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Sunday, March 29. 2009
Saturday Report by Frank DeVries:Tom, Adam, and myself made up the crew. I arrived early and resolved an air leak problem in the mower, I found one of the air lines had gotten out of place and rubbed against the drive shaft. I replaced two hoses with a quick trip to Napa, and pulled them up into the cab and had the machine running again. While at NAPA, I also retrieved the hydraulic filter for the same machine. Tom and Adam were out next. Tom took the mower to get fueled, and was back on the main to finish mowing. Adam went to barn 2 to finish draining the fuel out of the 585.
I continued to work on bolts to remove the two failed motors off the Jackson 6000 tamper, but decided north winds and 33 degrees, this was a job better left for another day. Off to the barn. After Adam drained the fuel and re-filled the tank with fresh gas, Adam and I tackled the leaking brake calipers on the 585. We jacked and cribbed the front of the car to allow access to the underside. Since the bolts didn't want to budge, we employed the blue wrench and quickly had the old calipers off the car. In short order we had the new calipers on, and bled, and tested. This car should stop on a dime, and give nine cents change. About this time, Tom was coming back to the property, having finished mowing the main. After a minor derailment, we had the mower put away. That machine will need to be greased again after it's winter workout.
After lunch, Adam got the fork lift out to sort material back by yard 10/11. Tom and I switched out 24 track to get the tamper and tie crane first out. Monday Wes and Warren Lloyd are going to again do the track department a huge favor and go retrieve the engine for the tamper. If they have time, and the snow isn't too high against the door, they will once again put this engine back on the frame of the tamper. Hopefully Fischbach has it right this time. Next weekend we will have to get this baby out and break her in.
After the switch move, it was back to the 585 to get the engine running again. I left our heroes improvising a new rubber fuel line to the fuel pump. I'll run to Napa next time and get some replacement 1/2" ID fuel hose to complete that job.
Sunday's Report by myself:
Today started out kinda dreary; snow on the ground, drizzle and lots of clouds.
As soon as Barn 11 is ready for us to work in, we will. Within the next few weeks we'll try and get the three 112lb track panels to Four Mile Siding and set in place, just as we did in Yard 13. By the time we left the sun was out in full force without a cloud in sight with temps in the mid 40's. The property was almost entire void of other life, but it was well worth the trip out.
Check out the rest of my photos from the day in my Member's Album: http://www.irm.org/gallery/album144Adam Robillard
Tuesday, March 24. 2009
Milwaukee Electric L 4 Update March ... Posted by Robert Kutella in TMER&L L4 Locomotive at 14:59
In my absence, Buzz Morrisette has taken on the job of making new wood items to replace badly rotted parts on this locomotive.
Here, Buzz is making good progress on an all new footboard assembly for the locomotive pilot. Somewhat unusual, it is a one piece fabrication of white oak, compared to two simpler footboards to each side of the coupler.
Tuesday, March 24. 2009
I got to visit the shop for the first time following my January 12 injury, and got to take a few pics, although still not cleared to drive myself out there or to do much actual work.
Here is the Fay molder/sticker with completed guard cage for the flat belts. Only awaiting an operator with two good arms right now. Do I see any volunteers?
And here is our H. B. Smith tenoner from the Illinois Traction System. This century old machine has seen a lot of progress with clean up, painting, repairs, and the start of an elaborate cage to guard the multitude of belts needed to run the machine.
Chicago Rapid Transit 1268 - Tim Peters has spent much time over the recent bad weather months on this wood bodied rapid transit car.
Yes that caption is correct. 30 new windows manufactured in 30 days - but working seven days per week. This view shows Tim Peters at the rear of the Berlin sander, Dick Lukin feeding new frames in, and Henry Vincent assisting.
Note the stacks of frames ready to sand, or which have just been completed. In addition to the side windows (three different sizes) there were two motorman's windows and four cab windows for the North Shore 757 which went through the process.
Tim is catching the sanded frames about one every 25 seconds. The machine makes short work of finished sanding and smoothing the glue joints.
In his spare time working with the many windows, Tim has rebuilt the third side door for the 1268, used to load passengers.
Monday, March 23. 2009
March 13-14, 2009
Last Saturday's gang was Tom, Frank, Steve and myself. The original goal for the weekend was to get the mainline walked and inspected for defects and Tom continue to brush cut on the main. Frank and I ended up getting out early and spent the entire day walking from MP0 to MP 4.8 marking defects along the way. We came up with 3 full pages of issues to correct, mostly loose bolts and missing washers, but a few other important defects like sink holes near 4 culverts... A day of repairs will be necessary very soon, but for now the line is open to 40MPH without any speed restrictions. Tom spent all day on the mower cutting brush from Seeman Rd to Four Mile Siding. He made huge progress cutting areas with very heavy brush. The improvement is very noticeable.
