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Thursday, October 31. 2013
Dynamometer Car Runs Sept 14-15th, ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 16:54
Thanks to MANY volunteers, we were able to run the Dyno on Sept. 14-15 and 22nd, 2013. We began plans to ready the car for service after Laddie Vitek from the IRM Diesel Dept. inquired in mid-July if we could run the car for folks visiting IRM post-MRHA convention in Rockford on Sept. 22. We agreed it would be a great idea and then also chose to run it Museum Showcase Weekend as well (Sept 14-15).
From July-Sept we would spent several weekends removing no longer needed items aboard the car clearing out space on the car for riders and getting the necessary repairs made and the necessary systems working. Getting the car ready to be run will be a separate blog post in and by itself that encompassed many weekends.
The car performed flawlessly Members Showcase Weekend and Sun 9/22/13.
The following people at IRM helped make this happen: Chuck Trabert, Pauline Trabert, Laddie Vitek, Adam Farance, Jeron Glander, Paul Sawicki, Bob Olson, Jamie Kolanowski, myself, Warren Newhauser, and a few others.
Welding the cut lever bracket back on in Yard 11. The Diesel Dept guys straightened it out for us. 9/14/13.
X-5000 volunteer Brian LaKemper (left) and Jeron Glander (right) work on the hydraulic dynamometer unit. 9/14/13
We offered to replace some of the 120V bulbs with 32V to provide more light, but when we did the passengers adamantly insisted they preferred the soft glow of 120V bulbs better.
Dyno’s 32VDC trainline powering the 3 coaches equipped with 120V bulbs makes for a nice ambiance! 9/14/13
Most images and text provided by Warren Newhauser.
Thursday, October 31. 2013
Sitting in a hotel room overlooking a very windswept Wellington harbour this is about the most poignant blog entry I have ever had to make. After a few days of silence the e-mail has been red hot in the last few hours and the messages contain extreme highs and lows.
The key news items are that 1630 was steamed today and passed its FRA inspection but on the same day we heard of the passing of Bill Chyna, a wonderful guy and a stalwart of the department for as long as most of us can remember. I have received input from many people but I do not think I can do better than the following note from Collin:
“Today we, as a group, experienced a loss and a triumph of emotional extremes.
This morning Bill Chyna passed away. Bill had celebrated his seventy fourth birthday Saturday and was said to have enjoyed the event, spending time with family and friends. He was eating cake, so what is not to be happy about?. Bill spent fifteen years with us, and I cannot remember a major decision he was not a part of; a project he did not contribute to. Bill was the first guy I took direction from-the beginning of many orders!-on the first day I came out to the shop. Bill's understanding of electronics and wiring proved to be an invaluable skill as we set up equipment, repaired broken tools and generally moved projects forward. Bill had an understanding of how things work that comes only with decades of experience. I recently visited Bill at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center where he was undergoing physical therapy. He was in great spirits and probed with questions of what we were doing on 1630, how we were doing it and what our timeline was. I returned the favor by peppering Bill with questions of home repair projects on which he had considerable knowledge. Bill's passing will create a large hole in our team that will be challenging to fill.
1630 was steamed up today and passed by our FRA inspector. While much work remains to be done Brian, Jason & Tom gagged and tested the safety valves, performed the orifice test and ran the locomotive back and forth to the satisfaction of the officials present. The hard work contributed by all of you over the past few years got us to this point, plain and simple. Over this winter we need to keep up the pace to complete the job but we are well positioned to enter the 2014 season full steam ahead.
I think we can all say that it is a curiosity of steam that drew us out to the museum in the first place. But over time it is the people who make the whole thing worthwhile and keep us coming back. Please keep Bill's family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Well said Collin.
Wednesday, October 30. 2013
John Mcloughlin update Posted by Roger Kramer in Great Northern John McLoughlin at 20:10
We have some progress to finally report on the ongoing restoration of the 8-1-2 sleeper. Mark Hofmann has been wire wheeling and needle chipping the women's bathroom and connecting hallway for the past two months. He was at it again this last Sunday, Oct 27. He worked on grinding off the excess paint on the ceiling where he had previously chipped. This is a very difficult job. First, working overhead with an electric grinding is very painfully. Very quickly your muscles fatigue from the overhead work. Second, the temperature near the ceiling is always hotter at the top. Don't try this in warm weather! It's another reason for fatigue. The heat can be unbearable. That's the reason we accomplish these tasks in either early Fall or Spring. He also finished priming the hallway where months ago he had needle chipped and sanded the area. If you don't prime the area it will soon start rusting. Here are the results of his efforts.
