Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sprucing Up

355 received its maintenance last weekend. The car has been placed in reserve status due to increasing damages on the underside from the heaving of the barn floor. We've decided to take advantage of having the car out of service and Scott W has started varnishing the seats. Boy does the car look better already! And he's just getting started.

Varnish work in progress on 355


Tad completed primer work on 169's east end, giving the car its first big visual progress jump in far too long. He's planning on tackling the work around the clerestory next and we're delighted to see the project moving ahead once again.

169's east end is looking sharper


Elsewhere, Adam continued paint work on 18's roof. John is finishing up work on the journal boxes for 3001's east end truck. Galen cleaned out the pit, a needed job so we can roll our nice new pump cart around while working on 1326. Kelly finished up the wiring work under 1.

We were happy to have Scott Kritzky stop by to visit with his son William who's gotten a lot bigger since the last time we saw him. Hopefully we'll be seeing them again soon.

Oh and take a look at the final product of 836's seat refurbishment! We caught the car out in the sun to really show off the great work Scott and Galen did. And, by the way, they did all this in the dark back of the barn working with only drop lights to see by.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Change of Fleet

We're saddened to report that 5645 has been removed from service. The car developed a hot box with bearing melting last week. Inspection revealed that the journal boxes are skewed in the frame indicating box and/or slider plate failing. The car will require extensive truck work, similar to what John has been doing for 3001. At this point, with both of our small shop trucks under 3001, we've decided to place 5645 in storage and prioritize repairing 1326 which will be a shorter repair time-wise. We're ordering a cart to aid in safely dropping 1326's armatures into the pit and hope to start work by fall.

On a happier note, we welcomed Steve Giarrusso to the shop yesterday. He replaced the failed compressor switch on 355. He then joined Kelly in performing routing maintenance on 16. Galen completed temporary truck repairs for the car and it has been released for limited service. We hope to see 16 running one trip a week for the public. It has also be designated as the official training car for new motormen.

Scott completed varnish work in 836 and it will be running regular service, replacing 5645 as the main closed car. We've also released 65 to limited service, allowing it to complete one trip a week. Both 16 and 65 have old rattan seating which cannot stand up to the rigors of coronavirus cleaning, so the cars must quarantine after meeting with the public as their method of disinfecting. The Operations Department will schedule the cars to ensure adequate time for the virus to die off between passenger trips.

Tad has completed removal of the paint from the undersides of clerestory sides on 169. He also completed primer work on the east end wall.

169's clerestory sides are now paint free

Primer work is complete on east wall of 169


Lou completed a window repair on 836 and made a new gasket for 18's brake stand.

Lou works on cutting a new gasket for 18

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Some Fun with 1 and Digging into 18's Issues

Today 1 got some sprucing up. Galen trimmed the extra lengths off the roof boards and the evened out the roofing. Wil and Kelly washed the windows, much improving visibility. The car made two trips on the line before rain threatened and it had to be put away as it is no where near ready to face inclement weather. Wil and Kelly ran the car to celebrate their birthdays and Galen, Mike, and Ryan also took a turn at the controls.

1 with cleaned up roofing

Wil at the controls after completing an eastbound trip

Kelly prepares for the westbound trip (Galen Semprebon photo)


Scott did some cleaning up inside 18 then moved back onto 836, preparing the seats for their next coat of varnish. Lou swapped the two brake stands in the locomotive which allowed us to determine the source of the leak in the air system was one of the brake stands and not the piping itself. He disassembled and began cleaning the stand. Galen finished the work. We found a seized component but issues persist. A new gasket will be made and will hopefully help the problem. The journal boxes were also inspected. Kelly removed mouse nests from five of them and Wil did the much needed oiling.

18's brake stand apart for cleaning


John is making progress with weld repairs to 3001's journal boxes.

Journal box work in progress

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

1 Makes its First Test Trips

Line car 1 went out on the line for the first time yesterday evening. It performed beautifully. So beautifully in fact, we couldn't resist a second trip. We made periodic stops for photos and videos to document the trip and I'll share the best of mine below and add any of Galen's once I get them from him.
At 128 years young, 1 represents a doubling of our running work car fleet and we're looking forward to it joining S193 in service once we tie up loose end. This was its first ever trip down our main line as it has sat in storage since it came to us from Trolleyville in 2009. We're not sure when it last ran at its former home, but 2005 would have been the latest as that's when they closed their doors. For having spent 15 years in dead storage, its in amazing shape. We'll look to make a few minor tweaks in the interim, but at this time we're delighted to say it can take our volunteers out for a few trips this coming Saturday.

