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Monday, April 29. 2013
Boston & Maine 1094 Improvments Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 20:20
The Cafe/Coach 1094 has received a significant improvement to restoration of the car. Specifically, eight replica brass sconces have been installed in the dinning room. These were made at home, over this last winter, by Jack Biesterfeld and then installed in the BM 1094 these last couple of weeks. Just as important is how this improvement will be viewed by the visitor. It will improve the vistors experience. How? Just look at the results thur the car's window.
Sunday, April 28. 2013
Steam Department Update 04-27-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 20:51
Turnout was a little thin this weekend at the steam shop and maybe the museum in general. I think the sudden good weather may have resulted in a lot of calls for yard work !. It was really nice to be able to open the doors at both ends of the shop and have the warm breeze blow thru. There was a great deal of activity in the shop and elsewhere.
The central focus is obviously on 1630.
· Collin, Phil and I managed to complete the rolling the super heater flues at the firebox end. This provided the opportunity to takes some shots of the process inside the firebox to give a clear idea of the method of operation.
First the projection of the tube is carefully adjusted to provide the required 1/4 inch minimum required for the end to be beaded once we have proved that the seal is tight.
The roller is placed in the tube (after Phil has locked the tube into the front sheet as shown last week).
The pin is pushed into the roller. Notice that the pin is well covered with lard, the recommended lubricant for these old rollers.
..... and then hammered to tighten it into place between the rollers.
The air motor is attached to the pin and rested on cribbing set on a scaffold supported on tubes lower in the tube sheet. The air motor then powers the pin, which is drawn into the roller as the tube is expanded. This step is not shown as I had to operate the motor while Collin kept it in place and there is no space for more than two people.
The pin is drawn substantially into the roller, as can be seen in this shot. As it is drawn in it forces the rollers out, increasing the diameter of the tube end as they rotate.
The motor is then reversed to free the pin and the effectiveness of the expansion is checked. Once expanded, the tube end can be hammered with no sign of movement and a good solid note that indicates it has become solid with the tube sheet.
· We then moved on to the front tube sheet. Collin, Jason and Phil made substantial progress in rolling the tube ends at the front.
The process is very similar except that the greater space allows the motor to be mounted on a reduction drive.
A good coat of lard is essential here too,
There is rather more space to set the roller and pin into place.
Attaching the long and heavy shaft to the roller while keeping it straight in the tube is less easy
When rolling, Jason checks the progress of the rolling while Phil bears the weight of the shaft to stop it pulling on the roller.
While progress initially appeared extremely good, we detected a problem that has the potential to set us back several weeks. After 10 of the 16 tubes had been expanded, it was found that two had been pulled toward the front by the expansion process. This was completely unexpected as the rolling into the rear tubesheet appeared to be solid and also creates a flare on the outer end of the tube. These tubes are now rolled at both ends, which makes any movement very difficult. However, if we are not able to drive them back sufficiently to allow proper beading at the back, we will have to cut them out and repeat the safe ending process. We will try to move the tubes enough to get the length for beading next week but if we are not able to do so this will be a significant set-back.
· Blanks were found for the two stays that must be machined and fitted to the corner patch and work started on machining these ready for fitting.
In other areas:
· The good weather also enabled another essential task to be undertaken. The water system in the box car was brought back into service. Stu, Ed, Bob and Jerry carried out this work and a difficult repair that was detected during the process. This system provides to water for any steam locomotives running on the site and will be needed initially to provide water for the hydro testing.
It is a multi stage process. First water is taken from the well and run thru a softening process before feeding into large underground tanks. The pump system draws water from the tanks thru large diameter pipes to supply the locomotive. The softening is essential given the mineral content of the well water. The capacity of the well and softening system is such that it must run most of the week to provide the water for 1630 to run over a 3 day period. Unfortunately, as the system is located in an old boxcar that could not be effectively heated, it must be extensively stripped over winter and recommissioned in the Spring. We wanted it operating now as we hope that it can be simplified and made more reliable as the crew supporting Leviathan had problems getting water last year. Anyway, after a hard day's work the team were able to put on a satisfying show with water firing across the tracks to the road. Unfortunately when I was not there to record the event !.
Stu and Jerry reaching the end of re-assembly. All of the metering equipment on the wall and the softening system on top of the tank beside Jerry has to be removed over winter and refitted in the Spring.
