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Monday, October 12. 2015
Milwaukee Road Dynamometer - ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 14:47
Warren Newhauser wrote the following summary of the recent work done on the X-5000:
On the morning of Wed. Oct 7, Chuck Trabert, Chuck Pomazal and Warren Newhauser set out to begin the long awaited exterior restoration of the the Milw Rd Dynamometer car. We planned to spend the day doing a small but complete test of sandblasting and painting on the roof in order to work out any issues/problems before tackling the entire roof. Under the supervision of Coach Dept Curator Paul Cronin, we used his Clemco industrial sandblaster to blast a part of the roof using 40/80 and 10/20 grit crushed glass media in Yard 3. The sandblaster air was supplied by the Track Dept’s tow behind diesel compressor. Full safety gear was used including a positive pressure respirator safety helmet.
The sandblaster worked very well on areas with paint, taking it down to the bare metal very quickly. Where the roof had rusted, it took longer - much longer - to clean up the rust. Each roof panel, about 30”x40”, took about 5 minutes to blast.
After blasting 5 panels and the A/C duct above them, our next step was to power wash the bare metal with water and a metal wash solution called Hold Tight (not the Justin Bieber song!!), recommended by AGSCO who supplies the blast media to IRM. Hold Tight cleans contaminants/debris from the freshly blasted metal and prevents flash rust for up to 5 days. This is necessary if blasting and painting can not be done in the same day. To do this we borrowed B&G Dept’s pressure washer/tank on a trailer arrangement and filled the tank with about 100 gals of softened water from the Diner per Dave Diamond’s recommendation. We pressured washed the blasted steel roof panels, but we could not get the pressure washer to draw the Hold Tight solution so it ended up flash rusting a bit. The pressure washing did, however, remove a LOT of debris from the freshly blasted metal though. We later found we didn’t have the required “chemical” tip for the wand that would draw the metal wash in.
To deal with the flash rust, we applied, by brush, a metal prep solution to dissolve the flash rust and provide paint adhesion.
Lastly, by late afternoon, we then sprayed the Master Series primer on the panels and duct with Paul’s HVLP paint gun. This paint requires 2 coats of primer and one topcoat, thus one more primer coat will be needed before topcoat.
Unexpected Issues/Problems/Lessons Learned:
Now that we have done a test, we know what needs to be done to take on the rest of the roof. Based on the current sandblasting rates it will likely require 8-12 hours more sandblasting, 2-3 hours power washing, 4 hours to apply primer coat #1, wait 4-24 hours to dry, 4 hours to apply primer coat #2, wait 4-24 hours to dry, then topcoat (4 hours).
Thanks to Paul Cronin and Dave Diamond for all your help.
We have lots of opportunities for volunteers to learning the restoration processes. Please reply in a comment to the blog if you are interested in helping.
Monday, October 12. 2015
Renewing the Exteriors of Our Equipment Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 08:00
Sunday, October 11. 2015
Since our last update, we sucessfully ended our operating season. Our final operations for the year were Labor Day Saturday and Member's Day/ATTRM Convention on Saturday, September 19. The 19th was a 12 hour operating day with service starting at about 10:00am and ending at around 10:00pm. Bob Bourne, Richard Schauer and I operated the Chicago Marmon 9553 and the Seattle MAN artic 4020. That same weekend, we operated "The Bus Stop Shop" for the first time. This fundraising effort consisted of selling surplus items in the Museum's collection. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Julie Piesciuk, we raised over $2,000 throughout the weekend.
The ultimate goal is to build an additional bus garage, as we currently have more buses than can fit inside the current buildings - with more on the way.
To that end, over the past few weekends, we have started a huge switch move in both bus departments. Richard Schauer has calculated the layout of both the Andersen Garage and the Hoffman Garage to maximize the number of coaches we will be able to fit indoors in order to protect as many as possible from the harsh winter weather. The planning and preparation took place over the past few weekends and Saturday the switching began.
