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Tuesday, May 19. 2015
Steam Department - Fingers crossed! Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 22:22
Interim update May 19th.
A lot of work has been completed on #1630 over the last two weeks. As of today she is now complete and ready to be coaled and watered for the steam test.
If all goes to plan from here, she will be coaled and watered on Wednesday for steam testing on Thursday. We have time for minor adjustments on Friday so, unless we hit unexpected issues in the steam test, we expect to run Memorial Day weekend.
Monday, May 18. 2015
I purchased this sleeper at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin auction May 2, 2015. In a May 11, 2015 letter addressed to the museum was the offer of donation and at the May 16 BOD meeting the museum accepted my donation.
Yes, the lounge area has recently been repainted. We do need Pullman chairs. Anyone have some to donate?
Taken again, April 14, 2015 complete view of the section seating area. All upper berths have their mattresses and coat hooks. Notice the ceiling fixtures and globes still in place.
Sunday, May 17. 2015
Two ongoing progess reports, May 10th Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 15:44
Here are two updates on the continuing restorations efforts of the coach department. First, Mark Hoffman is still working in the interior of the EL 556. His focus now is sanding and priming the wall areas between the windows. This has been his project for the last few years and finally all his efforts are paying dividends. We intend to have this car in operation for this years Thomas. We need more volunteers to help Mark make it happen. He will be working away this Memorial Day weekend on the coach. Please consider helping!
Tuesday, May 5. 2015
Dover Strait restart Posted by Roger Kramer in New York Central - DOVER STRAIT at 18:53
Thursday, April 30. 2015
It was a beautiful day this past Wednesday and the barn 3 parking lot was full of cars. We had a very productive work session. Here is just one days activities with 9 energized volunteers. Kudos to the following: Dan Bogus, Dan Bixler, Loraine Bixler, Paul Cronin, Austin Harvey, John McKelvey, Bob Olsen, Rick Serenda and myself. Not pictured but of first importance was the pressure washing of the passenger cars inside of the barn. Paul Cronin started this detail earlier in the day and you can definitely tell the difference. The washing of grime and dust off the equipment makes a world of difference on their appearance. The other major emphasis was placed on our operating Rock fleet. The two Rock Island coaches 2582 and 2571 that are going to be used for the first service of the year were worked on and made ready to our customers.
Dan Boguse is installing a sign holder. Its not painted because of our sandblaster air compressor destroyed itself four weeks ago. Would anyone consider giving us a new one?
Bob is removing all 12 of the ceiling vent covers. You would not believe the thickness of the birds nests in these vents.
We also did some house cleaning in the John Mcloughlin.
Dan Boguse is installing, on the 2612, a handle that will eventually attach to the steam line valve.
Jack Biesterfeld took some time and showed me his latest project in the BM 1094.
Loraine has just finished cleaning a table in the interior. She has her hat in hand already for the next job.
Monday, April 27. 2015
Steam Department Update April 2015 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 15:53
Another month of intense activity. Yesterday there was a substantial flood outside the steam shop. Far from being a problem, this was a cause for celebration, marking another major milestone toward operation.
The focus thru April has been upon completing all the tests necessary prior to steaming. Most of these involve pressuring the boiler completely full of water (hydrostatic testing). The core principle is that pressurized water expands little when the pressure is released. So, should the boiler fail under 225 psi of water pressure, there is no explosion. Were it to fail under 180 psi of steam pressure, the force would substantially destroy a city block!. So the requirement is to test the boiler at 125% of operating pressure (225 psi for our 180 psi boiler) with water before you can put it into steam.
We have been filling the boiler, heating the water (testing is done with warm water to reduce stress on the boiler) and applying pressure with our antique water pump throughout April. Yesterday we reached the key milestone where, having done the last check with water, we were able to pump the water from the boiler and tender to waste. The work is complete so we no longer need the untreated well water we have been pumping between the tender and boiler all thru April. Next time we fill the tender it will be with treated water to be used in steaming.
There were several stages to the testing.
First we carried out a couple of days testing to identify leaks, correct them, and test again to ensure that we were satisfied that the boiler was fit for inspection;
Once this was done the formal test at 225 psi was carried out observed by the FRA inspector.