During the reassembly a leak was discovered in the piping leading from the softener down to the underground tanks. A lot of work at arms length down the shaft was required to cut out a section of pipe and fit a connector to replace the leaking section. With all the equipment reconnected the large pump that drives the high volume supply could be primed and tested. This is the large green machine in the center.
· Another project that I was able to see for the first time was the renovation of the wrecker, that Mark Secco has been carrying out. This was originally a steam wrecker but converted to diesel in the 1960's. This very useful piece of equipment has been out of service for a number of years. While there is only rarely lift work to warrant its 100+ ton capacity, when there is a requirement for such a lift, it can cost the museum many thousands to hire in such capacity.
Mark has been working steadily thru it. The main motor is now running smoothly and reliably. It is of such a size that it has a decent sized gasoline motor as a starter. The operation is controlled by air pressure with most of the clutches being double acting (powered both ways). Most of the air controls have had to be rebuilt. Some more work is required to enable the secondary hook and refurbish the cables, but it is good to hear it running again. Having got it fully running, Mark hopes to give it a full repaint and refurbish the runner, the deck of which is currently in poor condition.
· Meanwhile Dennis started work on the boom for the forklift. This is one of the projects funded from the benefit concert last year. It will enable us to use the forklift to put heavy objects over the center line of the locomotives. This will be a big benefit when we come to put the dome cover and throttle back into 1630.
So a reasonable week but a lot of nervousness for next week about the tubes.
Sunday, April 28. 2013
While we were outdoors working on the plow, here are some 'drive-by' images I managed to take.
Bill Wulfert was carefully polishing and cleaning porcelain light sockets and the various copper and brass innards. These are to be used and re-installed for the 50th Avenue station lighting.
Randy Hicks continues his work on the train door restoration for Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36. He is installing restored and cleaned shiny brass door hardware. Alas - he says they will be painted to be period correct..
John McKelvey continues on upholstering the next seat cushion for the LAKE CITY.
A new work assignment for Bill Peterson - he is cleaning and wire brushing old paint and rust from another of the steel ad panels for the interior of Cleveland Transit System 4223.
Rich Witt is back at the drafting table, preparing drawings for three new wood sash to be made in the shop. These destined for some of our heavyweight Pullman Passenger cars.
Sunday, April 28. 2013
CGW X 38 Update - April 27, 2013 Posted by Robert Kutella in Chicago Great Western X 38 Russell Snow Plow at 10:52
It is time to start separate entries for our snowplow work again. Yesterday was perhaps the first Saturday with weather good enough to move outdoors and resume work on the snow plow - our coming out party at the Spring Cotillion.
In the plow interior Victor Humphreys is nailing in the last board for the interior wall wall lining at the back of the plow. Some tricky work as we neared the top and had to be creative to get the boards in place.
Yes, this is a poor image - but I get a free one month membership in the Backlit Photographers Society if I use it here! The second new shop made window was installed on the north wall - all the trim mitered and fit almost perfect.
Bill Peterson is at the radial arm saw to cut new framing timbers for the plow interior, these destined to allow interior lining for the roof. Buzz Morrisette went out of his way and showed up early in the AM with a car load of new wood, and we wasted no time in taking the measurements and creating short pieces from long pieces. Then Bill and I planed these to thickness, cut notches to clear structural angles, and drilled recesses to clear rivets.
Here is a pile of new parts cut and fit, ready for painting during our next session. The two new framing timbers, and 23 short pieces of new lining to start that work on the south side wall. Add to the count the completion inside the plow of the rear lining, one new window, and then Victor installing four more pieces of wall framing on the north and south sides.
OH NO DEPARTMENT - In the background of the picture is Nick Kallas on his cell phone working on a new equipment acquisition for IRM!
Thursday, April 25. 2013
Lorne Tweed was working inside our Cleveland Transit System 4223 PCC car. He is working to place interior panels above the side windows and below the standee windows. This is all part of the puzzle of what goes where.
Simon Harrison worked on the 4223 project all day. Here he is cleaning the back of one of the ceiling panels made last week. Next, some light gray primer, which was quick drying but fairly stinky inside the shop.
This is a different ceiling panel, but almost done in the new primer. Simon finished several of them today, along with more priming on the ad card steel panels (one more of which Jonathan Soucek wire wheeled into cleanliness) and the back side of the first ceiling lighting panel.
