Sunday, August 18, 2019

Air Pipe Work in Progress on 3001

John has been at work replacing 3001's air piping. He started with the west end brake stand and is moving down the car.

3001's new west end brake stand piping

The Operations Department has started work on the repaint for PCC 15. The are striping the old, peeling paint from the exterior of the car and will begin priming the bare metal as they work around the car.


Chief Motorman Roger Pierson removes paint from 15 (Ryan Trombly photos)

We welcome John Schnabel back to the museum and the shop.

1326 is in the shop for repair. The nut that holds the pinion gear on the armature worked itself loose on motor 2. There is minor damage to the nut and armature to be repaired. We will also readjust the brushes on motor 4 and fix a leak in the west end brake stand while we have the car. The car will be out of service for a few weeks. We thank Morgan Cummins and Roger Pierson for reporting the car sounding "off", which let us catch the issue before it got any worse.

Motor 2 gears on 1326, notice the misalignment between the gears

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Work Begins on Line Car

Work began on line car 1 today as part of the Trolley Care Program. Galen and Kelly were joined by Steve, Harrison, Adam, and Larry. The first goal of the day was to remove the coal stove from the car to allow the motor access hatch to open That completed, the motor leads were separated and the motors tested. Unfortunately, both motors showed indications of being wet, so drying efforts are in progress. The motors will be tested again in a few weeks to see how the drying is progressing. The crew was able to hook up the car to power using a bug and confirm that the interior lights work.
The old roof boards and cleats were removed along with the remains of the canvas roof. A new, durable roll roof will be installed on the car. Several of the cleats will be replaced and all new roof boards will be used.

Harrison and Steve remove the last pieces of old roof

The lights are on

Chris is working on replacing west end steel in 3100. The car is on jacks to facilitate this work.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Line Car 1 Brought to the Shop

The crew spent a large part of today switching cars around. Car 65 has been temporarily put into storage so line car 1 can visit the shop for inspection. The line car will be reviewed as part of the Trolley Care Program next week. Today's initial quick physical inspection was positive. Car 3100 is back outside the shop as Chris Perry will be spending the next week with us to work on it. New Jersey Transit PCC 15 has been moved up to the track outside Northern Barn where the Operations Department will work on striping and repainting both the exterior and the interior. Finally, the box car was shifted further down the loop track to allow the SC&ET Department access to the overhead for repairs.

Line car 1 is in the shop and its tarp has been removed


Motormen Aiden Nies and Owen Dalton have painted 836's floor, which was much needed and is highly appreciated.
836's new floor paint

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Lots of Fresh Paint

A couple of weeks ago we were happy to host an United Way Day of Caring group of systems engineers from Pratt and Whitney. Among other things, they got some painting done on 18. They touched up the sides where John and Steve completed the patch panels and added fresh stripping to the ends.

Completed patches and new paint

The Operations Department has jumped on to helping out with improving the appearance of the operating fleet. They have started with 1326. Operations Manager Justin Chasse and Chief Motorman Roger Pierson touched up paint on the sides and added the missing striping and number to the south side. Motormen Aiden Nies and Owen Dalton repainted the floor.

1326's newly added number and stripes

 Owen at work on the floor of 1326 (photo credit Aiden Nies)

Finished floor in 1326

Work also continues on 3001. The armatures from motors 1 and 2 have been sent out for rewinding. The field coils have been removed from the motor casings. The end caps and gear cases have been cleaned.

Adam, Brian, and Galen work on removing field coils

Lou and Galen work on separating field coils


Saturday, June 8, 2019

3001's East End Truck Further Disassembled & Back to Work on 18

Today the crew jumped right back into working on disassembling 3001's east end truck. Galen cut out the stubborn bolt holding motor 2 in place and it was removed. The truck was rolled outside and, with help from Tim and the Pettibone, the frame was lifted off the axles and placed on supports in preparation for sand blasting. The crew, Galen, Adam, Lou, and Brian, completed some further disassembly on the truck, removing the brake shoes and other details. They also removed the armatures and brush holders from motors 1 and 2. Elsewhere, Fred continued working on preparing interior pieces for refinishing while John worked on a door mechanism.