Sunday was Frank, Steve and myself. We hit the main early with the EJ&E 585 motorcar, hydraulic power cart and tie crane and headed to Four Mile Siding. Frank ran the crane prepping the siding extension for three track panels... This involved picking up about 50 ties laid out and clearing the area for weeds. In the meantime, Steve and I drilled two bolt holes at the end of a rail that had never been drilled on the siding. We now have bolts in both rails and the joint put back together. There is no reason Four Mile can't hold revenue trains now. We greased the new power switch at Four Mile, and continued greasing all of the spring switches as we headed back to the property for lunch.
March 21-22, 2009
This weekend we had a different focus. Saturday we picked up the transmission filter for the Model 50 Burro crane from NAPA we had previously ordered. Getting that and a complete set of filters for the 6000 filters set up the day's tasks. Frank was out with Trackbolt (Frank's daughter Emily) and Tom was out with Tyler. Frank and Emily did wonders getting oil changed and filters replaced on the 6000 while Tom and Tyler did a great job cutting the mainline. By dark Tom had the entire line cut from one end to the other! Only a few chainsaw jobs left and we are 100% done with brushcutting. As promised, the line is tree free by regular ops next month. Tyler and Emily helped me top off the transmission fluid in the Model 50 burro and we tested it out with much success. A few hickups, but it seems with the proper amount of ATF and a clean filter the crane hauls very well. We tested it by moving cars around Yd 11.
The diesel guys had a bunch of trucks that needed to be rolled into storage at Yard 13... Long story short, 3 axle trucks don't roll well through streetcar curves.... We assisted by re railing those trucks about 10 times in a span of 3 hours... We had one set of trucks tucked away and another set half way to it's storage spot when the main radiator coolant line on the 50 Burro blew apart leaving the crane paralyzed with a passenger truck hanging from the hook.. This was around 9PM and we called it a day until we got parts due to lack of options to lower the trucks...
Sunday Tom and I made it out mid-afternoon armed with 5 gallons of antifreeze and a new hose. By the time I showed up Tom had the new hose installed and antifreeze topped off and we fired up the crane. We finished re railing the passenger truck with the crane and Tom hooked it up to the Jeep with a chain to drag it into it's storage spot a few rail lengths down. It was a sight to see and got the job done without any more derailments or broken windshields...thank goodness. The rest of the day was moving equipment around for the next project and getting the Burro Crane put away.
Thank you everyone for all the hard work so far this year. Soon we'll wind down the machine maintenance and focus more on projects. Coming up soon we are going to try to get Four Mile Siding extended another 150', repair defects on the main and prep machines for tamping and tie work. Machines that still need a fair amount of work is the Jackson 6000 tamper and the Model 30 Burro crane (X-17). We are out nearly every Saturday and help will be appreciated more and more as we get into the operating season. Let me know if you can join in the fun!
Sunday, March 22. 2009
Passenger Dept Update 2009-03-22 Posted by Phil Stepek in Passenger Car Department at 21:47
late winter /early spring. Things keep moving along, beginning to get ready for Opening
In Barn 3 we have begun to set up the display cars. First the globes for the reading lights in the ATSF lounge are finally in! After years, all the lights in the car now have lenses and are working.
Next we went through Susan Marie and Ely and double checked all the lights in those cars as well
We are preparing for two main walking tours within the barn; 3-4 cars each, plus the streamliner sleeper train out in Yard 5. we have also talked (ok mostly me) about more display pieces in Barn 9.
Again a call for anyone interested in acting as a docent in one of the passenger sets in Barn 3 or Yard 5 this summer. We want to open more equipment for visits, but cannot unless we have folks we can count on to "keep an eye" on the equipment. the task is not to be a traffic cop, more a guide, answer person and all around social visitor.
On the mechanical front, Mike is making serious progress in the vestibule and buffer of the lamented DLW coach, hoping to have it operational early this season as well. Still a lot of work to go, but progress is always good.
The walls in ATSF 2544 are getting primed and painted after a lot of metaland sanding work. After this the "new" seats will go in and one side will be done for this season, with the second side planned for next winter. The car has thin wheels, so she is not going out this year anyway.
While I dont have any new photos yet, I dont want to forget that Roger has been working away at the bathrooms in John McGLothan as well, and I know when they are done they will be Gorgeous!
Out in Yard 5 The baggage racks in the front of the RDC are in and beginning to be painted. We had a broken seat frame, and managed to locate a replacement unit, so now all the seats are secure in place, and ready for guests. The second bathroom has been cleared out, and we are trying to come up with a way to feed AC into the car until we can afford to replace the blower motor. Plans for multiple displays in one section of the car, should make it a reasonably interseting place to visit. We also got the light units for the number boards out today, and should be a straightforward fix once we convert the ballasts like the ceiling fixtures. Then we hope to get correct number plates made and installes, make the unit 9934 again!
Birminghams air curtain is done and working fine. The kitchen is nearly ready for opening, with a bit more cleaning. We found the correct tablecloths and so this year we may have real table settings. While the dining area AC was stable last year, we have modified the kitchen AC to allow a bit more realistic space, and we hope it will give our visitors even more of a sense of the "way it was".