Dave Rogan and Jim Leonard dug out some more lumber to be used in our Chicago Great Western X 38 snowplow. It is still a bit inclement for outdoor work, but we are prepping as much as we can for a blitz workday as weather allows. Here they just finished measuring them and cutting to length on the radial arm saw.
After some sanding and cleanup, Jim primed both sides of the planks. We now should have enough ready to install to complete the interior lining inside the back wall of the plow.
As the old song lyric goes, "JOHNNY'S - - - BACK IN TOWN!" In this case John McKelvey is back to IRM for the summer season (wondering where it is?) and already hard at work in the shop. His first job on the list is repairing and reupholstering seats for the extraordinary LAKE CITY.
Here is the freshly welded saw frame for the next table saw to be ready for use in the shop. Rod Turner did the welding with setup and help from Jim Foraker.
Jim Leonard was working to clean up the saw frame to be ready for priming.
Rich Witt is touching up any rough spots on the two new round top windows for passenger car Boston & Maine 1094. Moldings are fit and I think we are done with the shop work for this project.
We used the Berlin Sander in the last few weeks and here Jim Foraker is doing some fine tuning adjustments on the north end of the upper deck feed rollers. Without such expert mechanical skills as he has, this would not be nearly so productive next time. Thanks Jim.
John Faulhaber is making a small boxcar at the request of Ray Bellock - for children's use this coming summer. This is the roof being cut to size on the table saw.
John is well along on assembling what the shop is calling a toy boxcar. How big is it? Well, once done something under four feet long.
There was of course other work I did not capture with the camera. Norm Krentel and Jeff Brady continued the roof project on Michigan Electric 28; we saw Steve Iverson doing some more work, finishing touches really, on the Chicago & West Towns 141; and do not forget Pete Galayda and John Nelligan working in the shop on Charles City Western 300.
Tuesday, April 23. 2013
New North Shore Exhibit Coming to ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Special Exhibits Display at 08:50
Brilliance: A New Exhibit Honoring the Lives of Women on the North Shore Line will open at the Illinois Railway Museum on May 11, 2013.
When Illinois Railway Museum President Joe Stupar scanned over three-thousand photos from the collection of Harold G. Mason, President of the Chicago, North Shore, and Milwaukee Railway, he discovered a testament to women at work in traditional and non-traditional roles during the life of the North Shore Line. His wife Gwyneth, herself a ten year volunteer at the museum, selected and restored the best of these photos stating, “To say women were essential is an understatement. Everyone thinks women in the railroad industry during that era were primarily office workers. Women worked as ticket collectors, streetcar operators, and more. Clearly, these images speak volumes about the brilliant history of transportation not only between Chicago and Milwaukee, but the United States at large."
Sunday, April 21. 2013
I was not too optimistic about outdoor work at IRM, after leaving home in the morning with about a half inch of ice and snow needing to be scraped and thawed off the automobile. By mid morning most of that had melted away, and in the afternoon Victor Humphreys took the challenge and he and I dared to open up the Chicago Great Western X 38 snowplow. As he said, we have been working in the shop all winter and both were beginning to suffer cabin fever. Success. The first of the new windows we made in the shop is complete and installed on the rear wall. And the north side opening was opened up and the new window for that fitted into place, ready to install on the next fair weather day.
As Nigel mentioned in his report there were many members on hand but most shuttled back and forth to meetings (an annual ritual at IRM this time of year). Here we see Ray Schmidt, Jeff Brady (hidden by Ray) and Bill Peterson working on the new roof for Michigan Electric 28. If you look carefully you will see the new tongue and groove slats made in our shop going on the carline stringers.
This is the new door we are making for our station. The extensions of the vertical stiles were trimmed off and then some more finish sanding by Victor. At the left of this picture you will see John Faulhaber working on a new children's activity item at the request of Ray Bellock.
In between other tasks Victor found time to add the first coat of primer to the door. Not many steps left now - almost ready to deliver to our Buildings and Grounds Department.
Jim Leonard is making all the sawcuts for the last large ceiling panel for Cleveland Transit System 4223.
Meanwhile out in the carbody for the 4223, Eric Lorenz continues the task of routing and running all new wiring. Look at it all! I wonder how he knows where it all goes?
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