Larry and Kelly began the round of fall maintenance yesterday completing cars 836 and 16. Car 836 has already traveled almost 1,000 miles on the line this year, despite being out of service for over a month for extended maintenance in the spring. Car 16 went out for a test trip in the afternoon, running on three motors. This gives the car more pep, once it reaches parallel, which will be beneficial when the car is pressed into service as the cast car for Rails to the Darkside next month. We are still debating repairing the inoperable fourth motor as it is a multi-thousand dollar fix. The car likely needs extensive truck work as well which could become expensive and time consuming.
A sure sign of fall's impending arrival- a woolly bear caterpillar was found between the rails of track two just outside Kelly Barn. We moved it to the foliage on the far side of the parking lot after its photo op.
Fred and Paul worked on giving 2600's floor a fresh coat of paint.
John continues steel work on 3001, removing old rivets. The shop will be attempting hot riveting next year as body work on the car continues.
Galen and Kelly MEG'd 169's motors. The west end unit tests fine while the east end indicates that it is wet. Once the east end is dried, we will likely have two working motors on the car. The truck was checked and found to be in tram. The car will need an entirely new wiring harness before it could ever run. Although the car is intended to primarily be a show piece, we'd love to see it run it on special occasions.
John, Fred, Larry, Adam, Bruce, and Paul accomplished a lot while Galen and I were away and the work continued yesterday. Here's a summary of what's happened this month.
2600 had it's windows washed and received a thorough vacuuming. Fred and Larry began applying a fresh coat of paint to the floor yesterday afternoon. The east end operator's foot rest has also been re-secured to the floor.
John has begun removing old rivets from 3001's side. Several rusted sections have also been removed. The car boasts its first fresh steel in the frame. Disassembly and cleaning work also continued on the east end controller.
Rivets removed and rusted sections cut out so patches can be installed
Work also continued on 169's anti-climber and one half is now fully repaired. The bumper was wire wheeled clean and primed yesterday
NORM began offering passenger rides this year. One can ride a single ended Cleveland car like our 1201 on their demonstration track. A track extension is in the works and we look forward to visiting again in a few years to see the progress.
Take a scenic ride in a rail passenger car towed by diesel power. Trolley rides are also available upon occasion. 451's sister 450 lives here and is on display. Our conductor unfortunately taught Galen another railroad joke, beware all, but was delightfully enthusiastic and informative.
IRM is a mammoth operation. Be sure to plan for a full day when visiting. We'd like to thank Executive Director Nick Kallas for his gracious hospitality and thorough tour. We'd also like to thank Motorman F. Zimmerman for allowing us to operate 415 with him on the 5 mile long main line. We enjoyed the experience so much, we'd love to come back and qualify for operations, just to be able to fly along at 35 mph in a trolley again. IRM also runs steam and diesel in addition to trolleys.
Mad River has a nice, small static collection, right along side a main railroad. We saw several trains pass as we viewed their nicely displayed collection. The area is in prime rail fan territory, if that's your thing.
We arrived in the mist of the Washington County Fair. Despite this, Executive Director Scott Becker still ensured we received a warm welcome and restorer Bruce gave us a thorough tour. PA's line is an unusual broad gauge and their track has loops at both ends, allowing for an uninterrupted trip. We enjoyed ridding 1850's sister car, 1758, the best, but also rode a classic Johnstown car and a fully functional PCC.
The RR Museum of PA displays a wide range of steam and diesel equipment and the associated passenger, baggage, and work cars. There are many, well throughout displays that send one into the classic railroad era. The trip is not complete with out a ride on the Strasburg RR in a fully restored passenger car pulled by a steam locomotive.
Rockhill took a while to get to from the highway, but it was worth it. Dispatcher J. Gerhard gave us a warm greeting and we started our visit with a ride on an LRV, which was unexpected, but nice. Following the trip, we joined the group tour of the restoration shop and adjacent car barn. Then we took a ride on Johnstown 311, which is a double truck, Wason built, Birney car, like 3001. After our second trip, Motorman Louis showed us through the second car barn, which is being expanded and we were allowed to fully photograph 311 as an aid for restoring 3001.
This is a unique operation. Their line runs right along the Hudson River, which provides beautiful views. One can get off the car at the end of the line and spend time at Rotary Park, returning to the museum on a later trip. This was the first time we'd ever seen a diesel powered trolley, but it works nicely for this museum.
Unloading at Rotary Park
We also visited the Columbus Zoo, the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum, the National Automobile and Truck Museum, the Indiana Dunes State Park, The Hershey Story Museum, and the Indian Echo Caverns, all of which we recommend visiting.
1326 returned to service yesterday afternoon, now on all four motors. Operations reports that the installation of the fourth motor has stopped the car from 'hunting' its way down the track between Winkler Road and Station 7, leading to a much smoother ride.
355 was brought up to the shop upon 1326's return to service and repairs were quickly completed by John and Galen with help from Larry and Fred. The car will likely be returning to service tomorrow after it is given one final inspection. 2600 will be brought up to the shop once 355 returns to service and will remain with us for several weeks to undergo extended maintenance.
Work has also begun on cleaning components for 3001. Fred has prepped the auxiliary air tank for sand blasting and repainting. Kelly began disassembling the east end controller, which had been left open for many years and is now full of dust and debris.
Yesterday, the installation of 1326's fourth motor was completed. The shop took the car out for testing after hours. The car has great power and runs smoothly. John will do some final adjustments during the week and we'll have the car back in service next Saturday.
Motor running exposed for testing
Galen and John watch the newly installed motor 3 during the test trip
1326 at the station after the successful test trip
Work also continued on 169's anticlimber. The final replacement piece was glued on. We also are testing out fiber glassing on the south side of the car, as the wooden panels keep splitting.