With help from Nick Espevik, Thomas (sorry I don't remember your last name), Fred McGullam, John LeBeau, Vince Allen and others, we worked the entire day Saturday, moving all but two buses in the Andersen Garage, and putting four in their final locations. This will continue for the next few weeks until they are all where they need to be.
After a multi year absence, Trolley Bus service WILL be on the calendar for 2016. We will operate on the Saturday of major holiday weekends as well as during the Trolley Pageant, Member's Day and during a new event for 2016, "Bus Day"!!! Bus Day will be on Saturday, October 01, 2016 and will of course feature trolley bus service. We will also open as many of the motor buses and trolley buses as we possibly can for your inspection. Finally, the Bus Stop Shop will return, once again giving you the opportunity to acquire rare, historic or just plain fun artifacts, which are duplications in the museum's collection. At the same time you will help support the continuing efforts of the Trolley Bus and Motor Bus Departments.
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who has shown their support over the past several years as we have struggled through some difficult times. At this point, the future could not look brighter. We have raised about 60% of what is needed to build a new garage, we will have regular trolley bus service again in 2016, and the ranks of volunteers and those interested in volunteering in our two departments has never been greater. So once again, I can't stress this enough, we TRULY appreciate all the support and words of encouragement (and of course donations) from everyone - it really helps!!!
Sunday, October 11. 2015
Progress on the o/s ATSF 2544 combine Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 10:40
Since mid-June our team has been slowly working on the goal of placing the ATSF combine back into service. We first painted the floor and then installed the ATSF seat frames. Finally, after almost two months of upholstering, preformed by the team of John McKelvey and Jane Blackburn; all the newly upholstered seats cushions and backs were fitted into their seat frames. This gives your museum another 46 seat coach and the opportunity to use it in next years revenue service.
The two people that were instrumental in upholstering all the backs and cushions for the combine. The team of John,the expert, and Jane, his apprentice
Friday, October 9. 2015
The completions of Barns 13 and 14 are continuing with the enormous help of the building and grounds crew led by Dave Diamond.
Tuesday, September 22. 2015
I am posting the following update provided by Brian Nigel
Hello everyone. My name is Brian Davies. Some readers out there know me. For those who don't, I am the project manager on our J. Neils Lumber/ Klickitat Log and Lumber shay number 5. I have been in charge of this project for about the past 12 months. Nigel has been doing a great job of bringing you all the news from the Steam Shop, but at my first anniversary as project manager I felt perhaps it was time to introduce myself and give an overview of what we have accomplished in the last 12 months on the shay, and what still needs to be done to return the shay to service.
The locomotive was withdrawn from service after the 1999 operating season for general maintenance and to bring it up to the standards required by the Federal Railroad Administration in their required 1472 service day inspection.
A great amount of work has been performed on the locomotive in approximately the past 12 months. This includes:
-Front truck repairs finished except for a few minor tasks.
-Drawbar and auxiliary drawbars between locomotive and water tender cleaned and inspected for cracks. Main drawbar was sent out for stress relieving heat soak.
-Water tender interior cleaned to remove scale and rust in preparation for painting to reduce future corrosion. The cleaning process is almost complete.
-One bad rear foot board removed for measuring and renewal.
-Several brake beams cleaned, inspected, and painted.
-Upper braces on rear sand boxes reapplied.
-Water tender deck drain pipe repaired. This pipe had split, likely due to water damage, many years ago.
-Handrail on front of locomotive repaired.
-All staybolts inspected.
-Staybolt holes all opened up to proper depth.
-Approximately 12 staybolts removed, their holes reamed and tapped, and new bolts inserted.
-Heads completely formed over on six bolts, and head on one side of each of the other six bolts formed over.
-Tube and flue holes in front and rear tube sheets deburred, and radius added to their edges.
-All rivets in boiler inspected.
-All boiler braces inspected.