Outbound at Hancock Siding

At Newberry Siding, before turning around to head in (railway is closed past this point due to heat sagging in the overhead wire, SC&ET worked hard in yesterday's heat but wasn't able to defeat all of the issues, we wish some better weather for them on their next work day)

Departing Newberry Siding inbound

Inbound next to the semaphores

Passing Woods Barn inbound

Inbound by Woods Barn


Crossing Borrup Road

On North Road Curve

With the newly repaired Isle of Safety

In the yard with 4 and S193

Off to bed

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Line Car 1 is on the Move!

Yesterday brought opening day to the museum under hot, humid conditions. It also brought a new sight to staff and visitors. Line car 1 received its poles and ventured out around the yard for some basic testing. It made two trips up and down the yard before lunch. After lunch, it ventured up to the shop to drop off all of the tools we'd been using to work on it. This had the added benefit of letting us test the car through some more switches and around a curve. So far everything looks good. The weather did us in and we called it a day early, but we hope to take the car out on the line one evening this coming week for its first test trip. A myriad of little things remain needed to complete the car, but it is a delight to see it mobile for the first time in the eleven years it has been on the property.

Hooks and catchers installed on 1 last Monday night


1 sneaks out of the barn on a bug. Mike Luzzi video

Roof side view of pole installation on 1


First move with poles. Gina Alimberti video

1 sits on North Road curve with 4 after its first trip down the yard

Wil runs brakes on the first trip up the yard. Only the east end controller is functional at the moment. Mike Luzzi photo

Galen takes a turn at the controls and makes the second run down the yard

1 up at the shop to offload tools


Mike continues work on S193, More black paint has been added and the car again sports its lettering and numbers.

S193 shows off its new markings


Scott and Lou worked on 836. Scott continued work on varnishing the seats. Lou finished the refurbishment of the west end controller and replaced a section of broken upper window frame on the north side of the car.

Freshly varnished seat in 836

Lou works on reassembling the arc shoot for 836's west end controller


Adam did some painting on 18's roof. Tad worked on removing paint from the underside of 169's roof around the clerestory.

Progress on 18's roof. Adam Krause photo

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Ready to Open

A variety of last minute items came into place on the last work day before the museum opens on the 20th. Galen started the day by servicing 5645 which was then handed over to Tad who completed painting the seats.

Tad paints the last flip seat to be recoated in 5645


Scott completed the final coat of polyurethane on 4's seats while Galen and Kelly serviced the car. Aiden was in during the week and did a complete paint job on the floors, which are looking great.




4's new floor paint (Aiden Nies photos)


Varnish prep work continues on 836 with thanks to Tad, Scott, Wil, and Jayden. Lou continued work on the controllers, finding the west end to be in worse condition than the east.

The crew at work sanding

West end controller refurbishment in progress


Kelly took advantage of a furlough day from work yesterday to disassemble one of 1's controllers and document the segments for reverse engineering work. Today, she performed maintenance on both controllers, fixing several minor issues on the west end one. A few more tweaks are required with that unit to get it fully back into shape. From the condition, it appears it was no longer in use when the car left service at Trolleyville. Galen completed the cars roof wiring and hooked up the motor leads. In the late afternoon, they were able to connect a bug to one of the pole bases and see the car's lights go on! They also took the opportunity to back the car up about a foot, just to see if it would move. Keep your eyes open for a new little orange car on the line soon as we're closing in on being able to take a test trip.

One of the issues with 1's west end controller, reverser fingers not making contact

Galen works on the roof wiring

The lights are on!

Mike added some black paint to S193. Little car is looking sharp!


S193 progress (Mike Luzzi photos)

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Progress Despite the Weather

The work crew faced a miserably humid day yesterday, but still managed to move projects along. We welcomed Scott Whittlesey to his first day in the shop (Scott is a member of the Development Committee). He worked on adding another coat of polyurethane to 4's seats.

Scott pauses in his work on 4 to wave to the camera


Tad and Rob worked on preparing 836's woodwork for fresh varnish. Tad got the first coat on all the window sills. There is much more to do for this car, so if you're interested in helping, please reach out to us. Lou spent the day refurbishing the east end controller by adding fresh insulating varnish.

836's arc shoot set disassembled and receiving fresh varnish


Galen and Kelly continued working on 1. Galen replaced the main circuit breaker and good thing as the old one crumbled to pieces as he was trying to remove it. He also made up new wiring to run from the roof to the breaker and the breaker to the interior lighting. Kelly oiled the journal boxes and motors, reinstalled the motor brushes, and began working on reconnecting the motor wiring. They then installed the pole bases they'd lifted onto the car Tuesday night after finishing the roof boards.

Pole bases installed on 1