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.
Repair of the damaged section of 169's anitclimber has begun. The damaged face was smoothed off and new wood cut to rough shape and affixed. The first new section was then planed closer to the correct shape. The wood glue needs to dry completely before further work can be done.
The first patch piece has been cut to rough shape
First patch piece has been planed to shape and second piece has been affixed
1326's fourth motor has been assembled. The car was jacked and the truck pulled. Installation work will continue next weekend.
Adam poses with the freshly assembled motor
Elsewhere, John has gone through 3001's lower wiring harness, labeling everything. The harness will be removed and stored until winter when we can lay it out inside the Visitors' Center. It will be used as a pattern to assemble a new harness. The current wiring is in poor condition and is not worth attempting to save.
We are happy to welcome back Paul and Noah, alumni of last year's Trolley Care Class. They assisted Galen, Jim, and Adam with the motor build. Noah also helped Kelly and Adam clean 355's controllers.
The shop started the day with a repair to 355. The car had a derailment Thursday, leading to a broken bolt in the brake system. John and Galen were able to conduct a relatively quick repair with assistance from Adam. Unfortunately, the accident set us back half a day on the 1326's motor installation, although Galen was able to start motor assembly in the afternoon.
Chris is here for his annual visit and is hard at work on 3100.
3100 is out from under its tarp
Paul and Kelly worked on 169's front end yesterday, drilling out a hole to accept a pin when the car needs to be towed. Larry also got his first experience with bondo, filling in the gaps where the wood has split on the car's south side. In the afternoon, the car's original anti-climber was rescued from atop a tall shelving unit and the wooden potion was test fitted. The wood is relatively solid, however it shows signs that the car may have been in an accident. The metal sheathing is also deformed.
Yesterday, Galen, John, and Kelly took a trip to the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven to visit 3001's sister car 3000. That car is also in an unrestored state, but has not been disassembled like 3001 was. Interestingly, even though the cars are sisters, they display subtle differences
3000's controls. Note the foot button where 3001 has a pedal
We were also shown car 2350. This car has been restored and is operable. It is similar to what 3000 and 3001 would have looked like before they were modified for service in New Haven. (Treadle doors were added, along with the seat configuration changing to allow for more standee passengers.)
2350 has jump seats at either end to provide additional seating for passengers
This 'high-chair' allows the motorman to sit while operating, but flips to become a passenger seat when the car changes ends
2350 has wooden seats, just like 3000 and 3001 did when they first began service in Torrington
The shop also got to visit with car 1792, a double truck Brooklyn car that has many similarities to 169. We met the folks restoring and 1892 horse car (Metropolitan #3), which is coming along nicely, Then we took the time to wander through the other barns before heading home. We'd like to thank Bill for taking the time to show us both 3000 and 2350.
Today started with some troubleshooting. 836 and 355 both had defect cards written during the week. Both cars had lighting issues and 355's troublesome west end trolley catcher had fallen off once again. 836 was found to have a mixture of 36, 56, and 75 watt light bulbs inside. We're uncertain quite how that happened. All the rouge bulbs were removed and replaced with the required 36 watt units. 355 was found to have four burnt out light bulbs, all on one side, leaving the car completely dark. A number of 36 watt light bulbs had to be scavenged from 5645 to finish both cars. 5646 will be sporting 56 watt light bulbs when it returns to service. In the afternoon, Paul and Larry replaced both the trolley catcher and its bracket on 355. Now, Operations no longer has to worry about the catcher falling off and potentially landing on someone's foot.
5645 was jacked and the the east end truck pulled out. By evening, motor four was out of the truck and its non-functional armature had been removed.
5645 is jacked and the truck has been pulled out
Larry begins hoisting the truck
Motor 4 is out, the armature is about to be removed
John has been hard at work tearing up 3001's floor and tracing the piping. Today, the car was cleaned up a little in preparation for Father's Day tours coming through tomorrow. So far, we've found two Connecticut Company tokens and an old matchbook cover advertising matchbooks in the car. John, Kelly, and Galen will all be onsite tomorrow to answer questions and give tours. John will be in the shop, Kelly will be in the Visitors' Center with the shop's winter project, 1500, and Galen will be leading trips from the Visitors' Center out to the shop.
Items found inside 3001: a matchbook cover and 2 tokens
Opposite side of the matchbook cover
3001 has dual air tanks, they are labeled for visitors to see during the tours
836 returned to operating service yesterday morning, taking her first trips of 2017 down the line.
836 waits next to Kelly Barn for Operations to pick her up
New window frames are installed and painted on the north side
Fresh paint on the west end windows
During the week, John welded in patch panels on 169's dasher. Yesterday, the dasher was reinstalled on the car's east end by Bruce and Paul. 169 now looks much more like herself. Next week, they'll be reconnecting the dasher to the front windows.
Bruce and John removed the cut metal from the dasher
Dasher is installed and bolted into place
Work has also progressed on 3001. The old, rotted roof has been removed. John has also begun removing the floor and mapping out the air system.
3001's roof has been removed
Flooring has been removed from the east end. Here a door motor and part of the air system are visible
Galen, Jim, and Adam ventured into track work and made great progress on the Shop-Northern Barn switch yesterday. The old, rotten switch timbers were removed and one of the two new timbers were installed.
Jim, Adam, and Galen prepare to remove the rotten timbers
1326's motor is back from being rebuilt. It will be installed after 5645's. 5645 was brought up to the shop yesterday afternoon to have it's forth motor installed. The car was prepared and is ready to be jacked next weekend.