-Boiler interior cleaned to remove as much of the remaining sand from earlier sandblasting as possible.
-Finished application of Apexior boiler paint inside boiler.
-Copper ferrules cut and installed in every tube and flue hole in front and rear tube sheets, and ferrules deburred.
-All boiler tubes and flues cut to size, installed in boiler, flat rolled, ground to length, and belled over where necessary.
-Main turret valve disc replaced and valve in the process of being lapped to make it steam tight.
-Boiler plug holes cleaned and inspected, boiler plugs cleaned and inspected, and most boiler plugs installed in preparation for hydrostatic testing of the boiler.
-Throttle body, throttle spool valve, and associated hardware brought out of storage.
-Boiler steam pressure gauge cleaned, inspected, and calibrated.
-Main air reservoir stripped of paint, ultrasonically thickness tested, and primed.
-Auxiliary air reservoir stripped of paint, ultrasonically thickness tested, and primed.
-New smokebox bottom fit to bottom of smokebox and partially welded in place.
As you can see, a very significant amount of work has been done on the shay in the past 12 months. Excitingly for all of us in the Steam Shop, the return to operation of this locomotive is very much in sight, and is a goal that is well on its way toward being completed. Our current goal is an attempt to have the shay reenter service next summer. As long as no new major problems are discovered as we finish our work, this is a very attainable goal. The tasks still to be done this fall, winter, and spring are:
-Finish lapping main turret valve and boiler check valves to make them seal tightly.
-Finish forming over six remaining staybolt ends.
-Lap and install throttle body and valve in boiler.
-Finish forming of tube ends, then hydrostatically test boiler.
-Insulate boiler and reinstall sheet metal jacket.
-Drill and ream holes in the new smokebox bottom to rivet it onto the locomotive. Then welding of the new piece will be completed.
-Install superheater units into the boiler and reinstall the interior parts of the smokebox.
-Reattach all steam and water piping on locomotive boiler and in the cab.
-Clean and inspect all air brake parts, reinstall, and test.
-Finish cleaning interior of water tender and paint the interior.
-Put front truck back under locomotive.
-Install new front pilot beam and footboards, and one rear footboard.
-Repaint locomotive and tender.
I think it is exciting to realize that the list of what still needs to be done on the locomotive is far shorter than the list showing the amount of work we have accomplished in the past 12 months! The shop is excited to see this locomotive return to service and we are determined to make that happen. We are lucky that the locomotive still has some money in its restricted fund, and this amount is enough to keep us working on the locomotive for now. However, we sure could use some more money to help us with our goal of trying to get the locomotive back into service next year. We currently have one of our shop volunteers doing paid work on the locomotive two to three days a week, generally doing a lot of the nasty and unglamorous work that the volunteers are usually happy to pass of to someone else. It would be great to be able to keep him working on the locomotive through the winter. Having someone working a few days during the week every week really helps us make progress! In addition, we still need to purchase a new front pilot beam, and paint for the exterior of the locomotive and interior of the water tank. In my estimation, an additional $15,000.00 in the locomotive's restricted fund should ensure we have enough money to accomplish our goal of bringing the shay back into service next year. This is to finish buying the materials mentioned above and to continue having someone forging ahead working on the locomotive during the week. We could complete the locomotive with less money, but this will extend the time it will take to finish the project. And looking into the future, we will need money for yearly maintenance on the locomotive as we strive to inspect and repair it in a manner that best insures its continued mechanical wellbeing and operation for the next 15 years. Additionally, in 15 years it will be time again to perform a 1472 service day inspection on the locomotive, and this will again require money for new flues, insulation, and whatever else we find we will need at that time. So please, if you're a lover of logging locomotives, of steam locomotives in general, or just don't like seeing us poor shop volunteers beg, please consider a donation specifically to the Shay 5 restricted fund. Happily, the shay is now available for receiving donations on the IRM Online Store at www.IRM.org. No amount is too small. Of course, no amount is too large! All donations are extremely appreciated by all of us in the Steam Shop, and every dollar donated to the shay will go directly to ensuring its return to operation and continued operation at IRM.