With this done the boiler was completely drained, the inspection hatch removed, dried and ventilated to allow people to work inside. The interior of the boiler was then inspected (with the FRA inspector observing for the second week). The key objective here is to ensure that nothing inside the boiler (particularly braces) has been loosened by applying the 125% pressure. This was carried out successfully, with one question raised on a few flexible stays that sounded dull on hammer testing. Once this is complete it is essential that the boiler is not pressured above operating as the internal inspection must be carried out whenever the boiler has been raised above operating pressure.
During the week, thickness measurements were made of the dry pipe, which is in good condition, and the hatch was then reinstalled to seal the boiler. Yesterday the boiler was pressured to 180 psi and thoroughly checked. All stays were hammer tested. This indicated that the flexis, that sounded odd when empty, ring perfectly normal under pressure and all rigid stays also ring true. No significant leaks were detected so we are ready to move forward to steaming.
Reaching this milestone opened up all sorts of activity this weekend.
The firebox was cleared of all tools and the last of the grates re-installed.
The fire hole door has been prepared for refitting.
Dennis completed welding in the cab floor.
The hydro fittings were all removed from the boiler and the auxiliary dome cover fitted.
The lagging was re-fitted to the firebox sides.
Mesh was re-installed in the smokebox
Despite all the activity, there is now serious doubt that we will be ready for our first planned steaming (May 16/17). We have made great progress overcoming the set-backs but there are still significant tasks to complete.
The biggest task is refitting the tender draft gear. This must be done before we can move the tender forward, recouple it and move the locomotive to refit the last coupling rod. Dennis has put a lot of work into building up the mounts under the tender and others have been hard at work in the unpleasant space under the tender grinding the surfaces smooth after welding. This is close to completion and then we have the fun job of squeezing the large and very heavy draft gear assembly back into its narrow pocket above the axle.
The shot above gives some idea of the work required, That draft gear fits up between the large castings that hang down from the tender. The draft gear has been displaced to the right in this view for many years causing excess wear on that side. Dennis has added the new metal that can be seen on the right an we are in process of grinding off the excess to produce a smooth surface of the correct profile to match the left hand side before the gear can be lifted back into place.
The wedges for the trailing axle box must be shimmed and refitted. Phil test fitted one yesterday. This proved that the required shim was exactly as predicted by Jason’s measurements before the shoes were machined. The shims now need to be cut, riveted to the wedges which can then be refitted.
Both injector starter valves need to be serviced and refitted. There was leakage last year and this needs to be corrected before they are refitted for this season.
The reverser cylinder must be reassembled. The cylinder was prepared yesterday for the piston to be refitted. All the parts are prepared so it is now a case of fitting. Unfortunately this and the injector valves have been delayed as Mike, who had been working on these, has had to go to Arizona for family reasons.
The “tear drops” securing the grate shakers must be fitted and welded in to place.
Additional plate work must be welded into the tender above the stoker helix to replace plate that was damaged and allowing coal to fall into the stoker channel last year.
Around these key tasks are the more obvious ones of reconnecting the tender to the locomotive and refitting the coupling rod. The issue is that we have many people who can do these tasks but only a few who can do the key tasks.
1630 has absorbed most of the effort in the shop during April but work has continued on the Shay and 428 when possible.
On the Shay, work is focused on preparing the boiler for re-tubing.
On 428 Eric has made good progress on machining the frame spacer and work has continued on riveting the cab.
So we will be working as much as we can during the week as we go into May with the objective of steaming as soon as we can.
And now a big plug for a very important event for the Department!. Tickets are now available for the Steam Department Benefit that will be held again this year at the San Filippo Estate on Sunday June 28th. The estate with its unrivalled collection of music machines and the great Wurlitzer organ, on which Dave will provide another great concert, is spectacular and can only be visited thru events such as this. This is a great afternoon out and a major opportunity to support the work in the Steam Shop.
So watch this space. I hope that, by the end of the month, I will be able to report 1630 in steam. However we have a very busy month ahead to achieve this.
Friday, April 24. 2015
Mid-April Coach Department Update Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 18:35
Report from Brian LaKemper:
Elsewhere on the property, Buzz was working on the turbine, JD and Cody were working on 1630's stoker, and CTA 4290 was getting its inspection.
Saturday, April 18th: Brian Patterson attended the morning rules review, meanwhile I started work with Mark G. on removing the defective fittings from 2612. After lunch, myself, Brian P, Mike M, Kevin Brown, and others attended the annual safety meeting conducted by Harold Krewer and Jeff Fryman.
