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Wednesday, May 14. 2014
Steam Department Update 05-12-2014 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 07:18
A brief update this week as I was away in Cleveland at the weekend. The update is based upon input from Phil and Jim.
Unfortunately the key conclusion from the week is that we will not be able to run next weekend, which was the first that we had scheduled for operation this year. We are pretty much “day to day”. #1630 is complete and ready to steam aside from refitting the smoke box front and the bell / lamp fittings mounted on it.
The key activities have been repairing the cracks recently detected in the smoke box front casting. This is approaching completion but has been a much slower job than anticipated as the casting proves to be iron rather than steel. It must therefore be brazed rather than welded (a much slower process). Aside from other issues, brazing requires working from both sides so the huge casting had to be turned over part way thru the process.
While Dennis was working on this:
So, work continues during the week and we will be in service as soon as the smokebox door can be refitted.
Tuesday, May 13. 2014
May 10th Passenger Car Department Update Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 11:18
Finally the warmth of spring has erupted! So we went from being too cold to being too hot!
Jon Habegger, Michael McCraren and Mark Gellman (welcome back Mark!) worked on the CBQ1923 RPO diaphragm curtain. After lunch they discovered the RPO door was sticking and needed some persuasion.
Ray Mormann and Michael Baksic were finishing up putting parts and pieces back into the Loch Sloy. By the end of the day the Loch Sloy prep was finished except for vacuuming and making the beds for viewing.
Shelly Vandreschaegen was in the Ely with Buzz Morisette. Buzz took down some of the plastic and painter's tape. Then Shelly watched Buzz put one of the clerestory windows in.
Buzz Morisette removing plastic and painters tape in the Ely dining room - Photo by Michael McCraren
The final task after refinishing the clerestory windows is to put them back - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Then Buzz demonstrated how to wipe off and then wax the Ely mahogany walls and carved trim. After Buzz left, Shelly took down the plastic and painters tape as needed before begining the work of wiping off and waxing. This is a long work in progress.
Buzz showed Shelly how he removed the majority of paint from the clerestory windows using a heat gun. After that step, any remaining paint was removed with a paint stripper.
Lunch in the Birmingham as usual. Buzz joined the regulars and Bob Hunter stopped by for a brief visit.
In the afternoon Jon spent the entire afternoon at his post in the 1st Exhibit Car talking to visitors. The exhibit car opened for the first time this year to visitors. The people Jon had the opportunity to speak with appeared to find the exhibits of interest.
Jon Habegger captured an image of the UP Turbine and the prep work Buzz is doing on the nose. Spots where he is priming the engine make it look as if the turbine has acne.
Big thanks to Shelly Vanderschaegen, Mark Gellman, Jon Habegger, Michael McCraren and Buzz Morisette for supplying information and images for this blog post. What a great team effort!
Sunday, May 11. 2014
Tuesday May 6th, I finally began painting the western bulkhead of 2612. A large area surrounding the door was painted. The job was completed, using my Graco, battery operated portable paint sprayer, I purchased in 2012. Before any paint was applied I first had to mask off the area I intended to paint. I arrived in the morning about 10 am and started applying masking paper and tape. That took about three hours. Surface prep always takes longer than painting. I ran out of masking paper so I had to find more in our "stockroom." After lunch, I always eat and work at the same time, I sanded half the area, wiped it down with xylene then spot primed those areas. Next, I went to work cleaning the other primed areas. Using clean rags and lights coats of xylene, I again washed/wiped the surface to be painted. I have been using this technique for years and have never had a paint failure. I am very happy to report that "upon further review" my job pasted inspection. I was quite happy with the results!
Next week more painting progress will show up on the blog. I can't wait. Please consider volunteering. We will be here this coming Wednesday. A number of the regulars will be here to assist you. Thanks Roger
Wednesday, May 7. 2014
May 3rd and 4th Passenger Car ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 19:44
On Saturday, May 3rd, Warren Newhauser and Brian LaKemper came out and worked on X-5000. Brian wrote the following report with comments from Warren:
The day started with installing the four 8V lead acid golf car batteries for the season while the car was on Station Track 2. Golf car batteries provide 32VDC for the cars electrical system.
Then a switch move to get the X-5000 and the Railway Post Office car out of the station so that the Coach Train could use station track two.