Friday, September 11. 2015
Steam Department Update Summer 2015 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 19:52
Oh well. Despite the best of intentions another two month Summer break in the blogs!.
It has been a very demanding Summer. It takes a lot of work to support #1630 in operation. There is usually a list of maintenance tasks whenever she has a weekend out of service and loading coal and water is required between each running weekend.
Overall it has been a very successful season, both for the locomotive and personally. We have run as planned, except for a couple of days when we could not provide a crew. Problems have generally been the usual range of minor leaks to be expected with a near 100 year old locomotive. We ran very successfully during the Thomas weekends, providing power for the Percy train. As we have run regularly and worked our way thru the older coal, we have recently been running on fresh coal not mixed with the residue of old batches. This has really made the running a great deal better and more reliable. (This was written before September 6th when we were aiming to run the tender down to near empty and I had the fun of using all the mixed coal and dust that had settled to the bottom. Best viewed as “good experience”!!).
From a personal perspective. I met my objective and qualified as a fireman at IRM so I can now operate unsupervised in this role. JD and Phil have also qualified so we are now in a much better place for crews as we no longer need to have two of our limited pool of engineers in each crew, one acting as supervising fireman. Rather satisfying to prove that I can still wield the shovel as it is about 50 years since I first qualified (on “Prince” at the Festiniog Railway in North Wales).
Work has proceeded on a number of projects as volunteer vacation and support for #1630 permits.
The compressor shed is now largely complete. Rick has been busy insulating it and we have now started to move in the power and equipment.
The big push will be to get this operational ahead of the Winter. There is a lot of riveting to be done this Winter and the expectation is that the big compressor will support this without the need to run the Sullair (always fun if you have to dig it out of a snow bank before starting it)!.
On #428 the riveting team have made steady progress on the cab. In the last couple of weeks it was been lifted onto stands to allow access to the rivets around the bottom and even these are now well advanced. Basically all the rivets up the sides and across the roof are now in place and most of those at the bottom.
In addition the functionality of the planer has been steadily improved. Tom and Mike are still working to get it to full power and reliability but, even if it is still not taking quite the depth of cut that it should at full power, it does impressive work. This has allowed all the four axle boxes currently out of #428 to be cut ready to fit the new steel plates. In this view the plates to be welded to the base of the channel are in place where they are to be welded.
This will require a LOT of skilled fabrication / welding as will the fitting of the cab floor that will allow the cab to be refitted. Dennis has the potential for a very busy Winter after he completes work on #5 described below!.
The focus of work has been on the Shay and #938.
On #938 Phil and a small team have made substantial progress on de-rusting and priming the wheels and running gear. These are starting to look a great deal better.
Aside from improving her appearance and protecting against further deterioration, the one key thing that we want to do is to thickness test the boiler to support a form #4 calculation. It is looking uncertain that we will achieve this before we need to bring #1630 in for Winter maintenance but it is targeted for next year if we do not achieve it this.
Why do this?. Anyone who has walked around this locomotive can see that it is not a candidate for near term restoration to service. Essentially the condition of the boiler shell and firebox sheets will determine if she is a possible subject for a future major project or, for all practical purposes, is a permanent static exhibit. If restorable she might provide an attractive large project. She is after all one of the most “Chicago” locomotives in the collection having spent her later years on the suburban services of the Rock Island line, working with the coaches that we already have.
Work on Shay #5 has continued steadily but unfortunately not at the rate we might have hoped. The appeal generated about $500 in contributions that have been matched. Every little helps but we are now short of funds and this reduces our ability to set up intensive work sessions. So the begging bowl is still out, contributions can be made thru the IRM museum store on the website and I will hold open the matching offer.
