Sunday, July 23, 2017

Anticlimber Repair in Progress

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


Gear cases were added to 1326's motor assembly.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Motor Built

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.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Broken Brakes and Anti-climber Fit-up

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.

Pieces for 169's anti-climber

Anti-climber is test fitted

Cracks being patched on 169's south side


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Type 5 is back

5645 returned to service yesterday afternoon, once again running on all four motors. She underwent a successful motor test run and had a quick brake adjustment before being handed over to Operations.

5645 waits to exit the shop for her motor test trip

1326 has been brought up to the shop to have her fourth motor installed. We'll also do some finish work on the car while we have it in our care.

169's dasher has been bolted into place on the platform. The windows are yet to be secured.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Field Trip to Shore Line

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

3000's interior

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's controls

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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Light Bulbs, Part Marking, and Type 5 on Jacks

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

Air tank and brake cylinder labeled for the tour

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Return to Service, Dasher Installation, and More

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.

John welds patch panels onto 169's dasher. (Photo credit: Gina Alimberti)

169 before dasher installation

John cuts 169's dasher to fit 

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.

1326's motor

Sunday, May 21, 2017

836 Progress

Work continues on 836. The window frames are receiving a fresh coat of paint. Doors have been varnished. Window sill are primed and painting has begun.

South side windows are painted as is the window sill

Southeast doors are varnished

West end window sills are primed

Southwest corner shows work in progress


Elsewhere, 3001 has been cross-braced with chains in preparation for floor removal.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Window Work

Progress continues on 836. Fred has completed scraping the metal window sills. Here it can be seen where John has primed the area with dark red Rust-Oleum. Fred and Kelly have begun prep sanding the wooden window frames. These will also receive a fresh coat of paint before the car returns to service. John and Bruce have mostly finished the woodwork for the replacement window section. Both plan on milling quarter-round molding during the week to finish that section, plus replace damaged pieces on other windows.



Galen has mostly finished giving 18 a protective coating of green paint. He was work left to do on the roof.



5645's motor is back from repair. Once work is complete on 836, 5645 will be brought to the shop so the motor can be installed. The shop will also do some other work on the car while we have it. With the installation of the motor, 5645 will be back on all 4 motors for the first time in about a year.


We're also happy to share that we have a new welder. This will greatly ease the work on 3001. Pat and Kelly both got a MIG welding lesson from John while he was repairing the backhoe's bucket yesterday. Welding lessons will continue throughout the spring and summer to expand the shop crew's skill base. The new welder can also support stick welding, for heavier duty projects.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fresh Paint and a Broken Seat

The shop arrived yesterday to news that one of 355's seat supports had been broken. A passenger had apparently been jumping or bouncing excessively on the seat...



Paul made quick work of the repair, with some help from Kelly.




Elsewhere, work resumed on 18, with Galen removing some more of the old, peeling paint and beginning the application of new, fresh paint. The dull red is primer. The shop hopes to return 18 to work service.



Work continues on 836. Fred is making progress on scraping/sanding the window the window frame in preparation for some touch-up painting, John has removed more of the damaged window sash Paul and Bruce started work on last weekend. Kelly and Paul performed maintenance on the car, so it is ready to go back into service as soon as the repairs are completed.

In other news, 5645's armature is expected to arrive back this week. Once work is complete on 836, 5645 will be brought to the shop where the armature will be installed. This will allow the car to be run on all four motors once again, returning some much needed pep to its trips down the line.

We've also begun removing the old wood pulp insulation from the walls of the shop. This will eliminate a huge fire hazard when we begin welding work on 3001. It also has the added benefit of making the shop look a lot better.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cleaning Up and Tearing Down

After a snowy and cold opening day, it's been a busy couple of weeks in the shop. Maintenance has been completed on all six of the cars in Kelly Barn and each has seen service down the line. With the exception of 5645 developing a dragging brake shoe last week, the season opened well. The issue was quickly resolved and the car returned to service.

We were happy to see Trolley Care Class Alumni Paul and Noah visiting last weekend, while Adam and Jim were in yesterday to lend a hand. They helped Kelly with the maintenance of car 4, then assisted with cleaning up the shop and doing a bit of work on 836.

We are also delighted to welcome a new member to the shop, Paul James.


The shop is taking advantage of having its hands on 836. The doors are being sanded down and re-varnished by John. Bruce and Paul have started work replacing the damaged window sash on the car's north side, which survived the last operating season held in place by duct tape. Fred began sanding down the tired looking window sills, in preparation for some touch-up painting.

 The north-east doors have already received one fresh coat of varnish

The damaged section of window sash has been removed


Work also progresses on 3001. John has stripped the remaining tar paper from the roof. Yesterday, the trolley bases were removed. Now, work can begin on removing the rotten roofing from the car.

John waits atop 3001 for Galen to return in the front loader after depositing the first trolley base in the storage pod. Jim and Paul observe the action.

Roof removal has begun on the east end of the car