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Monday, July 29. 2013
Steam Department Update 07-27-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 15:39
This was a big day at the steam shop. All activity was focused on 1630 and the first testing of the boiler completely full of water and under some pressure.
It is a fairly lengthy process to set the boiler up for pressure testing. The boiler and water need to be fairly warm (about 100 F) for testing. So aside, from pumping 2500 gallons of water from the milk car to the boiler, there is about 5 hours of circulating the water thru the gas fired pool heater to bring the whole system up to an even temperature.
Starting in the morning it was late afternoon before the whole system was at temperature. During that time we spotted and corrected minor leaks around the inspection and dome covers.
Removing the dome cover to fix the seal gave this interesting shot into the open dome. The boiler is now about as full of water as it can be.
With everything sealed we started to apply pressure to check for leaks. In general, we were fairly pleased with the way that the work we have done stood up to pressure. There were maybe 20 small to tiny leaks disclosed around tube ends. In retrospect one mistake was that we did not fix leaks around two super heater flues in the front tube sheet. These were very small sources of drips under gravity but became the limiting factor when we reached 150 psi.
The firebox patch was tight aside from a small spot in the caulked joint with the mud ring which showed a slight leak at 150 psi. This should be easily fixed by a little more caulking. A couple of rivets close to the patch showed signs of weeping. This is not surprising given the expansion and contraction associated with the welding and can be fixed by a little work with the caulking hammer.
The nuisance and minor setback was an area that we had not worked on. We found tiny pinhole cracks in the sockets of two flexible stays in the back head. These may have been there when she last ran as they are so small that we would probably not have seen any leakage from under the lagging and jacket. Certainly they would not have caused any loss of pressure in the hydro-testing.
However, knowing that they are cracked, even a pinhole, they must be replaced. This involves grinding off the inner end of the stay and, after heating the end of the stay, trying to unscrew the stay from the socket. If this fails you have the much more time consuming job of drilling out the stay at the inner end. However, it worked well. By Saturday evening both stay bolts were out, without the need to drill either. In this view you can see the empty sockets after the stays were removed.
On Sunday I started cutting one of the sockets off from the back head and, in the afternoon, Mike and Tom completed the job. So both of the sockets shown above are now gone and we are ready to fit the new sockets. Tom will then need to drill and thread two new stay bolts so they can be refitted. This will mean no pressure testing next weekend but hopefully all will be back and the leaks fixed by 8/10.
On this basis, I met with the FRA inspector on site Sunday and we scheduled the formal hydro test for 8/18, subject to a successful second stage test for leaks the previous weekend.
Just about all effort was concentrated on 1630. However, a big event was that both Bill Chyna and Glenn Parkhurst visited. Glenn for the first time since his motor cycle accident in May. Glad to say they were both in good form and Glenn is hoping to be able to join us again when he has his prostheses fitted in the next few months.
I am heading for the UK on business this week and will not be around the shop next weekend. So I am hoping to see a lot of progress when I get back in two weeks time !.
Monday, July 29. 2013
What Was That? - July 27, 2013 Posted by Robert Kutella in General Blog Entries at 05:04
Many of you follow IRM operating days on the webcams. In case you were watching Saturday, you probably asked yourself "WHAT WAS THAT?" On Saturday IRM hosted a group from the Great Northern Railway Historical Society as they were holding their annual convention in Chicago for the first time ever. I would be remiss if I did not publicly and loudly thank the many volunteers involved in setting this activity up, and running the special operations. There were probably over 30 individuals who contributed to the successful day including those in the Operating Department, Internal Combustion Department, many of my Freight Department volunteers, the Signal Department, more than I can mention by name or list here. We had a good time rolling out the red carpet for the GNRHS with special displays, docent led tours, exhibits, and a special MIXED train. This unusual consist (for IRM) ran a closed trip for their members and it included a photo runby at Seeman Road.
Here is the train at Seeman Road on the runby for photographers. The train was led by CB&Q 9255 and a matching CB&Q caboose 13572 brought up the rear. Behind the locomotive were four freight cars, five passenger cars, and three cabooses open for riders. Before and after the special trip that same consist ran our trips for the public. Something new, something different, and the public flocked to the cabooses.