We are also getting some estimates for making a missing wall panel from R&B Welding of Woodstock, Ill. Please consider a donation to help defray the costs of manufacturing. Thank you. Roger and Mark
EXTRA!!!! EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steam Locomotive, Frisco 1630, our 2-10-0 was test fired for the first time today! It also moved under its own power!! Thanks to the men and women of the steam dept! A job well done!
A special Thank You to Tom Schneider.
Tuesday, October 29. 2013
RI 2612 10-19-13 update I was ... Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 11:01
This was a first in the coach dept. Saturday, October 19th saw 4 volunteers working on the 2612 but I was the only male volunteer in the group. Yes, I was happily outnumbered by three ladies working in the coach. Jane Blackburn, Nancy Ring and a new volunteer, Sarah Meuller all worked on 2612 project. Sarah's friend, Dave, volunteers in the Steam Shop.
Tuesday, October 29. 2013
It looks like this will be another long entry but it should get us current with shop and restoration work.
We have repainted our large Great Northern tank car, it is the largest tank car in our collection at 20,000 gallons. Now, on to the lettering the car. I traced what remained of the old lettering before it disappeared in the painting. Then I re-drew and cleaned up those tracings. Step three was to cut out the letters, and some might think this is to be used as a stencil. But no, I use it mounted and aligned on the car and trace the outlines onto the car using the mylar sheet as a TRANSFER PATTERN.
Then it is off to the slow task of painting to the above outlines. Here is the result showing the Great Northern name PROUDLY.
I then moved on to add the number and identify the car. Great Northern X-1390.
Eric Lorenz is finishing up some of the hardware for hanging the four large ceiling panels in our Cleveland Transit System 4223 PCC car. The view and effect is quite a transformation and a testimonial to the hard work of the crew.
Rich Witt is applying epoxy sealer to some new rear seals for a freight car truck. We have had quite a tutorial on freight car trucks as we work to remediate and make repairs to our DODX tank car following filming of the Chicago Fire episode. These seals are no longer available so we are making our own.
Is this a new saw? Or better described as a 90 year old saw that is new to operation in the wood shop? Either way, Tim Peters makes use of it as he continues wood work for restoration efforts on Chicago Rapid Transit 1024.
I have finally manged to scoop the Hicks Car Works website with this photo of Randy Hicks cutting new roof moldings for the Chicago Aurora & Elgin 319.
And while all the other work goes on, the crew on our Chicago Great Western X 38 snowplow quietly goes on about their work. New lumber for the interior lining was recovered from storage, and Victor Humphreys is prime painting it before cutting and fitting for the new ceiling. A good deal of the exterior black paint was applied to the right side during infrequent breaks in the bad weather.
Tuesday, October 29. 2013
Steam Department Update 10-26-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 00:49
A great deal of work was done in the steam shop during the week and over the weekend. Unfortunately, on Saturday, we hit a snag that may hold us up significantly.
The information this week is provided by Phil and Brian as I am far away on vacation. Thanks guys.
On 1630, Brian Davies is now working full time and, with JD, Jerry, Cameron, Jeff, Jason and others all spending time working with him during the week the locomotive has seen a lot of changes:
· The air system was all back together with the exception of the compressor by Friday. After a few fits, the brakes work!
· Mike was working to finish that on Saturday ready for testing. Later in the day the house air was hooked up and the air pump was tested. At first the high pressure steam side moved once and then it froze up. The stuffing boxes were loosened and oil was put on the pistons. A second attempt was made. It worked beautifully. So, it was good to see that something be confirmed as done and working on the locomotive.
· All of the sheet metal in the cab is on. Some screws still need to be added. With the exception of attaching and plumbing the stoker jet manifold, the cab is basically complete!! Even the electric is hooked back up pending testing.
· Cylinder cocks have been cleaned and inspected, and a new pipe nipple installed after one broke. They should be good to go.
· Jim and Brian are added the last little bits of insulation around about the last foot of flexible stays on either side of the wrapper sheet.
· Sheet metal, minus the bands, was completed across the barrel.
· On Saturday much of the banding was fitted.
· The final normal hydro was performed yesterday to hammer stay bolts. This proved good so no issues with these.
· The blow down muffler was installed.
· Preparations have been made for the steam test including:
o Setting up a large steam valve on the pipe coming off of the auxiliary dome lid to allow a gauge to be fitted for testing the safety valves; and
o Making two gags that will allow individual valves to be held closed to allow the others to be tested.