Come on out and say Hi. We are now in season prep mode, so anyone with the interest feel free to get in touch. We will be spending next week and probably the week after getting stuff "gussied up" sio even if you dont have the desire to be mechanical, we can use the help just cleaning and shining.
Sunday, March 22. 2009
Let me explain to you what the A/C-D/C Line Dept. does.
The Line Dept. is the electric utility part of IRM. We design, install and maintain the museum's overhead and underground electrical systems. Both A/C power & lighting and D/C traction power. We also install and maintain signal & telephone lines above 7 ft. for those respective departments. We also design, install and maintain the building wiring systems for the Buildings & Grounds Dept.
Our system is quite elaborate. Com Ed, our local electric utility, maintains a 34kv to 4kv substation on our property. Everything on the 4kv side of the transformer is owned and maintained by IRM.
Our system consists of 7 miles of 2400/4160 volt line, single & three phase transformer banks from 1kva to 750kva, voltage regulators, two 800kw rectifiers, a traction power substation with 2 -2500amp feeders and electronic relays, many poles, underground ducts and manholes. We're like a small town.
We own a digger derrick and a bucket truck. We maintain a stock of protective rubber goods: hose, blankets,gloves and sleeves- all up to date. We have hot sticks, hot arms and lots of other "tools of the trade". We always work safely. The best part: it was all built and is maintained by unpaid VOLUNTEERS!
If you love this trade like I do or just interested in linework. Come out and help! The line dept is Fun! THERE's MORE TO IRM THAN JUST TRAINS.
Sunday, March 22. 2009
With all our protective rubber back from the lab we're ready to work safely for another year. This warm weather feels great. The frost is just about out of the ground making digging by hand possible. Things have dried enough to allow access to work locations again.
This week was spent finishing up some old projects. Monday, was telephone day. A new cable was run from the terminal box on the East wye to barn 3. This will replace the underground cable that got an "oops" with a trenching machine a couple of years ago. This new 12 pair cable was installed in existing ring run then ty-rapped to a #6 copper wire to drop to the barn.
Tuesday, I replaced the rusty spanwire and finished transferring equipment on the poles in front of the depot. A new down guy was installed and everything was pulled up tight and served permanent. All the old wire was removed and old poles cut up. All that remains is to pull the pole butt and clean up.
Wednesday, the forecast rain never fell. So, Roger and I did some more telephone work. A 6 pair cable was fished through existing ring run from the terminal box at the east end of Central Ave. along the tracks and over the diamond. This is a particularly congested area. With the tail track, yard tracks and carline converging, there is literally a spiderweb of trolley wire, span wire, pull-offs and feeder at that location. Setting up and maneuvering the bucket through all that wire, to reach the telephone messenger, was time consuming. We eventually got that cable in the 3 spans of existing ring run. Next, we had to turn a 90 and head to our destination-The Hoffman Bus Garage.
That would involve installing new ring run for two spans over hot trolley wire and the trolley bus line to a steel pole near the building. Then, a drop to the building. We began by rubbering up the yard track trolley wire. Then proceeded to string a 1/4" EHS galvanized messenger across the yard track. After pulling enough slack in the 6 pair cable to reach the building, we strung that across the yard track. The messenger was permanently deadended on one side and temporarily clamped on the other. The 6 pair was clipped in a couple of rings to clear the trolley wire and the rubber was removed. We coiled up the excess wires and called it a day!
Most of Thursday and Friday were spent in the office getting quotes on materials for other projects and chasing down an operating coil to fix the Depot St. street lights. Although I did spend some time in the material yard looking for a 6" pole clamp. I was also able to fix a damaged down guy and get the trolley bus wye back in service.
Saturday found me at IRM before the sun. Picking up the telephone job where I left it. The safest way to continue, after giving things a good look, was to deenergize the trolley bus line. There was too much hot wire and special work to cross over with a bare steel messenger. The line was switched out and grounds were applied. I then proceeded to string the messenger and 6 pair cable to the steel pole near the building. With the messenger pulled tight and deadended I began to snap the 6 pair in rings. Working back cable rings were installed every 18 inches. Johnney balls were installed in the messenger on ether side of the trolley wire where they crossed. Bonding around the insulated sections was also installed. The johnney balls create an insulated section of messenger over hot trolley wire. This prevents a short circuit and the resulting damage in the event a trolley pole dewires and contacts both the trolley wire and the grounded telephone messenger. The bonding maintains continuity of ground around the insulated section.
With rings installed I worked on the drop to the building. A #6 solid, hard drawn, insulated copper wire was strung from the steel pole to the building and the 6 pair cable was ty-rapped to it every 9". The cable was run into the building and awaits termination by our phone guys Les and Wally.
That ended a busy week for me at IRM's A/C-D/C Line DEPT.
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