The special is loading now, ready to depart in only a few minutes. Behind the loco the first two freight cars were of course from the Great Northern; hopper 70104 and tank car X 1390. All aboard!!
Crossing Seeman Road and heading east, the train makes a very pastoral scene as it passes through the Illinois croplands. We had a well behaved photo line setup, and also our members flagged the local traffic on the road and warned us of approaching vehicles.
I was very busy with the visiting group but managed a few pics of the hardworking volunteers, still at their restoration work. Eric Lorenz was adding more wiring to the front end of the Cleveland Transit System 4223. Amazing how many wires, cables, and harnesses need to be made up before the ceiling goes in.
A good sized crew worked on Chicago Great Western X 38, completing paint removal, cleanup and priming of most of the side panels on the north side of the plow. Tom Bernacki is up on the roof, having worked up there on the needle chipper while Jim Leonard was a jack of all trades for the day's activities. Victor Humphreys, Bill Peterson, Ray Pollice also helped us along. Less than two weeks of good weather and some extra work days, led to this fairly fast transformation.
Thursday, July 25. 2013
CGW X38 Update - July 24, 2013 Posted by Robert Kutella in Chicago Great Western X 38 Russell Snow Plow at 10:49
This will be another short report since I was busy on the work and meeting with two potential contractors for an upcoming possible project. Things were also complicated since we operated our CGW 601 caboose in train service the last weekend, and on Sunday a window got broken in the cupola. That needed immediate repair since it will also be in train service this coming Saturday. Thanks to Buzz Morisette, Victor Humphreys, and Henry Vincent for cleaning up and making emergency repairs on Sunday, and then reglazing and reinstalling the window yesterday. The Wednesday Special Project group, led by Joe Luciani, is making good progress on restoration of the interior of our ICG steel caboose, but sorry, no pics. So, on to the Chicago Great Western X 38 snowplow.
A lot has been done in the last few days due to an immense amount of needle chipping on the north side by Kirk Warner and some extra time spent by Jim Leonard on Tuesday. Here, Victor Humphreys is completing the priming of much of the flat side panels near the rear of the plow.
Simon Harrison had completed a lot of his day's project work and dropped by outdoors to say hello. WELL - we put him to work well and truly, wire brushing a triangular shaped side area underneath the curved plow wings. And then priming some hard to reach areas. THANK YOU Simon, come back and visit often!!
Dave Rogan chipped a lot of areas on the underside of the front plow roof., never a comfortable position to work. Look closely here and you will see one corner of the two new front windows that Buzz installed. And Jim Leonard completed some more chipping on the front roof top, and we got that primed before leaving.
Work is always interesting. It fascinates me, I could watch it all day. Victor is standing by to apply primer, Simon and Paul Cronin are busily cleaning more area, and John McKelvey and Henry Vincent came by to look, and discuss their work. Thanks to Henry who constructed a bridge ramp today to allow safer access to the Pullman car John McLoughlin this coming weekend.
Tuesday, July 23. 2013
Following Pauline's fine report on the restoration of the ACL diner, Birmingham I will update the reader with a small report on the other coach department project, the Rock Island 2612. Like Mike and his crew I have been leading another small crew in restoring to operation the 2612. We are finally seeing some progress towards that end. This coach will be used to help the museum make more $ from future events such as this years Thomas Days. Here then is the latest news.
Other projects being worked on in the coach dept are the EL 556 interior, and the CB&Q 1923 RPO buffer. The Birmingham needs further funds to continue the fine work Mike and crew have accomplished. Won't you consider a donation the next time you send a check to Irm? Again, please don't forget the Barn 14 building project!!. I am sure more news will be forth coming about this important project once the summer season ends. Please don't forget it. Thanks Roger Kramer
Tuesday, July 23. 2013
July Progress in the ACL Birmingham ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 13:04
Clean up work has continued through July in the Birmingham diner following the repair of the floor in the galley corridor area. On July 7th Mike Baksic and Shelly Vanderschaegen worked on an empty corner where a cabinet had been removed many years ago. A sander was used to get down to the bare surface of the walls prior to painting them.
On July 14th Mike and Ray Mormann replaced the threshold between the galley area and the dining room and Ray secured a piece of trim which wrapped around the rounded corner near the threshold.
