Thursday, November 26, 2020

November 2020 Update

 A lot has happened at the museum since we last posted. 

As of 11/21/2020 the 4, 355, 836, 16, 1326, and 303 (for special service) have been serviced and are ready for operations.

John continues to work on Line Car 1 and 3001. Line car 1 should have functioning controllers on both ends of the car soon as well as design ideas and prep for the safety platform and diving board system for service in 2021 (Date TBA). 

Minor work continues on 5645 including doors, controllers, and getting the car prepared for overhaul work in 2021.

Dennis Pacelli has been instrumental in assisting John and taking on projects of his own to maintain and keep our fleet in excellent operating order.

303 needed 2 extra days of work to repair, service, and bring the car to operational standards because of Dennis's outstanding effort. 


101 and 18 will also be getting work done in 2021. In 2021 we will continue to rebuild the track and overhead infustructure on the museum property and having good service cars and locomotives at the ready.

Thanks to our new Track Department head Camilo Santiago, a section of North Road Track 2 has been dug out and new ties put underneath it to support the track. 

Camilio replacing a rail on North Road Track 2


We'd also like to extend a huge thank you to Roger Pierson and his crew for their dedication to decorating the inside of the Visitor Center for Winterfest this year!



Monday, November 2, 2020

Replacement Switch Timbers

 Due to last weeks rain, the tar for 303's roof was not all put in place. During the week when the weather is more promising the rest of the coat will be applied to the car. 

Line car 1's controllers continue to get worked on as well as fixing the fuse box inside the car.

The shop will be returning to work very soon on car 3001 once the shop cleanup is completed and some smaller projects are finished.

On Saturday, Camilo and his crew replaced multiple switch timbers within Kelly Yard to improve the trackage going into the barn on tracks 2 and 3.

Kelly 2/3 Switch being dug out

Special thanks this week to Chief Motorman Roger Pierson and his crew for completing the Christmas decorations on cars 355 and 4 in preparation for the Winterfest Season!


Monday, October 26, 2020

Work on 303 Continues

 John found wiring problems with Line Car 1's controllers during the week. We are still looking to have the controllers and handbrakes at the west end working properly by the end of this week. The shop is currently working on plans for the new upper work platform which will be a fixed stationary platform with a diving board system. The shop will also patch up any holes in the roof and winterize the car. 

John replaced the top of 1326's west end brake stand resolving the stiffness completely. Ryan Boucher also replaced the west end pole rope of the car as it was showing signs of wear. 

Work continued on 303 during the week and is showing great progress. Currently the 4 motors of the car are being baked to dry them of moister from the car's extended vacation in Northern Barn. The resistors have been inspected and given a clean bill of health from Dennis. The controller group is currently being inspected. The roof wiring is being replaced and conduit is being reattached on the car. Scraping of pealing paint has begun on the car and touch up paint will be applied. All leaking roof spots are being sealed with tar to re-waterproof the car. 


John putting sealing tar on the roof of 303

The headlights grounding is also going to be fixed. Hopefully this week 303 will be air and line tested. stayed tuned for updates throughout the next several weeks as progress continues.


Once 303 has completed her maintenance and check rides the shop will be moving on to car 101 where she will receive the same heavy servicing that 3030 has undergone. Check back weekly as work continues.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

836 Back in Service & A New Project

Car 836 received scheduled service during this week. A few small corrections were made to the car and 836 is back in full service for the fall season. 

John has been working to complete the second controller for Line Car 1 with the help of members from other museums.

Car 303 is currently undergoing a full mechanical and operational maintenance plan that is beginning this week. All repairs to the electrical, roof, and resistors will be completed over the next few weeks. After some searching, all the documentation on the car has been found allowing the shop to have a more comprehensive maintenance plan.

All of the members of the shop have been working hard to get the operating fleet back up and running, with the help from members of our fellow museums. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time to help get our fleet back into operation!

Monday, October 12, 2020

1326's Brake Stand Gets Cleaned

 Over the past week, some of the operators who ran car 1326 noticed the west end brake stand becoming stiffer over time. On Saturday, John looked inside the brake stand and saw that dirt and grime has been clogging the brake stand, limiting its ability to move. The cleaning process only takes 10-20 minutes, so the stand will be cleaned out weekly to prevent the brake becoming stiff. 

Inside of 1326's west end brake stand

West end brake stand without the top attached

The shop has also been working on 5645. The bearing problem has been solved, but it has also been discovered that 2 motors are in need of repair. These motors will need to be sent for repairs in late December or early January.


We would like to give another massive thank you to John, our current shop manager for all of the hard work that he and his team have been putting in to keeping the fleet operational. We'd also like to thank Rob, the President of the CTM, Justin, the Operations Manager, and the Operations department for the hours of hard work they have put in to organizing and helping the shop finish projects to keep the cars in working order. Thank you to all!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Moving the Fleet

After a week in the shop for some quick touch ups, Connecticut Company 65 has been returned to the Operations Department for service!

65 departing North Road for a test run


In preparation to move 5645 into the shop for repairs, John and the shop needed to manufacture a new oil block for diesel 1. The old block required special hoses to be ordered if one ever failed. John manufactured the new block to be compatible with any standardized oil hose.

The new oil block (on the right with the hose attached)

169 was also moved up into Northern Barn while the fleet was being shuffled around. This was the first time 169 has seen daylight in over 40 years.


169 waiting to be moved into Northern Barn

5645 was moved into the shop after 169 was moved to complete bearing repairs as well as an annual inspection.

A new air tank has been restored to be put under car 16 within the next year. 

16's new air tank

We'd all like to send out a special thank you to Dennis. Dennis has been extremely helpful during our transition in the shop and has been with us to lend a helping hand. Thanks!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Welcome Back to The Fleet!

 The shop has been busy over the past two weeks and has made some outstanding progress getting some of our normal fleet back into operations. During the previous season in October a ringing sound was heard from one of the motors of car 1326, and was eventually taken out of service to be repaired. The car has finally been repaired and has been put back in service for public runs! Welcome back 1326!


1326 in the yard (photo by Wil Gambardella)


Once 1326 was returned to operations, it was 16's turn to go in for some maintenance. 16 was due for work on the brake and motor systems, both of which have been completed. 16 is now running again on all 4 motors as well as a clean brake system. Welcome back 16!


The next few weeks will be spent preparing the final cars (5645 and 65) for their return to operations.