Saturday, January 11, 2020

5645 Going Back Together

The crew continued work on 5645 today, enjoying the unseasonable warm day. The source of the car's derailment was found, a skewed journal bearing which trapped and seized. When the car fell, the bolster met the inner rail of the switch, causing the spring support piece to pop out.

A new bearing was installed in the car and Galen, Adam, Mike, and Kelly began reassembling the truck. All components are in place for the car to be lowered on to the truck to compress the springs and allow finally assembly. As a bonus, we straightened out a bracket that was interfering with the brake adjustment bar while we had easy access.

Galen heats the troublesome bracket so it can be straightened

Adam tightens bolts during reassembly

Sunday, January 5, 2020

5645 Truck Bolster Work Begins

The crew was able to switch 5645 to the shop last weekend, so this week the car was jacked, the damaged truck pulled, and the bolster disassembled. Oddly, nothing appears to have broken beyond the piece that came out. The failed vs. unfailed side will receive further review before reassembly begins. Weather permitting, we hope to have the car back in service for spring operations.

Galen works on disassembling 5645's bolster

Segment prototyping continues. Kelly tweaked the segment for 836 and it now matches the scale drawing. Prototypes for 355 and line car 1's controllers were also printed thanks to Wil and match the originals nicely. The next step is creating drawings from the 3D models and seeking machining resources.

Final prototype for 836

Prototype for 355

Prototype for 1

Sunday, December 22, 2019

65 Makes its Debut

We're excited to report that Car 65 made its first public service trip since 1997 Friday night. Galen and Kelly would like to thank the crew who worked so hard with them this past month to make this Holiday miracle happen- Wil, Jayden, Justin, Roger, Mike, Jeremy, and Adam. The car was upgraded in status from emergency replacement for 1326 to desperately needed to keep Winterfest running smoothly as 5645 had to be placed out of service this past week due to truck damage, leaving 836 the only operational high passenger capacity closed car.
65 came out a wonderful success, taking 2 trips Friday night and another 5 or 6 on Saturday without any major issues. The car remains under shop supervision at this time and will only run in limited service. 5645 will be switched up to the shop after the ice melts so the truck can be reviewed to determine the extent of the damage.

65 on North Road curve before its first passenger trip Friday night

65 waits for its second night in service Saturday afternoon


On another happy note, progress continues on reverse engineering full series/parallel segments for car 836. Kelly 3D modeled a second approximation for what an unworn segment would look like and Wil got it 3D printed thanks to his school. They and Jayden test fitted it into the car yesterday and it is looking good. It needs a bit more tweaking to replace lost material and match a factory scale sketch, but is a marked improvement over prototype #1.

Segment prototype. Wil Gambardella photo

Test fitting the prototype into 836


Sunday, November 24, 2019

65 is Back in the Shop

Minor repairs have been completed on 836 and 5645 and now all 5 regular service trolleys are ready for Winterfest. That work complete, Adam, Kelly, and Galen performed the necessary switching work to bring car 65 into the shop. 65 will be prepared as a reserve status car for Winterfest, substituting for car 1326.

The crew immediately set to work on the car. Galen and Adam worked on the faulty west end whistle valve, finally locating one in stores that works. This resolves one major issue in putting the car into service. Wil and Jayden began the process of cleaning the windows and vacuuming the flooring. The car has collected a lot of dirt and oddball debris in its decades of rest. Brian re-affixed some loose trim and Kelly began removing deteriorated car cards. The car needs a lot more love before it will be ready for its Winterfest debut. If you'd like to help, please reach out to Kelly.

Wil works on cleaning windows

Jayden painstakingly vacuums out the grooves in the floor

Brain re-attaches trim

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Car Beautification and More

The shop would like to thank the Operations Department for all their hard work on beautifying the fleet in September. We're sorry we're so late in doing this. Thank you Justin Chasse, Mike Luzzi, Jeremy Stager, & Roger Pierson! Also thank you to Aiden Nies and his team for painting all the car floors this year!

Painting 16's controllers and handbrakes. Justin Chasse and Mike Luzzi photos

New car signs for 4. Mike Luzzi photo

Newly painted floor on car 4. Mike Luzzi photo

Touching up paint on car 4. Justin Chasse photo


Preparing 836 for paint. Justin Chasse photos


Fresh paint on 836's controller. Justin Chasse photo


In other news, John is working on truck repairs for 3001. The second armature has been repaired and will be picked up this week. Galen repaired thrust collars on car 4. Kelly documented and disassembled a replacement arc shoot set for line car 1. This set will be cleaned up and reinsulated over the winter then installed in the spring to replace the decayed set in the car's west end.

Car 1326 has been placed out of service for the rest of the year due to its reoccurring gear issues. Car 65 will be brought back to the shop for final preparation for running during the Winterfest season. Anyone who would like to help with preparing car 65 is encouraged to reach out to Kelly and Justin.


John works on 3001's trucks

Disassembled replacement arc shoot set for line car 1


Justin and Jeremy have also been at work scrapping out the remains of the boxcar that had been in Newbury siding. The car is mostly gone and will be fully removed this month.

Bringing the boxcar remains in from Newbury Siding. Justin Chasse photo

Scrapping in front of Northern Barn. Justin Chasse photos

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

S193 Gets a New Running Board

The Operations Department is back at work on the cars. Motormen Mike Luzzi and Jeremy Stager and Chief Superintendent Justin Chasse have begun tackling improvements on S193. Much of the old paint has been scraped down in preparation for fresh coating. Mike is working on recreating the car's graphics. Last week a new running board was installed on the south side of the car. The hand rails were reinstalled and all railings received a fresh coat of black paint.

New boards and painted rails, body prep work is in full evidence (Mike Luzzi photo)

Freshly painted grab bars (Mike Luzzi photos)

Graphics recreation in process (Mike Luzzi photos)

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Fall Maintenance Complete Thanks to Troop 818

The shop would like to thank the 9 members of Scout Troop 818 who came out last weekend to help finish fall fleet maintenance. Cars 355, 4, and 16 were cared for. You were awesome and we hope to see you again.

Repairs to car 1326 are completed and it returned to service yesterday afternoon. Car 4 has come to the shop to have some preventative work done. We're applying fresh lacquer to the motor windings. Car 4 will be out of service for several weeks while the repairs happen.