Shelly and Pauline Trabert washed down the corridor walls and ceiling outside the galley area. Linoleum will be installed in the future over the plywood which covers the repaired floor.
Shelly and Pauline did a basic clean up in the close quarters of the galley with the shop vac.
On July 20th Mike, Ray, and Mark Gellman focused on windows. Several windows had been put in upside down at some point in time and these were corrected. Deterioration around a couple of windows in the galley corridor had allowed water to seep inside the car which had caused the floor damage repaired earlier in the month. A scaffold was rolled around to the side of the car so sealant could be applied to the reseated windows to help prevent future leaks.
Meanwhile, Shelly and Pauline cleaned all surfaces in the galley from top to bottom and then scrubbed down the floor. Things are starting to look pretty good in the Birmingham once again.
Sunday, July 21. 2013
Steam Department Update 07-20-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 21:55
It has been a really busy week for me at the museum hence a rather late blog update!!.
I spent Wednesday at the steam shop with Phil and Ed. The main focus was on sealing all significant leaks at the tube ends that showed when the boiler was filled with water. By end of Wednesday we were to the point that , when filled well above the crown sheet, we had only minor dribbles and drips.
Saturday was a normal and fairly successful work day at the shop and Sunday I spent working with the Jim West and the Operations Department on switching for the Diesel Days event. So the blog is a little late this week !.
So what happened Saturday at the steam shop?. Overall a great deal was achieved although there was one set back which meant that we were not able to get as far as our most ambitious targets.
On 1630 I guess I had better try to answer one question I was asked a lot at the event on Sunday - when will you be hydro-testing the boiler?. The answer has to depend upon what exactly you mean by hydro-testing. As the pre-requisite for moving on the steam testing we must demonstrate that the boiler can be pressured using heated water to 125% of operating pressure (so 225 p.s.i. in our case) and sustain that pressure with minimal leakage for a period. Our current expectation is to reach that point in about 3 weeks. However our path to that involves using water, at first simply filling the boiler, then applying increasing pressure to identify and test the correction of any leakage. This is the process that we are currently following. On Saturday our objective was to finally seal any leakage at the tube ends on simply filling the boiler and then seal the boiler to allow some pressure to be applied.
· Following on from the work that Phil and I did on Wednesday, a team including Phil, Collin, Eric and Sean took it in turns to identify and seal the last little leaks that showed by carefully rolling the identified tube ends slightly more. This was hard and tedious work but, by early afternoon, the tube ends appeared to be dry with the boiler full of water.
· Dennis annealed the copper sealing rings for the two covers.
· In parallel with this one team worked on cleaning the threads of the studs that attach the dome cover and another on fitting the cover of the inspection hatch. These are the last two components required to seal the boiler and allow pressure to be applied.
· All seemed to be going well until one of the studs securing the inspection hatch sheared off during tightening.
Luckily everything seems to be shaping up well on replacing the stud. Dennis was in the shop and did a great job of welding a nut onto the broken stud and, to our great relief, this stood up to several of us pulling on a large wrench and the stud unscrewed from the seating. In this view you can see the broken stud with the nut welded onto it.
This was very good news as the alternative, had it failed to extract, would have been to grind it flush and drill it out, potentially a day's work. The studs screwing into a boiler are quite unusual. The thread into the seating is tapered and must be specially machined. However, by end of day, Tom, Cameron and Bob had substantially machined the new stud and, when I dropped by on Sunday, work was progressing. We should have it replaced ready to fit the cover next weekend.
· With the stud out, work focused on fitting the dome cover. This was the first time that we had used the new boom for the forklift, which was made with this type of lift in mind. It was highly successful. The cover was lifted by the forklift in the shop and placed fairly easily.
It was then tightened down without issue. This was a great deal easier than the previous method that required the locomotive to be pulled outside to use the boom truck to place the cover.
· Jason tested the remaining gauges, which all proved to be accurate, so these are now ready for refitting.
· Jane finished stripping the air tanks. These are now ready for painting.
· With Jim West's assistance we refilled the milk car so should now have a water supply sufficient to support testing under pressure. We have now run about 9000 gallons of water thru the boiler which should have removed most of the debris from sand blasting. From now on we should be able to re-circulate the water.