· Unfortunately the key objective on Saturday, which was to apply hydro pressure to the front end to test the sealing of the super heater elements into the header, ran in to significant problems. This relies upon pressurizing the whole front end (cylinders, valve chambers, exhaust passages etc. with water to about 50 psi). This involves minimizing water leakage thru a whole lot of areas, such as the piston glands, that are not wholly tight under steam and are a lot more problematic using water.
· A large team spent the morning preparing for the test and the first filling was carried out in the afternoon. This indicated a lot of leakage around the piston and valve glands as well as the junction where the exhaust steam from the air compressor and stoker enter the cylinder casting.
· Water was them lowered so fixes could be made to seal the water better. While some progress was made on the glands it was found that the exhaust steam connection, which is in a really awkward place under the boiler, could not be sealed in a way that allowed a pressure of anything like 50 psi to be achieved. This is a complex threaded assembly on which the threads proved to be damaged.
· To progress the test it will now be necessary to machine a replacement part. At the same time further work will be done on the packing glands of the piston and valve rods. After this we can again try to pressurize the front end and test the sealing of the super heater elements.
· Tom has finished most of the machining on the wedges. All that is left to do is to drill several hole in them so that they can be adjusted when they are put on the locomotive. Brian and Cameron made a mount that will align for the drilling of these holes.
· The mounting brackets for 428's air compressor received a coat of paint.
In other areas:
· Stu, Bob, and Jane worked on painting the planer. It looks quite remarkable now that it has green paint on it. Bob also worked on assembly of some more small pipes.
So a lot was accomplished during this week. If we can successfully test pressure test the front end, we are just about ready to steam test.
Sitting here in Australia!!, I will wait with bated breath for updates on progress with the front end testing.
Monday, October 28. 2013
October Halloween Madness Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 16:08
The Passenger Car Department crew under the direction of Curator Mike Baksic had been working on the streamliner cars from late September on to get ready for Terror on the Railroad. They had to put air on then they went through each car individually to do a brake test. The Birmingham had leaks and another car had a brake cylinder that needed to be rebuilt. The work was completed two weeks before Terror on the Railroad.
Sunday, October 6th, department head Mike Baksic and crew member Mark Gellman emptied the dining room of the Ely in preparation for upcoming ceiling repair and Kevin Brown took pictures. Shelly Vanderschaegen and Wayne Baksic installed a door holder in the combine car and Wayne worked on seats.
Later on 10/6, Kevin Kriebs, Shelly and Wayne continued peeling decals from the second Exhibit Car. In the afternoon Mike and Mark replaced a seat in the RDC. John McKelvey and Wayne took measurements in the Lake City for men's and women's lounge seats to see how high to make them and where to position the legs.
Wednesday, October 9th, Kevin Kriebs came down and peeled decals again on the second Exhibit Car and did a great job. Thanks Kevin!
Sunday, October 13th, Ray Mormann, Mark, and Mike put rubber around and in between the two Exhibit Cars to act as a temporary vestibule diaphragm. While Jon Habegger and Shelly continued peeling decals.
Wednesday, October 16th, Buzz Morisette taped up most of the clerestory from the ceiling down and secured cardboard over the cabinets in the Ely dining room until he ran out of cardboard.
Saturday, October 19th, Shelly and Buzz finished covering the clerestory and then put thick plastic all around the Ely dining room prior to taking down the ceiling. The ceiling was down by noon. Buzz applied epoxy to exposed damage wood.
Meanwhile, Ray, Mark and Mike cut a hole on the first Exhibit Car near the closed end vestibule exterior wall to remove rust rot and then they patched the hole. This job took most of the day. Later Mike heated up the nozzle on a caulking tube to bend it into position for sealing the temporary vestibule diaphragm between the Exhibit cars to help prevent leaks.
Saturday, October 26th, on the front vestibule of the first Exhibit Car Mike and Ray cut and patched another rust rot area. Then on the other side of the first Exhibit Car toward the aisle they marked another rust rot area to be repaired. Kevin Kosen and Shelly worked in the Ely pulling nails from the old ceiling where Buzz will be rebuilding.
During the Terror on the Railroad event, Passenger Car Department members were responsible for getting the streamliner cars ready for use and to act as safety monitors during each night's activities. Mike McCraren and Mark Gellman took most of the shifts. Mike Baksic, Shelly Vanderschaegen, and Andy Townsend were monitoring the streamliner cars on the last Saturday of the event.
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