolph Street Station, and to Dick Lukin, who confirmed that and wrote the following:

It is of the Randolph Street station throat looking Southward from a train on Track three! The furthest  track to the west is track ONE and is a short stub of a track and used only for special moves or temp storage for a few hours or so. I worked there for the IC as a trainman for three summers and Christmas vacations. The IC hired about 15-20 guys for summer work back in the 1950s. Vacations for permanent employees were mostly in the summer, rarely in Winter....PLUS the IC suburban service had about 6 or 7 train sets of 8 cars for Washington Park Race track service, thus they needed, say, 6 engineers off the engineers' seniority board, 6 conductors, and about 20 other trainmen off the extra board. Lots of fun  working these extras, you never knew what to expect.

There were NO  single one way tickets  ever sold to Wash Park.... one could buy only a round trip ticket as most of the riders lost their ass and had NO money with which to buy a return ticket. On most hot days, the crew would open the windows on the west side of the cars, and lower the shades to reduce somewhat the heat in the cars which were sitting in the sun all afternoon. When most of the races were  over, a lot of the men did not take the time to enter the cars through the doors, but climbed into the car from the open windows. Oh Well.

Confirmed to be Chicago & West Towns 12

Stephen Karlson and C Kronenwetter have identified this as Fond du Lac Station in Milwaukee looking west towards 35th Street.

Mark Sims has correctly identified this as a Des Moines Railway car. Good find! 

Thanks to Pete Pedersen with supporting info from C Kronenwetter for identifying this as Wisconsin Public Service 26 in service in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

This photo has been identified as Rochester & Eastern freight motor 925. The photo happened to show up in the April 2020 "Headend" newsletter posted on the New York Museum of Transportation website, which identified the car and specified the location as the Rochester interurban union freight terminal at State Street Station, today a Kodak parking lot. It also says that the photo was probably taken by William G. Amer.

Freight motor 406 ran on the Oneida Railway, part of the NYSR Utica Lines. This line used third rail and was known for a couple of unusual traits: first, it had a pair of "Windsplitter" interurban cars built in 1912 by Kuhlman; and second, it was an Oneida Railway interurban car that made the famous long-distance interurban trip all the way from Utica to Louisville, Kentucky in 1910, traveling the entire distance on interurbans and nearly the entire distance under power.

Car 32 ran on the Mohawk Valley interurban line, a component of NYSR Utica Lines that extended from Utica through Rome to Little Falls. This car was built in 1911 by Kuhlman.

This is another photo on the Mohawk Valley line out of Utica, taken in 1925 between Utica and Rome. The car on the right, car 40, was built in 1913 by Kuhlman. The lightweight cars later used on the Rochester Subway were built for this line in 1916. This photo appears in Sheldon King's NYSR book credited to Barney Neuberger.

Trailer 1114 was used in city service in Rochester. It was built by Kuhlman in 1913.

A builder's photo of trailer 1111, built in 1913 by Kuhlman for use on the Rochester Lines of NYSR.

Car 1019 is a Rochester Lines NYSR car built by Kuhlman in 1913. It is shown in 1940 on Dewey Avenue in northwest Rochester at the NYC - B&O crossing. This photo appears in Sheldon King's NYSR book credited to Barney Neuberger.

Car 1023 is part of the same series as 1019 shown above and, like 1019, would have been assigned to NYSR Rochester Lines. It's most likely shown at Seneca Park in Rochester.

Car 1062 was used in Syracuse on the NYSR city system there. It was built in 1916 by Kuhlman.

Car 1084 was also used on the NYSR Syracuse Lines. This photo shows it at Wolf Street Loop on the "last day," January 4, 1941. This photo appears in Sheldon King's NYSR book credited to Barney Neuberger.