After being switched to Yard 3, the switch crew was kind enough to assist Brian testing the cars decelostats, which perform the anti-lock feature to the car’s Budd disc brakes. All three were tested and worked as intended; releasing the brakes if the car’s wheels are not turning when the internal mechanism is turning. Brian independently researched how to test decelostats from the original Westinghouse Air Brake “3-AP” Decelostat Mechanical-Pneumatic Wheel Slip Control for Passenger cars manual.
After the switch crew left to run the Coach Train, Warren got out his air compressor and Brian connected the Air (Communicating) Signal pipe to the compressor (After removing a lot of accumulated debris) to test the system. After figuring out the car’s cut-out valves, the system was charged and tested. The valves are the opposite of a normal valve, perpendicular to the pipe is the open position. Thanks to Roger Kramer, we also acquired a set of three air signal hoses, one of which is now hanging on the car. The second one will be as a guide so the gladhand on the third hose can be repaired, then the second hose will be hung. Thanks to Brian Patterson for taking time to sandblast the rust and crud off of the threads. Laddie Vitek indicated we could hook up and test the Air Signal equipment on E-9 37A with the Dynamometer this season.
On his first volunteer day on the Dynamometer, Brian has researched and figured out the Air Signal and decelostat systems!
Meanwhile, Warren traced piping runs to figure out how to replace a thoroughly rusted pipe.
Also, a light socket was attached to the wiring in the sleeper section that we use for tool storage, so that we now have light to see our tools. We have also had trouble determining the type of fluid that is in use in the hydraulic dynamometer unit. Initial research indicated possibly mineral oil would have been used c. 1930 due to rubber gaskets indicated on the blueprints, but cleaning out a front closet revealed two gallon cans of automotive brake fluid!
After the last train of the day, the switch crew returned, and after consulting with Jamie Kolanowski; the switch crew was kind enough to stay a little late and switch the dynamometer and the RPO so that the Dynamometer was on track 32 next to the scaffolding for safer access to the roof to continue work sealing the roof.
During the switch move, Warren also filled the kitchen’s water tanks from the well by Yard 2 for use later this summer. In doing so, a few leaks were noted in piping leading to the various kitchen appliances that will have to be repaired. The leaks were isolated by turning off a series of valves in the kitchen.
Special thanks to Engineer Jim West, Conductor Michael McCraren, and trainman Ray Erickson for going the extra mile to assist fellow volunteers. Thanks also to Jamie Kolanowski for letting the extra switching take place, and Roger Kramer and Brian Patterson for taking time to help out.
Sunday, May 4th, was breezy and cool.
The day started with Kevin Kriebs continuing to remove decal adhesive residue from the exterior of the 1st Exhibit Car.
Ray Mormann and Michael Baksic put parts back into the Loch Sloy.
Michael McCraren and Shelly Vanderschaegen cleaned the AT&SF Lounge Car in Barn 3. It took all morning.
Jon Habegger put up the last two pictures in the Birmingham diner he had framed.
Lunch was in the Brimingham as usual. Vistiors included Sam Polonetzky from Operations and Jeff Calandine from the Steam Department. All the regulars were there except Mark Gellman who is still with his recovering mother.
After lunch work continued in the Loch Sloy. Kevin returned to adhesive removal. Shelly and Jon went to the 1st Exhibit Car and determined where to place pictures and discussed a possible latern display area. Then as Jon worked on displays in the 1st Exhibit Car, Shelly finished vacuuming the Santa Fe Lounge Car and sends a big thank you to Michael McCraren for his help.
After testing the brakes and making minor repair on the cars. The coach train made it's debut on Saturday. Below is a picture of the train on Sunday with Frank Nero as engineer and Mike Blackwell as conductor.
Jon Habegger captured some images of the 1st Exhibit Car interior which is ready for visitors. The sheets hanging on the wall are of the departures and arrivals of intercity trains at the six Chicago stations at the end of October 1955. This is the date that we have determined the arrival/departure board dates back to. Jon has added these details to expand the station display.
Shelly took the time to capture interior images from the Boston and Maine 1094 dining car which is Jack Biesterfeld's ongoing project car. It iw really looking good!
The Passenger Car Department sends a big 'Hello' to Bob Kutella - we miss your jokes and hope to see you soon!
Sunday, May 4. 2014
Steam Department Update 05-03-2014 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 20:22
As expected, the completion of the spraying last weekend opened up a frenzy of activity. Work got under way Tuesday and Wednesday once the paint was thoroughly dry. Almost all activity was on 1630 and she now looks a very different locomotive from last weekend. Even so, much of the critical progress is not visible.