In other areas:
· Stu and Bob ran the wiring for the planer. The one remaining requirement is to locate a breaker to fit our old style supply panel.
· Dennis was rebuilding the damaged grease keeps for the axle boxes on #428.
So a lot was achieved this week. Hopefully next weekend we should be able to fit the inspection hatch and start testing under pressure.
Sunday, July 21. 2013
CGW X38 Update - July 20, 2013 Posted by Robert Kutella in Chicago Great Western X 38 Russell Snow Plow at 16:43
We spent most of the day yesterday on our Chicago Great Western X 38 snowplow. WOW! Two workdays in a row with good weather. So this entry will show you some of that work, not so many pics since I spent more time on the business end of a needlechipper rather than behind the camera lens.
When I arrived about 8:30 I was greeted by long time member Kirk Warner who now lives in Florida. As always he was eager to get started and is a very hard worker. Out comes the needle chipper and here he is 'enjoying' the removal of a substantial amount of old paint on the right side of the plow.
We finished a lot of small and some not so small touches on the left side of the plow in recent weeks and now that side is essentially DONE. The new door is glazed and installed (not without more drama as befitting that task), grab irons re-installed, truck and flanger blade primed and painted, and you have already seen the new windows on that side in previous entries.
In addition to all the paint removed by Kirk Warner we also continued chipping and cleaning the front left ramp on the plow. Victor Humphreys is priming that. Earlier, Bill Peterson worked on the front roof area, and another section is done.
Reaching all these areas to clean them is is a stretch. No less as Victor continues to prime what are hard to reach areas.
It was not all work on the plow for the entire Museum and many were occupied as the crews for Diesel Days. On one of my cooling breaks (it only got to about 90F in the shade but there was no shade), I noticed Bill Wulfert has many of the restored 50th Avenue platform light ready to install. I know this is not plow news but hope you will forgive me - we grow with diversity.
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locojacket about Shay Update
Fri, 10-09-2015 17:40
Great work Brian.
Steve Twiselton about Shay Update
Wed, 10-07-2015 23:12
I HOPE SHE IUS RUNNING NEXT SUMMER. I PLAN ON BEING THERE AND SEE HER GO. STEVE TWISELTON
Logan about Diesel Days line up, Sunday, July 19th, 2015
Sun, 10-04-2015 14:19
Thank you I do not have a subscription to trains magazine so I would never had have that information so again thank you
Raphael about Shay Update
Sat, 10-03-2015 20:36
since we have a Shay, the only thing the museum needs now, is a Heistler and a Climax.
Mike Gorecki about Diesel Days line up, Sunday, July 19th, 2015
Sat, 10-03-2015 05:49
On page 26 of Trains magazine's November 2015 issue there is a photo of WSOR E9B 103, along with 2 E9As in an eastbound train. The attached story says [...]
Steve Twiselton about Shay Update
Wed, 09-30-2015 18:09
Brian: Keep up the good work. I worked her and ran her until I was transferred to South Dakota. Steve
David about Shay Update
Tue, 09-29-2015 13:30
Raphael, How much volunteer time and donation money have you invested in this locomotive?
Roger Kramer about Unsual activities in the Coach Dept
Mon, 09-28-2015 19:59
Thanks Ted for your kind remarks! Yes we have many and now we are working on a few more but it sure takes a lot of $ to ship one of these. [...]
Nick about Shay Update
Sat, 09-26-2015 08:41
Per Brians report: "The locomotive was withdrawn from service after the 1999 operating season for general maintenance and to bring it up to the [...]
Nigel Bennett about Shay Update
Fri, 09-25-2015 19:03
I think that, if you read Brian's report, it does not say it has been out of service for 12 months but that he has been in charge for the last 12 [...]
Raphael about Shay Update
Fri, 09-25-2015 18:30
out of service for 12 months? last ran in 1999? dude, this thing has been in the shop for a decade and a half (15-16 years!), thats longer than when [...]
Ted Miles about Unsual activities in the Coach Dept
Fri, 09-25-2015 14:41
Folks, I am pleased to see this kind of work going on. I believe that IRM has more heavy weight cars that any other museum; with more on the [...]
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