Sunday, March 26, 2017

Final Touches

Saturday was the shop's last chance to get in some final touches before opening day on April 1st.

Inside the Visitors' Center, John finished up the small projects on two cars while Fred cleaned up the Northern (1500). As of next week, we'll be back out in the shop, no matter the weather.

65's faux roof has been painted

10's controller has been repaired, reassembled, and painted. Visitors will now be able to use it and experience what it is like behind the controls of a trolley


Outside, we were excited to see the Overhead Department at work. They've set a new pole for the shop lead, adjacent to Kelly Barn. Once the wires have been transferred, we will be able to run cars up to the shop under their own power, something we've not been able to do for over a year due to the old pole's condition.


Bruce conducted some minor repairs on 5645. Simultaneously, Galen and Kelly finished up some maintenance on 2600. They were joined by Junior Motorman Wil Gambradella. After a break for lunch, they conducted some car moves.

Line car 1 had been left on the main shop track after car rearrangements in the Visitors' Center and under the train shed. It was moved up to outside of Northern Barn, allowing access to the shop.

Next, 16 was brought down from its winter resting place in the shop to rejoin the fleet in Kelly Barn. Maintenance was begun on the car and will be finished during the week by John so it is ready for opening day. Opening day fleet will be 5645, 1326, 2600, and 16.

836 was brought up to the shop to take 16's place. The shop will conduct a wiring inspection at the recommendation of the New Orleans Public Service (NOPS). We are also waiting to hear back from the NOPS if they have any of the special segments used in the controller for the full series and full parallel notches. These segments are worn on both controllers and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, their design is different from all of our other cars, so will need to be custom made if the NOPS does not have any that they can spare.

Wil backs Diesel 1 away from the shop after Kelly and Galen placed 836 within

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sprucing Up the Old Standbys

In preparation for opening day, the shop has been hard at work on a pair of beautification efforts inside the Visitors' Center.


Car 65 is being given a faux roof on the west end. The drop clothes will be painted grey to simulate canvas.



Meanwhile, an effort is underway to make car 10's controller operational, so that visitor's can experience what it is like to notch a controller. The spring inside that affixes to the reverser is broken and will be replaced to restore functionality. In the meantime, a thick layer of dirt and tarnish was removed from the controller cover, revealing the beautiful brass underneath.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Peek Inside Sweeper 010

For the 2017 season, Capitol Transit snow sweeper #010 has been moved inside the Visitors' Center. Yesterday, the shop crew removed the tarp that had been protecting it from the weather while it was stored outside under the train shed. This marked the first time in years that the car could be seen completely. Let's take a look.



She's looking pretty good for 118 years old. The car body has a distinctly southwards lilt, likely caused by a combination of hard use and storage on uneven track. The pole was pulled so tightly to the body for storage, that it caused some damage to the roof. There is rot evident on both platforms. At a rough estimate, she is in approximately the same condition as 169, which is currently be restored. We hope to perform some paint touch up to improve her visual appeal while she's on display.

Due to the poor condition of the platform floors and the dangerous exposed equipment inside, 010's interior will be off limits to the public. However, we've taken some photos, so you can see the inner workings.

The sweeper's original bamboo snow brushes are visible in their storage spot near the east end of the car. In the foreground is power shaft for spinning the brushes.


There wasn't much in the way of safety in 1899

Here is the brush speed controller



West end controls

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cleaning Up & Early Spring Maintenance

With temperatures reaching into the upper 60s, Saturday was highly productive.

In the morning, John, Bruce, and Kelly helped with cleaning up and moving cars inside the visitors' center. The caboose is in it's new home, 10 has been untarped after its brief stay outdoors, and 65 is back inside after having spent Winterfest under the train shed. We're excited to relate that visitors will be seeing some new cars in the display hall this season. Which new cars? Well, we're not about to spoil the surprise.

In the afternoon, Kelly introduced Motormen Roger Pierson, Sully Mrowka, and Larry Lunden to car maintenance. The team covered how to oil journal bearings and car motors and how to check a car's compressor to ensure it's in good condition. Larry also got to see the inside of a controller for the first time and learn how they are cleaned and how they could come to be damaged by poor operation of the cars.

By the end of the afternoon, both of 5645's controllers were cleaned, all four motors were oiled, and all eight journal bearings were oiled. 1326 also had its journal bearings oiled, two motors oiled, one controller cleaned, and its compressor checked. The Motormen seemed to have enjoyed themselves while developing a new appreciation for the work the Shop performs in order to keep the cars rolling.

Sully and Roger oil one of 5645's motors

Larry pauses for a break

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Northern Work

The shop continues to work inside the Northern (aka 1500).

Here's some of the intricate inlay work in the dinning area that has been cleaned up and revarnished. This is the level of beauty that can be coaxed out of the remainder of the car. Keep this in mind



Bruce and Gary have been at work removing the cracked and splintering outer wall layer in the kitchen. This will be covered with nice, new 1/8 inch material. The hole cut into the wall by the previous owner will also be covered up. Eventually, the partition between the bathroom and kitchen will be recreated.


The orbital sander made quick work of stubborn green paint.


Terrible green and white paint has been removed from the majority of the kitchen/bath. Ceiling sections display cracks and will have to be replaced. The room's doors have been removed to give a bit more space to work in. While they're down, their brass hinges and knobs will be polished.




Saturday, January 21, 2017

January Thaw

Today we were lucky enough to have an unusually warm winter day with the temperature reaching into the low fifties. We used this to our advantage, getting some work done in both the shop and Northern barn in the afternoon.

Fred, Kelly, and Bruce started the day in 1500, continuing work on scraping old varnish and paint from the walls and trim. They were joined by Bruce's brother Gary who's visiting from out of state.





Galen has been busy wiring 1201 for 120V lights so it can become an illuminated display. The new ceiling was recently installed by Motorman Sully Mrowka, and friends, as part of his Eagle Scout project.




John has gotten 3001 completely cleaned out. He and Fred worked on the car in the afternoon, Fred beginning the process of removing old paint from the wooden corner supports.



Galen and Kelly spent their afternoon chasing wires in work car 101. This car was one of the ones vandalized in 2010. Thieves ripped out the majority of the interior wiring, including the special control panel that allowed this car to operate on both 600 and 1200V DC overhead. The below images shows the empty control panel box and the 12 wire remains that used to connect to it. By using a continuity checker, Galen and Kelly were able to find points on the motor cut out switches and reverser where 11 or the 12 wires electrically connect to. It is a start in deciphering how this car was once wired. The hope is to have the car rewired and running so it can be used by the shop as well as track, overhead, and signals departments who now rely on S193 and Diesel 1 as their main means of transportation.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Winter Work Begins

As some of the last of the Winterfest decorations came down, the Shop returned to work on the "Northern", Northern Ohio Traction & Light #1500. Bruce, Fred, and Kelly continued work on removing old varnish and paint from the kitchen and bathroom areas while John sanded the first coat of varnish that he'd applied to the kitchen cabinets last winter. We're all excited to be back to work on this magnificent car which once belonged to the president of this defunct trolley line.