Tim lowers the truck onto supports using the Pettibone

Lou works on disassembling the truck

Motors 1 and 2 are partially disassembled

Fred works on removing old paint from an interior piece


18 was moved back into place outside the shop so work could continue. Kelly and John finished welding the last patch panel on the south side. Then Kelly did the first patch on the north side. Both patches got a coat of primer to keep them from rusting.

John works on 18

Sunday, June 2, 2019

3001 Transferred to Shop Trucks

Yesterday saw the completion of an important milestone in 3001's restoration. With the help of the Trolley Care Program participants, the car was transferred to shop trucks. To start the day, Kelly, Galen, Adam, and Katy shuffled 3001 over the pit to remove cotter pins from the ends of the center pins. The car was then returned to its home side of the shop and the team was joined by Christopher, Julia, and Lou. The car's east end was jacked and the truck rolled out. Using the Case loader, the truck was shifted to the pit track and a Type 5 shop truck was loaded onto the track in front of 3001. The truck was pushed under the car by hand and the car was lowered, wood spacers being added to level the car on its new truck.

Shuffling 3001 to the pit track (Video by Adam Kruase)

Lou and Adam jack the east end of the car (Second photo by Katy Krause)

East end truck out from under the car (Photo by Katy Krause)

Setting the east end truck down on the pit track

3001 was then towed outside with the diesel and the jacking and truck transfer process was repeated on the west end. 3001 moved past the switch and its west truck was rolled onto the pit track before the car was pushed inside. The diesel then fetched both trucks and pushed them inside the shop after the car.

West end jacked and truck removed, east end truck is already replaced

Katy and Lou rig up a shop truck to the Case while Galen's watches

Galen lifts the shop truck to bring it to 3001 (Second photo by Katy Krause)

After a short lunch break (Thank you to Larry Bryan for coordinating our lunch this time and to Rob Brogle for starting our day off with doughnuts!), the team went to work on the trucks, starting with the east end one. By mid afternoon, motor 1 had been removed from the truck. By the end of the day, motor 2 only had one stubborn bolt between it and removal. Unwilling to drag out the torch so late in the game, we'll start next week by cutting this bolt out.

Katy, Lou, and Galen work on removing the gear case from motor 1

Adam, Lou, and Galen remove more of bolts that are holding motor 1 in place

Motor 1 is hoisted out of the truck (Photos by Katy Krause, Adam Krause respectively)

Inspection of the 4 motors reveals damage to all windings on the armatures. We will need to send the armatures out for repair. This costly step will be helped by a grant, although additional donations to the project are highly appreciated.

Diesel 1 is looking sharp in its new primer, thanks to John. The winter rebuild he performed proved its worth as the little locomotive has regained all of the power it had lost over the last few years. The fuel tank makes a very nice addition.

Diesel 1's nice new primer

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Visit to Exporail

Galen and Kelly took a road trip north to visit Exporail in Quebec. It is a beautiful museum and we very much enjoyed our visit. Luc was a fantastic host, spending most of his morning with us for a tour. We got to see the car shop and inside of a ornate sleeper car, both of which are typically not accessible to guests. He also let us have an extended visit with Montreal Tramways W2, the younger sister crane to our W1, so we could take photos for reference for when we begin repairing W1. (The third Montreal crane, W3, was also saved and resides at the Shoreline Trolley Museum.) We were also happy to see both Montreal observation cars 1 and 3, the sisters to our car 4 and Seashore Trolley Museum's 2. They have an extensive collection of trolleys (trams) along with both steam and diesel locomotives. Trolley and train services run in the summer months. We recommend visiting.