On Tuesday and Wednesday work focused on preparing the boiler for hydro testing. This involved fitting the various water connections, valves and gauges to allow the boiler to be completely filled with water and then pressurized.
In addition the large copper pipe, that connects from the top of the firebox to the water column in the cab, had to be refitted. Once all this was done, the boiler was filled and water circulated thru the pool heater to bring the boiler up to around 100F for the pressure testing.
While this was being done Jerry and his son made huge progress in fitting the banding that secures the edges of the sheet metal on the barrel and firebox.
On Wednesday a pressure test was carried out. People have asked why this was necessary as #1630 was hydro and steam tested last year. What is happening now is not a full hydro test of the boiler shell (which requires testing at operating plus 25%) but rather checking for any leaks that may have developed as connections have been separated and remade over the Winter. For this we test only at operating pressure. The test served its purpose!. On Wednesday we found leakage around the connections of the pipe to the water column at both the first test and an attempt to re-seal it.
However, while this was going on, Phil and I made progress in refitting the injector starter valves.
Clearly on Saturday the first priority was to fix the connections of the offending pipe. Eric, Brian and others spent a lot of time thoroughly cleaning the seats and pipe ends of the connections, annealing new copper washers and then carefully re-fitting the pipe. It is a bear to fit as it is long, bent to fit around other equipment and fitted between two rigid seats. So, if it not exactly aligned, the seals at one or both ends do not seat correctly and leak.
Anyway, all the effort paid off and, during the afternoon, she was successfully pressure tested at 180 psi. This allows us to go ahead with the final steps to remove the hydro connections and install the remaining parts needed for operation (safety valves, brick arch etc.).
A lot of other work progressed in parallel with the pressure testing:
The biggest and nastiest job was refitting the two big air tanks under the walkways. These tanks weigh about 300 lbs and are each suspended by three “U” shaped steel rings the open ends of which pass thru the walkways to be secured by nuts.
The fitting is a “masterpiece” of the pipefitter’s art. The tanks must be squeezed into a confined space above the valve gear. The tanks are wider than the walkways so the supports are not simple “U”’s that could be passed around the tank .
Then change in a few days since the picture further up in this note is substantial.
The shape of each support is unique to its location and mixing then up can lead to the need to pull back the tank and start over again!. By evening they were both in place although the frustration during the day had reached considerable heights!.
The job of spotting and making good areas missed in painting continued. A lot more of this will hopefully happen next weekend when we expect to move the locomotive at least a little and reveal areas of the wheels that have so far been hidden.
The fireman’s gauge glass, that has been thoroughly cleaned and rebuilt, was refitted and showed no leakage under pressure.
The injector starter valves and their large connecting pipes were largely re-installed.
Front sander discharge pipes were re-installed.
Work progressed steadily on the smoke box. This is probably the area that most threatens our target to run on May 17th. Dennis, assisted by Christian and Jason completed the adjustment of the new steel sheet sections around the blast pipe. By end of day the sheet sections were being finally installed on to the mountings that had been welded into the smoke box and work was progressing on the mesh sections and the welded mounts that will attach these to the smoke box and complete the spark arrestor assembly.
The unexpected task that may cause a delay is in the smoke box front casting itself. Close inspection of this has indicated hairline cracks between the studs that secure the bell mounting. These will need to be weld filled, ground down and then the holes for the studs re-drilled and tapped before we can remount the front of the smoke box. It will be a busy two weeks.
So, we are close. A couple of key tasks will determine if we can steam in two weeks as planned.
I am away next weekend so will follow the action with great interest!.
Thursday, May 1. 2014
Just a quickie update.... Gary began the arduous task of grinding more bolt heads off the north side panels. We will replace these three for they are to rusty to repair. In other words it would look like "H" if we patched them. We figured, since the coach is torn apart we might as well "bite the bullet" and do it!! That will be our focus for the upcoming two weeks; removing panels and rust then priming and painting the "innards." We should be done with this part by May 15 when the new panels will be delivered. Upon arrival they will be again fitted, drilled, and painted before installation.
I hope you can see the sparks flying. Gary is again removing the old bolts that hold the rusty panels
Thanks to Stan Zoller and reporters, Pauline Trabert and Nigel Bennett, for the first "New" Rail and Wire. I liked
the format with larger print for us older folks with "aging" eyes.
Great idea! Another great innovation; reporters getting news from all departments.
There are many projects at IRM that never get reported! Thanks Roger Kramer
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