While others took the rules test, I went back to work on 2612, with help from Phil from the steam department. With a lot of heat and mechanical persuasion, the rusted fittings finally came loose. Afterwards, I worked on the X-5000, changing an air hose, and other minor housekeeping. I also traced out a problem with Galt House's handbrake not applying, apparently at some point during it's travels, it was decided that the way to release the handbrake was to torch through the handbrake chains!
Rich, Greg, and Joe watch as Brian P. runs the controller and the machine spins engaging its many different contacts - Photo by Brian LaKemper
On Sunday 4/19, I removed one of the torched chains from the Galt House for repair by our metal working experts in the steam shop, and took the removed pipe to the shop for inspection. Big thanks to the steam shop for fixing the chain. I also removed a leaking valve stem from one of the conductor's valves on the X-5000 and flipped the double wear gasket to attempt to solve the leak.
Elsewhere on the property: after the annual meeting, several volunteers gathered in the electric car shop to try out the L car maintenance trainer. Turns out to be a very effective way of entertaining volunteers.
In the steam shop, work was ongoing on 1630's tender and cab floor, in addition to work on 428's axle boxes. The hydraulic planer is functional at last, though it still needs fine tuning.
Report from Michael McCrarren:
The last two Sunday we opened the china exhibit to the public and have gotten very good reviews. People are amazed at the variety of china we have on display. They also love looking at the menus to see what was served. The exhibit will have a formal opening on May 2.
Brian Patterson dropped by and talked to Kevin K who was working on the lantern display - Photo by Michael McCraren
Report from Shelly Vanderschaegen: On Sunday April 5th, Shelly worked on an Ely window frame and began cleaning in the Birmingham.
On Sunday, April 19th, Ray Mormann and Michael Baksic nearly completed their project in the Birmingham. Kevin was putting lanterns in the new lantern display cases.
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Bob Stekl about July 4th Trolley Parade Schedule
Sat, 07-04-2015 16:06
What is the schedule for Sunday, July 5? Thanks!
jack pfleeger about July 4th Trolley Parade Schedule
Sat, 07-04-2015 08:01
looks like great lineup have fun
Roger Kramer about A Great Financial Opportunity in support of the Mt. Harvard
Thu, 07-02-2015 21:43
Hello Steve I would suggest you call the office 815-923-4391 ask for Jan and she can help you w/ the link. And thank you kindly for [...]
Steve G. about A Great Financial Opportunity in support of the Mt. Harvard
Thu, 07-02-2015 10:03
Would like to email a donation to Mt. Harvard, but how do I do that? Is there a link?
Robert McComb about A Major Announcement
Wed, 07-01-2015 21:16
There needs to be a small correction to what you have said here. In 1961, "Mt. Harvard" was donated by the Pullman Co. to the Wabash Frisco & [...]
Ted Miles, IRM Member about A Great Financial Opportunity in support of the Mt. Harvard
Wed, 07-01-2015 16:48
Folks, i was looking at the roster pages and see that the Dover Strait is still listed as the Elgin,Joliet & Eastern 38766. She has had much [...]
Brian L. about New Acquisation: What is CN 15444?
Wed, 06-24-2015 22:21
Roger, you are correct.
Roger Kramer about New Acquisation: What is CN 15444?
Tue, 06-23-2015 21:47
Hello Raphael E9's were probably all yellow but I will defer to someone else for the correct answer. Roger
Raphael about New Acquisation: What is CN 15444?
Tue, 06-23-2015 20:22
did the MILW E9's ever have the Orange & Maroon, or were they always in the UP yellow?
Roger Kramer about New Acquisation: What is CN 15444?
Sun, 06-21-2015 11:10
Thanks Brian I could not remember the entire history of the 33C. What ever the case it will be a lot of effort to get one operational. Roger
Raphael about More on the Mt. Harvard
Sat, 06-20-2015 18:13
first off, most ran parallel in the same general area or are road names that now belong to the CPR/CNR. and that misspell was on my cell phone.
Brian L. about New Acquisation: What is CN 15444?
Sat, 06-20-2015 12:02
Milwaukee 33C was built with a steam generator, but it was removed when it received HEP modifications while still in service. Though the HEP [...]
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