Monday, June 24, 2024

Sunday Part II

Frank writes...

To echo what my father said, Sunday was a busy day and ran very smoothly. There was a lot happening and dispatcher Harold Krewer efficiently kept a lot of trains in motion. I was running car 18 in its second-ever day of revenue service at IRM, and at one point we were pulling into Depot Street while the 309 was coming down the west wye into 50th, the IT train was backing into Station Track 1, another train was loading on Station Track 2, and ComEd 4 was proceeding westbound past the depot on the main line. Four different trains were going four different directions - pretty impressive! But I digress.
This was the public debut for the Eclipse fender that Frank Kehoe restored over the winter. The car looks really sharp with this addition! The above photo was taken before leaving Barn 7 (thanks to the Saturday night switch crew that placed the 18 at the door!) and the below photo was taken, of course, at Depot Street.
A lightning strike Saturday night had blown some lightning arrestors and fuses, so the 3142 was the first car out of the barn but it was commandeered by Greg Kepka, who was up at the crack of dawn to fix the signals and needed a conveyance out to address some issues toward the east end. Thanks, Greg! As such, the 18 was the only streetcar on the car line for an hour or two, until the 3142 returned from its (rare) main line trip and the 141 went into service.
My conductor for the day was Keith Letsche, visible above at his station. He did quite a bit of research into the 18, the Shaker Heights line, and the eccentric Van Swearingen brothers, which I greatly appreciate. Our riders got some pretty unique history about the 18 and the origins of the Shaker Heights line.
Here we are at Depot Street with the IT train in the background. For most of the day the main line trains were the "Tangerine Flyer," IT 101, North Shore 714 and 749, and ComEd 4 pulling the coach train.
Late in the afternoon, Harold snagged a slot for the 309 to make one full main line trip, so it's shown here on track 1 with our three-car IT train on track 2. Pretty snazzy!

At the end of the day, there was good news and bad news. The good news was that nothing on the 18 broke. The bad news is that it started picking the South Junction switch to the south yards, which is a facing-point switch on the streetcar line just north of the "diamond to nowhere." The car never derailed, but the lead axle rode up slightly onto the frog before dropping back down into the flangeway. (Thanks to Zach Ehlers for figuring out exactly what was transpiring.) This obviously is no good, so until we can figure out a way to adjust that frog or do something else to fix the issue, the 18 is - regrettably - temporarily out of service.


Pete Lerro Jr - Big Daddy said...

Congratulations on a successful restoration. Looks beautiful... and probably sounds just as good. I'm sure you will figure out the switch problem.

May the only thing you pick while operating #18 is your nose. :)

Anonymous said...

And thanks to Dan Fenliciki for the great job welding the castings.
Frank K