Brian Davies (Shay project manager) has promised a complete update on what has been done so far and what remains to be done that I will load to the blog when I get it. In the mean-time progress has continued and become more visible.
The tube ends have all been ground to the correct dimensions ready for flaring and beading.
The ends of the new stays have been hammered over and formed into the correct domed shape.
Work has started on lapping the various valve faces and is being planned on the throttle valve.
All of this work is driving toward the target of having the boiler pressure tight during the Autumn so that hydrostatic testing can begin.
While all of this is critical, but not very obvious, Dennis’s recent activity has been very obvious!. I have been working in the Steam shop for more than 12 years now and a key distinguishing feature of #5 has always been the big gap in the bottom of the smoke box.
One weekend the new sheet, temporarily fitted with a lifting eye, was hoisted into place. At this point it is turned to the left to allow fine adjustment to match the existing metal on the fireman’s side where you can still see the gap.
A week later Dennis is making final adjustments to have the new plate sit accurately around both front and back rings as well as making a close fit to allow welding to the old wrapper sheet along both sides. This is now done and work can proceed to drilling the holes that will be used to rivet it to the front ring and the boiler barrel.
So substantial progress in the last couple of months but now things get really busy!. By the end of September #1630 should be back in the shop for a program of Winter work and efforts continue to have #5 ready for running next year. Availability of funds will be a big factor in determining whether this can be achieved.
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NB about More Increditable Pictures of the Mt. Harvard Move
Wed, 11-25-2015 23:07
Heck, $75K is not that much when it comes to bridge work. I wonder if it could be fixed with volunteer labor? Maybe a combined crew of IRM and MC [...]
Roger Kramer about More Increditable Pictures of the Mt. Harvard Move
Mon, 11-23-2015 20:05
Hello Jerry Yes, the bridge that connects Mid Continent with the UP interchange is still out-of-service! There is only one holdup to its repair. [...]
Raphael about The Mt. Harvard unloading at IRM
Sun, 11-22-2015 17:49
hey, thats actually pretty cool. and the funds for the main restoration will be there.
Jerry Hund about More Increditable Pictures of the Mt. Harvard Move
Sun, 11-22-2015 17:45
Roger, Thanks for the update on Mid Continent RR museum. This was the first museum I ever visited. I believe it was 1964. So if I understand you, any [...]
Roger Kramer about The Mt. Harvard unloading at IRM
Sat, 11-21-2015 22:12
Hello Chris Absolutely, Irm will accept donations from mutual funds as well as donations from stocks and bonds. I would strongly suggest you [...]
Chris about The Mt. Harvard unloading at IRM
Sat, 11-21-2015 13:16
Will IRM accept donations from mutual funds? This has some tax considerations that are more attractive than donating from savings. The donation is [...]
Gerald Dettloff about Model Railroad Display Update
Fri, 11-20-2015 10:23
Sorry Jeron, spelled your name wrong1
Gerry Dettloff about Model Railroad Display Update
Thu, 11-19-2015 19:00
Geron, It seems to me that most readers of this blog have no clue as to how how the museum finances projects. To add to your comments, I would point [...]
Matthew Gustafson about Model Railroad Display Update
Thu, 11-19-2015 18:54
Oh you bet I will be, Espically near the Steam Department and Barn 9 is usually were I want to put my most of my money in since at the moment I don't [...]
Jeron Glander about Model Railroad Display Update
Thu, 11-19-2015 17:59
Hi Matt, You have a couple of options. If you're interested in donating to specific projects and you will be on site at the museum, stop in to the [...]
Jeron Glander about The Mt. Harvard unloading at IRM
Thu, 11-19-2015 17:49
Mr. Nicholson, Is there a particular diesel or other piece of equipment under the care of the internal combustion department (the CNW bilevels, [...]
Matthew Gustafson about Model Railroad Display Update
Thu, 11-19-2015 13:24
Is the best way to send donations here over donating on site at the museum? (It tried to donate to several projects on my September visit to the [...]
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