Primary operating trolley Montreal Tramways 1959 in the car shop for new doors

Montreal Tramways W2, sister to our W1

Montreal Tramways 1, sister to Seashore Trolley Museum's 2 (Note how 1 and 2 have beavers on their light bars, unlike 3 and 4. 1 and 2 are older, having wood bodies while 3 and 4 have steel bodies)

Montreal Tramways 3, sister to our car 4

Sleigh-like omnibus from the Mont Royal Street Railway Company

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Six Happy Cars

The shop was happy to release car 4 into service after a successful test trip first thing Saturday morning. We then turned our attention to car 16 and, after some minor brake stand and air governor work, were able to release the car to operations mid-afternoon, bringing the active fleet to its full six cars. Both cars ran for members after the annual meeting and we heard a lot of positive feedback from motormen delighted to have two of their favorite cars back. Car 65 is now back in the shop where it waits for additional interior work. Diesel 1 is being surface prepped and primed and will hopefully be back outside the shop this coming week wearing all new primer.

President Rob Brogle and Assistant Chief Motorman Ryan Trombly picked up a wire and air pipe donation and delivered it to the shop in the afternoon with assistance from Don Nordell. These supplies will be used for 3001, 18, and 169. At the annual meeting, we were delighted to learn that we've won a $50,000 grant from the Connecticut DECD for the restoration of car 3001. We send them our thanks. Major funding for the restoration is now complete.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

We are happy to report that car 355 has been released to operations for service for the year. Car 4 should be released next weekend. A minor issue was discovered with an armature and was repaired yesterday by Galen. The repair will cure this week and be tested next Saturday. Thanks to Katy, Adam, Anthony, Larry, John, and Galen for helping me out with finishing off maintenance and dealing with the typical opening hiccups. Katy learned how to rebuild trolley catchers. We now have car 16 in the shop so we can locate the source of its air system issues.

Diesel 1 is all back together and running. It remains in the shop for its protection until it gets a new coat of paint. With this work done, John is finally able to return to working on car 3001.

Diesel 1 is back together

John works on installing a patch panel on 3001's side


Adam was able to complete the organization of the primary machine tooling box. He will be tackling cleanup of of the Bridgeport and Cincinnati milling machines.

The next Trolley Care Day will be June 1st. We will be swapping trucks on car 3001.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

2019 Trolley Care Program Begins

We were happy to welcome Lou and Steve to the museum for Trolley Care yesterday. We also had relatively new shop member Jeff and returning participants Adam, Katy, and Wil on hand. Adam and Katy worked on car 16 with Galen while Kelly walked Jeff, Lou, and Steve through basic maintenance with car 355. While we were unable to get either car completed and into service, a good time was had by all and a lot of work was performed. Lou stayed into the afternoon and helped Kelly get S193 ready for the year.

Adam has accepted the challenge of cleaning up the shop's machine tooling and better organizing that work area to improve our efficiency. He will be inventorying and inspecting tooling during the coming months.

John is making progress reassembling Diesel 1 and had Anthony helping him for the day. We hope to have the locomotive back in service soon.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Getting Ready for Opening Day

Spring maintenance has begun for operating fleet and 836, 1326, and 5645 are ready to go for opening day thanks to Adam, Katy, Wil, Jayden, Galen, and Kelly. Maintenance will continue next weekend with the start of the 2019 Trolley Care Program. All are welcome to come and learn how to care for the cars. The day stars at 8:30AM and runs to 1PM, including the provided lunch.

5645 visits the shop as the first car to receive maintenance this year


We installed some of our new segments from Westfield Technical Academy into 1326.

3 new segments in 1326


John is putting the diesel back together after its much needed maintenance. The water pump has been rebuilt, the motor generator has been serviced, and the fuel system has been cleaned. We send our thanks to Terry Snider for helping us out by pressing the impeller back onto the water pump shaft at his shop as part of the rebuild.

The hood is back on the diesel

Diesel 1's engine compartment is looking much better


Anthony joined us for the first time and worked on patching the Case loader's bucket. Its coming out very nicely and we hope to see him again soon.

One of the new patches on the Case's bucket (both sides done)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

1500 Progress

Kelly, Wil, Jeff P, Jayden, Adam, and Jeff K have been at work in the Northern (1500). The hallway wall visible from the viewing platform through the kitchen window is almost completely free of varnish. The upper varnished areas in the stateroom are also being cleaned up.


Wil working in hallway. Photo- Gina Alimberti

Hallway is cleaning up

Jeff working in stateroom

Kelly working in stateroom. Photo- Gina Alimberti

Stateroom varnish removal progress